Console launches are normally times for absurdity, but this report coming in from the UK - of GAME staff popping down to their local supermarket to buy 3DS units - is something else.
Eurogamer has got hold of documentation sent to employees of GAME, a major specialist retailer in Europe (and Australasia) at the time of the 3DS' launch over the weekend, urging employees to raid the shelves of their nearest Tesco supermarket (which was selling the 3DS for £35/USD$55 less than GAME) in order to "gain 3DS consoles and games for your store's pre-owned stock".
To do this, staff were allowed to take money from the register, walk down to Tesco and buy a number of 3DS + game bundles, walk back to GAME and sell the consoles as "pre-owned".
These "pre-owned" units would then be kept as reserve, and once the retailer's allotment of handhelds ran dry they would be sold at "the same price as mint due to expected supply shortage". GAME's "mint" price being £220 (USD$350).
So Tesco, a large supermarket chain in the UK, sells consoles at an enormous loss just to get people in the door and take business away from their competition. And GAME, Europe's largest specialist video game retailer, resorts to buying 3DS units not from official distributors, but from a...supermarket.
GAME staff told to buy 3DS from Tesco [Eurogamer]