Last month, pre-orders for the Super Famicom Mini drew long lines at cities across Japan. Today the console went on sale. Lines were much shorter, but there were sell outs.
At first, however, the early morning lines seemed alarmingly short.
Twitter user Kaztsu, who often photographs launch lines, reported at around 7:30 that there were only around 25 people lined up at a Sofmap in Tokyo’s Akihabara for 900 Super Famicom Minis.
Lines at 7am were short at other spots in the city.
But people started coming out as the morning wore on. Remember this was a workday in Japan.
Depending on the store, you needed to be line by a certain time to register for the raffle. For the Bic Camera shops, that meant being in line by 8:30am. Winning the raffle meant you got the chance to buy the console (for more on this process, read here.)
At raffle registration time, there were only 145 people for the 600 Super Famicom Minis at the Akiba Sofmap, while at the Sofmap Amusement shop, 270 people showed up for 900 Super Famicom Minis. At Bic Camera Akiba, there were 549 people and 800 units.
The longest line was at Bic Camera Yurakucho, with over a thousand people lining up for 800 Super Famicom Minis. As far as raffles go, these were decent odds.
But because there was so much stock elsewhere, Bic Camera stores put out signs that read “zenin tousen” (全員当選) or “everyone wins (the raffle).”
This wasn’t just in Tokyo, either. Below is a photo from the Bic Camera in Osaka’s Namba, with a sign listing 700 units available on launch day and a notice saying that everyone in line was a winner.
Ditto for Nagoya.
So this means that everyone who waited at these stores got a console. There seemed to be enough stock to go around at launch, so people could still pick one up in shops hours the console went on sale.
But as the day went on, people reported that the Super Famicom Mini was selling out at shops in Japan, as evident on the above signs with “kanbai” (完売) or “sold out” notices.
The console appears to be doing well, minus the usual panic-induced chaos seen surrounding Nintendo hardware in Japan. Thank goodness for that.
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