Switch lottery lines in Japan reached new levels of insanity this weekend - Nintendo Everything

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Switch lottery lines in Japan reached new levels of insanity this weekend

Posted on July 17, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Switch

The Switch stock situation isn’t so great around the world. But if you thought it was difficult finding a system in the west, you should be thankful that you’re not living in Japan. We’ve reported how crazy things can get with people lining up just for a chance to get a Switch. The insanity was taken to new heights this weekend.

Here’s a look at Akiharabara Yodobashi this weekend. More than 3,000 people lined up in hopes of securing their own Switch system. The problem? Just 250 units were available.

One person on Twitter said his number was around 2,600 when he was there at 8:27 AM. He speculates that the general number would be more than 5,000 and it might reach 10,000.

Here’s a nice little story at least. One family was upset that they didn’t win the lottery. Showing that there is some goodness in the world, this person passed his winning number to them.

The craziness wasn’t just one store by the way. Here’s a look at Yodobashi in Osaka:

Finding a Switch unit is already a difficult task. Adding to the chaos is this week’s launch of Splatoon 2, which is expected to be a massive hit in Japan. Nintendo did say that it would be increasing Switch stock starting this month, but it doesn’t look like the company will be anywhere close to meeting demand.

Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4


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  • Nailz

    Please Understand

  • Kalmaro

    Good gravy, I am sooooo glad I pre-ordered mine off Amazon. No regrets.

    • γ‚­γƒ­

      Despite mine being part of that odd delay/mishap, it seems the extra few days were worth it compared to what some others are/were going through… xD

      • Kalmaro

        I’ll take a few days over a ‘Switch lottery’ any day, lol.

        • Dascylus

          It’s like the difference between buying a Fast Pass and waiting in line for a ride at an amusement park lol

          • Petri

            But the lines! Everywhere you go, people,
            crowds, The rides are great, but…
            All the lines, lines, LINES! If there’s
            one thing I hate, all the lines, lines,
            lines, LINES!! And then there get to
            be so many people that they make FastPass.
            So then there’s lines for FastPass.
            You stand in line to get a ticket to
            stand in line later. Then there’s lines
            for the bathrooms , lines for the drinks,
            lines for cantakuras and rare Kartankulas Plinks!

      • Fore

        Well, that explains why you’re not seeing that many Switches in the wild: there aren’t that many of them! πŸ˜›

  • Mr Ninty

    So you stood all day in line, waited for hours, went out of bed at 03:00 to be the very first in line to get a switch and still you don’t get a switch

    • Nailz

      That about sums it up.

    • Phish!

      partially the fault of the stores. Out of reports that store had 250 or Switches in stock, but they let 2100 people stand in line for hours to participate in a lottery to get a chance to order your switch.

      why not idk count them and the first 250 in line get a switch the rest need to go home.

      • linyuqiang

        To get rid of resellers,obviously.

        • Phish!

          who says the winners of the lottery dont resell, i mean you can turn a profit right no with doing that and if you have a free day why not try it?

          • linyuqiang

            Yes, if I can be the lucky one to get an extra Switch, I might resell it too.But it is still a problem of probablity .However, do you know the resellers are employing the homeless to queue in line? Homeless can wait in front of the mall through all the night before the mall is open, which means normal people can never get a switch with proper price.

  • carlos holguin holguin

    wow… jesus.. this is gonna get real good this weekend

  • Carlos

    All the pictures are on one page! Thank you so much!

    • Fernando Silva

      Let’s praise the lord!

    • Ektoras Kalderis

      Something tells me it won’t last πŸ™

      • notmy cellphone

        how many months have I been hearing this ExACT same line? Oh yearh 4 straight.

  • Jesus Ruvalcaba

    want a switch? come to mexico we have a bunch of them because they are expensive as f***k

    • Nailz

      just don’t drink the water

      • Jesus Ruvalcaba

        not from the sink

  • Locky Mavo

    Wow, all this clearly for Splatoon 2. Man I really hope Nintendo get on top of their stock issue, both for theirs and the buyers sakes. Such a big opportunity and it’s slipping through their fingers.

    • GoldenTriforce

      I bet it isn’t even due to Splatoon, at least now, its likely a massive demand with a very limited amount of supply.

      • Locky Mavo

        Splatoon 2 comes out in about a week, Japan’s Switch lottery reaches NEW levels of of insanity. Coincidence?
        Yes Japan has had a high demand for the Switch, with lotteries already happening, but not at this scale. Like the article says, this is a new level of demand, and given how popular Splatoon was in Japan and Splatoon 2’s release just around the corner, it seems obvious why demand is higher right now.

    • Jack Red

      That would most likely involve trying to get Apple to allow Nintendo to have some parts for the Switch as both the Switch and apple’s products use similar parts.

  • Tlink7

    Holy moly, that is so sad ;-; hope they all get a unit soon
    The only positive is of course that the Switch is doing very well

  • Leonel

    I don’t blame them since splatoon 2 is releasing and to imagine how much more demand for switch in Japan

  • γ‚­γƒ­

    Makes sense for things to be crazy in those two places! It’s why a lot of kids here say “I’m jealous!” if you mention you have a Switch. XD

    Summer vacation is just beginning for school students too, so everything happening at once probably making for those huge lines!

    • Fore

      Oh dear, Monster Hunter XX is also coming out there soon…. I hope you have a fortified bunker nearby?

      • γ‚­γƒ­

        Oh dear, that’s going to be too much at once xD

        • Fore

          Well, XX is expected in Japan in August. So you’ve got some reprieve in-between Splatoon 2 and Monster Hunter πŸ˜›

    • Dascylus

      Meanwhile, most North Americans who want one, can get one. Not because of retail stock (those are almost always sold out), but because Gamestop/EBGames allow you to pre-order bundles.

  • I love how the haters are still saying it’s still too early to determined if the Switch is a success or not but we’re already 5 months in and the damn thing still can’t stay in stores. They’re either saying Nintendo is understocking units to create more buzz or they’ll say the old ” every new console does well in it’s first few months ” excuse to take thunder away from how well the Switch is selling but then if it continues to do massively well then they’ll come up with something else……it’s like Nintendo can’t have any success without an hater criticizing them or shooting what they’re doing but for me…..I’m enjoying seeing that salt just pile up lol

    • Dascylus

      It’s funny how a lot of people were like “blah blah blah PS4 outsold Switch in May”… yeah, stock differences can do that when the hottest console is so hard to find that lines of several thousand pile up just to get a hand on the small quantity available.

      I’m looking forward to Black Friday this year, I already have my Switch so I can watch the chaos with popcorn in hand.

      • lol….same here

        • Dascylus

          Just edit Jingle All The Way and replace Turboman with Nintendo Switch lol

          • Fredy Rodriguez Ortega

            I was trying to remember the name of that movie hehe thank you!

      • Reggie

        Black Friday is going to be extra brutal this year. My prayers to the people managing the shops…

        • Dascylus

          I hope some shops do the Bingo Ball lottery, it’s so funny watching that go bad.

    • NintendoPSXTheSecond

      I’m a Nintendo fanboy but even I can’t call the Switch a success yet. Until it can prove itself still selling the same amount or more, never less, for more than a year then I can say it’s successful. Way too early to call it successful.

      Popularity β‰  Success all the time.

      • Very technically speaking, it has been a success so far. It’s reached numbers that it took the others to reach a bit longer, and has been seeing great success with attach rates.

        But seeing how it’s doing by the end of the year, and this time next year will either cement things, or just prove that hype carried it for a while. It’ll also come down to software for next year though. Hoping the promised third parties do carry through~.

  • awng782

    And this is before Splatoon 2 launches…

    • Exactly……so imagine how successful Super Mario Odyssey is gonna be and what that mainline PokΓ©mon game that’s in development for the Switch is gonna do for it……we may see a year long sellout of Switch….. especially come next year

      • awng782

        Pokemon, Animal Crossing, Yokai Watch, and the inevitable mainline Monster Hunter game that lands on the Switch (once Capcom realizes how important Japan sales are to the success of the franchise) are going to result in zombie-like hordes waiting in line to buy a Switch.

        • Fore

          Monster Hunter XX is coming to the Switch, just not in the West (as far as is known).

          • Dascylus

            Monster Hunter XX and Splatoon 2 are pretty much why the Japanese populace are arriving in droves to get their hands on one right now.

          • Fore


          • Super Mario Odyssey too

          • ben

            No one in Japan really cares about Monhun XX to be honest.

        • True

      • well it can’t be successful if you can’t buy it

  • i don’t get it.
    if the problem is they’re third in line or whatever at the chinese factory
    they could still make the systems somewhere else
    if they signed an exclusivity contract with someone who refuses to make the system, they need to get out of it

    • It wasn’t the factory, it was the part. They were having to bid with Apple for the part (not just Apple, I hear?). However, they did recently report that they will be able to increase production, so something was worked out.

      • Fredy Rodriguez Ortega

        one of the parts shortages are the NAND flash memory chips THGBMHG8C2LBAIL from Toshiba and KLMBG2JENB-B041 from Samsung which are the circuit that make the internal storage of the Switch and the Iphone 7, that is why they are strugling with Apple



        both of this chips are premium quality so they can not buy other chips and decrease the performance

        • Fore

          Dang, Apple go be a good piece of fruit and give the big N some room πŸ˜›

          • Fredy Rodriguez Ortega

            and Samsung and Toshiba make mooooore chipsssssssssssssssssss

          • Fore

            Question is, will they? I mean, they’re selling them so surely they should amp up production to get more sales, right?

          • Fredy Rodriguez Ortega

            they only produce this kind of circuits in mass production when there are demand so don’t worry @Fore, they are on it

          • Fore

            Good, let’s hope they get things right soon.

        • ah ok the bottleneck is some other company not manufacturing a part
          makes more sense
          now toshiba and samsung are dumb for not making more of those chips

          ps why do i know this now

          • Fredy Rodriguez Ortega

            yes the fault is on Toshiba and Samsung they both have prioritized Apple because they normally bought more chips. Nobody(even nintendo) guessed this Switch sales

        • Ahhh, thanks! I couldn’t remember what it was, nor did I have a handy source. I was wondering about the quality and if there was a substitute. That makes sense.

          • Fredy Rodriguez Ortega

            you’re welcome! those circuits are equivalents so the THGBMHG8C2LBAIL(toshiba) is the substitute of KLMBG2JENB-B041(samsung) and viceversa but both of them are in shortages which is a problem i hope get solved soon.

            in this teardown you can see every integrated circuit used in the console


          • Fascinating~! I don’t fully understand all of the specs, but it’s really cool to read up on! Thanks for linking! And yeah, I hope those shortages can be solved.

  • Petri

    Maybe I should have tipped those Japanese tourists about our stocks.
    They’re not huge but probably at least first 50 people could have walked out with one right away.
    Though one costs about 46 000 yen.

    • Dascylus

      Yeah, prices seem to be really high with Splatoon 2 coming out this week.

    • ben

      That is a 50% mark up….

      • Petri

        Better than paying 100% mark up to a scalper?

  • masterjedi

    It is insane over there. I have to imagine that Nintendo has been flooding North America (since this is where they do most of their business) and plans to backfill Japan starting with the release of Splatoon 2. We haven’t got any NPD numbers since May but I’d be willing to be there was a huge spike in Switches sold in North America over the last two months and now you’re going to see 50, maybe 60k units sold in Japan for the next couple of weeks. At least I hope that’s the case. Really glad I preordered mine on the initial launch date. Its just game purchasing for me from here on out. Good luck to everyone else!

    • Dascylus

      June saw a major hike in stock availability for North America, so I can see this happening. Basically, if you wanted a Switch, you could’ve gotten one pretty easily last month and this month (ThinkGeek/Gamestop/EBGames are currently the best sites to pre-order Switch bundles).

      Still haven’t been able to spot the elusive Switch in the wild at retail, but getting one online while avoiding scalpers seems easy enough.

  • Nintendo! Fix this! They have more than enough money to buy a huge amount of stock. Even if they have to sell it at a loss for awhile… They need fix this before Splatoon 2 comes out.. been trying to find a Switch for months now.

    • β‰ˆ KobobKC β‰ˆ

      They’re trying their best.

    • Gestrid

      The problem isn’t money. The problem is that there’s a shortage on a certain part they need.

      • Just looked it up.. I guess I won’t be playing Zelda anytime soon πŸ™ I hope I can ffind one sooner..

        • Gestrid

          Try following pages like @Nintendeal on Twitter.

        • DeltaPeng

          Actually, if you live in US, Gamestop is supposed to have some stock sometime this week up till Friday, and on Friday I believe Target and Best Buy plan to have stock. Likely it’s part of a resupply in anticipation for Splatoon2, so now’s a pretty good time to be hunting if you want a Switch

      • DeltaPeng

        True, but part of it Nintendo could potentially bid higher or pay more to help procure the parts they need (and sell the system at a loss for a time). If they wait too long they may lose some potential buys, and if they’re not enough Switches on the market, devs will be hesitant to jump in.

        Assuming the bids for said parts are still ongoing and able to be procured.

  • Fernando Machado


  • Yikees! I hope everyone that wants one can get one! It’s great that Nintendo is ramping up production, but yowza.

    I am glad to see the console taking off too. I’m hoping to see continued success from it. β™₯

  • Trevor Baird

    I have been a fan of Nintendo forever. Managed to get a switch in the wild day one. One month later I was able to buy the wife and kids one in the wild and I also bought one for my dad. A couple weeks ago my wife’s switch would no longer turn on so we sent it back to Nintendo who sent her a brand new one to replace. Just in time for Splatoon which we will be purchasing two copies. I am in stores often and let people know when I see switches in stock. They go quick and weeks go by with no restock however just today our local target had four. I am glad my wife trusted me when I insisted we get one for herself. My wife loves splatoon just as much as I do.

  • chancetime

    250 units when Splatoon, the most popular in Japan, is releasing. Nintendo…. wyd

  • Justin McQuillen

    i just wanna play splatoon 2 x.x

  • Ghirahim


  • Melatelo

    Wow. That’s madness! Sucks that stuff like this is even a thing at this point- but super happy for Nintendo. It deserves all the success it’s getting.

  • heavenshitman1

    Surely it’d be in Nintendo’s favour to take a financial hit to bust out more Switch production. Even if they pay their manufacturers a premium and take a (slight) loss on units when they have a solid chance to seriously boost their user base.
    One way or another, whether ppl get their Switches or not, this demand won’t last forever

  • Mansor murad

    I love splatoon