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Business trends

Japanese gamers get their hands on Nintendo's Switch

Big expectations riding on company's latest home console

Two gamers show off their latest console purchase at Bic Camera's main Ikebukuro store, in Tokyo's Toshima Ward, on March 3.

TOKYO -- Nintendo's Switch went on sale in Japan on Friday, the company's first new home video game console in four and half years.

But the Switch is more than a device that connects to users' TVs. Like the Wii U before it, a tablet can also be detached and used as a handheld gaming unit.

Sales of the Wii U suffered due to a number of problems, including a lack of titles. Some 13.5 million Wii Us were sold, about 12.5% of what the previous-generation Wii sold.

Nintendo hopes to get its mojo back with the Switch.

Some home appliance mass retailers made the device available to people who did not preorder it. Bic Camera's main Ikebukuro store, in Tokyo's Toshima Ward, started selling the device on a first-come-first-served basis at 9 a.m.

According to the store, some 200 gamers who did not preorder the unit were waiting in line by 8:30.

"I had been waiting in a nearby internet cafe since last night," a 19-year-old university student from Saitama said.  

At least one person who had pre-ordered the Switch took a place in line at 5 a.m. "I want to play games such as 'The Legend of Zelda' as soon as I can," the Nintendo fan said.

(Nikkei)

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