Last week Sega announced another ten games for the system, bringing the total up to thirty, and this past weekend I went out to pre-order the thing, only to find it sold out almost everywhere! It doesn’t come out until mid-September and there’s still another ten games to be announced, but apparently everybody in Japan is locking in their purchases already.
On Amazon Japan and Rakuten the pre-orders are available, but at steep mark-ups. The cheapest ones are all about 50% extra over the list price! I’m a non-Tokyoite city dweller, but the downtown Yodobashi Camera and Yamada Denki (the largest electronics retailers in Japan, with big multi-level flagship stores in the center of each large Japanese city) were both sold out. They’re my go-to places for electronics so I had to start getting creative. I tried the large Aeon downtown, knowing they have a couple of aisles of video games next to their toy section, but to no avail.
Then I had a great idea: go to the place where because they have everything, they’re not particularly associated with anything. That’s right, if you’re familiar with Japan you’ll know I’m talking about Don Quijote! Though most people probably know they sell a lot of random electronics, less well known is the fact that they do always have one or two shelves of the latest video games and systems available. Nothing old, nothing used, but Don Quijote is famous for having everything and they do technically have video games.
But even then the first store I went to was sold out of the two controller version, and only had the one controller skew in stock. This seems consistent with those Amazon and Rakuten listings which have significantly higher mark-ups for the two controller Mega Drive; it’s clearly the more popular version. However, on my second try at a different Don Quijote I struck gold and was finally able to get a reservation for the Mega Drive Mini W!! Only had to go to five stores, and it doesn’t come out for another four months!
Glancing at Amazon US and UK it seems that the Western version is still available at it’s base price for now. I don’t know if that’s because of the 3-button controllers or the slightly inferior selection of games, but if you’re thinking about getting one you might as well get your pre-order in now. I have a feeling they’ve saved some surprises for that last 10. Happy Gaming.