Today was the much ballyhooed Nintendo World launch, christening Nintendo’s new retails store in what used to be the Pokemon Center. For those not in NYC who are dying to see what it looks like, I took a boatload of cameraphone shots, and you can view them at:
My thoughts? Utter, bitter disappointment.
– There’s nothing game-wise that’s unique to the store. The only merchandise you can’t find elsewhere is some Nintendo-branded clothing.
– The prices are exactly the same as any other retail outlet.
– The historical items are sort of neat but a very small section of the store.
– There’s tons of empty space; the space that is used is cramped, leading to bad people flow.
– There are portions of the store that are just devoted to playing promotional movies, rather than pushing product. I am not joking when I say the Apple Store in Soho has more product on the shelves than this store does.
– Most of all, the store lacks personality. Whether you love or hate Pokemon, when you went into the Pokemon Center, the store had energy laying somewhere between cute and obsessive. It was always fun to go in there and giggle, if nothing else. The Nintendo store is without any sort of feeling, just existing and nothing more. It does not feel like there’s anything related to fun or gaming occurring here. Toys R Us in Times Square is more fun, and the Toys R Us gaming section *blows*.
On the up shot, it was nice to see Herbie and John, so it wasn’t a wasted day. But steer clear of the Nintendo Store – there’s no spectacle, no enthusiasm, no feeling.