Soapbox: Splatoon 3’s midnight launch felt a little different

Image: Nintendo Life / James Mielke

Ah, the venerable midnight launch. The once-anticipated tradition of nightly game launches — so as to technically match the official dates of street game gaming while still capitalizing on the obsessions and enthusiasm of gamers — is, at least in New York City, on the brink of extinction thanks to numerous such factors. like public safety, liability issues, pandemic precautions, and general consumer welfare.

But on this day, September 9th, 2022, the spirit at least lived on thanks to Nintendo NY’s awesome RSVP system, which requires potential buyers—in this case, Splatoon 3—to log into their My Nintendo account and reserve a time slot in a virtual queue to buy the game.

For example, I was late to the party and just checked Nintendo New York Twitter account to see if any trigger event happened and they did. However, by the time I checked the details, they only had 1am or more left, so I responded to the invitation and headed just before midnight to take a look at the queue.

Last time I covered a launch, for Pokemon Arceuseverything was pretty calm. Maybe it’s because it took place in the heart of New York winter, or maybe because it was a Pokémon spin-off. Whatever the reason, it didn’t take much effort to get in line and buy the game. Mario Strikers: Battle League the launch was the same without drama, which is to be expected. Nintendo or not, sports games don’t generate the same zeal that a new player usually has. Zelda or right Mario the game.

But it was nice for Splatoon 3 to see the line go the whole block from Nintendo’s doors, almost all the way to 6th Avenue, which is a long city block by New York City standards. There was a significant gap between the 12:00 queue and the 1:00 am extension I was in. After a short wait, the queue periodically moved forward by significant amounts, so everyone thought that this was not so bad.

Whatever Nintendo NY is currently doing is doing it right, at least from the point of view of a father of two who would rather sleep at 2am than buy games. However, it was my son’s ninth birthday, and instead of just ordering the game online and waiting for it to arrive in the mail, it gives me a good reason to go see the launch of a good old game and bring home a shiny new one. a copy of the game for my kids, and everything Nintendo NY gave away on launch day.

In this case, my reward for purchasing the game from Nintendo’s flagship store in North America was a promotional keychain for the new Splatoon 3 exclusive Tri-Stringer (bow) and a beautiful horizontal poster exclusive to the event. My kids and I have been appreciating Splatoon for a long time, as you can see in the image below.

Platoon 3 Launch
My kids are waiting for the original Splatoon back in 2015 – Image: Nintendo Life / James Mielke

When the original game first launched for Wii U in 2015, my kids were five and two years old respectively, and I was such a fan of character design that I dressed my kids as Inklings and had them chase each other all over South Street. Seaport in New York with homemade costumes and an official hat that Nintendo sent me. Since then, they have been hooked on this series.

So, since it was my son’s birthday, I promised him that I would come to the midnight launch and buy him a copy of the game. In fact, I took three because I knew that he, his sister and I would enjoy playing in the new triquel local co-op modes. What’s the best way to learn ropes before taking on an online community?

In any case, once in the store, there was literally no one in line for the game. Everyone inside had either already bought the game, was looking around the rest of the store (which, to my surprise, wasn’t just open for selling Splatoon 3), or was taking photos in front of the big Splatoon 3 backdrop on the ground floor.

Anyway, I was just happy to see everyone having a good time, and a clear line to the counter, where I bought not only the game, but also an elusive amiibo set featuring Callie and Marie, the game’s commentators, at normal prices. . I also picked up Steve and Alex’s new Minecraft amiibo that they kept behind the counter at Nintendo NY.

All in all, it was the most enjoyable launch experience I’ve ever had. I’m too old, tired, and busy to deal with camping three days in advance, living in a sidewalk tent, just to be the first to buy a game, so I’m very happy that technological advances have made midnight launches like this as convenient as possible. , smooth and hassle-free. In this way, we all start playing the game a little earlier, and no one has to suffer for the sake of pleasure.

All hail the new midnight launch. Long live it.

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