Nintendo World is a chain of stores owned and operated by Nintendo to sell Nintendo-made and licensed products.
Nintendo World was first founded as the Nintendo World Store in New York on May 17, 2005, which itself was converted from a Pokemon-themed store. Within the year, several Nintendo World stores opened across the United States and in Japan. However, Nintendo World's great breakthrough came in 2006, when it began establishing locations in Europe.
Up until the seventh generation of consoles, Nintendo products, including systems and games, were hard to find in many European countries. In places like Poland, for instance, Nintendo had no official representation, meaning that until recently, all Nintendo products had to be specifically imported from countries such as Germany.
Nintendo World changed the formula by establishing a presence in a wide variety of European countries. From 2006 to 2008, stores were established in cities such as Dublin, Lisbon, Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Madrid, Rome, Zurich, and Vienna. For many countries, this was the first time Nintendo arrived en force.
In late 2012, shortly before the release of the Stream, Nintendo celebrated the opening of the 200th Nintendo World store in Budapest.
Nintendo Worlds are typically divided into several major sections. First, there are specific sections for each platform currently being sold by Nintendo in the country. For early stores, this mostly meant the Game Boy Nitro and Revolution, as opposed to support for older systems. However, recently established stores still usually carry seventh generation products despite their supposedly being replaced by the Game Boy 3DS and Stream. This is due to the sheer popularity of the older systems.
Although the focus of Ninteno World stores is on first and second-party products, third-party games and accessories are also carried. Furthermore, the events that are often held are sometimes held in honor of third-party releases, such as new Assassin's Creed games.
Some Nintendo World stores also have technical staff on duty in order to help customers with technical difficulties with their Nintendo products. Often, stores will offer lifetime guarantees with free repairs in exchange for a premium.
Nintendo World stores also carry licensed merchandise. These include dolls, Pokemon Trading Cards, tote bags, clothing, and various simple items with Nintendo branding.
One particular feature of several Nintendo Worlds is the inclusion of a small museum. This exhibit, though absent in many locations, may feature older systems and games, original artwork, or otherwise culturally significant pieces. The release of major Nintendo games is often accompanied by a change in the exhibit to match the prominent franchise of the moment.
Nintendo World stores are known for having special events on a regular basis. Typically once a month, stores will host launch events for major games. Although the emphasis is on Nintendo games, third-party games have also had special events. Games purchased at these events may include extra content, either in-game or in the form of physical merchandise. For example, Pokemon launch events often include the public distribution of rare Pokemon.
Timeline of Events Edit
Note that this timeline is specifically for the original store in New York City. Actual events vary by country and region, based on factors such as a title's expected popularity and release dates, in addition to a local store's actual capacity to hold such events.
- August 2005 - A Kameo: Elements of Power event was held. As the first event, it was poorly advertised and organized, and had a disappointing turnout.
- September 19, 2005 - The launch of the Game Boy Advance Micro. Unlike the Kameo event, this was widely considered successful, attracting a sizable crowd and selling a decent number of games and systems.
- October 2005 - A Pokemon XD event was held.
- November 7, 2005 - An even is held for Mario Party 7 and the twentieth anniversary of Super Mario Bros. Later that month, the release of Mario & Luigi 2 is used as an excuse to extend the festivities.
- March 21, 2006 - A midnight launch of Kingdom Hearts 2 is held, with GameCube bundles including both it and the original game being sold. This is the first third-party focused event and Nintendo World New York.
- March 26, 2006 - The launch of the Game Boy Nitro, arguably the biggest event held yet. A new section of the store is opened for Game Boy Nitro games.
- June 2006 - New Super Mario Bros's release is celebrated.
- July 2006 - A Kirby Story event is held, featuring the game bundled with limited edition pink GameCubes. Although the shade of pink is criticized at first, these systems soon become collectors' items.
- October 24, 2006 - The Final Fantasy 12 event is held, the last major event for the GameCube.
- November 17, 2006 - The Revolution launch event is held. This is Nintendo World's biggest day yet, with hundreds of people attending the midnight release alone.
- July 3, 2010 - Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii visits New York to help promote Dragon Quest 9.
- November 2010 - The Super Mario Bros Anniversary month-long event is held. Revolution systems with several Virtual Console Mario games were sold, and the museum focused on the history of the mascot.
The following is a list of where the first 200 Nintendo World stores were established.
- 63 in USA
- 31 in Japan
- 13 in Germany
- 11 in France
- 10 in Canada
- 10 in the United Kingdom
- 9 in Italy
- 8 in Turkey
- 8 in South Korea, located in Seoul (in three locations), Busan, Incheon, Daegu, Ulsan, and Suwon
- 6 in Spain, located in Madrid (in two locations), Valencia, Barcelona, Seville, and Bilbao
- 4 in Brazil, located in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Manaus, and Belem
- 4 in Australia, located in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Canberra
- 3 in Netherlands, located in Rotterdam, Utrecht, and Eindhoven
- 2 in Portugal, located in Lisbon and Oporto
- 2 in Belgium, located in Antwerp and Brussels
- 2 in Sweden, located in Malmo and Stockholm
- 2 in Greece, located in Athens and Thessaloniki
- 2 in Czech Republic, both located in the Prague area
- 1 in Hungary, located in Budapest
- 1 in South Africa, located in Cape Town
- 1 in Slovakia, located in Bratislava
- 1 in Denmark, located in the Copenhagen area
- 1 in Norway, located in the Oslo area
- 1 in Finland, located in Espoo
- 1 in Ireland, located in the north half of the Dublin area
- 1 in Switzerland, located in Bern
- 1 in New Zealand, located in Auckland
- 1 in Taiwan, located in Taipei