PAX is home to plenty of first looks at new products, but it was discreetly home to first buy for the extremely limited edition Pikachu Nintendo 3DS XL. There was a small kiosk at the Nintendo area, inconspicuously facing away from the main thoroughfare, that was distinct from the rest of the Nintendo attractions in that it sold actual products. You could purchase Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity a day early (many gamers did!), and they had physical copies of Fire Emblem: Awakening, somewhat of a rarity at the time because of its (allegedly deliberately) small production run.
But buying a Pikachu 3DS XL a day early was the main attraction here. The handheld was limited edition – and when Nintendo says limited, they actually mean it. Not like Halo 3: Legendary Edition (a step up from Limited, might I add), which was stocked so plentifully that retailers would end up discounting it more than 50% just to get it off their shelves. Instead, each retail location that advertised the Pikachu 3DS was only given five units. No restock. Every store ended up with a line forming more than an hour before sale, and would have the entire stock bought out right as the store opened.
Not that we knew any of that – we just knew that they only had two units left here at the convention on Saturday, and that Henrison couldn’t bear to let this slip through his fingers.
I am immensely glad that Henrison didn’t risk it and instead bought the next-to-last unit at PAX, opting for the better story, and the better picture.