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Supply and Demand: The GBA Launch

by Billy Berghammer - March 19, 2001, 10:00 pm EST

Planet GameCube goes deep undercover to find out what the GBA Import Scene is like from the importers themselves.

In my quest to find out more about the possible early GBA launch, I talked to one Import Store employee who was rather talkative about the situation as a retailer, and an importer. He wished to remain anonymous. He likes his job. I don’t blame him. Wish granted. Meet Mr. AnonyMouse.

Planet GameCube: So what’s the situation like from the Import Store point of view? Was it hard to get systems to sell in the US?

AnonyMouse: Well, let me just say the demand has been insane. As soon as a date was announced we had people asking to pre-order! People seem to be willing to pay almost anything for the new hand held from Nintendo. There isn't even enough for those poor kids in Japan!

Planet GameCube: Is that why there have been all the import system and packages offered?

AnonyMouse: Exactly. So far the distributors (predictably) are taking advantage of this and forcing retailers to buy in larger quantities and several games that most people won't even want. Almost all of us are being forced to buy at least two games for each GBA we want to import. It really is mad, but it was almost the same with PS2 when the import came out.... though to a somewhat lesser degree.

Planet GameCube: So as a guy dying to get his hands on his very own GBA, when should we receive our imported system?

AnonyMouse: Customers should expect to receive their stuff as early as Wednesday.... depending on what games they ordered.

Planet GameCube: Why? What games could be a problem?

AnonyMouse: NCL games will be the hardest to come by. Higher demand in both Asian and importer territories. The third party games will be easier to pick because not everyone is after the same games.

Planet GameCube: Which will at least take up one of the customer’s pre-order.

AnonyMouse: Who doesn't want Mario Advance or F-Zero?!

Planet GameCube: Exactly. I want both! So, how many games and systems do you plan on shipping in the next day or two?

AnonyMouse: Well, I don't want to give out too many numbers, but we are shipping all that we could get.

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