An anonymous "large retail chain" employee give us the skinny on Nintendo's pre-order plans ... or lack thereof!
Coming in via anonymous e-mail, an employee for "the world's largest videogame retailer" (let's call them SQT) has given us a little insight into Nintendo's pre-order plans for GameCube.
According to our tipster, Nintendo is actively discouraging pre-orders for GameCube at all major retailers. They are taking a philosophical stand, and likely painting a thicker line between themselves and Microsoft. Nintendo used to reward retailers for large quantities of pre-ordered units. No longer, or at least, not for GameCube's launch.
This doesn't mean you won't see pre-orders for GameCube. It just looks as though Nintendo is trying to make sure that anyone can walk into a store after launch and plop down their hard-earned cash for it. I suspect many retailers (such as EB) will have a "reservation list" rather than a bona-fide pre-order program. Why? Because Nintendo can be rather heavy-handed with chains that go against Nintendo's plans, going so far as to cut allocations to stores Nintendo catches cheating. There's no guarantee that this will be the case, but it has been done.
Our tipster tells us that Nintendo has already allocated units for them, and they know EXACTLY how many they're getting. On the flip side, they never got allocation numbers from Sony for last year's PS2 launch, nor has Microsoft been forthcoming about units for X-Box.
We'll be sure to let you know which retailers are accepting "reservations" and which you'll need to wait in line for as soon as we get more details.
Chain Employees: Know what your store's GameCube plans are? Let us know. Confidentiality is ensured.