Photos from my Japan trip during the Wii launch in 2006

tl;dr I happened to be in Japan during the Wii launch in December 2006 and luckily found some in stock. Plus some random photos of retro stuff for sale around Tokyo at the time.

I found some photos of my visit to Japan in December 2006 – A Taiwan visa-run that by pure coincidence was during the Wii launch.

On launch day I think I was in Shinjuku and saw someone carrying a Wii. I asked (or more likely gestured to it) and they pointed me in the direction of where they bought it. A small games shop in a back alley.

Wii release day shop

The queue was around the corner but not too long.

Wii launch day line

We actually met some Taiwanese who were buying multiple consoles to take back to Taiwan and sell. It would be 2008 before the Wii would see an official Taiwanese release.

Wii launch store security guards

The store had their security guards organizing the line so things went smoothly. I didn’t wait too long to get into the store, and had to quickly choose some games so I went with Wario Ware and Wii sports.

The exchange rate for Yen was really good at the good at the time so I remember thinking it was so cheap. It couldn’t have been much more than £100 for the console and games.

Wii ads were all over the Tokyo subway.

Tokyo subway Wii ad

Looking back I was lucky to get one. There were shortages worldwide as everyone scrambled to buy their Wii Sports console.

Wii and PS3 were in short supply at the time.

Some more random retro-related photos from the same trip –

Nintendo Famicom
Nintendo Famicom
Famicom Disk System and AV Famicom
Famicom Disk System and AV Famicom

That’s about $43USD for an AV Famicom, today they sell for $100 or more.

I wasn’t collecting retro games at the time. Having just moved to Taiwan I wasn’t really in a position to be accumulating physical items. It’s a shame as the retro bubble came shortly after and the price of all these things raised considerably.

Boxed Super Famicoms
Boxed Super Famicoms
Famicom Beam Gun, Mario Paint and N64 Rumble Packs

Less than $1USD for brand new bpxed N64 rumble packs.

Virtual Boys
Virtual Boys!
Sega Nomad
A Sega Nomad for around $215US
SFC Super Scope, Donkey Konga for Gamecube, and some Famiclones
SFC Super Scope, Donkey Konga for Gamecube, and some Famiclones
Some expensive Famicom carts
Some expensive Famicom carts