Which Video Game Console Was Shipped In Secrecy At Night To Avoid Mobsters?
Answer: The SNES
To say that the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (known in Japan as the Super Famicom) was a smash hit upon release would be a bit of an understatement. Nintendo sold the initial shipment of 300,000 units in a matter of hours; the release, on Wednesday November 21 1990, proved so disruptive to local traffic and commerce that the Japanese government asked console makers to schedule future releases on weekends.
The console was so popular, in fact, that Nintendo scheduled shipments in secret and in the middle of the night to avoid that attention of the Yakuza, Japan’s largest crime syndicate. The mobsters were snatching up shipments and reselling them for a handsome profit on the black market.
While total sales are typically the metric used for success in the console market, we’d suggest there be a hall-of-fame category for “Disrupts National Traffic” and “Ships in Secret to Avoid Mob”.
Image courtesy of Nintendo.