30 Years After Nintendo’s “Operation Midnight Shipping” And Console Launches Are Still Fraught With Danger | Nintendo Life

PS5 consoles go missing in the UK.

There’s a famous story relating to the launch of the Super Famicom in Japan – an event which took place a staggering 30 years ago today – that Nintendo decided to ship the console to stores during the night to avoid deliveries being intercepted by Yakuza crime gangs.

Dubbed “Operation Midnight Shipping”, the plan was concocted by Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi and his right-hand man Hiroshi Imanishi after the former got wind that the Yakuza were planning to steal shipments of the Super Famicom before they reached stores. Given the intense hype surrounding the release of the console – the successor to the Famicom, then Japan’s most popular console by some margin – the Yakuza rightly sensed that high profits could be made by selling systems at inflated prices on the black market.

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