Game Market 1983 - Chapter 52
Even though the shop wasn’t open yet, there was a gaggle of children who found the shop through advertisements from magazines and were peering inside.
A mischievous thought popped into my head; as I help up a Gamboy and started waving it around with a silly expression, an eruption of laughter sounded out from outside the shop. Watching this scene, Elise spoke to me with a grin.
“Director Kang, I didn’t know you could make that sort of a face!”
“Hahaha. Aren’t these kids waiting for our shop to open just delightful?”
“I think there are reporters from the media here as well. Director, you’re going to be on the news if you act like that… Hehe”
Mr. Wilson also peered out the window and wrinkled an eyebrow before chiming in.
“Mmm… It looks like there are a few people from Toy World too.”
As I turned my head, a few individuals who looked to be from Toy World stood out. They averted their gaze as soon as they made eye contact with me. Since we refused to supply Toy World with our products from three years ago, we’ve had a sour relationship ever since.
As the shop entrance finally opened, the crowd waiting outside all stormed inside and crowded around the experimental trial station. I handed a Gamboy to one boy and carefully explained the instructions.
Mr. Wilson was swamped with interviews from reporters, and Mr. Gunpei was busy taking pictures of the kids on the experimental trial station to write a report for HQ.
At that moment, a young man snatched the Gamboy from the little boy and examined the device with a friend beside him before speaking.
“Oof… the display is hurting my eyes!!! The CPU seems to be slow on top of that; playing action games will be impossible on this device. I can just feel my eyesight worsening when I'm staring at it.”
“Is that all? My wrists are starting to hurt from holding it for a few seconds; there are probably four batteries in here.”
“A device that kids will be playing with shouldn’t strain the wrists. I feel like the device would shatter if it’s dropped by accident due to its heavy weight.”
What? What in the world is this rehearsed soulless skit? It’d be hard for me to express the Gamboy’s advantage in three seconds like that.
However, the expressions of the parents who were accompanying their child began to harden in response to the conversation of the two men.
“That makes sense. Staring at this tiny screen for a long time could worsen your eyesight.”
“An expensive device like this costing over 150 dollars shouldn’t be able to break easily… My son likes to rough-handle his toys…”
The effects of their little skit sure was great. But as they were valid concerns, the reporters who were interviewing Mr. Wilson started to give out furtive glances,
“Phew… I didn’t want to go this far…”
With a long sigh, I approached the men who were holding the Gamboy and stretched my hand out.
“Can I see the device for a moment?”
As I, a Mintendo employee, politely asked for the device from the duo, the man handed the Gamboy to me with a half-dazed expression.
“Is this heavy? This mobile Gamboy is 300 grams with four batteries inside. If you feel the pressure from a mere 300 grams, I think you should work out regularly. This device definitely is not light, but it can’t be called wrist-breaking either. And…”
As I repeteadky dropped the Gamboy up-and-down into the floor, the heads of the crowd followed my movements. Once enough people were focused, I threw the device upwards almost touching the store ceiling and took a step back.
“Don’t be surprised.”
“Uh… Oh, OH!?”
The Gamboy fell to the ground with a heavy thud. The impact was strong enough to eject the cartridge and the batteries that were inside.
In the middle of a stunned crowd, Mr. Gunpei alone was faintly smiling.
“The cartridge… where did it go?”
I picked up the cartridges and batteries that flew off the device and inserted them back into the Gamboy. And I handed it back to the man while speaking.
“No way~ I clearly heard a shattering sound, how can it still function?”
As the man turned the power back on with a disbelieving expression, a clear background music sounded out.
I ignored the flustered man and borrowed a Gamboy from a nearby kid for a brief moment to talk about the front dials.
“As you can see, there are two dials here. One controls the volume, and the other controls something called a ‘brightness contrast.’ With this, you can adjust the brightness of the screen. You’d be able to enjoy the Gamboy on a brighter display in exchange for a shorter battery life. But, what these men said isn’t necessarily wrong; your eyes will become strained after extended usage. However, it’s the same when you read a school textbook for a long time as well. The human eye is bound to deteriorate after focusing on an object for a long period. It’ll be up to the parents to control the device usage of their children.”
I went down on my knees to hand the Gamboy back and spoke.
“A good boy should only play 1 hour a day.”
“Okay, thank you sir~”
I patted the kid on the head before standing up to look at the two men.
“A while ago, I saw you snatching a Gamboy from another kid. Aren’t you embarrassed to call yourselves grown men?”
“Are you looking down on us!?”
In response, a boy’s mom pointed at the men and shouted.
“These men were the ones who cut the line back when we were waiting in front of the entrance. They were swearing at this store while there were kids around too; my face turned beet-red.”
As soon as she spoke, the atmosphere turned sour in an instant. After realizing that their plan to disrupt our business was exposed, the two men slowly started backing away towards the entrance before hurriedly sprinting out the door.
I gathered my hands to my mouth and shouted to their retreating back.
“Tell President Tom that Junhyuk Kang sends his regards~!! He’ll know who I am!!”
After this slight mishap, the Gamboy’s opening day proceeded without a hitch.
Mr. Wilson had just finished an interview and wiped his sweat away before opening his mouth.
“What were you thinking when you dropped the Gamboy to the ground?”
“It was to clear away any misconceptions of course.”
“What if it really shattered!!”
Mr. Gunpei, who had approached us, answered Mr. Wilson’s question.
“It will never shatter. Right after the first prototype Gamboy was developed, he took the device and slammed it on the ground.”
“We have carpets here, but he threw it on a rock-solid ground. The prototype shattered of course, and this is what he said afterwards.”
-This is something kids will play with. It must be able to withstand a fall.-
Mr. Wilson exhibited a shocked expression in response to Mr. Gunpei’s words. Indeed, I had been startled back then as well. Yamauchi had thrown the device on the ground without any warning… I let out a smirk after remembering Mr. Gunpei’s frozen face back then.
A few days later.
After Mr. Gunpei and I concluded our business in America, we boarded the plane heading back to Japan. Mr. Yamashita, Mr. Wilson and Elise had stayed at the airport to see us off until takeoff with a bright smile.
“I thought staying here for a month would be more than enough time, but it feels too short now.”
“Yeah… On the bright side, the initial reception to our Gamboy was great! We can expect it to be a huge hit when we start the official marketing.”
“Your Psychic Battle didn’t lose in terms of popularity either. It’ll definitely be a sweeping sensation if it is released on the right date.”
“Oh? Haven’t I told you about its release date already, Mr. Gunpei? Psychic Battle’s release date been set.”
“What!? That’s 3 days after we land in Japan. No, that’s beside the point. On…”
“Yes. Dragon Warrior 3 will also be released on the same day.”
The prequels of Dragon Warrior 3, Dragon Warriors 1 & 2, were hailed as legendary titles due to their staggering cartridge sales.
“Even if it was promoted extensively, I think competing with the Dragon Warriors series will be difficult as Psychic Battle is brand new series. Releasing both titles on the same day will have an impact on the sales without a doubt.”
“That’s fine; selling Psychic Battle on a mass scale was impossible in the first place because of the incorporated specialty chip. But there are several benefits to this.”
“That we’d be unable to satisfy their demand?”
“A better way to put it would be: we are building a yearning to buy something that can’t be bought?”
Yes… A type of marketing strategy where customers won’t be able to buy not because they lack the funds, but because there is no more stock. For example, there was the ‘Honey Butter Chip’ fad which shook the entire nation before my time slip.
Wednesday, February 10th, 1988. Inside the train headed to Akihabara, Tokyo…
It was the start of another day to ordinary citizens. But to gamers, especially Dragon Warrior fans, today was a very special day.
Seeing a corporate employee who had kept glancing at his wristwatch and the route map from a while ago, it seemed that there was something on his mind.
‘Should… I stop by Akihabara to buy Dragon Warrior 3?’
‘What if it’s sold out by the time I get off work?’
‘No, the stock should be enough.’
‘But Dragon Warrior 2 was sold out on its release day!?’
‘They should’ve adequately prepared for Dragon Warrior 3’s release then.’
‘Should I just stop by Akihabara to buy the game before work?’
‘Would I be able to make it in time?’
I swallowed my laughter seeing the concerned expressions of the people on the train and leaned my body on the wall. Subsequently, Mr. Shigeru who was sitting besides me opened his mouth.
“Hey, aren’t you nervous at all?”
“What do you mean?”
“Your Psychic Battle is also going to be released today.”
“ ‘Ah… right?’ What’s with your lackluster response? Have you given up because of the competition from Dragon Warrior 3?”
“No way. My marketing strategy for Psychic Battle was a bit unique, so I’m not expecting much on the first day.”
Kumamoto Shigeru’s Super Marigee 3 was postponed to the fall of 1988.
(TL Note: Reminder that Shigeru didn’t develop the Dragon Warrior series)
He had declared war on my Psychic Battle with his Super Marigee, but with him being a perfectionist, it seemed there were quite a few things that he had to touch up on.
I wasn’t that interested in Mr. Shige’s bet in the first place, but I felt a bit disappointed at Super Marigee’s late release date. That was one of the reasons why I decided to hasten the release for Psychic Battle to match Dragon Warrior 3.
Of course, there were dissenting opinions from the board at first, but the thought of competing against Japan’s number one RPG game had roused my competitive spirit.
A while later. As our train approached the Akihabara station, a strange event unfolded.