Months ago, Nintendo announced they would be selling the Special Edition of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 exclusively on their website. It marked a change from what they had done with Xenoblade Chronicles 2, whose Special Edition was widely available at retailers nationwide. However, I seem to remember that Special Edition sitting on the Target shelf for quite a while, and that probably motivated Nintendo to scale back their release plans this time.
Note that if you want the Regular Edition, you should have no problem, but the $89.99 Special Edition with the Steelbook packaging and hardbound artbook is going to be crazy rare — and the collectors know. The second the preorders went on sale earlier today, the entire Nintendo Store crashed. Nintendo issued an apology and promised to immediately look into it:
We apologize for any inconvenience that you may be experiencing while attempting to pre-order the #XenobladeChronicles3 Special Edition. The My Nintendo Store is experiencing a high volume of traffic and we appreciate your patience while we look into the issue.
The worst of this is that I saw it coming from miles away, and so did other people. Nintendo’s website is terrible at managing high volumes of traffic. If they were going to do this limit no matter what, it would have been wiser to make this an Amazon exclusive or hand it to someone else who has experience handling 10,000 people waving their wallets at the same time.
Currently, as I write this, the store is still down, and it has been five hours. Many customers do not know if they were able to purchase Xenoblade 3 or not. Nintendo has promised more copies will go on sale later this evening, but don’t expect buying them to get any easier.