Nintendo to open video game lounges at major US airports


Everyone could use a smile while going through TSA security. Nintendo has a solution, at least for the short term.

The Japanese game maker will open Nintendo Switch On The Go pop-up lounges this month at select U.S. airports. On Feb. 17, pop-ups are currently scheduled to open at Dulles International (Washington D.C.), Tacoma International (Seattle) and O’Hare International (Chicago). A pop-up will open at Dallas Love Field on Feb. 13.

However, these lounges will remain open only until late March

Escape into Nintendo’s world

The pop-ups will offer charging ports and playable Switch demos in both handheld and TV mode. Some of Nintendo’s most popular games will be available, including “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” and “Super Mario Odyssey.”

Nintendo should be able to generate some extra sales from this effort. Travelers who stop by will be treated to a free Switch-branded luggage handle wrap and a $10 coupon to use at Target on a Nintendo purchase of $75 or more. Visitors will also be able to place orders for Switch, Switch Lite and a selection of games and merchandise.

What is Nintendo thinking?

The Switch installed base stood at 48 million in December, with unit sell-through for the April-to-December period up 16% year over year in North America.

To keep that growth going, Nintendo is starting to open physical locations, such as a company-owned store in Tokyo, in addition to a partnership with Universal Parks & Resorts, where Super Nintendo World is currently under construction. The airport lounges are just a small part of this broader strategy to build brand awareness.

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