Today in videogameland: Nintendo is selling empty cardboard boxes on the company’s Japanese store. For the low price of about $5, you can buy a box identical to the one that holds the Switch and a copy of Splatoon 2. Except there’s nothing inside. It isn’t even “assembled”. You get to do the assembling, you lucky dog.
I mean, it looks like a high quality box, to be fair. If I needed a cardboard box of those specific measurements, this one would probably be one of my top five choices. Also, if you’re a cardboard box collector, well, this is a great way to expand your collection without having to buy a pricey game console.
It’s also an amazing gag gift. Its prank potential is off the charts. Imagine buying one of these to a child/sibling/loved one, making them think you’ve bought them an actual Switch. Imagine their poor, broken face when they finally open the box and discover bricks and old newspaper inside. There’s a family moment to be fondly remembered for years to come.
Depending on whether the Japanese store ships to countries other than Japan, it could also be a boon for the con-men of eBay. We’ve all heard stories of people selling an empty console box instead of a console, or sending a log inside instead of the expected contents – imagine how much easier their job would be if they didn’t have to buy a console in order to get a box.
One thing is certain – it’s a novel product. We might laugh at it now, but the fact is that there’s no competition in the field of empty console packaging. Well, except for the aforementioned con-men, but there isn’t really much overlap between the two markets. We might just be witnessing the birth of a trend.