European retailers will now be receiving Nintendo products closer to release date than before.
Nintendo confirmed to GamesIndustry.biz that it is 'consistently reviewing its shopping schedule' to ensure release dates across Europe are not broken.
A broken street date is when stores start selling products early to get a head-start over its competitors. Social media posts around the launch of Super Mario Odyssey did show that some consumers received the game ahead of its official release date, although primarily via online stores who send out products earlier to guarantee customers get their games on launch day.
The decision to send products out closer to launch is a potential blow to smaller, independent stores who order their stock through distribution. With distributors now only getting stock a few days before release, the window to turn around products is now much tighter, with some having to spend more on next-day delivery to ensure customers are not disappointed.
"It's a bit of a worry," said one prominent UK indie store. "Nintendo is doing so well at the moment, and it's been a boost to us in what would have been a difficult year. If I end up getting stock late, then customers will just shop at the supermarket instead."
Nintendo has an open distribution system in the UK, which means retailers can order products directly through them (although a minimum order would apply) or via a number of distributors. By contrast, in the UK, PlayStation uses CentreSoft as its official distribution partner, while Xbox utilises Exertis.