Someone stole Nintendo's new game console 2 weeks before it arrives -- here's what happened

Nintendo’s new video game console, the Switch, doesn’t arrive until March 3. But at least one person already got their hands on one.

That person — gaming forum user “hiphoptherobot,” from NeoGAF — says the console was stolen. Not by him (allegedly), but by an unnamed person “somewhere down the chain.” When the user found out the Nintendo Switch was a stolen console, the user says he or she did not “feel comfortable keeping it” — and it’s since been returned to Nintendo.

But last week — when “hiphoptherobot” started posting videos of the console in action — the user said the Switch was accidentally sent early from a retailer.

So, what’s going on? Here’s what we know.

On February 17, the first video of the Switch -- in the wild -- showed up on Vidme.

It showed off the setup process of the console -- nothing too thrilling, but stuff nobody had seen yet.

The video is still up, and you can see it in full right here:

A second video appeared soon after, showcasing the creation of Miis and some other setup of the console:

Again, nothing too thrilling, but stuff people hadn't seen yet.

When these videos were posted on Vidme, subsequent posts on gaming forum NeoGAF by user 'hiphoptherobot' -- the same person who posted the videos -- pointed to them.

Gaming website US Gamer even interviewed the person behind the videos. Here's what was said at the time:

'I am not going to talk about the retailer that I got it from because I wouldn't want to see said retailer or any employees get into trouble,' the video maker told US Gamer's Mike Williams. 'I apologise and would really love to say, as I have people claiming that I stole it or did something shady to get it when in fact I just bought it.'

Nintendo was more direct about its characterization of the situation:

'Earlier this week, individuals claimed to prematurely purchase a small number of Nintendo Switch systems from an unspecified retailer. Nintendo has determined these units were stolen in an isolated incident by employees of a US distributor, with one system being illegally resold. The individuals involved have been identified, terminated from their place of employment and are under investigation by local law enforcement authorities on criminal charges.'

That statement was provided to IGN on February 17.

After Nintendo released that statement, 'hiphoptherobot' issued a statement of his own:


'I understand why they want it back and it sounds like that Switch might have been obtained in not the legalist of ways before I received it so them wanting it back is within their rights,' he told gaming site Kotaku.

From the sounds of things, a handful of Nintendo Switch consoles were outright stolen, and at least one of those was sold. It seems like 'hiphoptherobot' was the buyer of that system, which was subsequently returned.

The Nintendo Switch console is a home game console (seen above) and a portable console, all-in-one.

But the videos posted of the stolen/sold Switch are still live regardless -- here's the second one from Vidme:

The Nintendo Switch launches on March 3 and costs $US299. We'll have much more to show you in the near future -- and who knows, maybe it will leak again. Stranger things have happened!

Here's hoping that Link lands on solid ground before March 3.

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