Update: Nintendo has released a statement about this Nintendo Switch and others, noting they were all stolen from a shipment of the systems.
"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 U.S. 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," a Nintendo spokespeson told IGN.
"Nintendo Switch will launch worldwide on March 3, 2017, and we look forward to everyone being able to discover the wonders of the new system for themselves at that time."
Yesterday, NeoGAF user HipHopTheRobot casually revealed that he had been shipped a Nintendo Switch almost two weeks early. This put HipHop in a unique position, having the only Switch not in press hands or tightly-controlled by Nintendo. He spent the day offering up videos of the system, alongside answering a host of hardware questions. What he could answer was limited though, because HipHopTheRobot wasn't shipped any Switch games and the rest of Nintendo's infrastructure isn't quite up yet.
Regardless, we reached out and asked HipHopTheRobot a few questions about his Nintendo Switch. Our most pressing question was also the one he wasn't going to answer. HipHop calls the shipment of his Switch an accident, but speculation is rampant that he received it through other, less savory means.
"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," HipHopTheRobot tells me. "I apologize 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."
HipHopTheRobot says he pre-ordered the Switch directly after the full Switch Presentation in Tokyo in January. He says he's not a Nintendo fanboy, but he's also been on deck for most of the company's hardware launches.
"I, like many others, have been anticipating the Switch and have been following the rumors for a long time," HipHop says. "I wouldn't call myself a Nintendo fanboy, but I got my NES when I was 5 and have owned every Nintendo console since. I mowed lawns all summer and saved up to preorder a [Nintendo 64] and waited outside a Best Buy all night for the Wii."
"The point being, I get excited when Nintendo releases a new system, be it console, portable, or in this case both. I have been pretty pumped for the Switch and if it wasn't me making the videos, would usually be the person combing the threads and watching the videos intently for any new scrap of information."
HipHipTheRobot may be limited in what he can show off, but the information he has released has been devoured by other hungry fans. There was the original Switch setup and UI video, an unboxing video, and another showing off profiles and Miis on the system.
In addition to that, there's been a host of pictures of the system. Nadia has covered the original video in detail, but HipHopTheRobot has also dropped other small tidbits of information. The eShop doesn't work because it requires a system update and trying to do a system update just gives an error message currently. The Album feature, which allows you to look at and share pictures taken via the Switch's Capture button, also allows limited editing, like adding additional colored text to a picture. HipHopTheRobot also has no clue about connecting to any public WiFi that requires a webpage sign-in.
Hidden in one of his videos was also the information some fans have been waiting for: your eShop purchases are linked to your Nintendo Account, not your system. Up until now, they've been tied to the system itself.
"Your Nintendo Account contains your Nintendo eShop purchase history and current balance," says a screen in the unboxing video. "By re-linking your Nintendo Account after initializing the console, it will be possible to redownload any software or DLC purchased using that account. (Software that has been discontinued may not be available to redownload in some cases.)"
I ask him what drew him to the Switch in the first place and given his early access, if he feels his excitement has been justified.
"Specifically, the portable nature of this console is what has enticed me the most," HipHopTheRobot says. "I feel very lucky that I received the system early and am now even more excited and hope it's a success. First off, the screen is absolutely gorgeous. I can't wait to play Zelda on it. The UI is slick and the controllers feel much better than I was expecting."
In his early comments, HipHop did reveal that he was thinking about selling the system, since he has two weeks left and no games to play. While he enjoys having it around, bills come first and having the world's only lightly-used Switch would probably draw a pretty penny on Ebay or elsewhere.
"I have talked about selling the system and will probably do so," he explains. "I have had a string of bad luck the last month or so including having my car totaled in a hit-and-run accident. On top of that, I am selling my house in 2 weeks and have quite a few repairs that the buyer has requested I fix. So while I would love to be able to get the Switch out and stare at it every once and awhile, I think it would be financially irresponsible to keep something I can't even play games on at the moment."
Despite that, HipHopTheRobot is still excited for the Nintendo Switch and he'll be buying one again once his house is sold.
"As soon as I sell my house, the first thing I am going to do is go out and celebrate by buying a Switch and Zelda and, let's be honest, probably most of the other launch games as well. Although I will probably get a neon version next time, for variety's sake," he says.
Yesterday was a very hectic day for HipHopTheRobot, full of questions, photos, and videos. Given his inability to show off certain features and the fact that he's "just some guy", he's probably glad for the spotlight to wane a bit.
"It has been one crazy day, hopefully it helped get some good info out there and hopefully Nintendo isn't too mad about the unboxing and UI videos," he said on NeoGAF early this morning. "People seem to be pretty excited overall though so I will take that as a good sign for the system."