In a move that echoes the strange Ocarina of Time 3D street break, we've just confirmed that some Gametraders stores are selling grey imported copies of Super Mario 3D Land almost a week ahead of its official release date of November 24.
GameTraders in Pakenham informed us that they only had one copy of the game left, but were happy to sell, and another store informed us they were waiting for permission before selling, but we've heard multiple reports of Super Mario 3D Land being sold across the country.
This mirrors the strange situation that disrupted the official launch of Ocarina of Time 3D earlier this year. With the Australian release date being significantly behind other territories, this gives a small specialist retailer the opportunity to grey import copies of the game and sell before the bigger stores, who have to maintain a working relationship with local distributors. Earlier this year this led to a difficult situation where Nintendo allowed EB, GAME and JB Hifi to sell copies of Ocarina of Time 3D before its official date, without advertising that the game was for sale.
To an extent is seems as though Nintendo Australia has learned the lessons of that strange incident, with Skyward Sword's release being closer to the US date, and Mario Kart 7 actually being released at the same time (and in some cases earlier). Super Mario 3D Land's date, however, lagged somewhat behind other territories, and this is the end result.
We're not sure whether EB, GAME and JB Hifi will be given permission to sell ahead of the game's official release next Thursday — our guess is probably not, but we'll let you know immediately if that changes.