Since it's a holiday and the Akiba foot traffic is high, plenty of stores were having special sidewalk sales to draw in traffic. But since this is Japan, they couldn't just put some items out on the street with lower prices on them. No, no. Everything has to be a big event. At right, Asobit City has a 'Time Sale,' in which they bring out a few boxes of product for literally a few minutes and announce a crazy low price -- if you buy them right then and there. In this case, any two of the games in these boxes were 1000 yen (about $8). This is based on the theory that if you make something a 'limited-time offer' you can sell it for far more than it's worth to people who don't want to miss out. Since I saw most people walking away with copies of Unlimited Saga and Genji, this theory turned out to be true.
More after the jump.
Asobit City was running another sale all day -- you could get the coveted Nintendo DS Lite, plus three games of Asobit City's choice, for 25,000 yen ($235 or so). This really isn't a good deal, considering that even if you wanted all three of the games in the bag -- and you likely wouldn't -- you could probably buy all this cheaper elsewhere. But it does speak to the ongoing rarity of the DS Lite that stores are able to bundle them in expensive bags full of junk and still move them out quickly.
Outside Yamagiwa Soft, a store employee hawks boxes full of collectible toys. They don't actually show you what's in the box, but it's a giant case full of junk for 'only' 5,000 yen ($50). I saw somebody buy one, so again it's clear that resisting a bargain isn't easy. I wonder what he ended up with. Japanese stores often do thing during New Year's, offering fukubukuro ('lucky bags') filled with heavily discounted merchandise, only you don't know what it is. One store, eight months after the Xbox launched in Japan, was selling them in fukubukuro for about $100.