If the news of an Atari Hotel coming here wasn’t enough evidence that Seattle embraces retro gaming like few others, maybe this will convince you: a Nintendo Switch lounge has arrived at Sea-Tac, according to the iconic Japanese company that bases its U.S. operations in Redmond.
Starting today, Nintendo will allow travelers at the region’s busiest airport to play Mario Kart, the Legend of Zelda, and other games on its (relatively) new hybrid console in a popup area next to Gate C10 in Concourse C. The lounge, which will remain there through March 29, is one of four across the country. (O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Dallas Love Field Airport in Dallas, and Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. house the others.) The popups will promote the famous Nintendo 64 developers’ Nintendo Switch product, a device that can serve as both screen and controller for TV, tabletop, and on-the-go gaming.
The idea, of course, is to capitalize on flyers in need of entertainment as they wait—and wait, and wait—for their departures. (Arrivals too, I guess, for the types who don’t want to hustle to baggage or their rides.) Lounge visitors can order their very own Switches from the station, as well as games and merchandise.
The company’s decision not only highlights our region’s nerdiness, but also Sea-Tac’s rapid growth. Last year, the airport surpassed 50 million passengers for the first time, making it an appealing site for brands vying for captive consumer audiences.
Let's just hope overzealous gamers can pry themselves away in time to board.