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Planned Nintendo store in San Francisco's Union Square has tourists abuzz

Nintendo says it will open store in San Francisco next year
Nintendo says it will open store in San Francisco next year 03:27

SAN FRANCISCO -- Generations of people around the world grew up playing or still play Nintendo games, so it's not surprising that nearly everyone Kelsi Thorud spoke to in Union Square was excited to hear that the company was planning to open a store in the area.

"I started playing when I was little, like 6 years old. And then I just carried on with the consoles and everything," said Tracy Turnbull.

Tracy Turnbull is visiting from Germany. She said if the store was open right now, she'd be there in a heartbeat.

"Yeah, the nostalgia of the games they have, just look around and see what's going on, yeah," said Turnbull.

Christian Gonzalez agrees. He's visiting San Francisco from Miami, and not only would he go to the store, he thinks thousands of people from across the country and even world would do the same.

"I mean they're a very well-known name and I think, like for example, I think about like the Pokemon centers and things like that, you know, they have a big fan base, and Nintendo has a big fan base. So I think that'll help draw those people out here to visit," said Gonzalez.

But not everyone is optimistic about that possibility. Ernesto Novoa is a Bay Area local, and he's not too sure the Nintendo store will bring in the type of business needed to fully revitalize the city.

"Because a lot of the people here that live here are professionals, they live in the city, they're doing finance or tech and I don't know if that demographic has time to play video games," said Novoa.

Ernesto says the city needs to take a broader approach to attract more people here.

"It's going to depend on the stigma of the city itself like people are going to end up here randomly right? Or they're going to hear about it because they hear about San Francisco or that they should come to San Francisco. I think it's about changing the atmosphere of San Francisco and making it this, broadly speaking, more safe," said Novoa.

But tourists like Christian say this Nintendo store could be a big piece in boosting the city's image and he's excited to come back and check it out when it opens.

"I'm a big Switch fan, so I'd like to kind of check out their offerings and see if I can pick up a game or two or three," said Gonzalez.

Gamers will still have to wait a while until the store is here. Nintendo says it won't open until 2025, and it's still unclear where exactly  in Union Square the store will be located.

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