It happens with every major release, and yet people are usually unprepared or caught off guard - certain stores will be selling MvC3 as much as a week early to people lucky enough to find them. So rather than wait for the usual threads around the 7th or 8th in where people mention random places that they were able to get the game early at, I figure it’d be best to start a thread in where people can say where they’ve been able to get a game (like Super SF4) early in the past. I’ll try to update the OP once a day with an index of stores/locations that people add to the thread.
As a general rule (drawing on the Super SF4 release here), your best bet of getting the game early is going to come from ma and pa style shops, and national retailers that have poorly run electronic departments (K-Mart/Sears being the two biggest offenders).
And to share a lesson I learned about 4 days before super’s release - if you see copies of the game lying around in a store outside the case, DO NOT try to check them out at the electronics department. I could have gotten SSF4 four days early if I had simply taken the game out of an open box at a K-Mart and brought it to the front. I made the mistake of waiting for someone to show up at the electronics department, and that someone knew to check the date on the game before selling. Moral of the story? If you can grab the game, bring it to the most clueless cashier you can find ASAP for the best odds of success.
List of Places that are known to potentially sell early:
K-Mart - Oakdale