Anyone who is over the age of 30 can remember the first time they or their parents plugged in the original NES and watched in awe as the Mario Bros and Duck Hunt logos appeared on the screen. We got close to the tube television with the controller in our hands and never felt happier as we moved the pixelated plumber across the screen. Nintendo has taken those happy memories and translated that into currency by releasing the NES classic last November.
The NES classic is an updated version of the 1985 original, but with HDMI instead of coaxial. The classic also boasts 30 of the best games released for the NES such as the original Mario and Zelda built right into the system. One controller is included in the bundle that can be plugged into the Wii or WiiU system to be used with the NES virtual console. The console sold over 1.5 million units before the announcement that it will be discontinued after April 2017.
The news of the discontinuation of the NES classic comes as a shock to many considering the limited run that it had and the demand that is still in the market, however, anyone who has been following Nintendo throughout the years knows that they have always released a limited amount of consoles to keep buzz for their products high. Personally, I remember waiting in a line overnight in front of a big box store because I knew someone who worked as an overnight stocker and they told me they had six Wii consoles come in, and this was months after the initial release.
The discontinuing of the classic also comes after the release of the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo has announced that the reason for stopping production is to draw more attention to the Switch. The SNES mini is also releasing later this year so most likely they be focusing on that.
Disregarding my personal feelings about the NES classic or the SNES mini, I am not really sure what Nintendo is thinking. If the NES classic still has a high demand why would they not keep producing it at the same time as their other devices? There are going to be people who want to buy the classic and not the Switch or the SNES mini. Just because it was a “novelty item” and it was never planned to be a long term product, does not mean that the production couldn’t continue due to the high demand for the console.
What it all comes down to is that if you want a Nintendo product then you either have to be very lucky and acquire it when it is first released in a limited quantity run or hold off and hope that you will eventually get the console before it gets discontinued. The SNES mini will most likely be a limited release much like the NES classic was, and hopefully Nintendo learned a lesson with the last “novelty item” and will increase the quantity of units produced. Customers want to feel nostalgic and will continue to pay to do so, but eventually if you can’t get your hands on a product due to limited quantities you will just give your money to another company.