If you missed one of the scant chances to nab yourself an NES Classic Edition, there’s good news. If, on the other hand, you paid a higher price for one on the secondary market… apologies in advance.
Nintendo plans to bring the previously discontinued NES Classic back to stores in the summer of 2018. It’s not yet clear what kind of quantity we’re talking about here, but there’s more to this announcement. It might even (dare I say it?) get your hopes up.
Nintendo also confirmed that the Super NES Classic Edition, due for release on Sept. 29, will continue shipping into 2018 (previously, shipments were going to cease at the end of the year). Further, you can expect increased availability for SNES Classic purchases in-store on launch day, as well “regularly” arriving shipments with more.
As Nintendo’s announcement notes: “Fans have shown their unbridled enthusiasm for these Classic Edition systems, so Nintendo is working to put many more of them on store shelves.”
The news comes only a day after an interview surfaced in which Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime advised against paying a premium for the SNES Classic in the secondary market.
“I would strongly urge you not to over-bid on an SNES Classic on any of the auction sites,” he said. “You shouldn’t [have to] pay more than $79.99.”
It’s been difficult to accept Nintendo’s promises that the new console will be more widely available than its predecessor, thanks largely to the way it handled the NES Classic from its announcement to its (apparent) death.
Excitement was high for the pint-sized NES when it was announced in the summer of 2016, but only a small handful of pre-order opportunities ever surfaced. The scarcity continued with the hardware’s Nov. 2016 launch, though in the months that followed, Nintendo promised an increase in shipments.
That did happen for a time, but Nintendo bizarrely chose to discontinue the NES Classic in April 2017. And yet, the demand was still there. We learned as much several months later, in July, when an online retailer bundled “thousands” of NES Classic consoles with Nintendo-themed swag at an inflated price — and all of the bundles sold out within an hour.
In fairness to Nintendo on the NES Classic side of things, the company’s new Switch console did launch in March 2017. There are costly realities to product manufacturing, and it’s more than likely Nintendo just couldn’t sustain production of both the NES Classic and the still relatively scarce Switch.
However, the increasing pace of “don’t worry about SNES Classic availability” pledges from Nintendo suggests the company has acknowledged the popularity of these machines. Initially, they were intended as a nostalgia play for a relatively limited audience.
“When we looked at that proposition what we believed was the adults, 30-40 years old, who grew up playing NES as a kid, 10 years old or so but had stepped away from the gaming category—that was going to be the buyer [of the NES Classic],” Fils-Aime told GameSpot in a March interview.
They’ve proven to be much more popular than that, however. Both of the Classic consoles pack in a bunch of games — 30 for the NES, 21 for the SNES — from that era. They’re also adorably pint-sized recreations of their original selves, but the fact is: people still want to play these games, and 20-plus bundled together in an easy, plug-and-play box represents a great value proposition.
After everything that went wrong with the NES Classic, it’s still difficult to take Nintendo at its word. But between today’s announcement and Fils-Aime’s recent interview, I won’t blame you if your hopes are raised a bit. Mine certainly are.