By now, it’s well-known that Nintendo is winding down its support for its popular NES Classic Edition mini-console. Introduced for the 2016 holiday sales season, the mini-console contained 30 old-school Nintendo classics and was an immediate hit, selling 1.5 million copies. As can be noted from the Nintendo Switch, with immediate hit status comes tremendously short supply. The NES Classic supply shortage reached the point where websites and apps spawned that were dedicated to letting people know when even a single new unit had arrived at a retailer.
IGN reported that Nintendo had sent them the following statements:
“Throughout April, NOA territories will receive the last shipments of Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition systems for this year. We encourage anyone interested in obtaining this system to check with retail outlets regarding availability. We understand that it has been difficult for many consumers to find a system, and for that we apologize. We have paid close attention to consumer feedback, and we greatly appreciate the incredible level of consumer interest and support for this product.”
“NES Classic Edition wasn’t intended to be an ongoing, long-term product. However, due to high demand, we did add extra shipments to our original plans.”
While the NES Classic’s design practically precluded any official updates to add more games (although it certainly encouraged hacking on that front), Nintendo’s statments do little to mollify the significant fan disappointment. In a poll concluded on Saturday, GameFAQs asked visitors to the website their opinion on the discontinuation, and over fourteen thousand responded. Nearly a third of visitors (29%) merely expressed resignation over how the NES Classic’s conclusion was how Nintendo ran their business. However, a majority (64%) expressed some degree of frustration with the gaming behemoth. Approximately 33% felt baffled and could not understand why Nintendo “did not want their money,” while a further 14% were infuriated, as they felt their desire for one of the mini-consoles had been permanently thwarted. A final 17% professed their irritation at the whole deal and claimed sour grapes over the “overpriced bunch of old games.”
However, one collection of optimists, making up approximately 6% of the total, believed that decision was “genius,” since Nintendo would likely sell an improved version in a few months. Given the existence of the Switch and possibility of selling emulated copies of Nintendo classics from the eShop, that’s unlikely. For now, it’s still possible to get a NES Classic, if at somewhat extortionate pricing.