It’s not definitive language. The company won’t officially confirm that its sunsetting the product, but taken with another comment it offered up separately, this month looks like the last time for the foreseeable future those of us in North America will be able to get our hands on the emulator through standard retail channels.
“NES Classic Edition wasn’t intended to be an ongoing, long-term product,” Nintendo of America said in another statement. “However, due to high demand, we did add extra shipments to our original plans.” In other words, consider yourself lucky if you managed to get one the first — or second — time around.
And indeed, the original tongue-in-cheek press release tied to the mini-console points to a limited supply offering aimed at holiday shoppers. Of course, the initial retail bottleneck only served to increase excitement in nostalgia-fueled gen Xers and production was ramped up with a “steady flow of additional systems through the holiday shopping season and into the new year.”
The release did, perhaps, take some of the shine off of the company’s new console, the Switch, with its unbeatable price of 30 (mostly) iconic games packed into a $60 machine. But if Nintendo opts to keep the system dead forever, it certainly feels like it’s cutting off its nose to spit its mustachioed face here.
After all, a hit is a hit – and as it’s happily said with regard to mobile hits like Pokemon Go and Super Mario Run, anything that brings newfound attention to the company’s IP goes a ways toward driving sales of new titles and systems. (The company sold a heck of a lot more copies of Pokémon Sun and Moon than initially anticipated). And the buying frenzy around the Classic almost certainly added to excitement leading up to the Switch’s release.
Meantime, start scouring those store shelves. “We encourage anyone interested in obtaining this system to check with retail outlets regarding availability,” the NOA statement reads. “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.”
So, farewell NES Classic Edition. Your life was short, but you burned brightly. And now you will be very expensive on eBay.
Nintendo to discontinue that mini-NES Classic you still haven’t been able to find
Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition was one of the hottest, hardest to find products of 2016. A tiny replica of the company’s first home console with 30 built-in games, it’s been near-impossible to find in stores ever since its release, and it’s about to become literally impossible. In a statement made to IGN, a Nintendo Of America representative said the diminutive console has officially been discontinued. The last batch of NES Classic Editions will be heading to North American retailers throughout April, and once they’re gone, the device will be gone for good.
And to all you Nintendo fans who’ve been searching for one of these things for months, only to now find out that you’ll never be able to get one without paying exorbitant prices to third-party sources, the company wants you to know it’s sorry. “We understand that it has been difficult for many consumers to find a system, and for that we apologize,” the statement read. “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.”
It’s a bummer that this nifty little gadget is going away, but considering its success, there’s a chance its retirement is merely a temporary one or at least a necessary stopgap until Nintendo is ready to release a second edition with more games—and new measures to cut down on the rampant hacking the console has suffered. After all, there were a hell of a lot more games released for the NES than the 30 included in the original Classic Edition. And who knows? Maybe Nintendo will have learned something about supply and demand from this whole debacle. (It won’t.)
Nintendo Discontinues The NES Classic
Nintendo has abruptly decided to end North American production of the NES Classic, one of their most popular items in years, the company said today.
In a statement to IGN, Nintendo confirmed that it will no longer produce new mini-NES systems in North America — at least in 2017:
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 apologise. We have paid close attention to consumer feedback, and we greatly appreciate the incredible level of consumer interest and support for this product.
The NES Classic, an adorable miniature computer with an NES-styled shell that plays 30 different classic NES games, has been one of the most popular limited edition items in recent memory. Scalpers have made a fortune buying up NES Classics and marking up prices on eBay, and this decision will no doubt exacerbate that problem.
In Australia, reports have already surfaced of stores receiving their final shipments of the NES Classic. Vooks wrote that stores have been told "that stores have been told there will be no more NES Mini stock to order and to stop taking orders / pre-orders for them if they were doing so."
Given the widespread excitement, interest, and sales of the NES Classic, it only makes sense for Nintendo to stop selling it.