Nintendo calls time on the NES Classic Mini

For retro enthusiasts, the announcement of the Nintendo NES Classic Mini had many excited. Unlike many plug and play devices that had come before it, here was an officially manufactured system that was only only made by company behind the original hardware, but offered HDMI output and a stunning selection of built-in games representing some of the best ever released for the platform. The only downside gamers felt that the system had was that it didn’t give players the opportunity to add their own by way of an SD card slot. Our own review of the NES Classic Mini sang the praises of the machine as did almost all of the media who used one.

One major problem hit the system though. Nintendo woefully underestimated the demand for the console. Those in the UK who didn’t pre-order it before its November 2016 launch were almost certain to miss out on buying one and it’s been almost invisible on the high street ever since. When stocks in stores have been replenished, it’s sold out almost immediately with many falling into the hands of scalpers with the after-sales market seeing the console selling for several times its original retail price. Despite repeated promises from Nintendo that more stocks are on the way, a report from IGN, backed up by statements made to them by Nintendo themselves stating that:

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.

Looking closely at the report, it is focused on the North America territory so this may not necessarily extend to the rest of the world although we do believe that this is the case. Nintendo have stated that all of their remaining stocks will be shipping to stores throughout April so there are still chances for gamers to pick up a console at retail price but they have subsequently admitted that the console was – despite selling over 1.5 million units worldwide – never intended to be a long term product.

This does seem to be another instance of Nintendo not responding to consumer demand. Even prior to its release it was clear that this was going to be incredibly popular and demand for it generally and as a Christmas gift would be high. Even now people are desperate for the console and I can only see prices rise rapidly once stocks have depleted completely. Sadly it would see that if you don’t already own one then you’re unlikely to unless you’re willing and able to pay a premium price for it.

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