In business, it’s usually ideal to sell as many things as possible to consumers, but Nintendo has a different approach. The NES Classic Edition released last year was a hot must-have gift for the holiday season, but Nintendo just didn’t make very many of them. Then, Nintendo discontinued the device while people were still clamoring to get their hands on it. It’s all very bizarre, and it’s possible we’re headed for a very similar outcome with the upcoming SNES Classic.
Like the NES Classic, the SNES Classic will come with an assortment of pre-installed games from the original console. It’ll also have HDMI output for modern TVs and a pair of controllers. The game collection will probably vary by region, but in the US and UK the console will come with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Mario World, Super Mario Kart, Star Fox 2, and more than a dozen others. The release of Star Fox 2 is particularly interesting because the game was canceled before launch. Development took longer than expected, and Nintendo was worried the game would look too dated. It was done, though, so the SNES Classic will be its debut.
So, fans of classic games are anxious to get their hands on this thing and hoping we don’t have another fiasco like the NES Classic. Sadly, we’re already veering into fiasco territory, and the console isn’t even out yet. Nintendo hasn’t offered any details on preorders, but Walmart suddenly offered them late last Friday while many of us were snoozing. The preorders sold out almost immediately, which led to great heartbreak on Saturday morning.
If that were the only issue so far, you could almost call this a success. However, Walmart can’t seem to decide if it put up the preorders too early or not. Some orders have been canceled, and some are still seemingly valid right now. Nintendo, of course, is offering no guidance here. Meanwhile, Target tweeted that it would have the SNES Classic, and promised preorders in advance of release. There’s no date for that, either.
No matter what Nintendo does, the SNES Classic will sell out immediately upon release. The mess with preorders makes that much clear. It’s simply up to Nintendo to actually produce enough of them this time—no discontinuing the hardware after a few months. The NES Classic was in such short supply people were paying several times the $60 MSRP to get one. It would be really nice if that didn’t happen with the SNES Classic, and there’s no excuse this time around. Maybe Nintendo could argue it was caught off-guard by the NES Classic’s success, but it has to be aware of the demand for this device.
The SNES Classic is set to go on sale on September 29th, just in time for the holiday shopping season. It will cost a little more than the NES Classic did at $80.