In a surprisingly odd move, Nintendo has announced the discontinuation of its impossibly difficult to find NES Classic in North America. In a statement to IGN Nintendo claims 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.”
In a follow-up statement to IGN they said,“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.” The cancellation also impacts Nintendo designed accessories for the device like the NES Classic Controller, although for third party accessories it up to the individual companies to decide what they do going forward.
Since its initial launch less than 6 months ago the NES Classic has been a highly sought after device and is currently selling for a premium on eBay as well as any other third party reseller.
Let’s hope they have a better estimate of consumer demand next time they release another throwback system.
While this seems like the most Nintendo of business decisions, one could suspect that the discontinuation of the current NES classic will pave the way for new hardware in the near future. It may also be that the decision is being taken as the Nintendo Switch is coming up to the likely launch of its virtual console which could be perceived to be in competition with the NES Classic in some ways as both would be selling older titles.
What do you think of this decision by Nintendo? Do you think we’ll see a new NES Classic or SNES Classic this holiday season? Share your thoughts in the comments below!