Those who grew up playing the original Nintendo Entertainment System were overwhelmed with excitement last summer when it was revealed that a mini version of the console was on the way, complete with 30 games pre-loaded on it including the Super Mario Bros. games, two Zelda games, and many more. Sadly that excitement was premature. The NES Classic Edition was one of the hottest holiday gift items, but its launch was a classic disaster. The $60 bundle of nostalgia was sold out. Everywhere. All the time.
But instead of fixing the problem, making boatloads of cash, and being happy while bringing happiness to others, Nintendo seemed content with things as they were. Even to this day, if you want to secure one on Amazon it’ll cost you far more than it should cost you buying from third-party sellers. And now, the perfect cherry on top of this shit sundae, the company has apparently decided to discontinue the NES Classic in North America altogether.
The news was shared with IGN with these 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.”
As for the rest of the world, it’s not yet known if this decision will be applied everywhere eventually or if it’s just North America.
The NES Classic was the first Nintendo product in decades I wanted to buy. And I certainly tried to acquire one a few times, but gave up on it fairly quickly. I didn’t need one that badly. My original console from the ’80s still works, after all.
But man, it’s hard to wrap your brain around all of this, even knowing Nintendo and their track record. It’s such a simple product, but one that so many fans were ready and willing to throw their hard-earned coin at. For Nintendo to not only not make some kind of effort to make it more available to the masses, but discontinue it in North America entirely is, quite simply, astonishing.