“The Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo’s follow-up console to the legendary Nintendo Entertainment System, launched in 1991 and introduced what many consider some of the greatest video games of all time – classics such as Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Mario Kart, Super Metroid and F-ZERO.
On Sept. 29, this beloved console is coming back to stores in the form of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition. The mini system, which contains 21 pre-installed classic games and can easily be plugged into any high- definition TV using the included HDMI cable, will be available at a suggested retail price of $79.99. And for the first time, players who pick up the system can enjoy the intergalactic adventure Star Fox 2, the sequel to the original Star Fox game that was created during the Super NES era but never released … anywhere!”
This new retro-mania system comes with 21 “classic” titles:
- Final Fantasy III
- KirbyTM Super Star
- Kirby’s Dream Course
- The Legend of ZeldaTM: A Link to the Past
- Mega Man X
- Secret of Mana
- Star Fox
- Star Fox2
- Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
- Super Castlevania IV
- Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts
- Super Mario Kart
- Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
- Super Mario World
- Super Metroid
- Super Punch-Out!!
- Yoshi’s Island
That was Nintendo’s big announcement from this past week. Just as with last year’s NES mini, this system will not be expandable beyond the games included. Nintendo themselves are stating they will be shipping “significantly more” units of the SNES Classic than the NES which wound up paying for eBay flippers children’s college tuition last year. We saw some units on the auction site go for as much as $300 for a toy that retailed for $59.99. The SNES Classic may have more units available but consumers will only have the rest 2017 to get one as the company also stated it would only manufacture these for the 2017 calendar year. It gives consumers only three months to try and buy one, which will be hard enough without it being the holiday season.
As of this publication, Nintendo would not divulge specific production run numbers or how it’s allocating resources when the Nintendo Switch system is having fulfillment issues the company promised it would avoid. Nintendo did address other concerns from the NES Mini as there will be two controllers included in the box with cables that are 2ft longer than the NES. Hopefully eliminating the need to purchase extensions.
Other than Star Fox 2, most of these games were available on Wii virtual console or collections in some way. Currently, the company has nothing to announce with regards to the possibility of Star Fox 2 being available as a standalone download on eShop. Creating a frenzy for old hardware and games then disappointing the fan base when you can’t make enough for everyone has been Nintendo’s signature move the past few years. Without talking specific numbers or manufacturing process there’s no reason to believe this time around will be any different.
In their defense, last year’s NES mini was not intended for audiences who buy every generation of video game hardware. It was aimed at the part of the market that played video games in high school and college but maybe grew out of the hobby. A small nostalgic trinket intended to evoke those old feelings of pizza and all-night Super Mario then vomiting Ecto cooler in the morning. Nintendo didn’t anticipate it would reach a segment of gaming with access to (illegal) emulators or who probably still have the original hardware in their entertainment cabinets. It’s certainly possible Nintendo could have learned their lesson and not create a shortage for publicity’s sake this time around. But that just isn’t smart money. On a financial level, it wouldn’t make much sense for Nintendo to sell this box for a one-time price of $80 to the game fanatic consumer when it could just make the virtual console require Nintendo’s online subscription service and force customers to pay them ongoing. If you won the lottery would you take the one-time payment for less than half of the jackpot or would you take the full amount over a period of time? These shortages will get a small part of the general audience to look at Switch and the gaming audience to easily buy into Nintendos upcoming online service and whatever form their Switch virtual console eventually takes.
Finally, there’s the question of scalpers. Resellers who employ dirty tactics are often the throne of average customers. It’s a real problem for those who want one, however, it’s not really Nintendo’s problem. You might say if they want to keep a happy fanbase then it is, but how many years has the company shrugged its shoulders over decisions they’ve made which weren’t popular yet they still have enough money to take massive losses for another decade and remain in business. While flipping on the internet isn’t illegal or even on some level unethical, when you see listings like this, months before the thing actually comes out, it’s just sleazy.
So if you want an SNES classic, all we can say is “good luck”. Try not to stalk UPS drivers, follow Amazon now on twitter as they have sporadic drops in different cities and no lines. Keep an eye out for pre-order information from your local retailer. While Europe has been able to pre-order the system this week, US pre-orders have yet to be completed.