Nintendo Discontinues The NES Classic

Nintendo has a fair amount of things going on for it right now. The world (us included) seems to be unable to stop talking about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild more than a month after its release. Their newest console, the Switch, seems to be doing rather well as it continues to be sold out at most retailers. There are a ton of new amiibo coming out in the next few months. Hell, even Pikmin is getting a new game on July 28th when Hey! Pikmin releases on the 3DS.

In what can only be described as yet another oddball decision by Nintendo, they announced today that they’re discontinuing production of the NES Classic. The last shipments are headed out and after that, that’s it. They of course offer some words of encouragement for those of us who might want one.

  • Throughout April, [Nintendo of America] 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.

Well, if that doesn’t make you feel better, at least there’s the consolation that we can pay huge markups from scalpers!

The only legitimate bit of hope I see in the statement is that the representative did say they were the last shipments for this year, so maybe there are plans to bring it back further down the line. Don’t hold your breath on that one. In the meantime, you can buy most of those titles on the Wii, Wii U, and 3DS Virtual Console, so there’s that.

While that’s nice for some people, it still seems like an odd decision for the easy sale to people who might see this and grab one purely on nostalgia. Not everyone who played the NES kept up playing video games over the years, so this was a simple way for them to relive some of those classics without having to spend the extra money on a modern Nintendo console and then contend with the less than friendly eShop interface.

Purely speculative, but maybe there’s a remodel in the works. Wireless controllers would be great since most people who would be interested in this and haven’t kept up over the years no longer sit on the floor four feet away from the TV.

While the possibility of the SNES Classic (or something along those lines) is a good possibility, there’s no accounting for why this had such a short lifespan. The NES Classic sold through each shipment without fail (granted, a lot of those were scalpers looking to make a quick buck) and killing it off this early, less than six months after its release, seems like a bad decision. It’s a shame that so few people will get to experience the NES controller again in all its hard edged glory.


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