The NES Classic Edition was released holiday 2016 and was immediately sold out across store nationwide. And it stayed virtually sold out until Nintendo inexplicably discontinued the device in February 2017. Nintendo would go on to say the NES Classic was discontinued due to limited resources, which left plenty of sales (perhaps several million) on the table.
So while the SNES Classic has outsold the NES Classic it’s hard to truly compare the two when Nintendo boosted stock for one and limited the other. Even now it’s still possible to spot an SNES Classic on a store shelf but this time last year, gamers were desperate to find an NES.
Acknowledging the controversy over the NES Classic’s early discontinuation, Nintendo promised to stock the SNES in much higher quantity. With over 4 million consoles sold in the same time period as the NES Classic’s 2.3 million sales, Nintendo has clearly delivered on that promise. But was it enough?
It’s now February 1st and it’s worth asking whether Nintendo is also going to discontinue the SNES Classic soon. There’s evidence to indicate that a Nintendo 64 Classic may be in the cards soon and Nintendo would likely need to shift its resources once more if that’s the case. But that also renews Nintendo’s issue of discontinuing a device while demand is still high.
Just how many of these retro consoles does Nintendo have to make each year in order to sate demand? And if a Nintendo 64 Classic is indeed in the works, will Nintendo once again promise to work harder to produce enough consoles? Perhaps the NES Classic and the SNES Classic’s 2.3 and 4 million respective sales are an aberration.
But more likely Nintendo just needs to invest more into increasing supply and trust its fans to support them. 4 million sold SNES Classics shows just how excited fans are for more retro throwback devices.