A Nintendo representative told IGN this Thursday that production of the NES Classic Edition would be discontinued. The company said it did not expect as much demand as it has received, and that it would issue the last shipments of the system this month.
The miniature version of the Nintendo Entertainment System came out for North America and Europe, while Japan and Australia received the Famicom Mini. Both were priced at $59.99 and came with a set of 30 preloaded retro games.
The consoles were both a blessing and a curse for Nintendo fans. Gamers were hyped to get their hands on one of the systems but only a few managed to do so due to the extremely limited supplies worldwide. No word on when, if at all, the Classic Edition will hit the shelves again.
Fans are outraged at Nintendo for pulling the plug on the retro console
Nostalgia-fueled players and next-gen players rejoiced at Nintendo’s announcement late last year. Upon launch in November, however, most of their hopes and dreams were frustrated due to the company’s lack of supply.
Back then, it quickly became apparent that the Japanese giant had either grossly miscalculated demand for the NES Classic Edition or it was limiting supplies on purpose. Both scenarios were equally troubling for fans.
Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime, addressed the outcry back in early January during an interview with WIRED. At the time, he attributed shortages to an excess of demand but committed to meeting fan expectations.
Tatsumi Kimishima, President of Nintendo, then said weeks later that they were looking into increasing production of the best-selling console. Fils-Aime gave further explanations last month, saying they didn’t expect millennials would also want to play with the NES Classic.
Why would Nintendo discontinue the NES Classic Edition?
“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,” a Nintendo rep said in a statement.
Polygon notes there could be several reasons behind the company’s sudden and unexpected plug pull. One of the most prominent things that may have caused Nintendo to halt production of the Classic Edition is piracy.
The video game giant has strict policies against people hacking their systems or using them in a way different from what they intended. The NES Classic Edition has been particularly easy to mod, and hackers quickly managed to turn it into all sorts of different things.
On his statement back in February, Kimishima said some of the production issues with the mini console were due to some components being hard to come by. Ars Technica refuted this claim after system teardowns revealed no particularly rare parts were inside.
Most likely, Nintendo may have decided the NES Classic Edition was just simply taking the spotlight off the Switch, in spite of the former being a major cash cow and fan favorite.
The new hybrid console is not without its supply issues, so it makes sense that the company wants to prioritize the hot new Switch over the novelty item of the year. Those resources could go to doubling down production efforts, a promise Nintendo has already made in less than a month since its launch.