Opinion: Say No The SNES Classic Until We Can All Buy The NES Classic

Written by James T. George

I’d like to preface this piece with the following information:

  1. I’ve waited in line 4 times, totaling over 10 hours of my free time, and still have not purchased an NES Classic.
  2. I’ve attempted to buy one second-hand without paying more than twice the retail price, with no success.
  3. I’ve been on a waiting list at a brick-and-mortar retailer (that I will not name) since the day it was announced, and have not yet acquired a unit.
  4. Still waiting on a notification from a few online retailers for stock. No luck.

As you can probably surmise, I’m pretty upset at the state of the NES Classic’s retail availability. In fact, I’m downright angry.

The $60 device has been out of stock almost since the moment of its announcement, and despite an effort that can only be described as “moving heaven and earth” in order to find one, I have not been able to do so. I’m a working professional with a limited amount of free time these days, and despite plenty of reasons to avoid this process, I devoted a less-than-healthy amount of time into trying to find this product. I grew up in the era of the NES, and the concept of being able to relive those days with a smaller, more compatible version for HDMI devices was an instant “yes, please” purchase for me.

Despite all my efforts, I don’t have one. Now, a mere months after its release, production has ended and now I will most likely never own one. I will not devote more time to tracking one down. I’ve done enough of that. I’m not going to be complicit in after-market insanity by paying 4 or 5 times the cost. As a Nintendo fan from my earliest years, I should not have to go through these measures of time and cost to acquire a $60 product that should be easy to produce for all consumers who could have ever wanted one.

In 2017, this is unacceptable. I refuse to believe Nintendo’s reasons for the lack of supply. The level of consumer demand could not have been “unexpected” unless Nintendo is run by some very out of touch executives. Production of these little machines was not, and is not a challenge for a modern consumer electronics company. In an effort to inflate demand, Nintendo purposefully created a black hole of availability – an act they are now quite good at following things like the Amiibo shortage – and has officially lost me as a customer for the foreseeable future as a result.

I can hear some of you out there already yelling at me.

  • “But Jim, Nintendo did this to gauge demand for the Virtual Console.”
  • “They are making the SNES Classic soon. You can get one of those!”
  • “Buy Nintendo’s new games, not their old ones.”

I’ve heard all of this before. I own a Switch, and enjoy it when I play it. I own a Wii U, and I enjoy it when I play it. I’ve owned just about every Nintendo console and handheld going back to  reproduction Game & Watch units, and enjoy those when I play them.

I will never enjoy playing the NES Classic. Because I will never own one.

That’s not my fault. Nintendo did this. To me. To everyone that didn’t get one. To those who have remained loyal since the earliest days. If the rumored SNES classic is actually happening, I have to wonder if their claim of “lack of resources” for the NES Classic have merit, considering production of the SNES Classic would also be relying on these so-called “limited resources”.

It stinks of corporate plot. It’s hostile to the consumer. It’s a slap in the face to their faithful.

For whatever reason… artificial demand for a product is deemed more important that allowing people to actually own the product.

I’m done.



About the author

James T. George

Jim, a proud native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, enjoys a variety of things other than games, movies, music, sports, and technology, but usually falls prey to character limits when filling out

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