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NES Classic discontinued -— and you thought it was hard to get before?


NES Mini

The Nintendo NES Classic Edition console, bundled with 30 classic games and compatible with modern TV sets, was unquestionably the most sought-after tech product of the 2016 holiday season.

Now the pint-sized retro wonder is about to become exponentially harder to come by, as Nintendo has announced it is discontinuing the little blighter, a little more than six months after launch.

The firm, which is also struggling to keep its brand new Switch console on shelves, didn’t offer a reason for halting production.

We can speculate Nintendo would rather avoid consumer confusion with its new hybrid console and would prefer to sell those 8-bit classics through the Switch's virtual console, but there's no official line.

Related: NES Classic review

Nintendo’s decision is sure to send the price of the devices on the secondary market soaring. Around Christmas time, eBay sellers were attempting to shift the consoles for more than $300% of the RRP.

In a statement (via The Verge) Nintendo wrote: “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.”

Given the popularity of the NES Classic, it'll be interesting if, as rumoured, Nintendo might seek to replicate the success with a Super Nintendo version in 2017.

However, it's RIP to officially-licensed Nintendo retro consoles for now

Are you one of the lucky 8-bit fans able to snag the throwback gaming machine? Did it live up to expectations? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


April 14, 2017, 10:15 pm

I've had the mini console for 2-3 weeks now, and it has been an ideal experience for me. I grew up on most of the offered titles, and the presentation and quality were exactly what it needed to be. The cord length was a short coming(pun not intended, but there it is), but easily rectified with many low cost options. All in all, I was transported to being an 8-10 year old kid again, eagerly absorbing each game I could get my hands on from my local blockbuster. (lol, right?)

The discontinuation though, fairly upsetting. There are many people, most of which are regular folks who don't have the time or inclination to camp out several online retailers, that won't have a chance to have this console in their collection. And I think that's a damned shame. Anyone who wanted it, should have had an opportunity to purchase one before they pulled the plug. It was an entirely tactical, and greedy decision, to maximize profits in other facets of the business. (Switch console focus, virtual console sales, etc). They are a business I know, but hasn't Nintendo always been about offering "fun" above all else? Whereas they haven't always been about being the most powerful, the coolest, the most cutting edge, they always had the "aw jeez, this is fun" element behind them, and it was respectable. It's what we all remembered about their systems. It's a shame to watch that era fade away even more than it already has.

The console? Yeah, it's pretty great. I wish my friends, family and coworkers would have had a chance to purchase one of their own before Nintendo "thought we had enough".

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