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

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.