Nintendo broke the hearts of many retro gaming fans last week when it announced the NES Classic Edition had been discontinued. It came as quite a shock, because not only was the NES Classic Edition extremely popular, it was in extraordinarily short supply constantly since it was launched late last year. Many people who wanted one were unable to find it, unless they wanted to pay huge markups to third-party sellers. A new report from Eurogamer claims discontinuing the NES Classic Edition was done with the intention of replacing it. The company is allegedly working on a “SNES Classic Edition.”
This device is still entirely unofficial, so Nintendo isn’t talking. The report is based on sources who have spoken to Eurogamer, but they say the SNES Classic Edition (if that’s what Nintendo calls it) is already being designed. If the capabilities of the NES Classic Edition are anything to go on, Nintendo should not need to do much to redesign it as an SNES machine. With a few simple mods, gamers had the NES Classic Edition running titles from the SNES, Genesis, and even N64.
Nintendo’s desire to launch the SNES mini may be the real reason behind discontinuing the NES Classic Edition. At the time, Nintendo simply said it never intended the revived NES to be a long-term product. It just kept making them for a few extra months because of high demand. Eurogamer alleges that the SNES console became the focus instead of continuing to sell the NES Classic Edition.
We can only hope this attempt to focus on one product will result in a readily available supply of SNES Classic Edition consoles. Although, we can probably expect Nintendo to charge a little more than the $60 price of the NES Classic Edition. As long as buyers don’t end up paying five times the price on the second-hand market, we should all be happy.
I’m sure the new SNES will sell quickly, but maybe not as blazing fast as the NES. People have a lot of nostalgia for that console, even if the SNES arguably has a better lineup of games—there’s Super Mario World, Star Fox, Earthworm Jim 2, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and much more. We don’t know which games Nintendo would choose to include, though.
It would be a real treat if this retro console re-release becomes an annual tradition from Nintendo. Maybe next year we’ll get an N64 Classic Edition with Goldeneye and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.