It’s bad news retro fans. I hope you got one of Nintendo’s adorable NES Classic Minis, the iconic company’s celebration of their 8-bit classic console, one that came filled with 30 classics from the 80s. That’s because sadly, despite being one of Nintendo’s most popular releases in years, the Kyoto company have again done their own way, and announced that they will be discontinuing the NES Classic Mini.
This announcement first broke through IGN, thanks to an official statement from Nintendo regarding production of the NES Classic Mini. This statement, which confirmed that North America will be receiving their final shipments of NES Classic Minis can be seen in full below.
Throughout April, NOA 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.
Alongside this, Nintendo also confirmed what many had long feared. namely that the NES Classic Mini was essentially a short term, limited production item.
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.
Following this, confirmations have also come from both Nintendo of Europe, and Nintendo headquarters in Kyoto, to confirm that production of both the NES Classic Mini in Europe and Oceania, and the Famicom Mini in Japan, have sadly also been ended. Thus bringing to a close global production on the well received celebration of one of gaming’s greatest platforms of all time.
Nintendo did give both PAL regions and Japanese a glimmer of hope not provided to Americans though, when they also added that ”If production resumes in the future, an update will be posted on the official Nintendo website”. So, I suppose there is still a small chance of the popular mini console returning. However, for now it really is bad news, and for all intents and purposes, the NES Classic Mini has become another one of those Nintendo collector’s items.
What’s more, the bad news doesn’t end there. You see, aside from no longer being available, this cancellation also poses other problems. Namely the rising prices on the second hand market, prices that have been highly elevated ever since the shortages of the NES Classic Mini’s launch.
In fact, ever since the release, resale prices on the likes of Amazon and Ebay have consistently remained at approximately three times the the original price of £50 / $60. This isn’t just reserved to resale sites either, with second hand prices at regular stores like CEX in the UK, and GameStop in America, also opting for these highly elevated prices. Well, that is if you even find one available.
Why have they done this then? Well it could be because they want people to support the Nintendo Switch, a console that is seemingly appealing directly to the retro fans out their at the moment. It could also be because they are preparing the curiously absent Nintendo Switch Virtual Console, and want people purchasing all their favourite classics all over again here. Or it could just be as Nintendo say, that the NES Classic Mini was always planned to be a short term celebration project that was never meant to stick around, regardless of how seemingly unexpectedly successful it was.
Despite the sad news though, this last point is rather important. Essentially it seems as though the NES Classic Mini was not only hugely popular, but it was much more successful than Nintendo anticipated. As such, this does increase the chances of the mini 8-bit console returning once again, and it also increases the chances of us getting SNES Classic Mini too. Just remember, if either of these things do happen though, you’ll want to make sure to grab those pre-orders as fast as possible.