Here’s Why It’s A Mistake For Nintendo To Release More NES Classic Edition Units In 2018 – Forbes
The big news for nostalgia addicts today is the planned re-release of mini NES Classic Edition sometime in 2018.
This accompanies an announcement that Nintendo will be releasing many more units of the SNES Classic Edition at launch than we ever got with its predecessor in 2016. We don’t have actual numbers, of course, but it’s an optimistic and welcome promise.
But it’s the revelation that more mini NES units are on the way that bothers me. Not that I begrudge anyone getting their hands on one, hopefully for a price well below what scalpers continue to sell them for. Rather, if the issue with Nintendo producing these things is simply that the company can’t keep up with demand, I’d rather see them put their resources elsewhere.
I mean, let’s face it, the SNES Classic Edition is going to be way better than the NES Classic Edition for one important reason: the games! (And the longer controller cables!)
Those old NES games are fine, but they rely on nostalgia more than anything, and nostalgia gets old fast. To be honest, the games on the NES mini are pretty dated at this point. Few of these games can rival the mini SNES catalog.
The truth is, games improved in pretty enormous ways between the two systems, making the SNES Classic Edition far more desirable than the NES Classic Edition, at least as something people are likely to actually play.
Nintendo has had a difficult time getting enough supply of these systems into the hands of gamers who want them simply because logistically it’s a pretty daunting task for a company like Nintendo. Sure, there may have been some artificial scarcity at play, but I suspect that the truth is much less sinister.
There are only so many factories and only so many ships and only so much warehouse space, and Nintendo has to pick and choose what to put on the manufacturing line and what to load up on pallets and ship all over the world. They have finite resources to work with and multiple skus (including the 3DS and Nintendo Switch) to produce.
This means Nintendo needs to focus on its best products first and foremost. Chiefly, this means making sure enough Switch units make it into the hands of consumers. But if the game manufacturer does want to focus on selling more retro consoles as well, they should prioritize the SNES Classic Edition over the NES Classic Edition. I’m glad that we’ll see the former shipped into 2018 instead of production halting at the end of this year, but I’d prefer to see it continue instead of a return of 2016’s most sought-after box.
I don’t believe we can have our cake and eat it, too, in this situation. If more NES units are produced, that will mean fewer SNES units. That’s not a good trade-off by any measure. Nintendo of America COO Reggie Fils-Aime said it himself earlier this year:
“From our perspective, it’s important to recognize where our future is and the key areas that we need to drive. We’ve got a lot going on right now and we don’t have unlimited resources.” The future is not the NES Classic Edition. It’s time to give up the ghost.