Traditionally, businesses exist to make and sell things that people want to buy. Having a product so popular that it sells as fast as you can produce it is a good thing. That’s not how Nintendo rolls, though. After releasing the insanely popular NES Classic Edition last year, the company has made the inexplicable decision to discontinue it. If you were lucky enough to get your hands on one, it just got substantially more valuable.
The NES Classic Edition launched in November of 2016, quickly becoming a must-have holiday gift. The console offered 30 classic NES games built in without any of that tedious cartridge switching or blowing on connectors. Unlike old NES hardware, the Classic Edition had an HDMI port for proper support on modern TVs. It has also proven to be a godsend for fans of classic game emulators. With some tweaks, the NES Classic Edition can run games from Genesis, SNES, and other platforms.
Serious supply issues popped up immediately after launch. While the console was supposed to retail for a mere $ 60, resellers were asking hundreds more. Things have cooled down a bit since the holidays, but you’re still going to have to spend around $ 150 to get your hands on the NES Classic Edition. Well, unless you manage to find a retailer that’s just gotten a shipment in. That won’t be happening much longer, though.
According to Nintendo, the last batch of NES Classic Edition consoles were sent out to North American retailers this month. The NES Classic controller will also be discontinued, but third-party accessories may still be produced. Nintendo explained to IGN that it never intended the NES Classic to be a long-term product. However, it decided to keep the system around a little longer due to the high consumer demand. It’s not clear if this announcement means the NES Classic/Famicom Mini that is sold internationally will be discontinued as well.
It almost seems like Nintendo is a little resentful of the NES Classic Edition’s success. Everyone is supposed to be buying the Switch and picking up new games, not playing games from 30 years ago on a $ 60 console. I would not be surprised if Nintendo ended up bringing some version of the NES Classic Edition back in the future, because it really is a money printing machine. People have shown they’re willing to pay considerably higher prices for the mini console. Maybe Nintendo could justify a price bump with more games. In the meantime, get ready for a big price spike on existing NES Classic Edition units.