Nintendo Explains NES Classic Discontinuation




/ 3 years ago

Nintendo Explains NES Classic Discontinuation

Nintendo made a shedload of money from its understocked – and arguably underpriced – retro console release, the NES Classic. Barely six months after its launch, and after selling 2.3 million units, the Japanese company decided to halt production of the hardware worldwide, to the bewilderment of many. Why would it kill an obvious hit? Does Nintendo really hate money?

Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé has revealed the reasoning behind the discontinuation, and the explanation is about as Nintendo as it gets.

“We had originally planned for this to be a product for last holiday,” Fils-Aimé told TIME. “We just didn’t anticipate how incredible the response would be. Once we saw that response, we added shipments and extended the product for as long as we could to meet more of that consumer demand.”

“Even with that extraordinary level of performance, we understand that people are frustrated about not being able to find the system, and for that we really do apologize,” he said. “But 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.”

Fils-Aimé  added that there are “no plans to produce more NES Classic Edition systems for NOA regions.”

“We don’t have unlimited resources” may as well read “oh, it’s such a chore printing money.” This is a company, remember, that somehow ’sold out’ of a digital game release. Nintendo could have put the price of the NES Classic up by 15-20% and it still would have flown off the shelves; just look at the secondary market that developed on eBay, which saw the consoles sold on for up to 100% of its retail price. If Nintendo increased production of the NES Classic – a plug-and-play console which requires no additional support – and upped the price by £10 a unit, the company could have a killing. Imagine AMD declaring, “we’re discontinuing Ryzen because we’ve got Vega on the way,” or Microsoft ditching its Surface tablets because it’s too busy supporting Windows 10. Nintendo, your inability to tell a golden egg from a turd makes me despair.

If Nintendo had increased production of the NES Classic – a plug-and-play console which requires no additional software or support – and upped the price by £10 a unit, the company could have a killing. Imagine AMD declaring, “we’re discontinuing Ryzen because we’ve got Vega on the way,” or Microsoft ditching its Surface tablets because it’s too busy supporting Windows 10. Nintendo, your inability to tell a golden egg from a turd makes me despair.


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