Nintendo NES Classic Edition

Poll: Did You Get a Nintendo NES Classic Edition?

The NES Classic Edition gaming console has been such a huge hit that Nintendo has struggled to produce enough units to meet demand. Naturally, Nintendo being Nintendo, rather than build on this success, the company decided to discontinue the product entirely right at the height of its popularity. Were you able to get one? Do you even want one?

Preying on gamer nostalgia, the NES Classic Edition is styled to look like a miniature version of the original Nintendo Entertainment System console and comes pre-packaged with 30 vintage games. Among them are some genuine 8-bit classics, including ‘Donkey Kong’, ‘The Legend of Zelda’, ‘Metroid’, ‘Castlevania’, ‘Mega Man 2’, ‘Ninja Gaiden’, and of course ‘Super Mario Bros.’ 1-3. Unfortunately, the one downside to the unit is that these are the only games it will ever play. Gamers cannot download any additional titles. Nevertheless, for a reasonable MSRP of $59.99, this proved to be immensely popular with both older gamers who owned the original version once upon a time, and younger generations who enjoy the retro simplicity and playability of these old games.

Since its launch last fall, retailers have found it basically impossible to keep the NES Classic Edition in stock. Frustratingly, many wind up in the hands of resellers and scalpers looking to inflate the price and make an easy profit. Currently, third-party sellers on Amazon are pushing it for an average of $300. That’s a disgusting markup of five times the original price. Despite Nintendo increasing production to put more on the market, new units sell out as soon as they come in.

Then, last week, seemingly apropos of nothing, Nintendo announced a sudden end for the NES Classic Edition. Final shipments will be sent to retailers this month. Allegedly, this limited lifespan was planned all along, and Nintendo intends to focus on its Switch console instead. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if the company is secretly planning an upgraded version of the Classic Edition sometime down the line, either with a different selection of games or possibly with download capability. That’s just my own speculation, of course.

I still have my original Nintendo Entertainment System and a handful of my favorite game cartridges. As far as I know, they still work, though I haven’t hooked the console up in a long time. As such, I didn’t feel compelled to get the Classic Edition. It does have some games I wish I could own, though. I also find its ability to upconvert the games to HD via HDMI appealing. (Upconverting the original Composite Video output of the NES is less than satisfactory.) Sadly, I can’t justify spending $300 on that.

Did You Buy an NES Classic Edition?

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15 comments

  1. NJScorpio

    I’ve was able to get two, both in the past few months.

    One is currently setup, playing stuff like Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact and Marvel VS Capcom.

    The other remains in it’s box.

  2. Thulsadoom

    I like the idea. There’s a couple of companies trying to do something similar with the ZX Spectrum over here in the UK at the moment, but they seem to have fumbled the ball a bit, in their rush to cash in on current retro-gaming popularity.

    The NES was never a big thing over here (from my memory), as the home gaming market had already been saturated with either the ZX Spectrum or C64 a few years before the NES was released. So kids were already gaming and coding, and I don’t think a games-only console with arguably similar specs appealed that much (I remember seeing one, at a church coffee morning, to keep kids entertained! I think I played Duck Hunt for about five minutes). Console gaming took off more over here with the first Gameboys and SNES/MegaDrive craze. 😉

  3. Plissken99

    I honestly hadn’t heard of it until this article. There are far better options out there anyway, I recommend the RetroN 5. Get that and you can play NES, SNES, GBA, Famicon and Sega cartridges all via HDMI upscaled to 720p with a built it Game Genie and wireless controllers(which are so-so). Then there’s Roms if you own the original game.

    • NJScorpio

      It’s like the iPod. There were plenty of solid, capable, high capacity hard drive based MP3 players at the time the iPod came out (Dell Jukebox), but it was a hit because of how streamlined it was.

      This is very, very plug-in-play with some of the best NES titles on it already…with a Nintendo approved quality of emulation, and controllers that are as close to original as you can find. You spend $59.99, and put no other thought into it.

      I totally see what you are saying…it reminds of the arguments against buying Vudu digital copies when one could rip their collection, encode it, set up a NAS, etc.

  4. I was able to get one in my cart when Best Buy had them on sale, but then their account page on their server had crapped out. By the time I finally got to the “Finalize Order” page or whatever, I got the message that the item was no longer available and had been removed from my cart

  5. T.J. Kats

    My wife got me one for Christmas and it was cool for a few days but after that I was over it. My kids get more use out of it than I do with my five year old being hooked on Mario.

    • T.J. Kats

      Also I think discontinuing it has to do with wanting people to focus on the switch as well as(and this is only my opinion) working on a Super Nintendo version for this Christmas.

      • NJScorpio

        I think the purpose of the NESC was to get people excited about Nintendo again, prior to the Switch, after the disaster that was the Wii U. This reminded people of how much they love the Nintendo IPs, like Mario and Zelda.

        The problem is, if they kept it the NESC on the market, it would value Super Mario Bros. 3, Metroid, and The Legend of Zelda at $2 each. These IPs are really the most valuable thing Nintendo has going for them.

        Now, if anyone wants to play these games, they will need to pick up a Switch and play it on the Nintendo Virtual Console. IIRC, the games are about $5 each (so not too much more) but you have to invest in their hardware to get in the door. At they same time, those interested in the classic Zelda and Mario titles now see new ones being released for the Switch.

        I don’t believe it was ever meant to remain on the market, and itself was a marketing tool to get folks excited about Nintendo again prior to the Switch. They practically gave away the best games they’ve made.

  6. Csm101

    I still have one from the early 90’s in pretty pristine condition. It has a sentimental value so I’ll probably never get rid of it. I wonder if it even works. I don’t know if time can cause the inner workings to deteriorate.

  7. Les

    I actually was able to finally get an NES Classic Edition a couple of months ago when Gamestop finally received an additional shipment for $60. I find it incredible that it is already discontinued when Nintendo couldn’t meet the demand in the first place!! Who the heck discontinues a product that is selling like hotcakes?

    Oh yea, then they release the Nintendo Switch and can’t meet the demand for that product either. I just checked and the Nintendo Switch is selling on the scalper market for $400+ with some packages selling for $600 to $700+.

    I don’t have a lot of desire to pick up the Nintendo Switch since the Nintendo Wii and Wii U, for me, which I did purchase, were extremely disappointing. Plus I have an PS4 Pro, VR, and Xbox One now so I really don’t care.

  8. Bumbuliuz

    I really wanted to get one at the start, but after seeing how ineptly Nintendo was handling this I decided against getting one and I’m glad I did. Built myself a little RetroPie machine for emulation. I really wanted to own one of these after growing up with an original NES as a kid.

    Seeing how Nintendo has handled this is sad to see and them pulling the plug is just even sadder.

    I’m getting quite annoyed with the “Artificial Nintendo Shortage” that always seem to happen.

  9. Elizabeth

    I hate how Nintendo allowed to this to become a scalper’s dream. I was interested in one but chances are I’m better off without it anyhow; I’ve tried a few times to get invested in game systems over the past decade but it only lasts for a few months before it’s basically a paperweight. At least the PS3 at the time had the distinction of being one of the cheapest Blu-Ray players available; long after I stopped playing games with it, I was still using it for Blu-Rays and streaming. Meanwhile my 3DS and WiiU are in a box somewhere collecting dust.

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