NES Classic Edition and a distinctly Nintendo problem

When consoles launch, shortages can be common. From Amiibo toys to consoles, no one ever botches releases like Nintendo.

Today, the NES Classic Edition is launching today in North America and Europe. While the compact rerelease of the console with 30 baked-in classics is enticing to many nostalgic gamers, it seems Nintendo is once again leaving much of their fanbase wanting.

Since its announcement last summer, gamers have been clamoring to get their hands the NES Classic Edition, but that message clearly didn’t resonate with the company that made it. Many retailers here in the U.S. are reporting getting around five console per store, meaning many will be going home empty handed.

The Nintendo of America Twitter responded to negative feedback from fans who felt burned by the shortage.

Still, the art of artificial shortages is Nintendo’s strong suit as of late. When the first Amiibos launched in 2014, the supply was short leading to a huge after market on sites like eBay where hardcore fans would pay, in some cases, 10 times more than retail. Throughout 2015, Nintendo underproduced Amiibo which infuriated consumers. Despite selling nearly 6 million Amiibo in the first two months of launch, Nintendo continuously acted as if their product wasn’t going to sell as well as it was.

Of course, articles talking about how well consoles or toys like Amiibos have sold only generate more excitement that works in Nintendo’s favor – but they also cater to scammers who are willing to buy products only to rip off desperate fanboys online. Although the NES Classic Edition is only retailing for $59.99 in the U.S., there are listings on eBay for more than five times that of retail.

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Does underproducing consoles hurt Nintendo? In sales, probably not. To simplify, let’s say Nintendo only made 10 units. If they sell all of those units for the decide retail price, and half get sold second hand for double that cost, Nintendo still sold the exact number they produced. Creating artificial shortages doesn’t do much to the company from a monetary perspective, but it definitely has the ability to sour fans. All over social media fans who showed up to retailers and left disappointed are voicing harsh and fair criticism at Nintendo.

With the Nintendo Switch launching in the spring, it’s hard to feel like the company will learn to follow consumer interest and launch with a reasonable supply at retailers. The NES Classic Edition might get raving reviews and make great games better, but that doesn’t make Nintendo any less guilty of shafting nostalgic fans.

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One thought on “NES Classic Edition and a distinctly Nintendo problem”

  1. There was one going for $5,000.00 and it actually sold! Now the scammers are going crazy, there is one listing for $80,000.00 and a bunch in the $20,000.00 range…

    Like

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