Nintendo has confirmed today that the much sought-after and seemingly never-available-anyway NES Classic Edition is no more, and the last shipments will go out to retailers this month. The adorable little retro console featuring 30 games was first released in November of last year for $59.99 and was troubled with supply issues from the very beginning.
A Nintendo representative sent Glixel the following statement.
"Throughout April, NOA territories will receive the last shipments of Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition systems for this year. We encourage anyone interested in obtaining this system to check with retail outlets regarding availability. We understand that it has been difficult for many consumers to find a system, and for that we apologize. We have paid close attention to consumer feedback, and we greatly appreciate the incredible level of consumer interest and support for this product."
Prices from resellers continue to climb, and will no doubt soar even higher in the months ahead. If you're not lucky enough to find one when it arrives in a store, you can currently expect to pay more than double the MSRP for the device. Currently the cheapest option on Amazon is $167.80 and go for similar prices on eBay.
According to Nintendo's earnings report in January, the company sold 1.5 million NES Classic systems worldwide in 2016. In the same report, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima apologized for "the inconvenience caused by product shortages," noting that "some parts require time to procure, but we are working to increase production. We also see the nostalgic interest in these products as an opportunity to draw consumers' attention to our latest game system, Nintendo Switch."
In March, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé attempted to explain why the company had misinterpreted demand for the mini console in an interview with Gamespot. "When we looked at that proposition what we believed was the adults, 30-40 years old, who grew up playing NES as a kid, 10 years old or so but had stepped away from the gaming category – that was going to be the buyer [of the NES Classic]," he said. He went on to explain that both lapsed gamers and the "more active gamers" bought the NES Classic, leading to a demand that Nintendo didn't fully anticipate.