Best Buy will sell units of the NES Classic Edition on Monday, April 24, quite possibly the last chance users will have of getting the now-discontinued product from a legitimate retail store.
Grab An NES Classic Edition At Best Buy While You Can
The sale will be in-store only, so there will be no online reservations or purchases. Units will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis.
Exactly how many units Best Buy has in stock is undisclosed, but the retailer says that it'll be "limited." Moreover, some stores may employ a ticketing process to prevent any potential lineup chaos from happening.
The NES Classic Edition Supply Problem
Upon its launch in November, the NES Classic Edition was a wild hit — stores quickly ran out of stocks. Even Nintendo itself was surprised, admitting that the overwhelming reception was not something it had expected. That sentiment showed.
In the months that followed, those looking to buy one simply couldn't. Every store had sold out their units, and there was no word from Nintendo when it'll restock the NES throwback. Units did trickle down, but slowly and scantily. Not long after its release, eBay scalpers took notice, peddling NES Classic Edition units with ridiculously high markups.
But the hype had not died down. Customers were still looking — looking, still — for units even when supply issues were more than apparent. Often, it would show up in legitimate retail stores but only in limited numbers and, more of than not, in a flash-style sale, where the first to come to the store will get it first. No online reservations allowed.
NES Classic Edition Discontinued
So what was Nintendo's response to the overwhelming and obvious demand for the NES Classic Edition? Well, it killed the product entirely. We're not kidding: Nintendo recently announced that it was discontinuing the NES Classic Edition, just five months after its launch. Many publications called it a baffling move, speculating that Nintendo didn't mean for the console to be such a wide hit.
Of the spate of guesswork, one idea seems to be rising from the cruft: that Nintendo only produced a limited run of the NES Classic Edition, intending for it to be a holiday gift that was nothing more than a plaything. Speculation suggests that, not expecting for it to be such a hit, Nintendo had only entered a limited contract with the manufacturer of the consoles. Nintendo probably saw that extending or renewing that contract isn't wise. After all, it still needs to produce millions of Switch units by the end of the year.
Now, all the NES Classic Edition the world will ever see are the ones already lying around, as Nintendo has stopped manufacturing them altogether. So if you've been meaning to get one for the longest time, hit up Best Buy and try your chances there.
The NES Classic Edition is a "mini" reiteration of the Nintendo Entertainment System released in the '80s. It's much smaller, has an HDMI port for compatibility with HDTVs, and it comes preinstalled with 30 NES titles. There's no way to add more games to the preinstalled library — at least not officially.
Rumor has it that Nintendo plans to release a Mini Super Nintendo Entertainment System next, a mini edition of the SNES, released in the '90s. Hopefully Nintendo doesn't kill it after five months too.