Nintendo discontinues the NES Classic Edition

by Haadi Bakar
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Nintendo is no longer making the NES Classic Edition, even though there is still high demand for the tiny retro gaming console.

Production of the mini NES officially ceases today. The Japanese gaming company said it is now putting all its production resources into the new Nintendo Switch.

The NES Classic Edition is a re-release of the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System gaming console, with 30 pre-installed classic games including Super Mario Bros, Pac Man and Balloon Fight.

It’s a lot smaller than the original 1985 console and it doesn’t accept cartridges, but the mini console retains the same iconic look right down to the controller. The device connects to modern TV sets via the HDMI port.

The retro console were selling like hotcakes when it was released in November, and there have been supply shortages because Nintendo didn’t make enough of them.

It was sold for a low price of US$60 (around B$80), a deal which also triggered the huge interest from Nintendo fans, gamers and shoppers.

The company said the NES Classic Edition was intended to be a limited console for last year’s holiday season and did not anticipate the product to be a massive hit.

Due to overwhelming demand, Nintendo extended production of the pint-sized console, but it was still unable to cater to everyone who wanted one.

Even now, there are still a lot of people who couldn’t get their hands on the mini NES, and some had to resort to buying the console off resellers on eBay.

Some of the prices of these consoles placed by scalpers online were outrageous, with one going for a whopping US$88,000!

With production of the mini NES put to a halt, fans hoping to get more old school games installed into the device (via a software update) will be left disappointed. Classics such Bomberman, Mappy, Yie Ar Kung Fu and Duck Hunt were among the games in most NES Classic Edition owners wish-list.

I was one of the lucky few who managed to get the mini NES on day one. It’s amazing how the product went flying off store shelves so quickly back in November.

Although ROMS have long been made available online that lets you play retro games on your computer, and you can play most of Nintendo’s classics on its handheld 3DS via a service called “Virtual Console”, it seems consumers and gamers are willing to spend their money on a re-released retro video game machine. Nostalgia sells.

To date, Nintendo has sold 2.3 million units of the NES Classic Edition.

There have been rumours suggesting that Nintendo is working on bringing back the Super Nintendo (SNES) in the same fashion as the NES Classic Edition for this year’s holiday season.

It’s only a matter of time before we start seeing other retro gaming consoles getting the “Classic Edition” treatment as well. A mini Sega Genesis anyone?

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