Nintendo Exec on NES Classic Shortages, Nintendo Switch Supply

Reggie Fils-Aime weighs in.


Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has responded to the NES Classic shortages and discussed the company's plans for the Switch launch in March as it relates to supply.

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Discussing the NES Classic shortages (the system remains sold out basically everywhere following its November 2016 launch), Fils-Aime said it was simple matter of demand outpacing supply. But why?

"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]," Fils-Aime said.

"As we thought about that, that led us to a certain level of supply."

The reality, however, was that the lapsed gamer and the "more active gamer" bought the NES Classic, leading to a demand that Nintendo didn't fully anticipate and in turn the supply issues.

"That was the maketplace disconnect that happened," Fils-Aime said. He added that Nintendo continues to make more NES Classic systems available. He said the supply issues for NES Classic have been "largely addressed," though not everyone may agree, considering the console continues to be sold out basically everywhere.

We also talked to Fils-Aime about the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo's supply plans. He reiterated that Nintendo has said it will have 2 million units in the wild, worldwide, for launch in March. The executive told GameSpot that this is a "huge amount" of volume, especially considering the Switch is not launching in a holiday month.

"We're working to make sure that the supply chain [for Switch] is robust and there is a steady flow of hardware," he said. "The one piece we can't anticipate is the demand side of the equation but certainly from a supply, we feel like we're going to be well-positioned."

Also in our interview, Fils-Aime provided a glimmer of hope about Mother 3. Maybe.

Check back soon for GameSpot's full interview with Fils-Aime.

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Avatar image for afreeflyingsoul

You can get an original NES for half the price of the NES: Classic.

Avatar image for nkaiton

Eat a spotted dick, Nintendo.

Avatar image for skot_free

2 million Switches is not a lot considering we're talking a worldwide launch and no region locking. We'll see how this works out in march.

Avatar image for ricemanstm

Nintendo's arrogance back in full swing. Are they really that incompetent when it comes anticipating product demand? Apparently so. Pathetic.

Avatar image for b11051973

I haven't been looking for an NES classic too hard, but definitely can't find one. I'd buy one in a second if I found one, but they are no where to be found.

I had planned on buying two. One for me and one for my niece for Xmas. I've pretty much lost interest in buying one for my niece.

Avatar image for Kruiz_Bathory

Nintendo is fucking stupid. Who the **** runs this company??? Damage control for their shit.

Avatar image for The_Man_On_Fire

PC fans.... get off that computer

Avatar image for gemgames86

I just don't understand why they are doing this. I don't believe their reasons. It's just a bunch of hoo-ey if you ask me. They started pulling this crap when the Wii first came out in 2006. They make so few of them or withhold their supply for what? I don't get it. It's absolutely ridiculous. Want a NES Classic? Sorry, sold out in 1 hour. Want a Switch? Sorry sold out in an hour. Gimme a break Nintendo. Why do only YOU have this problem and Microsoft and Sony don't? You didn't use to do this. Gamecube and previous consoles were obtainable right away. What happened to your companies policies?

Avatar image for fanboyman

@gemgames86: N64 and GameBoy was hard to fine when they came out, I think NES and SNES were difficult to fine too but I get your point.

Avatar image for FBohler

Here's the workaround: Nintendo just needs to quit hardware and go multiplat on their IPs.

You're welcome.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

More lies. Nintendo intentionally withholding supply. They've done it before. They're doing it again.

Avatar image for Slash_out

@Thanatos2k: Not everything is a conspiracy.

Avatar image for afreeflyingsoul

@Slash_out: not a conspiracy, well established business model. Jim Sterling has a great walk through of why, which boils down to the fact that Nintendo treats electronics like toys, and toy makers subsist on undersupply to build excitement for their products.

Food products will do this as well, come out in limited supply, getting people worked up by playing to our natural tendency towards envy. It increases the likelihood that people who wouldn't buy something if there's plenty to go around will buy it when they find it. Artificial scarcity.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

@Slash_out: It's not a conspiracy, it's easily provable fact.

Avatar image for slypher9

@Thanatos2k: true words... its a sound strategy really.. you create high demand by holding back.. But the thing is this also give rise to scalpers to resell them very high

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

@slypher9: Problem is, you create demand, but you also don't sell as much as you should, and you fall further and further behind the other consoles.

Avatar image for snake63

Ever since the death of Iwata Nintendo has been going downhill. Nintendo needs a complete overhaul of corporate management including Reggie. He is blind and deaf to US customers.

Avatar image for alaskancrab

@snake63: Nah even before that.. Arakawa made Nintendo period! Wii may have sold a lot but it was the beginning of their decline!

Avatar image for deactivated-5b0457a4d6084

@snake63: U hit it spot on

Avatar image for Zenopants

@Eddie619: Oh U!

Avatar image for retrogamer77

People should never forget about the scalpers on eBay. This situation is at least as much their fault as it is Nintendo's, and eBay should ban the practice, if they can.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

@retrogamer77: Ban the free market? Yeah, good luck.

Avatar image for snake63

@retrogamer77: I disagree. If its anybody's fault its the people who would pay for it.

Avatar image for wretch1d

@retrogamer77: Thank you, i agree, i hate those leeches, people who genuinely would love to have something cant because they buy them and sell them at 3x the price sometimes way more if its rare. How do you stop that i dont know but it would only be a good thing for gaming.

Avatar image for lonewolf1044

@wretch1d: However, Snake63 makes a good point because it is all parties that partake in this from scalper down to the buyer that are the problem.

Avatar image for wretch1d

@lonewolf1044: Agreed if there wasnt a market for it it wouldnt happen, takes two for it to work

Avatar image for moonco

My great grandma who is 95 has a NES Classic in her room. She calls late at night asking how to beat the second stage in Ninja Gaiden. Looks like Nintendo was way off target with that 30-40 age group

Avatar image for myrmecophagidae

If only there were some way to gauge demand before a product launches. If only it were possible to find out how many people want to buy a product by getting some of them to partially pay for it before it releases, so you can adjust your supply accordingly. And if only there were a massive network of communication devices with which people discussed their enthusiasm for a product. And if only these enthusiastic statements were somehow linked to publicly available profiles for the users of these communication devices, from which a company might be able to glean some demographic information about the people who are discussing their products. In such a world as this, Nintendo might have been able to measure demand for the NES Classic and then manufacture enough of them. But, alas, we do not live in such a world.

Avatar image for afreeflyingsoul

@myrmecophagidae: we can dream, can't we?

Avatar image for nkaiton

@myrmecophagidae: Bravo, good sir.

Avatar image for Zenopants

@myrmecophagidae: Whatcho.O talkin 'bout, Willis?

Avatar image for JEF8484

Nintendo comes out with a console people want and they dont have the supply for them. Nintendo, get your shit together.

Avatar image for Gladestone1

They didnt predict guys like me im 50 an want it rofl..

Avatar image for 93ChevyNut

Yeah, yeah, yeah, just make more NES classics. I'm a power nerd and i want one.

Avatar image for santinegrete

Not everyones agrees? Hell, not even the people that wants to play your games. I swear that some suits of Nintendo must think they can keep the love of their fanbase if they also cater their hatred, just like some relationships.

Avatar image for gelgoog2

This Reggie guy is full for crap! He's as believable as Iraqi's former information minister!

Avatar image for snake63

@gelgoog2: Reggie has been bungling Nintendo of America for years.

Avatar image for inkman66

Lies.....lies.....and more lies. The NES Classic was not meant to make money. When you look at how miserly greedy Nintendo is with their 30 year old games, the NES Classic with its 30 games at $60 is actually LOSING money for Nintendo. Nintendo put a limited number of Classics out there for only one they could somehow be relevant and at least talked about during the holiday season. Nintendo is a master of this and could care less about their customers. That is why after being a Nintendo fanboy since the NES and being greatly disappointed in the Switch, I went out this weekend an purchased a PS4 and for the first time will sit out a Nintendo generation and play any IPs such as Zelda on my crappy Wii U.

Avatar image for Simba13

@inkman66: How do you tell the difference between a classic Nintendo console and a new one?

The old classic consoles actually SOLD!


The new consoles have their own screen!

Avatar image for titang1

@inkman66: Well aren't you a big sack of salt

Avatar image for inkman66
inkman66, just TRUTH. Nintendo is so greedy with their 30 year old IPs, they will allow you to play ONE a month for "free" when you pay your monthly internet subscription. There is NO reason, with a calculator chipset, Nintendo could not crank out millions of Classic NES units every few weeks. Now they are creating the same false demand with the Switch. All pre-orders are sold out........but no retail outlet will release the number of units they were alloted for pre-order.

Avatar image for titang1

@inkman66: Just surprised people still complain about it.

Avatar image for Simba13

@titang1: Agreed, we should all just ACCEPT that Nintendo are going to gouge you, it's the way the company stays alive and generates both publicity and interest!

Avatar image for titang1

@Simba13: Well, they've haven't gouged me in almost 15 years lol, so it's not like I've been duped repeatedly by them. The Switch looks good to me, for one thing it looks more "grown up" as a device, that also appeals to me.

Avatar image for inkman66

@titang1 True.....they can not gouge you if you do not let them. Like the way they sell the same 30 year old game over and over and over and over again. Speaking of gouging......a monthly subscription to play a handful of games? $70 for a pro controller ? $90 for a docking station/charger? I wont even get into $300 for a less powerful system WITHOUT a game. The main thing I am sick of Nintendo is the way they treat their customers like cattle that can be prodded anywhere they want them to go.

Avatar image for NoDzombie

NE'S Classic shortages have been addressed, I dont think so, I pre-ordered mine and im still waiting for Amazon to ship it to me, absolute joke.

They are impossible to find here in the UK.

Iv pre-ordered 2 switches also, one for me and one for the wife, if im lucky I might get them before Xmas.

Avatar image for Bigbudd0045

**** you nintendo. You are either awful at market research, or intentionally create product shortages to drive up demand. Either way you have eroded my faith in your company. Switch is going to be impossible to get for months. Nintendo thinks that if they keep it as the "hot" item all the way to the 2017 holiday season it will hold steady. If i cant get a switch at launch...ill just wait for the inevitable price drop when Sony pushes the PS4pro down to 350 and the games drought on switch makes people go back to the other consoles. It happened on wii u, it happened with wii. I bought a wii at launch, by march there was nothing to play beyond shovel ware. Took until later that year for Mario Galaxy, but by then i was bored and moved on.

Avatar image for bigdegs

They love it. And I doubt they'll actually take direct action to address the shortage. It will work itself out in time and, in the meantime, they enjoy being able to say it's sold out.

I wouldn't be surprised if they hoard Nintendo Switch's in a warehouse, and let them trickle out over time. That way there can be a "shortage" of those as well.

Seems to me that people give Nintendo a pass because of the nostalgia factor. And even when they don't give Nintendo a pass, the numbers of times I've heard "I wanted to like it..." is ridiculous.

I judge each game/system on its own merit. Nothing about the Switch has me excited except for Zelda, and that's not going to make me buy the console.