Nintendo Talks NES Classic Edition Discontinuation As Sales Surpass 2 Million

"We've got a lot going on right now and we don't have unlimited resources."

185 Comments

With the system now discontinued, Nintendo has revealed that it has shipped 2.3 million NES Classic Editions around the world since its launch last November.

Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime shared the figure with Time (and Nintendo subsequently confirmed it with GameSpot). This is a sell-in figure, which accounts for the number of units shipped to retailers, as opposed to sell-through numbers that only track units actually purchased by consumers. That said, given the incredible popularity of the system, there's likely little distinction between the two in this case.

No Caption Provided

This figure is up from the 1.5 million that Nintendo announced at the beginning of February. Since then, demand has remained unsatisfied. And that's not about to change, as the company announced earlier this month that it was discontinuing the system worldwide. It provided no reasoning for the move at the time, but Fils-Aime offered some insight to Time.

Regarding the supply issues, he said the Classic Edition was only intended as "a product for last holiday," noting that Nintendo "added shipments and extended the product for as long as we could to meet more of that consumer demand."

He also cited logistics as a factor in the decision to move on from the system, saying, "Even with that extraordinary level of performance, we understand that people are frustrated about not being able to find the system, and for that we really do apologize. But from our perspective, it's important to recognize where our future is and the key areas that we need to drive. We've got a lot going on right now and we don't have unlimited resources."

It's an element of the business that often goes unconsidered by fans, as it's both unsexy and something that's typically unseen by the public. And Nintendo does have a lot going on: It has to deal with Switch supply issues, the upcoming New 2DS XL, and--reportedly--the SNES Classic Edition, among other things.

That said, fans remain understandably frustrated by how the entire situation has been handled--particularly as scalpers make huge profits by scooping up Classic Editions and reselling them through places like eBay. This frustration has only been exacerbated by the lack of clear communication from Nintendo, which did not initially say that the Classic Edition was intended as such a limited-time product. In February, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima said the long wait to replenish stock was partially due to the fact that "some parts require time to procure." He added that Nintendo was "working to increase production" to meet demand.

When asked by Time if the NES Classic Edition could return in the future, Fils-Aime had nothing to reveal.

The Switch, meanwhile, remains out of stock at most retailers almost two months after its launch. GameStop has suggested supply issues for the console could last for the entire year.

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pork7

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Soooooo, Nintendo is a global, multi-billion dollar corporation that has been around since the 1800s, and gorilla boy is saying they have limited resources? How dumb does he think we are?

The NES and DS were fantastic, but I have no desire to own anything Nintendo ever again. PS4, xb0ne, and PC are just too dang good to wait in line for old hardware in a shiny package.

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inkman66

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" .... he said the Classic Edition was only intended as "a product for last holiday,"

This is about the only truthful thing Nintendo has said about the NES Classic shortage. It was indeed only intended as a product for last holiday ....... last holiday when Nintendo was dead in the water with a console that had been in a coma for over a year and no big games at all to offer. So what do they do? Announce this awesome little thing in June and under bake them at the expense of their customers to create yet another shortage and stay relevant during the holiday season. You have to give Nintendo a 10 in marketing and a 2 in customer service.

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Elranzer

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ITT: "Nintendo is so stupid" - armchair businessmen.

Meanwhile, Nintendo continues to put billions in the bank, while the Xbox division of Microsoft continues to lose them money, and Sony as a whole is in the red.

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Thanatos2k

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What a load of nonsense.

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Paulf001

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It's baffling how dumb Nintendo can be. If you have a hot product you order more to be manufactured not discontinue it. Nintendo can go to Foxxconn or whatever plant they use in China and just order more. They have demand that isn't meet yet.

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catsimboy

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Anyone who said "Oh they're discontinuing it because they don't want it to compete with the Switch" can eat their words now that Nintendo also announced the 2DS XL.

Tell me, what's going to compete more with the Switch? A novelty retro system whose main appeal is looking like a classic system OR a handheld gaming device that has a large library of cheap games in contrast to the Switch which is new, double the price, and doesn't have many games out for it yet.

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Otterbee

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@catsimboy: I think you're missing the point behind "competing with the Switch" statement. What they mean by that is, if you offer 30 games on this one system (NES Classic), then they are losing out on the potential revenues/sales of those same games via the Virtual Console/eShop on the Switch. It's also reasonable to point out that people have figure out how to hack the NES Classic so it can play any games from that system/generation. (I believe)

The 3DS and 2DS systems don't "compete" either, because they'll offer the same games, at the same price in their eShop. Never mind that 95% of the games library for the Switch and their handheld systems are mutually exclusive of each other.

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inkman66

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@otterbee Yeah...... if only Nintendo would have known a few months ago that the Switch was going to release this past March ..................

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Otterbee

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@inkman66: As I commented in a previous posting, the NES Classic was a "hedge" against the potential flop of the Switch. Nintendo was reeling from the Wii U's massive failure. They really had no idea how the Switch was going to be received ultimately by consumers. Hence, the NES Classic. It wasn't a very well thought out product...it was a massive money-maker for them. If they were really serious about the NES Classic, they would have designed it with longevity in mind; i.e. wireless connectivity and the potential of a storefront to allow expansion of the library. But, it was clearly a "minimalist" effort...and one that paid off quite well. Unfortunately, the success of the Switch caused them manufacturing "challenges" - they didn't have the capacity to accommodate the demand of each.

Now they see how a fool and their money are soon parted, and they're going to do the same with the SNES Classic. As soon as they see the demand for the Switch fall off a cliff around the holidays, then they'll be sure and re-introduce the NES Classic along with the SNES Classic to compensate.

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catsimboy

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Edited By catsimboy

@otterbee: That's assuming people would be willing to buy any of the Virtual Console games that the NES Classic has at their overpriced eShop prices. Most people getting a NES Classic are buying it for the nostalgia and maybe one or two games. I highly doubt anyone is going to shell out $150 for all the NES classic games because they couldn't get an actual NES Classic.

As for the 3DS/2DS, people have limited money and time, that's what they are competing for against the Switch. They're not friggin' horses racing side-by-side, they're products! It doesn't matter if the 3DS game library is different from the Switch. You can get a 2DS XL with a bunch of games for the price of one Switch that doesn't even come with a game. And the Switch doesn't have enough games yet to justify it for people who aren't massive Zelda or Mario Kart fans.

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Otterbee

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@catsimboy: You're right...are people really willing to spend $150 for the same games via Switch's eShop? That's certainly the real question. But, Nintendo isn't so stupid as to offer them a cheaper $60 option! So, eliminate that alternative, and for the few people that are willing to shell out $5 per title, they'll get them to buy it.

My point regarding 3DS, wasn't to dispute/challenge the continued existence of the product. It was to point out that it's able to exist with the Switch in the Virtual Console space with respect to these "nostalgic games". eShop is the eShop...if someone wants to play Excitebike (for example) could buy it for either console; it costs them the same for the software title on both platforms (most likely).

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wolfpup7

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This is nuts. They filled basically none of the demand.

People like me who were set to buy it minute 1 still don't have one, so they haven't filled 99.99% of demand yet, and they quit?

And who cares about a SNES classic? They won't make enough to fill 99.99% of demand for that either, so who cares? They never actually made a NES classic from the perspective of most of us.

I can't even get to the point where I'm disappointed that they didn't make it run real NES games.

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LTJohnnyRico

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@wolfpup7: I got 2 initially but sold one of them as it was ordered in error ! Mad a bit of a profit too which was nice - fun ittle system but its a novelty item really.

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Guy_Brohski

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@wolfpup7: I have 5 of them. I'll sell you one for $275.

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kingck123

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@Guy_Brohski:
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hotwog21

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is this the part where we rush out and buy as many consoles as we can?

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bombstalf

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Edited By bombstalf

@hotwog21: Wrong this is the part where we tell Nintendo to f' off!

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hotwog21

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@bombstalf: for that to happen we would of had to not bought any nes mini's and no switches....but instead people are losing their minds for them......looks like nintendo is laughing pretty hard at us :) and you can call all these people "your fellow gamers" how good does our community feel now?

:)

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Cbordi

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that is impressive... bring on the SNES :D

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wolfpup7

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@Cbordi: Why? 99.99% of people who wanted a NES classic couldn't buy one, so who cares if they make a SNES classic? We won't be able to buy that either.

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grimakis

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@wolfpup7: Seems wrong.

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Otterbee

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@wolfpup7: Can you provide any reasonable evidence that 99.99% of people who wanted one couldn't buy one? I think you're being quite melodramatic with that figure. It just makes you come off like a whiny little b**ch, honestly.

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wolfpup7

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@otterbee: People who tried to buy one literally within the first minute still can't buy one.

99.99% is almost certainly an underexageration.

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wolfpup7

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@otterbee:

Ah, random insults. You've no explanation for why they sold out in literally less than a minute and are still unable to provide ones for people who were ready to buy BEFORE it went on sale.

But of course your random attempts at insult are GREAT in place of an argument.

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Clefdefa

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@Cbordi: Annnnnnnnnndd

Its gone

(South Park Reference)

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bombstalf

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Edited By bombstalf

@Cbordi: yeah bring it on so you cannot buy one!

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deactivated-5b2c8e0382c99

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While Nintendo probably should have said it was limited right from the get go, the other problem is people who buy multiples of things like this for the purpose of reselling them at massively inflated prices. If you do this, you're a piece of shit. That is not my opinion. That is a fact. The best thing to do would be to make these people sit on their extra stock and take a loss by not buying from them, but someone will always pay.

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bombstalf

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@frosty988: I agree they are POS! Especially when these products are for kids to being with. Either tell the kids no, the $300 they are going for is too much or pay the scalper the inflated amount! and nintentdo are pos for not making enough, and ebay are pos for allowing scalpers to do this! its all BS!

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lostn

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They should have just said up front it was going to be a limited edition thing.

They're worth hundreds each now on ebay. Hundreds that Nintendo could be making themselves if they just 'changed their mind' and started selling them again, for $400 each. Why let scalpers take all that money when it's there for the taking?

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PrpleTrtleBuBum

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@lostn: They could also make money by reproducing SNES cartridges, GC discs etc. All of which have a scalpers market. Doesn't mean it's smart in the long run.

Besides scalper mentality is that "I don't really need to sell this so I can ask $800 and one day someone will probably pay". Real companies can't afford that, plus the whining would be insane "It used to cost 50 now it costs 200 wtf go die nintendo"

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deactivated-5d4c0b80dcd76

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That comment about not having enough resources eludes that Nintendo was selling the Classic at only slightly above their costs, without leaving much profit margin. They could have sold it for $99 and it still would have been a fast seller.

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bombstalf

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@mbrogz3000: those idiots could have easily. instead the scalpers are pocketing the money. no one should pay the scalpers price and let them sit on it.

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wolfpup7

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@bombstalf: Yeah, I will not pay a scalper, ever.

Nintendo blew it big time. No units for 99.99% of us who wanted one.

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MentalRevolt

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Nintendo has got to have the absolute worst business model of any business on Earth.

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darksouls

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Edited By darksouls

@mentalrevolt: I 100% agree with you. They are the worst of the worst.

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mariokart64fan

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Edited By mariokart64fan

@mentalrevolt: yet They been here for over 100 year's. Nice trying though.

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MentalRevolt

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@mariokart64fan: just because they've been around that long doesn't mean their business model stays the same. Nice try though.

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wolfpup7

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@mariokart64fan: Nintendo blew this horribly. 99.99% of people who wanted to buy one couldn't, and so...they stop making them. Yeah, that's a BRILLIANT business strategy.

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darksouls

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@wolfpup7: Exactly

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bombstalf

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@mariokart64fan: losing money is a good business model? shut up!

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Zorched

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Edited By Zorched

@mariokart64fan: Yes, well, maybe they'll have to go back to their deep roots and resume making playing cards then, because frankly I'm done buying their electronics stuff. Fed up with the half-arsed attempts at doing things lately and their inability to have a grasp on their demographics and thus production. Did they bother to tell us it was a limited edition? Not that I recall... Coming back later and saying, "we only meant it to be a Xmas thing." in the face of huge demand is total business stupidity. It ticks off your customers and alienates them all on the hope that you can create hype via scarcity. And now they're doing it again with the Switch. Ugh.

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wolfpup7

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@Zorched: Even aside from the "now it's limited!" thing, they didn't make 1% of the demand.

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parabol69

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@mariokart64fan: Years. No apostrophe needed.

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darksouls

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@timmyp1982: Lol

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