The Nintendo SNES Classic is shaping up to be as big of a sensation as the NES Classic, but that system's flawed rollout has fans worried its successor will be equally as hard to find. Nintendo is attempting to allay those fears, promising widespread retailer pre-sales are around the corner.
The SNES Classic is a pint sized version of the original SNES system, one of Nintendo's most beloved consoles. It comes with 21 built in games, virtually all of them classics. Much like its predecessor, the NES Classic, the mini-console promises a massive dose of nostalgic fun for a surprisingly reasonable price. However, the NES Classic was infamously underproduced, and was essentially impossible to find before Nintendo bafflingly ceased production of the most sought after item of the holiday season, leaving expensive third party sellers as the only option to reliving Super Mario Bros. in all its glory.
As fans worry that they're about to experience a repeat of the NES Classic debacle, Nintendo is making it known they're ready this time. Via their official Facebook account, Nintendo has promised that they understand the level of anticipation and that pre-orders will begin at the end of August. And while they're not offering a hard number of systems in production, they appear to be promising significantly more units than the NES Classic, and a steady stream of shipments through the end of 2017.
A significant amount of additional systems will be shipped to stores for launch day, and throughout the balance of the calendar year.
This is certainly a positive sign from Nintendo, but it's likely fans will believe it when they see it. Nintendo's recent production track record has been incredibly inconsistent. In addition to the issues with the NES Classic, Nintendo also vastly underestimated demand for its new flagship console, the Switch. Fueled by interest in the critical smash The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the Switch was impossible to find at launch, and is still elusive several months later.
It's somewhat understandable that Nintendo didn't see the hysteria around the NES Classic coming, but it's much more difficult to excuse their shortsightedness with the Switch. Drastically underproducing a hotly anticipated console at launch doesn't seem like a great longterm business strategy, no matter how good your launch game is. It's at least a step in the right direction that Nintendo has acknowledged the issue exists - whether or not they can correct the problem in time for the SNES Classic remains to be seen.
The SNES Classic will be released on September 29, 2017.