SNES_Classic_box

After plenty of rumours, yesterday Nintendo unveiled the Super NES Classic Edition alongside the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System (PAL / Europe / Australia / New Zealand). Needless to say, fans across the globe are pretty excited and it’s easy to see why. The original Super Nintendo was blessed with groundbreaking releases from the moment it first hit store shelves to its last days. It was a period of time in which Nintendo honed its craft, releasing smart, imaginative, inventive and riveting games that sometimes offered true emotional depth, creative storytelling, incredible endings, well-rounded characters and orchestral scores that put modern soundtracks to shame. The SNES proved that home consoles could be more than home arcades – they could be an artistic and expressive medium for storytelling and helped turn the home console market into something more respectful and more profitable.

There’s been plenty of discussion over the past 24 hours about the Super NES Classic Edition, some of it met with excitement and optimism and some of it met with frustration. There is a lot to love about the adorable pint-sized machine, but there are also a lot of ways in which Nintendo can improve their business model when re-selling old games and new hardware. Let’s break down everything good, bad and downright frustrating with the announcement.

The Good

There’s a lot to appreciate here. For starters, while the NES Classic Edition gave you only one controller with a three-foot cable, the SNES version comes with two wired controllers with a five-foot cable, allowing you to play with a friend or family member without having to sit too close to your television set. Of course, as expected the $79.99 (USD) price tag is a bit higher than the NES Classic, but it’s at least justified knowing you get more bang for your buck. The system also comes pre-loaded with 21 games, a HDMI cable, a USB cable for connecting to the AC adapter and the AC adapter as well (North America only). While it doesn’t have as many games as the NES Classic Edition, the inclusion of the never before released Star Fox 2 makes it all worth the purchase (although you will have to beat the first level of the original Star Fox to unlock the game). But even without Star Fox 2, the lineup of games includes some of the greatest games ever made and a few underrated and rare gems that are selling for a lot of money on the secondary market. Here’s the full North American / European list of 21 games:

Contra III: The Alien Wars
Donkey Kong Country
EarthBound
Final Fantasy III
F-ZERO
Kirby Super Star
Kirby’s Dream Course
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Mega Man X
Secret of Mana
Star Fox
Star Fox 2
Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
Super Castlevania IV
Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts
Super Mario Kart
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Super Mario World
Super Metroid
Super Punch-Out!!
Yoshi’s Island

EuropeSNESMini
PAL version

The other good news is that the Super Nintendo Classic Edition will release in three versions. Americans will be getting the one shown at the start of this article, while those in Japan, Europe, and Australia will be getting prettier versions based on the Super Famicon (seen below). And for anyone lucky enough to buy the Japanese version, it includes a number of games that we won’t be getting in Western versions of the hardware, such as Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem and Konami’s The Legend of the Mystical Ninja. Now that might seem like a bad news for those of you living in North America but any Americans wanting to get hold of this version of the console can still try and order it from retailers like Amazon UK since the usual hardware import problems like power adapters don’t really apply when the system runs on USB.

JAPANSNESMINI
Japan gets the prettiest system. I’d buy this box!

 

The Nintendo Classic Mini Super Famicom will ship with the following 21 games built in:

Contra 3: The Alien Wars
Donkey Kong Country
F-Zero
Final Fantasy 6
Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem
Legend of the Mystical Ninja
Kirby Super Star
Mega Man X
Panel de Pon
Secret of Mana
Star Fox
Star Fox 2
Super Soccer
Super Ghouls n Ghosts
Super Mario Kart
Super Mario RPG
Super Mario World
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
Super Metroid
Super Street Fighter 2: The New Challengers
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

The mini Super Famicom will cost 7,980 yen (about $71) and will be released in Japan on Oct. 5.

The Bad

The only real complaint I have about the actual system itself is that Nintendo insists on giving us the Classic Controller port instead of using the original Super Nintendo ports or, adding some sort of USB connection. Personally, I’d love to be able to use my original Super Nintendo controllers, but I’m guessing this isn’t an issue for most people since they don’t own the original console. Apart from that, I’m pretty sure every Nintendo fan can come up with a list of games they wish were included in the bundle but I must say, the absence of Chrono Trigger, Actraiser, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest, Final Fantasy II, and Super Bomberman makes this seem like an incomplete package (see our list of the best SNES games). All and all though, it is hard to complain given the amount of content you get for such a low price (and did I mention it looks adorable).

The Ugly

When the NES Classic Mini sold our due to shortage of stock, and Nintendo announced they were ending production, most of Nintendo’s fans and the media were mystified by their decision. According to Polygon, Nintendo sold about 196,000 units of the NES Classic in the U.S. during the month of November alone and somewhere north of 2.3 million units worldwide. Obviously, they could have sold ten times that number if they systems had been available to buy. This led to many angry emails, tweets, posts and downright frustration by anyone who wasn’t lucky enough to get their hands on the NES Classic. Some posted conspiracy theories and only a few defended Nintendo’s decision calling it “a savvy move”.

Immediately after the announcement of the Super NES Mini, the first thought on everyone’s mind was how long until it is completely sold out? Nintendo did say they are aiming to meet the already intense demand for the SNES Classic Edition by manufacturing “significantly more units” than it produced of the NES Classic, but already, the pre-orders in the UK were sold out within minutes. Less than 24 hours after its official announcement, the Nintendo Classic Mini is being resold at a huge markup on eBay. Will Nintendo stay true to their word and increase the amount of units they ship or will the SNES Classic be just as impossible to find as the 8-bit predecessor?

And here’s where it gets ugly, at least from my point of view, which is also the point of view of a longtime fan of the Big N. I recently wrote about why Nintendo collectibles sell so well. It’s a combination of nostalgia, shortage of stock, the quality of their products and an overall love for the company. And all of that factors into the frustration when pre-ordering a Nintendo product (if pre-orders are even available). This isn’t the first time Nintendo has had difficulty fulfilling the demand for a product and it won’t be the last. In fact, it’s something of a reoccurring problem for the company, and in the case of the NES and Super NES Classic Editions, Nintendo made it clear that these products would be limited. In other words, this isn’t the same as when you had trouble buying a Wii ten years ago, or a Switch a few months ago. At least with those consoles, fans knew Nintendo would eventually meet the demand. It was just a matter of waiting around impatiently. This, however, is something entirely different.

what-we-have-here-is-a-failure-to-communicate-quote-2

What I don’t understand (and I’m sure many people will agree), is why Nintendo doesn’t offer their fanbase the option to buy these collectibles first? What is the point in having a My Nintendo account or any Nintendo rewards program if they aren’t putting fans first in line? Now they did send everyone who has an account an email, but they also didn’t offer any of those fans a way to pre-order the system in advance. What we have here is failure to communicate, and Nintendo making the lives of scalpers better and the lives of their fans a living nightmare. Now don’t’ get me wrong, I don’t need a Super NES Classic. It isn’t something I need to survive. It is something I simply want. And while I understand that you can’t always get what you want, I don’t see any reason why Nintendo can’t find better ways to sell a product that has a limited amount of stock. I don’t care if they only sell a hundred thousand units. All I ask for is a fair chance in getting a Super NES Mini over people who aren’t fans of the company and only looking to make a profit on places like eBay.

– Ricky D

 

Some people take my heart, others take my shoes, and some take me home. I write, I blog, I podcast, I edit, and I design websites. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Goomba Stomp and the NXpress Nintendo Podcast. Former Editor-In-Chief of Sound On Sight, and host of several podcasts including the Game of Thrones and Walking Dead podcasts, as well as the Sound On Sight and Sordid Cinema shows.