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April 2017 Retro Gaming Article

April 24, 2017 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Is Best Buy's final shipment of NES Classic Editions part of the master plan?

Best Buy's final shipment of NES Classic Editions
What is likely the last we'll see of the NES Mini kept the brand in the news as Nintendo prepared to rebound via Switch's success.
I was lucky and able to buy an NES Classic Edition for Christmas, but the majority of folks who wanted one, didn't get the chance. Nintendo said this would be a limited product, but in the same breath hinted that supply would eventually satisfy demand. Sadly, that never happened.

After many media outlets, including USA Today, said Monday would be the final opportunity to buy an NES Mini at Best Buy, I hoped it would be a larger shipment. Alas, no.

Out of sheer curiosity, I dropped by my local Best Buy around 9:30am - a ½ hour before they opened. A small group was waiting by the roll-down security gate. They had received tickets-to-purchase at 7:00am which led me to believe it was game-over for getting another NES Classic Edition. It turned out my local store only had 7 consoles. I found out about a Best Buy in Boston that only had four!

It's sad to see this item going for $200+ on eBay. The extra Nintendo-branded controller I paid $9 for at Toys R Us has gone for over $100. I'm sure prices will spike with this final shipment, although you never know when they may trickle in until all stock is depleted. Just as consumer FOMO fuels a strong desire, it also brings out the scalpers. The gap between the Wii U's cancellation and the introduction of the Switch is an anomaly that may be a clue to the real reason for the NES Classic Edition.

That cute NES Mini put distance between Wii U's failure and Nintendo's vital rebound with a radical new console design.

Look At The Wii U/Switch Gap For Answers

Many things go into bringing a product to market, even for seasoned pros the size of Nintendo. Most consoles blend from one to the other with some overlap. Most recently you may have seen the $99 Wii Mini arrived in the US (Nov. 2013), a year after the Wii U launched. Such scaled back consoles have been common as manufacturers try to squeeze maximum revenue from the previous platform prior to retirement.

With this in mind, it's odd for Nintendo to cancel a console, even though it was selling poorly (although the Wii U was a great console) and leave a gap in Nintendo's exposure on retail shelves and shopper's minds. Brands require constant exposure and it's best if it's positive.

It has been suggested the NES Classic Edition was released to keep the brand on shelves and in the media. Nintendo likely wanted to separate the poor reviews of the Wii U from the Switch's launch. What better way to shift focus from the Wii us commercial failure than a cute little mini NES with some of childhood's favorite games? The answer is: nothing!

Mostly, they needed exposure and short-shipping product (a really cool product) may have fit the bill for their needs. You can't have the world forgetting about Nintendo when they are on the comeback trail with a brand new revolutionary console release. Disguised as a hella-cool stocking stuffer, the NES Classic Edition distanced the Wii U, received high marks, and proved that an SNES Classic Edition will sell very well. See ya next Christmas!

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