Nintendo discontinuing NES Classic globally

[UPDATE] Nintendo Europe and Japan confirm retro console is also being phased out in their markets despite pledge to boost production

[UPDATE]: While North America was the first market to see the NES Classic discontinued, it wasn't the only one. Eurogamer today received confirmation from Nintendo of Europe that the system is no longer in production for the European market. Additionally, Siliconera reported that Nintendo of Japan has at least temporarily halted production of its equivalent retro console, the Famicom Mini.

The original story follows below:

This month will see the last batch of NES Classic systems hit North American shelves, at least for the foreseeable future. Nintendo confirmed to IGN today that it is effectively discontinuing the product, as well as the compatible NES Classic Controller accessory.

"Throughout April, NOA territories will receive the last shipments of Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition systems for this year," a representative told the site. "We encourage anyone interested in obtaining this system to check with retail outlets regarding availability. We understand that it has been difficult for many consumers to find a system, and for that we apologize. We have paid close attention to consumer feedback, and we greatly appreciate the incredible level of consumer interest and support for this product."

While the phrasing leaves open the possibility of reissues in the future, the representative told IGN the NES Classic was never intended to be a long-term product, and the company doesn't plan on producing more for the US.

The NES Classic launched last November around the world, and proved a stopgap for Nintendo in a transitional holiday season with the Switch not yet launched and the Wii U nearing the end of its lifespan. The company underestimated demand for the NES Classic to the point that Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima apologized for shortages in February, adding the company would ramp up production. By that point, Nintendo had sold more than 1.5 million units of the NES Classic (and comparable systems like the Famicom Mini) worldwide.

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Latest comments (9)

Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 5 years ago
Nintendo would be really smart to simply copy what the pirates have been doing for years.

A console that plays Nes/SNES/N64, has cartridge slots for all 3 and 32gb of flash for an online store. Set up an online all you can eat subscription service to go along with it, and watch the money come in, especially if it's $100 and comes with 30-50 games.

No, they'll never do it without a gigantic change in how they do business, but it doesn't mean they shouldn't.
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James Prendergast Process Specialist 5 years ago
They could even make a console that looks the same as the NES/SNES and use SD cards (or equivalent) sold at retail for people to put into the cartridge slots for game bundles. I'd take that over an online store...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Prendergast on 14th April 2017 8:30am

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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 5 years ago
@James Prendergast: the slots are for the collectors. The online store for the masses
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Show all comments (9)
James Prendergast Process Specialist 5 years ago
But like you said, Jeff: Those are already catered for by a burgeoning 3rd party market. (They're not cheap either! 200 for a multi console support that also allows you to rip the ROM from the cart).

At the end of the day, one of the great things about the NES classic (and I have one) is that is correctly upscales the visuals to a modern TV. If I could buy more games (not from an online store since Nintendo don't have a great history with supporting their online ecosystems) on an SD card that would be better, IMO. It would also fit in with Nintendo's current and historical mindset.

I don't have a huge amount of MegaDrive or SNES games to rip to an SD card for convenience - but we have that option already. The idea of a revamped NES classic would not be for collectors, much like the original wasn't either. It was clearly a play on people's nostalgia and the fact that they are ending production of the current unit could signal two things:

1) It was just chucked out there to test the waters and make some money.
2)They have heard the criticisms and are working on making a better version.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 5 years ago
That isn't a third party. None of them are licensed, and with rare exception are bootleg consoles.

I agree with your assessment, but given their piracy issues I feel confident that there is no disc system kiosks in the future. It's online or nothing.

And yes I agree people have trust issues, but allegedly their new system ties games to accounts. Progress, only a decade late
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Daniel Trezub QA Analyst, Ludia5 years ago
@James Prendergast: or 3) Nintendo learned how to play the "scarcity" card.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 5 years ago
What a muck-up. Why they didn't just put all the games on the mini on the eShop as a $30 download for Switch and 3DS owners (yeah, Wii U owners would get screwed over (because Nintendo has to make the millions who still haven't upgraded feel like they're missing out) is beyond me. That and hell, they have to push that paid online mandate somehow, so why not give an incentive to folks still questioning the service by making those classic games part of the subscription for early buy-ins?
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James Prendergast Process Specialist 5 years ago
@Daniel Trezub: They've been playing that card for a long time (even if unintentionally). Only the scalpers really profit from it, Nintendo leave money on the table every single time!
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 5 years ago
@Greg They did. But the classic games, unlike Microsoft and Sony turn into a pumpkin and are replaced every 30 days. A true Lucy and the football.

Oh and they barely got the system base functions working for launch. They don't have any emulators ready yet. I'm sure that will be some of the many things they'll talk about at E3.

@Daniel. It's been their MO for thirty years, all the way back to the fake chip shortages for cartridges in the 80s. The only things that's ever shocking is that people keep falling for it.
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