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Game over: Nintendo discontinues the NES Classic Mini

Farewell, little NES Classic Mini, gone long before your time. Perhaps you were too good for this world, after all.

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Nintendo discontinues NES Classic Edition

Farewell, little NES Classic Mini, gone long before your time. Perhaps you were too good for this world, after all.

There are hot takes flying in from all directions about Nintendo discontinuing the NES Classic Mini.

“What is Nintendo thinking discontinuing the beloved NES Classic?” “Discontinuing the NES Classic is a classic Nintendo mistake.” “Why would Nintendo get rid of the NES Classic?” “The (bad) reason Nintendo might be cancelling the NES Classic.”

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(That’s just a snippet of the headlines that are coming up at the top of a Google News search. Try it yourself; there’ll probably be a hundred more hot takes to replace them by the time I’ve finished writing this.)

It’s wall-to-wall pseudo analysis, wherever you look, suggesting everything from Nintendo being terrible at business, to Nintendo having no idea what they’re doing, to Nintendo actively trying to upset their fans for some reason. In spite of what you might be reading, nobody outside of the inner circle of Nintendo really knows the answer. And while it’s sometimes fun to read speculation, try not to get all bent out of shape about it.

Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System

We’re just going to stick to the facts, so here’s what we do know:

  • The NES Classic Mini is a diddy, plastic replicant of the original NES console. It’s freaking adorable.
  • It features thirty classic games (with no downloading or swapping of games available) and a wired controller with a comically, authentically short cable.
  • There have been supply issues with the NES Classic Mini since it was released in November 2016.
  • Dan reviewed it, when he was lucky enough to snag one from Amazon, and he loved it.
  • Several new batches have come into retailers in the intervening period, and have immediately flown off the shelves.
  • As supply issues continue, Nintendo have confirmed the NES Classic Mini will cease production almost immediately, with final shipments going to retailers throughout the remainder of this month.
  • Resale prices on Amazon and Ebay have already gotten a bit silly. Be smart out there, folks.

Nintendo released the following statement, to IGN, about the cessation of production for the US market:

“Throughout April, NOA territories will receive the last shipments of Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition systems for this year. 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.”

And in Japan – where the retro, all-in-one console is known as Famicom Classic Mini – it has also been discontinued, but the official word from Nintendo (from their website, via Polygon) has been slightly less terminal-sounding:

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“This product has ended production for now. When production is being resumed, we will tell you on our website.”

But we don’t know if that’s ever going to happen, in truth, or if it does happen, whether it will be exclusive to the Japanese market.

And that’s it, guys. That’s literally all we – and indeed, anybody – knows, until an insider at Nintendo tells the world otherwise.

Disclaimer: Also keep an eye out for the phrase, “We reached out to Nintendo for comment, but are yet to receive a response.” A lack of PR response isn’t unusual in this business – particularly from Nintendo – so watch out for this phrase being effectively weaponised on the end of some of those hot takes.

We haven’t reached out to Nintendo for comment, by the way, because they’re not going to give one.

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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.

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