Nintendo NES Classic Edition Shortage Draws Apology, Explanation From Nintendo

Nintendo's NES Classic Edition shortage has been regrettable, and President Tatsumi Kimishima has come forward to explain and apologize for what happened. It has also been revealed that despite so few actual gamers having a chance to buy one, the miniature console has sold over 1.5 million units.

That isn't so impressive if you think about the fact that probably 1.4 million of said units were likely purchased by scalper bots. Scalpers apparently knew how popular the console would be better than Nintendo did, and decided to get rich off of gamers willing to pay upwards of thousands of dollars on eBay for the console. Those on a budget had to either be lucky enough to get into physical retailers early, or they are still waiting.

Two months later, Amazon is still listing them for at least double retail price (used), and it could be months before Nintendo catches up with the demand. In the meantime, Nintendo may be working on a way to fix an exploit some lucky enough to get one by now have discovered. It's possible to hack the software and put more than 80 games on the console, though you will take the risk of "bricking" it in so doing.

When Nintendo's NES Classic Edition shortage ends, they could have easily added a "lock-out" preventing software from adding to the initial list of 30 titles. This technology could already be present in their upcoming Switch console, as it uses a standard Micro USB port to charge. Many smartphones have available software from enterprising hackers who have figured out how to manage files using the same port on a PC or laptop. It probably isn't legal, though, since it also enables tethering.

The smartphone charging port can be used for illegal hacking.
The smartphone charging port can be used for illegal purposes, due to enabling hackers. [Image by Kalabi Yau/Shutterstock]

The Switch may also gain Virtual Console access so you can buy the games which come standard on the mini-console. It's unknown yet, but after the paid online subscription kicks off this Fall, it might happen. Kimishima is hoping that the nostalgic interest in their NES Classic Edition helps spur sales for the Switch as well.

"We also see the nostalgic interest in these products as an opportunity to draw consumers' attention to our latest game system, Nintendo Switch."

According to GameSpot, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima explained why there is still a shortage, claiming that the console uses parts which "require time to procure." They hadn't anticipated such a high demand and were originally marketing the console toward gamers who had grown up playing the games which come with it. The intended target audience would currently be in their late 30s and older, but apparently younger gamers want it as well.

Nintendo is working on ways to increase production of the console, possibly even producing those parts themselves. Proprietary rights could hold them back, though, and the purchase of those rights could easily be passed on to the consumer.

Hackers have used Raspberry Pi to build their own NES Classic Edition.
Hackers have used Raspberry Pi to build their own NES Classic Edition. [Image by goodcat/Shutterstock]

For now, you will still need to use your Wii U or 3DS and their Virtual Console to play all of your older favorites, unless you want to hand a more console-like stack of money to a scalper. It's possible that we'll be getting a new and more numerous batch of the miniature console by 2018 and you'll finally be able to purchase one for $60 at your local retailer.


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[Featured Image by Ron Tiew Photography/Shutterstock]