Still feeling salty about losing your SNES mini pre-order last week? I don’t blame you, but fear not, as Nintendo may still have your back.
In a move that is sure to temper at least some of the recent resentment within the retro gaming community, the legendary video game company took to Facebook earlier today and announced that legitimate store reservations for their insanely anticipated Super Nintendo plug-and-play will open up later this month in the U.S. via “various retailers.” Nintendo also took time to reiterate that there will be plenty of systems available for customers, both on launch day and leading into the remainder of 2017. Whether they follow through on these promises remains to be seen, but at least they’re addressing what is sure to be a stock nightmare with some reassuring lip service.
Here’s the full text of the official announcement:
We appreciate the incredible anticipation that exists for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition system, and can confirm that it will be made available for pre-order by various retailers late this month.
A significant amount of additional systems will be shipped to stores for launch day, and throughout the balance of the calendar year.
To be fair, Nintendo has been singing this song since June, when it stated that it’d be producing many more SNES Classic Editions than its admittedly lacking number of NES mini units. This is all well and good, but today’s pleasant Facebook post comes just days after a rather publicized pre-order snafu at Walmart. In case you’ve been out of the loop, countless SNES enthusiasts were able to secure a confirmed Classic Edition pre-order only to have it canceled en masse barely a week later. Granted, this debacle surely had more to do with a Walmart website error than with anything Nintendo was responsible for, but the console is still two months away and a large number of consumers are already feeling burned.
Thus far, the erroneous Walmart method has been the only way to pre-order a SNES Classic Edition in the U.S., but if Nintendo’s social media post is any indication, other big retailers will have product pages open and operational during the last week of August. As it stands, Nintendo’s self-contained retro throwback is set to launch on Sept. 29 for $79.99 and will include 21 built-in games, including The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, Super Mario World, Final Fantasy III, Super Mario Kart, Contra III: The Alien Wars (my personal favorite) and the never-before-released Star Fox 2. The unit will also include two wired SNES controllers and HDMI output.
Personally, I have mixed feelings about the SNES mini. On one hand, I think it’s a pandering cash grab, a limited novelty device that isn’t exactly worth all the worry and effort. There are other means of emulation on the market that provide way more options in terms of game selection and expansion for half the price (and half the disappointment). On the other hand, an all-in-one console like this is much more convenient than your average PC emulator and offers an easy way to not only relive some of the best SNES games that were ever released, but also introduce younger gamers to a handful of classics that helped shape today’s AAA juggernauts. There’s a sentiment that I offered to my brother the other day, which was that if these tiny systems were readily available and I could just walk into a store and buy one, all without the crazy hassle and headache, I’d find much more appeal in what Nintendo’s trying to do. Hell, I’d buy one for all my friends and family. I’d fill a giant Mario-shaped pinata with SNES Classics and invite all the neighbors over for a few swings. Come on, Nintendo. Make enough so I can construct my plumber pinata.
So what are your thoughts on this announcement? Do you think Nintendo will be able to produce enough units to meet consumer demand? Are you planning on pre-ordering or braving what are sure to be long, early-morning lines on launch day? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.