Among the many classic blunders in this world, the most famous of which is ‘never get involved in a land war in Asia’ and only slightly less well-known ‘Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line’, is the killing off one of your most popular products at the height of its life. Sadly, it seems that Nintendo has fallen victim to the latter blunder (of course Nintendo being a Japanese company may have been involved at one time or another in the first one). In a statement sent to IGN, Nintendo of America has ended production of the NES Classic Edition and after April you will never see them on shelves again, that is if you ever saw them there to begin with. (UPDATE: Japan’s version of the NES Classic Edition, a mini Famicom with a slightly different lineup of games, has ended production as well.)
The NES Classic Edition is the hit holiday product from Nintendo that bundled 30 classic NES games into a cute console with the old NES look. It even came with controllers that resembled the original NES controllers. People loved this thing so much that any units that stores got were quickly snatched up and immediately listed to ebay at double to triple markup. Few people who actually wanted one to play the darn thing got one. In a statement made in January of this year, Nintendo announced that they had sold a cool 1.5million NES Classics. That means that somewhere in the ballpark of 250k people have one to actually play right now, while 1.25million units are sitting languishing on ebay and Craigslist postings.
But what really gets my goat with this latest news is Nintendo’s completely tone deaf reasons for dropping the system.