If only Nintendo had opened up pre-orders to gauge demand beforehand…
The NES Classic Mini should have been a slam dunk product – and maybe it was – but for most people, it became an exercise in frustration, due to being extremely supply constrained, causing all stock for it to sell out almost immediately, and some scalpers flipping their units online at four to six times the unit’s extremely low $60 retail price.
A lot of this was because Nintendo simply didn’t ship out enough units- something that happened because demand for the system was greater than Nintendo had anticipated, Nintendo of America’s Reggie Fils-Aime admitted in a recent interview with CNET.
“Every day there’s more going into the retail channel,” Fils-Aime said. “The overall level of demand is certainly greater than we anticipated, that’s why we’re suffering through the shortages out there in the marketplace.”
Fils-Aime also said that the NES Classic Mini would continue to be a major part of Nintendos strategy going forward, in spirit if not specifically, because of the halo effect it creates around the Nintendo brand thanks to rekindling nostalgia.
“We saw the NES Classic as an opportunity to engage with millennials, gen-Xers, boomers, people who had played those games back in the day, but life had gone by, and they had somewhat walked away from gaming,” he said. “It was a great way to re-engage them, and our belief is that by re-engaging them, it creates an opportunity for Super Mario Run, it creates an opportunity for our 3DS business, it creates an opportunity for Nintendo Switch, because all of a sudden they’re recognizing what they knew 20 or 25 years ago: they love Mario. They love Zelda. They love all of our classic IP, and they’re re-engaging with it right now.”
It certainly has created a lot of positive momentum for Nintendo- as a matter of fact, between the NES Classic Mini, Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Pokemon GO, Pokemon Sun/Moon, the resurgent Nintendo 3DS, and the general hype around the Switch, Nintendo have somehow managed to put themselves in a good position for the Switch launch early next year. Will it turn out well for them? Now that is something that remains to be seen.