Sunday, August 19News That Matters

A year ago, the NES Classic flew off the shelves—now it's coming back

Enlarge / This is like one of those optical illusions… isn’t it?

After plans for a summer re-launch were announced last September, the NES Classic Edition will be available once again starting on June 29 in both North America and Europe, Nintendo announced via Twitter last night. While the plug-and-play hardware saw widespread shortages during a limited production run from late 2016 through early 2017, the company now says that both the NES and Super NES Classic Edition systems “are expected to be available through the end of the year.”

After the NES Classic sold over 2.3 million units in just under six months, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime admitted in an interview with Gamespot that there was a “market disconnect” between Nintendo’s expectations and the demand for the self-contained system, which contains 30 NES games for a $60 MSRP. He added to Time magazine that “We’ve got a lot going on right now and we don’t have unlimited resources.”

Since then, it seems the company may have learned how to commit sufficient resources to the popular line of nostalgic hardware. Fils-Aime promised “dramatically increased” production for the Super NES Classic back in September, and has since then sold nearly 5.3 million units in about six months, avoiding the shortages and secondhand markup that plagued the NES Classic’s initial launch.

The relaunched NES Classic will face some competition from Nintendo’s own Switch Online subscription service, which will provide access to 20 NES games (among other features) for $20 a year starting in September. Nintendo has said that it won’t be reviving the Virtual Console brand on the Switch, though, suggesting à la carte purchases of individual NES games won’t be available on the system.

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