November saw the release of a nostalgia driven NES Classic Edition, a replica of the old Nintendo entertainment system from the 1980s. As it drew closer to Christmas, sales for the console soared, with shortages reported in North America and Europe. This in addition to the success of the company’s port of Classic NES Megaman games to iOS and Android has made classic Nintendo gaming a breakout hot property.
It’s been reported that during November, the console sold 196,000 units. Whilst this may seem low at first, it’s a lot for a piece of hardware which is essentially a re-hash of something from over 20 years ago. Meanwhile, in Japan, the Nintendo Classic Famicom managed to sell 261,381 units during its first week after release.
It seems that almost globally, demand has outstripped supply. Whilst the recommended retail price is set at around $60, Walmart has been selling units for up to $222. Elsewhere, the online retailer Newegg has listed the product at $220 and Marketplace sellers on Amazon have been listing the price at a similar rate.
Being much smaller than its original counterpart, the replica console comes equipped with a HDMI cable, one NES Classic Edition controller and 30 Pre-installed games. Fans of classics such as The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. have cause for celebration, as they will come bundled with the system. The mini console just needs to be plugged into a television and players can begin gaming at their leisure.
A Senior games analyst at HIS Technology has spoken out about the popularity of the NES Classic Edition, stating that it is the consoles mix of quality games and the fact that Nintendo have put effort into making it, that have made it such a hit.
The original Nintendo Entertainment System, released in 1985 in North America and 1986 in Europe, sold a total of 61 million Units worldwide. Whilst the replica is unlikely to hit this target, it has made other console producers think about the feasibility of such projects.
Sega, for instance, have also released a replica of one of their old consoles, in the form of the Megadrive Classic. However, it’s largely believed that Nintendo will likely perform better in markets than its competition. With Nintendo having a largely nostalgic feeling for many older gamers, it’s thought that it may be unlikely that other manufacturers are able to capture the same level of interest.