NES Classic Edition, with 30 games built-in, in short supply
NES Classic Edition. (Website screenshot)
Never mind catching that elusive Mewtwo in Pokemon -- Nintendo's hardest-to-find rare beast might be a tiny new version of a beloved old games machine.
The NES Classic Edition, a shrunk-down and perfectly adorable recreation of the 1985 Nintendo Entertainment System, went on sale Friday at retailers across North America, with many seeing early line-ups and quick sellouts.
"We had lots of interest around the launch," said Best Buy spokesman Christine Tam, adding that the store chain expects the NES Classic Edition to be a hot item through the holiday season.
Selling for $79.99, the NES Classic Edition comes with 30 old-school Nintendo video games built in, including classics, such as Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda and Donkey Kong. It hooks up directly to a television via a modern HDMI connection, and includes an updated replica of the classic two-button NES controller.
It's not the first time a company has released a new version of a retro console with built-in games, but it's the first time Nintendo has tried their hand at it, which appears to have made all the difference. Online interest in the NES Classic Edition has been running high since it was announced in July, at times eclipsing coverage of the then-hot Pokemon Go.
Some fans who weren't able to get their hands on the NES Classic Edition on Friday due to low stock at stores vented their anger online, saying Nintendo should have done more to prepare for the demand for the wee machine.
"Nintendo has to stop screwing over its fans," fumed Reddit user Enexprime. "There is no reason why they couldn't have had more available."
Others were simply disappointed. Toronto marketing professional and avid gamer Tracy Tendean said the lineup outside a downtown Toronto Best Buy store stood at about 30 people an hour and a half before the store was open, and that stock of the system sold out in seven minutes. She came away empty-handed.
"I want one for nostalgic reasons," said Tendean, 31. "I think most adults wanting to buy the system share that same sentiment."
As for not being able to snag one of the red-hot systems, "I'm pretty bummed, not gonna lie," Tendean said. "But it's not meant to be just yet."
In a statement, Nintendo said the NES Classic Edition system is "a hot item, and we are working hard to keep up with consumer demand. There will be a steady flow of additional systems through the holiday shopping season and into the new year."
The Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition system is a hot item, and we are working hard to keep up with consumer demand. 1/3— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) November 11, 2016
There will be a steady flow of additional systems through the holiday shopping season and into the new year. 2/3— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) November 11, 2016
Please contact your local retailers to check availability. A selection of participating retailers can be found @ https://t.co/rMbd6Wacpi 3/3— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) November 11, 2016