The Super NES Classic Edition would like your money and F5 keys, please


After months of rumors, the Super NES Classic Edition is a reality, here to take all your money and bruise your fingers smashing the F5 key to get one.

If you’ve a penchant for gaming nostalgia, you might fondly remember last year’s Christmas gift of choice: the NES Classic Edition. You know, that thing literally everyone wanted and no one could find? That’s because Nintendo, out of the goodness of their hearts, made the darn things so rare that by December they had only sold around 200,000 of them…which was about how many they had, and still more than the number of Wii U units they sold over the holiday. So, here comes the SNES Classic Edition on Sept. 29, a system with even more nostalgia attached. How do we all think this will go?

Nintendo seems to be implying “better, but not great” with its boring corporate PR statement:

"We aren’t providing specific numbers, but we will produce significantly more units of Super NES Classic Edition than we did of NES Classic Edition.Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition is currently planned to ship from Sept. 29 until the end of calendar year 2017. At this time, we have nothing to announce regarding any possible shipments beyond this year.Our long-term efforts are focused on delivering great games for the Nintendo Switch system and continuing to build momentum for that platform, as well as serving the more than 63 million owners of Nintendo 3DS family systems. We are offering Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition in special recognition of the fans who show tremendous interest our classic content. [sic]"

Okay, okay, I get it. You’re focused on the Nintendo Switch. We all saw that at E3 2017 and loved you for it. But if you’re going to do this, Nintendo, you’ve got to do it right!

The trouble with low stock isn’t purely that there aren’t enough consoles to go around. Rather, it’s the issue of scalping. Scalping is a fine and hearty tradition for Nintendo products, with everything from new consoles to amiibo getting caught up in it. Two years ago, when amiibo first became popular, scalpers would buy them up quickly and sell them for hundreds on Amazon or eBay — a laughable exploit now that the figurines are mostly plentiful.

The NES Classic was a prominent victim of this. With the console just randomly going live for pre-order whenever it wanted, scalpers were in perfect position to grab as many as possible while the rest of us were at work or school, then resell them for exorbitant prices elsewhere. And unlike amiibo, this problem didn’t go away with higher stocks. At the end of last year, Nintendo discontinued the NES Classic Edition, leaving those of us without…well, permanently so.

“Significantly more” on the SNES Classic Edition isn’t a comforting statement, though I’m not sure what corporate PR nonsense would have been. Nintendo isn’t going to be able to magically reassure us that it will have enough of these things to go around, especially since the SNES Classic Edition is arguably even more desirable than the NES Classic. Just look at the games lineup:

  • Contra III: The Alien Wars
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • EarthBound
  • Final Fantasy III
  • F-ZERO
  • Kirby Super Star
  • Kirby’s Dream Course
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Mega Man X
  • Secret of Mana
  • Star Fox
  • Star Fox 2
  • Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
  • Super Castlevania IV
  • Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts
  • Super Mario Kart
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
  • Super Mario World
  • Super Metroid
  • Super Punch-Out!! 
  • Yoshi’s Island

I was going to sit here dumbfounded and list the most popular ones with my mouth hanging open, but I can’t, because it’s literally all of them. Even Star Fox II, a game that hasn’t been released ever, has me drooling basically for that very reason. The only obvious and painful omission is Chrono Trigger, especially since Final Fantasy III (aka, VI) made the list, but given that Nintendo already dropped that on the DS several years back, I guess I can handle it.

So despite the fact that the list is shorter than that of the NES Classic Edition (21 compared to 30 games) and the price is higher ($80, yowch), the games are all arguably more desirable, and many are difficult to find. Earthbound especially tends to reach prices of near $200 depending on where you try to find it, and many of these titles don’t have Virtual Console counterparts…heck, if you only have a Nintendo Switch, none of them do.

Don’t pretend you don’t want one of these. You do. We all do. Even with Virtual Console or other methods of accessing older games like this, there’s something about our generation being able to either revisit these titles ourselves or share them with our children in a similar style to how we loved them once that just gets us. So here’s my recommendation: Amazon has the page up, even though the system can’t be pre-ordered yet. Just sign yourself up for email alerts, and the second you get that email, drop everything and run to dump $80 on a pile of nostalgia. You will need to run very fast, because the listing will likely not last that long.

Next: Culturess’ Ranking of The Legend of Zelda Games

Alternatively, you can glue yourself to your screen for the next few months and keep pressing F5 until orders are available. Either way, these are basically the only approaches that will net you an Super NES Classic Edition if past Nintendo history is to be believed.