Apr 14, 2017 02:00 AM EDT
Nintendo discontinues the popular NES Classic Edition console. The retro gaming device introduced in November which reprised older games like "Super Mario Bros." and "The Legend of Zelda."
Nintendo said this on Thursday that the NES Classic Edition "wasn't intended to be an ongoing, long-term product" despite being a hit with consumers, as per the IGN. A Nintendo representative provided the following quote to IGN:
"Throughout April, NOA territories will receive the last shipments of Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition systems for this year. We encourage anyone interested in obtaining this system to check with retail outlets regarding availability. We understand that it has been difficult for many consumers to find a system, and for that we apologize. We have paid close attention to consumer feedback, and we greatly appreciate the incredible level of consumer interest and support for this product."
According to the publication, the company has no plans to produce more NES Classic Edition for North America. This announcement also includes the discontinuation of the NES Classic Controller. As for third party accessories, Nintendo has mentioned that the decision whether or not to continue production of accessories will be up to each individual manufacturer.
According to Fortune, Nintendo's decision to stop producing the NES Classic Edition is a puzzling decision, considering that it's been an unexpected hit for the company. Demand for the NES Classic Edition was so huge that a number of retailers like Walmart had trouble keeping enough in stock despite competition from the more expensive console with more advanced technology like Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro and Microsoft's Xbox One.
NES Classic Edition discontinuation could be easily profitable for a long time going forward. There is also speculation which says that the Nintendo could follow the NES Classic Edition with a SNES Classic Edition, and optimistically, it would have learned something about the pent-up demand for these products in the meantime, as noted by Forbes.
It's also possible that Nintendo stopped producing the NES Classic Edition because it doesn't the want the console to cannibalize sales from the company's higher-priced and more cutting-edge Nintendo Switch, which was released in March. Nintendo is hopeful that the Switch becomes a blockbuster hit, considering the company's previous console, the Wii U, was a failure.
According to Polygon, the NES Classic Edition was preloaded with 30 games, and they weren't all Nintendo first-party launch. So it's possible, however unlikely, that one of the publishers that own the rights to one of the games got pissy about the success of the NES Classic Edition and wriggled out of its licensing agreement before telling Nintendo the game couldn't be sold with the hardware anymore.
According to Nintendo of America would not confirm whether this announcement meant the discontinuation of the NES Classic Edition worldwide. Nintendo has mentioned it had nothing to announce at this time regarding the future of the Nintendo Classics brand or the lifetime sales of the short-lived plug and play system. The NES Classic Edition's last shipments will go out to retailers throughout this month.
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