In an interview with TIME, Reggie Fils-Aimé revealed that the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System (known in North America as the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic, and in Japan as Nintendo Classic Mini: Family Computer) ended up selling over 2.3 million units worldwide.
And it would definitely have sold well over 3 million units if Nintendo had not already stopped producing the console, or simply had made enough of them to meet demand during the holiday period last year. But not only was Nintendo caught unprepared by the console’s popularity, they had also never planned to keep selling it in 2017:
We had originally planned for this to be a product for last holiday. We just didn’t anticipate how incredible the response would be. Once we saw that response, we added shipments and extended the product for as long as we could to meet more of that consumer demand.
And do not expect any further shipments for North America: Reggie confirmed that the company had “no plans to produce more NES Classic Edition systems for NOA regions”.
Finally, if you’re wondering why Nintendo decided to stop producing something that was selling so well as the NES Mini, Reggie Fils-Aimé had a pretty interesting answer:
Even with that extraordinary level of performance, we understand that people are frustrated about not being able to find the system, and for that we really do apologize. But from our perspective, it’s important to recognize where our future is and the key areas that we need to drive. We’ve got a lot going on right now and we don’t have unlimited resources.
Now, we don’t know if he’s referring to the Nintendo Switch (facing shortages worldwide) or the rumoured SNES Mini… or both. We will most likely find out in a couple of weeks/months!