Nintendo launched the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System (known as Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition in North America) and the Nintendo Classic Mini: Family Computer in November last year. For most people, buying the NES Mini itself has been a real adventure, since shortages have made it extremely hard to find in stores from the very day it launched.
Unfortunately, said shortages have persisted to this very day in many regions/countries. While Nintendo did ship quite a lot of additional units since launch, the company was never really able to fully keep up with demand. And unfortunately, finding a new NES Mini at MSRP is soon going to become simply impossible.
Indeed, we’ve now had numerous reports that the NES Mini / Famicom Mini (and the controller) was officially discontinued in North America, Japan, Europe, and even Australia. This does seems like a rather baffling decision, since demand for the console remains strong worldwide, and discontinuing it before said demand is a strange thing to do (to say the least).
Here’s the message two Nintendo representatives sent to IGN on the matter:
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.
NES Classic Edition wasn’t intended to be an ongoing, long-term product. However, due to high demand, we did add extra shipments to our original plans.
Quite interestingly, the message on the official website in Japan specifies that a message would be posted on said website when production resumes. Should we take this as a sign that Nintendo will re-release the NES Mini in the future? Or maybe Nintendo will release a redesigned model instead? If there is an announcement to be made, no doubt we will hear about it around E3 2017!