The miniature replica of the 1980s NES sold well over 2 million units since release and managed to become another highlight in the company’s fiscal year earnings next to its blockbuster sellout Switch.
With its ambitions to produce a software-emulated version of the original NES for modern television sets, Nintendo’s NES Classic quickly became a hot selling console towards the end of 2016, with most retailers selling approximately 196,000 units in its first month. By the end of the year, the company reported it had sold 1.5 million microconsoles. A recent forecast from I4U predicts that the company will sell another 1 million consoles in Q1 2017 once the numbers are tallied in its next earnings release on April 27th.
The NES Classic is a region-unlocked microconsole with a total of 30 built-in games, but only 22 are common between all regions. The system is powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex A7 SoC (Allwinner R16) with Mali-400 MP graphics, 256MB of DDR3 RAM, and 512MB of NAND storage. Up until its worldwide discontinuation on April 13th, the retail price was $59.99 in the US, €79.99 in Europe, and £49.99 in the UK. With such a high value-per-dollar scale, most retailers were simply unable to keep the microconsole on store shelves for the entirety of its six-month run on the market.
Limited availability through the end of April
In a statement to IGN, a Nintendo representative explained that the NES Classic “wasn’t intended to be an ongoing, long-term product.” But due to its popularity, the company ensured a few extra shipments would be sent out from its original plans.
“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.”
Sites have noted that the console is very difficult to procure without the help of a product tracking website or utility that refreshes inventory on a regular basis. Just as with many flagship smartphone and full-sized console releases, the NES Classic has reportedly sold out within minutes at many retailers, making it necessary to double down on tools that can aid in the locating process.
Meanwhile, Nintendo has announced plans to double its rate of Switch console production from 8 million to 16 million units for 2017, hoping that it will be on track to sell up to 20 million by the end of the year.