Tomorrow, it’ll be three months to-the-day since the NES Classic Edition hit retail. We’re almost two months removed from Christmas. The holiday spending season is long behind us. And, yet, The NES Classic is still impossible to find at its MSRP of $59.99.
The NES Classic isn’t worth $140. That’s what people are selling it for, though. Amazon. eBay. Walmart (the seller there has it for $158.94). The internet is filled with third party stores and scalpers more than doubling the price of the NES Classic.
This is a $59.99 box of nostalgia. Unless you have more money than you know what to do with, there’s no reason for you to plunk down $140 on something that only costs $60. Yes, the form factor is adorable. Yes, Nintendo did a great job with the emulation work. Yes, there’s a wave of nostalgia here that won’t be achieved with a Raspberry Pi and an afternoon of work. Plus, you know, piracy is bad.
Why is it so flippin’ expensive?
This all comes down to scarcity. Nintendo severely underestimated demand, and they’ve had a hard time ramping up production in order to meet their customers at retail. The NES Classic (in its Famicom and NES forms) combined to sell more than 1.5 million units. The demand is palpable, and Nintendo completely missed exactly how excited people were for this little box.
They’ve talked about it, briefly. In their investor briefing last week, Nintendo offered an apology.
We apologize to our consumers and retail partners for the inconvenience caused by product shortages. Some parts require time to procure, but we are working to increase production.
Yes, three months after release, they’re still working to increase production.
It shocks me that Nintendo’s still having a hard time keeping up with demand for the NES Classic. It hits online shops like GameStop, bundled with complete crap like a Rubik’s Cube lamp for $130, and it sells out in half-an-hour. Managing electronics manufacturing is a tough business, but it’s the one Nintendo’s been in since the early 80s. They should know how to meet demand.
Yet, here we are. 34 years since the launch of the original NES, and we’re having a hard time finding its mini form in stores.