nes_classic_2
Nintendo

Nintendo Just Unexpectedly Canceled the NES Classic

Apr 13, 2017

Nintendo of America said Thursday it will discontinue the NES Classic Edition for the remainder of the year, effective immediately. In a statement, NOA said it expects to receive the last shipments of the system for the North American region in April. After that, the only way to get one will likely involve paying exorbitant scalper prices.

The pint-sized Nintendo Entertainment System emulator, which comes with 30 classic NES games for $59, has been all but impossible to find. It sold out immediately upon arrival last November, and has been driving a thriving secondary scalper market, where it typically goes for two to three times its suggested retail price. With word of Nintendo's imminent and ostensibly permanent discontinuation, it only stands to reason those prices are going to soar.

Though the statement stipulates "for this year," technically leaving open a post-2017 door, it's hard to imagine the NES Classic Edition returning post-holidays in 2018.

Update: In a statement to TIME, Nintendo adds "At this time, we have no plans to produce more NES Classic Edition systems for NOA regions."

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Here's Nintendo's statement in full:

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.

It wouldn't take all of the sting out of this announcement, but Nintendo explaining more about its plans for legacy emulation on its just-as-hard-to-find Nintendo Switch might quell some of the pushback sure to come from this decision. We know the company plans to sell both NES and Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) games when it launches its paid online service for the Switch later this year, but little else.

But for now, as they say, it's "So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good night."

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