Nintendo is aiming to meet the already intense demand for the SNES Classic Edition by manufacturing “significantly more units” than it produced of the NES Classic Edition, the company said today.
Earlier today, Nintendo announced that it will launch the SNES Classic on Sept. 29 for $79.99. The system will come preloaded with 21 games, and the package will include two SNES Classic Controllers. That’s all well and good, but considering that Nintendo vastly underestimated demand for the NES Classic last year, the question on everyone’s minds right now is this: Will the SNES Classic be just as impossible to find as its 8-bit predecessor was?
“We aren’t providing specific numbers, but we will produce significantly more units of Super NES Classic Edition than we did of NES Classic Edition,” Nintendo said in a statement to Polygon.
However, the production run may not last forever. Nintendo only manufactured the NES Classic from November 2016 through April 2017, and the company isn’t guaranteeing a long tail for the SNES Classic at this point.
Nintendo told Polygon that it is currently planning to manufacture the SNES Classic “from Sept. 29 until the end of calendar year 2017.” That doesn’t necessarily mean Nintendo will end production at that point, but the company added, “At this time, we have nothing to announce regarding any possible shipments beyond this year.”
When the NES Classic debuted in mid-November, it instantly sold out. Although Nintendo said it was producing units as fast as it could, the company was never able to supply enough consoles to keep store shelves full. All the way through the 2016 holiday season and right up until Nintendo discontinued the NES Classic in April, it was never possible to simply walk into a store and pick one up (unless you got extremely lucky).
Nintendo sold about 196,000 units of the NES Classic in the U.S. during the month of November, but analysts believed the figure could’ve been much higher if more systems had been available to buy. Final worldwide shipments of the NES Classic landed somewhere north of 2.3 million units from November 2016 through April 2017. Nintendo could easily sell at least as many SNES Classics by the end of this year.
The company drew criticism when it tried to retroactively say that it had always intended for the NES Classic to be a limited-time product. At least this time around, it’s being upfront from the start.
Here’s some free advice from your pals at Polygon: Don’t assume that the SNES Classic hype will eventually die down, and that the system will be readily available at some point. Nintendo will probably end production well before then, so if an opportunity to buy one comes your way, don’t pass it up.