Only Nintendo would find a way to intentionally paint a blemish on their most recent successes. The Switch is widely viewed as a success, the latest The Legend of Zelda installment is being dubbed the best version ever created, and things across the board seem to be going well for the strangest company on Earth. However, it appears Nintendo seems to have fallen right back into its old ways. After a mere six months on the market, it has officially discontinued the NES Classic Edition in North America.
You certainly read that last line correctly. Nintendo has indeed discontinued the NES Classic Edition at perhaps the worst possible time in the product lifecycle. Six months out, it's still very much in high demand. Secondary markets are the most telling sign that the market as a whole hasn’t capped and people are still interested in buying this little piece of nostalgia.
Of course, Nintendo hasn’t given a valid reason for putting an end to what could have been a consistent source of additional revenue. One can only speculate at the reasons. It could be anything from production costs, distribution issues, low margin per unit, or even the fact that some gamers have pirated the console to add games not featured within the original lineup. My thought is that it would be a combination of manufacturing and production complexities, grouped with low margin per unit. Then again, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that Nintendo canceled further production because they’re tired of retailers demanding additional supply.
Regardless of the reasons, Nintendo executives look rather unintelligent at this point. Even if you’re making a few bucks per unit, you’re still keeping the Nintendo name alive through retail stores, People are still talking about your company, which equates to free marketing. You’re tapping back into a group of old school gamers that might love the NES Classic Edition and take the plunge on the Switch as a result. Instead, you wipe out those potential opportunities and once again look lost and confused.
One thing is for certain, Nintendo doesn’t want your money, nor do they care to rebuild their brand. They would rather flood retail shelves with overpriced Akimbo characters that will collect dust on some gamers shelves than continue selling a repackaged piece of wonderful nostalgia. It seems to be another few steps backward for Nintendo, just as they’ve taken a few strides forward. I’ll can't wait to see what else the company can do to push away paying customers in the coming months.