When Nintendo announced the NES Mini, I was one hundred percent on board with it. I had to wait for the third supply wave (Damn you Nintendo and your created supply shortages!), but I was thrilled when I finally got it. Sure, we don’t play it much, but I love having it all the same. I think my sister has our original NES in storage somewhere, and who knows if it even works anymore. The only reason why I let her take it—I had it in my possession all the way through college—was because I got a GameCube. She made some argument for it, and I was too busy playing Wind Waker to argue with her.
Regardless, the original NES means a lot to me (and her, actually) as it was our first console. I was in either third or fourth grade when we finally got what the other kids on our street had. And we got it in the most classic fashion: tricked our grandparents into buying it. We have so many memories with it, of course I was going to get the NES Mini.
The SNES released when I was high school, and by then, I was way too cool for video games. I don’t have that attachment to that console in particular, but I figured why not pick it up when the SNES Mini released. It’s an important piece of gaming history, and it was part of the very first console war.
And then the PlayStation Classic released. I never owned a PlayStation until the PS2. I have absolutely zero attachment to anything the console created. Not to mention, most of the games were already available on the PSN to play on PSP, Vita, PS3, and PS4. Not to mention, the PlayStation never had a clear “identity” with franchises the way Nintendo and Sega both did and do. The game collection was such a hodgepodge, no one was fully satisfied with the full list as it was missing one or two games someone wanted.
When the Sega Genesis Mini released, this one made more sense than the PlayStation Classic. It had its own unique identity with franchises, and it was part of the original console war of the 90s. It is gaming history in a mini-box, and it certainly has its place.
But then another mini was announced that is a complete head scratcher: the TurboGrafx-16 Mini. This console came out around the time of the age of the PlayStation and N64. I was in college, so it’s not entirely surprising that I didn’t know anyone who had one. We were all very poor.
That fact aside, the TurboGrafx-16 was a failed console. Is anyone asking for a mini? Do people want to replay classic Bomberman that badly? Or is this for people trying to collect ‘em all like Pokemon?
I get the arguments for the NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, and sure, the PlayStation. All of these kicked off individual console lines. But the TurboGrafx-16? Really? It left as big of an impression in the gaming world as the Nokia N-Gage and the Ouya. This is not a classic console that people talk about fondly. It’s not even on the Sega Dreamcast level, the console owners absolutely loved but not many people owned.
This mini craze is getting out of hand. What’s coming next? N64 Mini? PS2 Classic? Sega CD Mini? When does it become too much? When does the market become oversaturated?
The answer, of course, will come in marketing terms. It won’t stop until people stop buying, and for better or for worse, gamers are collecting addicts. Can we stop it before we get to the GameCube Mini? That would be great, mmmkay.