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One of the best selling and biggest moving gaming products this fall wasn't what most people expected. It turns out that the NES Classic Edition was a huge mover and shaker, and it's been sold out faster than shipments can come in to replace the units. Well, Nintendo finally addressed the NES Classic shortages.
In an interview with CNET the Nintendo of America president, Reggie Fils-Aime, explained that they're aware of the shortages and will be replenishing the SKUs as quickly as possible through the retail chain...
Every day there's more going into the retail channel. The overall level of demand is certainly greater than we anticipated, that's why we're suffering through the shortages out there in the marketplace.
Demand certainly was much greater than anticipated. The day of release the NES Classic Edition was instantly sold out. In fact, the day of release Amazon was already sold out before the official opening of the page to the public, given that there were countless people who had registered to be notified about the availability of the NES Classic Edition and were already adding it to their cart and ordering it before they even had time to advertise the console properly.
Similar stories spread throughout the rest of the media wire, indicating that other retail chains were sold out of the NES Classic Edition within half an hour of going on sale.
It seemed amazing that a console featuring 30 playable games from 30 years ago would be a huge seller this holiday season, but it turns out that it was a surprise hit and a lot of people really wanted to get in some game time with a classic gaming console.
In a way, it proves that a lot of people want fun games with intrinsic values to bring people together to have fun. A lot of the core philosophies in newer games are about increasing user engagement and then getting them to spend money in the cash shop or purchasing DLC, turning the game into a hypnotic monetary service rather than a fun experience.
You see this often with cash-shop oriented games like GTA Online, where a game about robbing, thieving and committing illegal acts has some of the harshest penalties for players who cheat to earn extra money, because they're trying to sell cash shop items called Shark Cards. Take-Two even took extra steps to copyright strike YouTube accounts who show users how to glitch the game to earn extra money, as reported by Gaming Reinvented. The entire experience is themed around grinding to earn money, so for some people it's just easier to pay real money to not have to grind.
In old games on the NES, SNES and N64 it was all about playing to enjoy the experience and overcome challenges. Apparently, that core mentality never left gamers over the past 30 years and a lot of people were interested in getting back to that old-school experience playing the game for the sake of enjoyment.
In fact, it's that core attention paid to quality and entertainment by Nintendo that has motivated them not to simply port over NES games to mobile devices. Reggie explained in the CNET interview that they would rather tailor-make games for mobile devices so that people can get the peak amount of experience out of the game.
However, if you plan on getting an NES Classic Edition, keep an eye out on retail chains as new supplies come in to satisfy those last-minute Christmas shoppers.