To be fair, we're not sure if we should pin this one on Nintendo or Walmart, but the full story is full of a lot of really confusing contradictions. If you missed all of the madness this past weekend, a preorder page for the SNES Classic Edition went live on the Walmart website at about 11:30 p.m. Friday evening, July 21. Orders rolled in quickly and even crashed the Walmart website.
Anyway, the following morning, folks started receiving emails from Walmart claiming that their preorder did not go through. Either no reason was given or, according to a report from Polygon, some were told there was an issue verifying their payment information. No matter the reason, loads of people were told their preorders were no longer valid.
Naturally, people reached out to Walmart customer support to find out what was going on, with several folks documenting their chats and quoting Walmart as claiming the preorders went live too early, which is why they had to make cancellations.
But here's the super confusing part: Not all preorders were cancelled. So if preorders truly went live too early and Walmart needed to correct their error, shouldn't they have cancelled all orders that were made Friday night? Also, since it went live too early, are the ones being cancelled the ones that were placed first? Or is it perhaps that Walmart has an idea of how many consoles they are going to receive and are instead only cutting off preorders on the back half? Finally, whether or not Walmart's pre-order listing went live early, shouldn't it have cut off automatically once they hit their limit?
Again, maybe there's a simple explanation and the preorder went live too early and without a cap set on it. But even if that is the case, don't customers deserve a more thorough answer? With something as big as the SNES Classic Edition, you can't just tell some customers, "Don't worry, we cancelled all pre-orders because of our mistake" and expect them not to hear about the thousands of people online who also made a pre-order but never received a cancellation.
We'll keep our eye on how this one unfolds, but it's certainly a poor start for the launch of Nintendo's second classic console. Rumor has it that Target is next in line for pre-orders, so good luck if you feel like risking this heartache all over again.