Ever since it came out, the NES Classic Edition has been permanently out of stock. Dribbles have come into Best Buy, Amazon Prime Now and Walmart, but consoles have been snapped up by people willing to wait in line at 3AM, in December.
While it might be nice for Nintendo’s ego to have people scrambling to find the console, it’s not great for Nintendo’s bottom line. NES Classic Editions have been going at resellers for around $200, which is a lot of revenue forgone for Nintendo. And, let’s not even mention all the consoles that might have been sold as Christmas presents, if customers could have found them in store.
In a series of interviews during the launch of the Nintendo Switch, COO of Nintendo America Reggie Fils-Aime explained what caused the stock overruns. Speaking to Wired, he said that “what happened with NES Classic is that was a situation where the global demand was well in excess of anything we had anticipated, and that’s what created shortages. The good news, at least for consumers in the Americas, is we’re going to continue to make the NES Classic available. With the ongoing level of supply, the ongoing demand is going to be met. We know the concern.”
“I think that incremental demand is what surprised us. Because again, how many times have you purchased the original Super Mario Bros.? We thought that the consumer that already had a Wii or a Wii U and had purchased those games once or twice already, we didn’t think that they’d buy the NES Classic. And they did.”
To paraphrase: we’re all a bunch of suckers that keep handing Nintendo our money.