On Friday, Nintendo will launch the highly anticipated SNES Classic Edition, and if you weren’t one of the lucky few to secure a preorder, you’re going to have your work cut out for you today. But the good news is that we’re here to help you navigate through all the nonsense and find a SNES Classic without wasting the whole day.
If you’re still on the fence about picking one up, just know that today is almost certainly your best chance to find one. Nintendo says that the initial SNES Classic stock will be significantly improved over that of the NES Classic, but that also means that this will likely be the biggest wave of shipments the retro console will ever see.
Your best chance of getting a SNES Classic on launch day is by going to brick-and-mortar store and taking one to the checkout counter. Best Buy, Target, Walmart, GameStop, Toys R Us, ThinkGeek (yes, they have actual stores) and even B&H Photo Video in NYC will all have the SNES Classic in stock on Friday. Here’s what we know about each individual store, based on what they told us and what we could find on their websites:
- Best Buy: Limited quantities will be available in ~1,000 Best Buy stores in the US and they will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Customers who arrive early enough will receive a ticket, presumably ensuring them a console if they wait for the store to open. Tickets will be passed out at 7 AM local time if a line forms (one ticket per consumer) and most stores open at 10 AM.
- GameStop: In an email earlier this week, a GameStop representative told us that their stores will have “additional consoles for in-store, walk-in purchases.” There’s no special system here, but GameStop is taking the extra step of posting a sign on its doors with the number of consoles at that location either after close on Thursday or before stores open on Friday. GameStop stores open around 10 AM.
- Target: Every Target store will have the SNES Classic in stock on launch day. There don’t appear to be any additional rules, but it is worth noting that most Target stores open hours before Best Buy. Providing you don’t see dozens of customers lined up outside the front door when you arrive, you’ve got a shot.
- ThinkGeek: There aren’t many of these GameStop-owned stores in the country, but if you happen to live near one, it might not be a bad idea to check it out on Friday. Once all the preorders are filled, the stores will sell whatever’s left to walk-ins. And best of all: no crappy bundles this time.
- Toys R Us: The toy store didn’t participate in the preorder madness last month, but they will have SNES Classic consoles in stock today. There will be a limited quantity at every Toys R Us location, and like Best Buy, Toys R Us will be handing out tickets to those who line up for the SNES Classic.
- Walmart: If you’re awake when this post is published and there’s a 24/7 Walmart in your area, you might want to call and see if they have any SNES Classics in stock. Every Walmart is supposed to have consoles “while supplies last,” and the 24-hour stores will begin selling them at 12:01 AM local time.
Finally, here are links to the online landing pages for the SNES Classic Edition at each of the stores listed above. If you’re willing to take the risk that you can order one online, these are the pages worth refreshing:
(Just to be clear, Toys R Us doesn’t appear to be selling the console online, so we replaced it with Amazon. Also, Best Buy says it won’t be offering online sales for the SNES Classic today, but the link is there just in case.)
You now have pretty much everything you need to have a successful SNES Classic Edition shopping trip today, but there’s one final tool that you might want to take advantage of: An online stock tracker. Your mileage may vary, but if you can’t step away from work tomorrow and won’t have a chance to visit a local retailer until the afternoon or evening, they might help you find some leftover stock somewhere:
We wish you the best of luck today, and if you somehow snagged a preorder, just know that we’re all extremely jealous of you. In the meantime, you can also check out our roundup of glowing SNES Classic reviews.