Nintendo sparked retro gaming mania last year when it introduced the NES Classic Edition console. The announcement came out of nowhere, and gave fans of Nintendo’s first home gaming system a chance to relieve their childhood (or early adulthood). Packed with 30 games and a bargain $60 price tag, the NES Classic Edition was an immediate hit. Now it’s time for its successor: the SNES Classic Edition.
So, What Is It?
Nintendo is following up on that initial success with the SNES Classic Edition, which will officially be available on September 29th — this Friday. Like the NES Classic Edition that came before it, the SNES Classic Edition looks like a miniaturized version of the original (which debuted in 1991 in the U.S.) and will connect to modern HDTV and 4K television sets with an included HDMI cable.
However, unlike the NES Classic Edition, Nintendo is actually including two controllers in the package this time around instead of just one. In addition, Nintendo listened to the initial complaints about the controller cord being too short on the NES Classic Edition, so it has extended the cord length to a more generous 5 feet (versus 3 feet). We don’t typically sit directly in front of our TVs like we did in the 80s to play video games, so the added cord length is much appreciated. Wireless controllers would have been even better, but beggars can’t be choosers…
What Games Come With it?
As for the game lineup, it’s actually a bit smaller than what launched with its predecessor. The NES Classic Edition came bundled with 30 games, while the SNES Classic Edition only has 21. However, all of the games that Nintendo has bundled this time around are all-star power hitters including the unreleased Starfox 2. Here’s the full game lineup:
Contra III: The Alien Wars
Donkey Kong Country
Final Fantasy III
Kirby Super Star
Kirby’s Dream Course
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Mega Man X
Secret of Mana
Star Fox 2
Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
Super Castlevania IV
Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts
Super Mario Kart
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Super Mario World
Where Can I Buy It, And When?
Here’s the tricky part. If you haven’t already preordered the SNES Classic Edition, chances are that it’s going to be extremely difficult to get your hands on one going forward (if the NES Classic Edition is used as a guide). Those that were able to get in early preorders should begin to see their prized consoles arrive on Friday, September 29th (or shortly after). However, if you want to take your chances ordering online if and when retailers are able to restock, check out the following:
The consoles will of course be available at brick and mortar locations as well (i.e. Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc.), but you will need to camp out the night before inventory arrives to score one. In fact, going the brick and mortar route is the only way that you will be able to purchase an SNES Classic Edition from Toys R Us. And if you’re really desperate to get a console in a reasonably quick fashion, there’s always the eBay route, although be prepared to pay through the nose from scalpers.
We should note that Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime has indicated that it has “dramatically increased” production of the SNES Classic Edition compared to the NES Classic Edition. “I would strongly urge you not to over-bid on an SNES Classic on any of the auction sites… You shouldn’t [have to] pay more than $79.99,” said Fils-Aime earlier this month. However, given Nintendo’s track record when it comes to console production — be it the NES Classic Edition or the Nintendo Switch — take those comments with a big ‘ol grain of salt.
Odds And Ends
Here’s another takeaway from Nintendo with regards to the SNES Classic Edition. According to Nintendo, it had originally intended to produce the console through the end of 2017. However, it committed two weeks ago to extending production into 2018. We won’t know how far into the new year production will extend, but there still likely won’t be enough consoles around to meet demand.
As for the NES Classic Edition, if you missed out on the console the first time around, and refuse to pay three to four times MSRP on eBay, your prayers have been answered. “Next summer, Nintendo will also bring back the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition system with new shipments,” said Nintendo on September 12th. “More information about the timing of the return of NES Classic Edition will be announced in the future.”