In November 2016 the infamous Nintendo NES Classic was released. Everyone was on the hunt for this almost impossible to find toy, with every US retailer selling out instantly. There were not enough consoles to meet demand. Nintendo was unprepared and even admitted it, “We apologize to our consumers and retail partners for the inconvenience caused by product shortages”- Tatsumi Kimishima said at a company briefing.
Then out of thin air the NES Classic was discontinued in April 2017. Gamers and enthusiast left in the dark wondering why. 2 months later the Super NES was officially revealed. Complete with 21 titles. Nintendo also stated they’ll make enough to meet demand.. our fingers are crossed.
Everyone’s attention is on the SNES Classic and subsequent lineup of games. What I find interesting though are the reasons why the first console did so well, and could it have started a trend? The NES Classic itself wasn’t technologically groundbreaking, but people obsessed. It was both a collector’s item and the hottest selling toy for young and old people, even kids who had no idea what the console was of the 80’s.
I think the NES Classic’s success lies in its simplicity and easiness. Unlike a genuine NES there’s no cartridges to mess with and the issues they had with dust. It looks cute, which is appealing to everyone. For only $60 you get the console, a controller, and 30 games out of the box. If you were to get a real NES and all the stand alone games we’re talking well above $1,000 usd.
I think it’s likely possible that other companies such as Sony, Sega, and dare I say it Microsoft could launch their own versions of classic consoles. It would be cool to see a Dreamcast or Playstation mini. The original Xbox might be pushing it in terms of “retroness”, but why not? If this worked so well for Nintendo surely it could for these consoles too, and what would be even better is seeing all of them release around the same time. As long as one of these companies joins in first, it would create that chain reaction.
If any of these console developers endeavored on this route, which one would likely be first? I’d say SEGA for the main reason the Dreamcast is in the same generation as the SNES (4th gen). Putting it in the same era of videogame history with a huge library of over 900 games. I also think it would be neat for Sega to produce a console again considering they haven’t in almost 2 decades (Pico Beena doesn’t count).
If Sony and Microsoft where to join in the fun, we’d have ourselves a totally new generation of “classic” consoles. I’m hoping this fun idea will turn into reality for so many reasons. Reasons that go back the NES Classic and why it did so amazing. Simplicity, ease, price, enjoyment, and nostalgia. Modern consoles are great in their own right, but sometimes less is more and we just need a damn good game to play.