Nintendo missed an opportunity with the SNES Classic
Nintendo announced the Super Nintendo Entertainment System SNES Classic some days ago which will come out in September 2017 worldwide. The device comes in three variants for the US, EU and Japanese market, includes 21 classic games, two controllers, and a HDMI cable.
The games are mostly identical, but there are some differences between the US/EU game lineup and the Japanese one, and the AC adapter which is only part of the US package but not the EU or Japanese one.
The console will have a suggested retail price of $79.99 in the US. Preorders in the EU suggest a retail price a bit higher than that, but Nintendo did not make an announcement in regards to that yet.
SNES Classic: The good
I'd like to start with what I like about the SNES Classic. First, the games that it ships with are pure gold for the most part. There is Super Mario World and Mario Kart, Donkey Kong Country, Super Metroid, Final Fantasy III, Secret of Mana, or F-Zero in the US/EU unit.
The console comes with two controllers opposed to just one of the NES Classic Edition, and the controller cable is 2 feet longer than the NES controller cable as well.
I think the retail price of the system is fine. It is not super cheap, but you do get a lot out of the console system for the money.
What could have been better?
Nintendo missed a chance here in my opinion, and it comes down to the following.
As far as games are concerned, (some) gamers have voiced criticism. Some think that the number of games is too low for the price and the fact that a lot of popular games are not included in the package.
To name a few games: Donkey Kong Country II and III, Final Fantasy IV, Chrono Trigger, Final Fight, Mortal Kombat II, ActRaiser, The Magical Quest, Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, and dozens more.
It has probably been an economical decision to add 21 games and not more to the package. What I think Nintendo should have done is however to make the system extensible.
What I mean by that is that Nintendo should have designed the console to support switching memory cards or supporting a slot for another memory card that you could insert into the device.
Nintendo could release game packages for the SNES Classic with all these other games that are not supported by it. This is way better than releasing a second edition of the SNES Classic with other games, or not releasing these games at all.
Availability is another hot issue. The NES Classic was sold out almost immediately whenever online companies or retail shops received some units. This raised resell pricing significantly, usually to two, three or even four times the retail pricing.
It looks as if the SNES Classic system will suffer from the same supply shortage as the NES Classic. Preorders were open for a couple of minutes before all units were sold out across all retailers.
It appears, at least right now, that Nintendo may have limited the production of the SNES Classic as it has done with the NES Classic.
What this means is that not anyone who wants a unit will get it. Some will pay an exorbitant price for getting their hands on a unit as the system is used by people to buy for the retail price only to sell it for a higher price afterwards again.
Judging from the controller ports of the SNES classic, the unit does not use the same ports as the NES Classic did. The controller the NES classic came with used the same ports as the Wii and Wii U. This means that you could connect them to these devices to use them for Virtual Console games.
Also, and that is my main gripe here, there is no option to connect four controllers to the device. While that makes sense only for some SNES games, Mario Kart and Secret of Mana come to mind, it means that you won't be able to play Secret of Mana with three players, and Super Mario Kart with four players.
Now You: What's your take on this?
Honestly, who cares about Nintendo? Their hardware is overpriced sub-standard, their games are the same since 20 years with slightly improved graphics. Their software is not innovative really, and in most cases their hardware isn’t either. The Switch is a tablet in a dock – nothing to write home about. Were it not for their exclusives they wouldn’t even sell any consoles. Why they are held in such a high esteem? Nostalgia!
It seems you care enough to comment.
Everybody who started playing video games in the 80s and 90s care about Nintendo because everytime I see a Nintendo char it brings me a smile to my face. Good old times. XBox or PSX cannot do that to me! Nintendo has heart.
Honestly, who cares about Sony and Microsoft? Their hardware is one-dimensional and limited, their games are the same since 20 years with only improved graphics. Their software is not innovative really, and in most cases their hardware isn’t either. The PS4 and Xbox One are PCs in the living room – nothing to write home about. Were it not for their exclusives they wouldn’t even sell any consoles. Why they are held in such a high esteem? Graphics!
I’m guessing that since the last console sold out near instantly, and this one is set to do the same. there must be a lot of people that care about Nintendo, honestly I still prefer the old games and seem to get more enjoyment out of playing them.
Resellers grabbed them all out to make profit because the supply was too low for the demand. Explained in the Jimquisition video on the topic. I expect the same happening to this one.
I’ll just stick to my emulator thanks.
Personally, I’ll stick with my RGB modded SNES Mini until Analogue or somebody offers something better. That said, I still want this mini shot of nostalgia displayed in my game room. I BARLEY got my hands on the first NES Classic and I’m sickened at the thought of artificial scarcity and scumbag scalpers.
Barley? As in the grain? LOL.
LOL oops typo
Yup. I wouldn’t mind paying a bit more for larger games list. But only 21 titles from one of the most beloved system ever made? It’s a bit on the stingy side and anti-consumer!
Nintendo on the stingy side? Never! LOL
There’s a great video on YouTube called
“Nintendo Doesn’t Care if You Can’t Buy the SNES Classic – SNES Mini ”
Bottom line, Nintendo gets MEGA free advertising from all the media buzz hype. With everyone’s focus on Nintendo, they sell more current products – i.e. the Switch. IMO, they tried the same tactic with amiibo and Wii U, later adding compatibility to 3DS.
I don’t know what goes in the minds of the people in Nintendo making the decisions.
Judging from the Japanese Nintendo website (https://topics.nintendo.co.jp/c/article/74fe7608-5638-11e7-8cda-063b7ac45a6d.html), it would seem the controller ports are simply a cover for the actual ports, and the plugs on the controllers look like the Nunchuk plug (and hence the NES Classic ones), if we look this picture: https://topics.nintendo.co.jp/export/sites/nintendo_topics/images/article_img/00000703_02.jpg
Also, Super Mario Kart is only playable at 2 players at most, and is not even compatible with the multitap, which came out one year later. So, that would let only Secret of Mana for the 3-player thing.
But yeah, too bad we can’t have more games, like Chrono Trigger. And to these guys who buy SNES just to sell them higher: go fuck yourselves.
You seem to be right about Super Mario Kart being two player only. I could have sworn that I played the game back then in four player split mode.
probably on N64, that’s what I remember too.
In Australia I remember the controllers being coloured like the Famicon, in the US did you have the purple colour?
Australia traditionally falls under the European region according to Nintendo (which is also the reason why we get EUR region 3DS games. Australia indeed got a very similar SNES to the Superfamicom, the US got the ugly (subjective) squared design with the odd colors.
I still have my original SNES and have managed to pre-order myself a SNES Mini Classic no problems.
I have feeling that the SNES will need some sort of hard mod to be done this time to put on additional games at least to the extent that we saw last time with the NES classic.