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Nintendo’s SNES Classic is selling out before it’s even released.


Well, it finally happened. Nintendo officially announced the rumored SNES Classic console, and the internet collectively lost its mind.

As the follow up to the ridiculously popular NES Classic console from last year, the SNES Classic is a dream come true for retro game enthusiasts. The machine comes loaded with 21 games from what many consider the golden age of gaming, and boy were they not kidding around when they made their selection here. Virtually every game selected is considered a quintessential SNES title, including console staples like Super Mario World and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, plus a slew of third party classics like Super Castlevania IV, Mega Man X, and Final Fantasy III (AKA the original English version of Final Fantasy VI).

As a bonus, the console also contains a complete version of Star Fox 2, a game that was never officially released and has only existed as a prototype lurking in various underbellies of the internet. All around, the hype for this console is definitely real. The system will launch for $80 on September 29th of this year.

That said, if you’re interested in buying this console for yourself or for someone you know, we have to have a little pep talk.

SNES Classic Earthbound

Earthbound, a game included on the SNES classic. An authentic cartridge can go for $80+ by itself.

I won’t mince words. The SNES Classic will be ridiculously hard to find.

I don’t mean to get all pessimistic, but it’s true. Putting aside the sheer excitement for the system itself, Nintendo has a notorious track record for the scarcity of its products. We’ve seen it happen with Nintendo’s limited edition consoles, we saw it happen when Amiibo first came out, and last year’s NES Classic console arguably had it worse than anything they’ve put out yet. In fact, many retail stores allegedly received single digit amounts of the NES Classic console for the entirety of last year’s holiday season. And yet, even as demand rose and supply dwindled, Nintendo still made the decision to cease production of the console back in April.

To be fair, Nintendo has issued a statement saying they “will produce significantly more units of Super NES Classic Edition than we did of NES Classic Edition.” This, of course, isn’t saying much. But even if we take them at their word and they produce enough SNES Classic systems, there’s still a big problem to deal with: scalpers. Yes, Nintendo products are historically scalped and then resold for ridiculous amounts, and we’re already seeing this happen with the SNES classic. The SNES Classic went up for pre-order in the UK, and not only are they already sold out, but people are actually selling their pre-orders for as much as $200.00 a pop. Yes, that’s right, pre-orders.

SNES Classic Box

So what is there to do if you want to pick up the system for yourself? First off, pay attention to retailers who plan to carry the system and watch them like a hawk. Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart all have listings ready for the SNES Classic, and you can choose to get notified when they’re available to pre-order. If possible, check in with any local stores that might be getting the SNES Classic in stock as well. Just remember to be friendly with any store representatives in this case, as they’ll likely be fielding a lot of requests for the system in the coming months.

If you do decide to get the system through the second hand market, be sure to study exactly what the system offers and looks like so you don’t get ripped off. For example, some people may be selling Japan’s similar Famicom Mini, which would still be collectible but perhaps not what you’d be hoping for. Or in a worse case scenario, someone might slap together their own crude pirated system loaded up with the same games and try to rip people that way instead. You’re going to want the real deal, and the less business unscrupulous resellers get, the better.

But more than anything else, stay persistent and do your homework. Treat the SNES Classic the same way you’d treat any other rare collectible you’d be on the hunt for, even if this one’s yet to hit the shelves. Perhaps Nintendo will make good on their promise and meet the demand this time, but until we hear otherwise, prepare for the worst and hope for the best. And either way, if you do happen to snag one, know you have an amazing collectible on your hands.

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Written by TimM
Tim is a video game aficionado who is fascinated by pop culture. He built his first collection in 1999 by catching all 151 monsters in Pokemon Red, and he hasn't stopped collecting since. His work has been featured multiple times on Destructoid.com.