Nintendo expands SNES Classic Edition stock to halt price gouging

SNES Classic hands on review front top angle
Mike Epstein/Digital Trends

Nintendo’s SNES Classic Edition system sold out almost instantly when it went up for pre-order in August, with retailers Walmart and Target each having it in stock for less than a minute. After warning fans not to buy from price gougers on auction sites, Nintendo has now promised additional stock of the retro console at its September 29 launch.

Speaking to the Financial Times (via GameSpot) Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé said that he “would strongly urge” anyone looking for the SNES Classic to avoid using auction sites, and that you realistically shouldn’t have to pay more than its suggested $80 price. Although that wasn’t the case with the NES Classic Mini, the additional SNES Classic Edition stock may help alleviate the problem of scalpers.

Nintendo claims that at the launch of the SNES Classic Edition, it will have more systems available than were shipped for the NES Classic Edition “all last year.” That stock isn’t quite ready though, and will only become available on store shelves come launch day, rather than through pre-orders.

Nintendo has also promised additional stock of the SNES Classic Edition “regularly” in stores in the following months, with sales now extended beyond the end of the year into 2018. Nintendo has also pledged to restart sales of the NES Classic Edition next summer.

Retail giant GameStop opened up SNES Classic orders in its stores last month, but many of its systems were only available through expensive bundles containing extra items such as novelty helmets and lamps.

In its own effort to deter scalpers, Toys R Us opted to not offer pre-orders at all, instead only selling the system once it officially launches on September 29.

Walmart also began canceling extra SNES Classic orders placed by a single customer, which should help to curb the use of automated programs buying up an entire batch of consoles. However, it’s unclear just what the criteria were for cancelling these orders, as some customers haven’t had their extra systems canceled yet.

The SNES Classic’s supply problems are strikingly similar to that of the NES Classic in 2016. Last year’s system came packed with 30 games, including Castlevania and Super Mario Bros. 3, and it was unavailable for months after its initial launch. The SNES Classic appears to be even more in demand, possibly because of the inclusion of the unreleased Star Fox 2 in its built-in game library. While completed back in 1995, it was canceled before its release as Nintendo moved forward with Star Fox 64 for its Nintendo 64 console, instead. While ROMs have been available online for years — even on a real Super Nintendo cartridge — this will be the first time the game is legally available to players.

Update: Added news of expanded SNES Classic Edition stock and resumption of NES Classic sale.