Nintendo Explains Why It Axed NES Classic Despite Strong Demand And 2.3 Million Units Sold

NES Classic Edition Console
Nintendo sure did tick off a lot of gamers with the way it handled the NES Classic Edition launch and subsequent rollout to stoes. Priced at $59.99 and packed with 30 classic NES games, the miniature console was an instant hit and sold out in record fashion whenever retailers managed to get them in stock.

But after promising (and failing) to keep up with demand, Nintendo abruptly announced that it would be ending production of the NES Classic Edition. Considering that many people still haven’t been able to get their hands on the pint-sized console months after launch, this was a bitter pill to swallow.

We’re now learning the real reason for the NES Classic Edition’s discontinuation courtesy of Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé. It basically boils down to priorities and resources — Nintendo has bigger fish to fry (i.e. the Switch) and would rather not devote energy to reproducing a 30-year-old gaming experience.

NES Classic 2

"We had originally planned for this to be a product for last holiday," said Fils-Aimé. "We just didn't anticipate how incredible the response would be. Once we saw that response, we added shipments and extended the product for as long as we could to meet more of that consumer demand."

He went on to add that he understands the frustrations of people that have been unable to secure the console, but the company must draw a line in the sand at some point. “It’s important to recognize where our future is and the key areas that we need to drive,” Fils-Aimé added. “We've got a lot going on right now and we don't have unlimited resources."

When all was said and done, the NES Classic Edition managed to rack up sales of over 2.3 million units since its November 2016 debut.