In case you haven’t yet realized, Nintendo SNES Classic pre-orders are well under way. However, retailers have been opting for rather sneaky methods to trickle projected inventory into the hands of customers, instead of past (and well proven) methods.
Take Walmart, for example. After throwing a wet blanket on eager retro gamers last month when it said that its SNES Classic pre-orders went live as a result of a website glitch, the company on Friday once again opened up sales to the public. However, Walmart decided to use a rather curious name for the product listing to confuse bots that would automatically raid available pre-order slots for resale purposes.
In Walmart’s case, this separate listing was entitled, "Super NES Classic Edition (Universal)”, which helped keep resellers at bay. This attack method was a double-edged sword, however. Those that signed up for Walmart’s in-stock notification for the original product listing, entitled “Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Classic Edition”, were never notified that the console was actually available for pre-order.
For those keeping score, Amazon pulled of a similar, more devious trick last week with SNES Classic preorders. I just so happened to be up in the early morning hours when Amazon’s oddly named listing went active and managed to snag one (after checking a deal site). This particular listing was entitled, "Nintendo Digital Downloads/Game Trust Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition” and was completely separate (at the time) from the original pre-order listing. Even though many were left scratching their heads with regards to the title of the product listing, the release date, product specs and pre-order price matched; so many were able to get their orders in before they went out of stock.
For those of us that managed to get pre-orders in, clicking on the link from “Order Details” now takes you straight to the main/original product listing for the console:
Needless to say, retailers like Amazon and Walmart are slowly opening the spigot when it comes to SNES Classic pre-orders, but you had better be prepared to jump through hoops to get them. Or you could always go the “old school” route and stand in line to get the console at Toys R Us brick-and-mortar locations — in fact, that is the only way that you’ll get the console from that retailer.