Nintendo had recently trademarked their Super Famicom controller, and while this could be them protecting their property (a popular trend of theirs this year) I’ve heard speculations of the possibility of a Super Nintendo (Super Famicom) Classic Console being in the making. I know that this seems like an interesting rumor with no doubt, but I see a few problems with it.
Looking at Nintendo’s short supply method on their products, such as the Amiibos, the NES Mini, and promotional products (such as the Mythical Pokemon + Poke Ball sets). I can see people doing what they can to get their hands on them, and because of the brief supply and high demand of the NES Classic, there have been reports of over-pricing stocks to consumers. From this, I can see a resurgence of this problem if they continue to limit the supply. It may not be Wal-Mart that will do it, but I’m sure someone will have the gall to scalp people looking for an SNES Mini.
There’s also the issue that Nintendo is reselling games that we may already have. Unlike Sega, who published their old IPs across several consoles and PCs, Nintendo likes to keep their classic games on their dedicated systems, which is awkwardly spread across different families of consoles (GBA Virtual Console games on the Wii U when they had a few for the Nintendo 3DS as ambassador rewards). Keeping to official releases they may be putting thirty Super Nintendo games (if they’re following the NES Mini’s model) when we may already have the Virtual Consoles and/or the original carts (I actually have a physical SNES cart of Super Metroid despite not having the console). That leaves the question of why should we buy a unit with fixed thirty games when we already have them or can buy a console that is more flexible with what specific games what want? Because it’s the “Classic Edition,” as some sort of collector’s edition?
By something a collector’s item because it’s made to represent the nostalgia or just to say they have value just because doesn’t mean they’re worth something. It doesn’t stop with Nintendo, either; we have issue zero and special cover comics, U.S. Bank (and other countries) specially minted coins, Funko Pops, and so many toy sets based on previous manufactured figures. And then there are the bonuses from pre-order editions of video games, some of which are in-game items that can get ridiculous if they offer different things depending on the retailer. The point I want is that if it’s made to be a collector’s item, it’s not really a collector’s item. Now, while my views are a bit cynical don’t let me dissuade you. If you like the preorder bonuses and these collectors items because they are something you can enjoy or have some value to you, then that’s fine. However, don’t just buy them because you expect them to be worth more later on than what you bargained for.
Now that I put most of my problems with an SNES Mini coming out let’s go over some things that would improve it based on the NES Classic’s problems. First, let’s not short supply it. The problems I’ve mentioned before could recur once more, as the supply is limited. Additionally, I think doing the same method again for an SNES Mini would alienate Nintendo’s fans who just want an enhanced HDMI plug & play box. Second, lets either have extended wires or wireless controllers for the SNES Classic. One of the problems I’ve heard was how short the controller’s wires are. I’m sure most people would like to keep a good distance from their televisions, so they can be comfortable and avoid straining their eyes or accidentally fall into the Midnight Night and break it.
The last one is more a wish than an improvement, but it’s something I found interesting and would like to see it integrated: a functional SNES cartridge slot. Sega released their own Genesis/Mega Drive Classic Console and aside from the fixed number of games pre-installed (80 for this system) you can slap a Genesis cart in and place that on the little box. If Sega went the extra mile, then Nintendo could as well. I won’t have any expectations for Nintendo to follow suit. Even so, I will say having a lack of one can lead me to say “Genesis does what Nintendo’t” and mean it.
I know fans fancy the idea of Nintendo releasing an SNES Classic. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but be pessimistic when I was looking at the thought along with the things the company did, including the problems the NES Mini had. If you want to have an SNES Classic Edition in your setup, then go for it, but remember to shop smart.
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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