Nintendo is discontinuing the NES Classic Edition, with final shipments going out this month.
In a statement to IGN, a Nintendo representative confirmed the news and apologized for the supply issues:
Throughout April, NOA territories will receive the last shipments of Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition systems for this year. We encourage anyone interested in obtaining this system to check with retail outlets regarding availability. We understand that it has been difficult for many consumers to find a system, and for that we apologize. We have paid close attention to consumer feedback, and we greatly appreciate the incredible level of consumer interest and support for this product.
The Nintendo representative said the plug-and-play console was always intended to be temporary.
“NES Classic Edition wasn’t intended to be an ongoing, long-term product. However, due to high demand, we did add extra shipments to our original plans,” they told IGN.
Even with additional shipments Nintendo was never able to meet demand. The system sold out immediately after launch. The $60 console had been confirmed to sell for as much as $500 in the hours after release. This cycle continued; retailers would receive a small shipment and sell out immediately. Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime admitted Nintendo wasn’t prepared for the demand.
“”When we looked at that proposition what we believed was the adults, 30-40 years old, who grew up playing NES as a kid… but had stepped away from the gaming category – that was going to be the buyer,” said Fils-Aime in an interview with Gamespot. “”As we thought about that, that led us to a certain level of supply.”
The NES Classic Edition was a plug-and-play console that came with 30 pre-loaded games. The games covered the consoles biggest names including Zelda, Mario, and Final Fantasy. In their January financial results briefing Nintendo revealed the retro console sold 1.5 million units worldwide since its November 2016 launch.