Only half a year ago, Nintendo managed to stoke the nostalgia fires with the surprise release of the NES Classic, a tiny emulation console that came packed with 30 classic NES games. Now that it’s been discontinued (more news below) those who grew up with the gaming giant as a household name are eager for news — and a prospective release date — of the SNES classic. To be clear, the project is currently something that exists in myth, superstition, and insider reports that have yet to be corroborated. But if history is going to tell us anything, it’s that a SNES Classic is more than likely on the horizon.
And we have a pretty good idea of when you should expect to see it, too. Read on for important news and updates for this dream come true, for fans!
When it launched, the NES Classic reached out to nearly every demographic of gamer on the map. Those old enough to remember the excitement that surrounded this console during its premiere years were stoked at the chance to revisit classic games, even though they’re massively outdated. And younger gamers who weren’t around to experience it then were getting a brand new chance to “time-travel” through gaming history. The NES Classic emulated its games perfectly and gave many people the best way to play those titles that they’re ever going to see, again.
- However, Nintendo recently announced that they’re discontinuing the console.
- This stirred up a hornet’s nest, of course, and the company’s reasoning has been at odds with the scores of people who are still trying to get their hands on this relatively rare piece of hardware.
- After all, even though it’s been a trending topic since it was first announced, Nintendo has struggled to keep the NES Classic available on store shelves, in quantities enough to satisfy hungry customers.
We can help to lend a little bit of insight into the company’s reasoning though, too. And while everyone wishes that this was as easy to find in stores as a gallon of milk, Nintendo might have a good reason to make the moves that they did — and some of that might have to do with the Super NES Classic that everyone thinks is on the way!
The NES Classic & Classic Nintendo
Even though its missteps have taken quite a lot of the spotlight, lately, Nintendo has a decades-long track record of being committed to providing fun experiences. The company has always put fun ahead of the priorities that other gaming platforms seem to envision — fun before graphics, technological innovation, or outrageous design. Nintendo consoles feel comfortable, both to hold and look at. The games that you find on a Nintendo console are a blast, first and foremost.
And though the age of the NES is something that occurred before many young gamers were even born, it’s left a significant footprint in gaming history that can’t be ignored. Super Mario Bros. The Legend of Zelda. Ice Climbers. Bubble Bobble. The list is incredibly long, all of those franchises that saw the first real light of day on the NES. And for that reason, it as a smash hit.
Nintendo hasn’t been able to keep this retro console on the shelves, in spite of the fact that it’s basically an emulator wrapped in an NES-like plastic body. And now, when demand is still quite high, the company has discontinued it. It might seem like a shock to some, but for those who’ve been following Nintendo’s strategies for the past several years, it’s nothing new under the sun.
It was intended to be a collector’s item, is essentially what the company has told people, post-discontinuation; not something that will be sold for the long-term. But since that information only came after people learned that it was going to become even more difficult find, it didn’t do much to assuage frustration. The same story has been spun about Nintendo’s lineup of Amiibo collector’s figurines, which often allow added functionality via NFC reading in many Nintendo games.
They’re fun, everyone wants them, and many people argue that Nintendo should just produce enough to meet demand. However, for better or worse, the company has chosen to take the route of collectors’ items — they want the NES Classic to become something prized and coveted, just like some rarer Amiibo, rather than a convenience that everyone can pick up as they please.
And even though many are complaining about Nintendo’s marketing strategy, much of what the company is doing recently is working. In spite of the Wii U’s long-term failure to sell as well as Nintendo hoped, its recently-released Switch console is kicking ass around the world, shattering sales records throughout the course of March. Those who’ve purchased the console (this author, included) have spoken frequently about how great it feels to be excited about Nintendo, again. That thoroughly enjoying a Nintendo gaming platform is a nostalgia all its own.
The NES Classic turned this up to 11, as proven by the fact that even customers who weren’t around for the success of the original NES still felt that poignant nostalgia. It’s a remarkably successful way to market a company, a brand, and tangentially, a whole mess of products.
The Super NES Classic
For those reasons, we should absolutely expect to see the Super NES Classic on shelves sooner, rather than later. Not only was the Super NES arguably more successful than the console that preceded it, many of the games that it called home are simply better. Game developers were still figuring out what people enjoyed, and how they could tell stories and craft fun experiences in an interactive environment. Those game creators who cut their teeth on the NES found steadier footing on the Super NES, and the quality of titles proves that.
Super Mario World. The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past. Donkey Kong Country. Super Mario Kart. Chrono Trigger. These are only the tip of a massive iceberg; a collection of games that even subsequent consoles have struggled to upset. There’s a very good reason to get excited about the possibility of a Super NES Classic, and it’s arguably more reason than existed for the NES Classic of 2016.
Nintendo knows that, too. And now that we have some fringe reports suggesting that such a console is in development, and preparing for release, there’s never been a better time to start getting excited about it.
News & Rumors
According to reporting from Eurogamer — a journalism source with a history of solid facts — Nintendo’s Super NES answer to the NES Classic is going to hit shelves sometime this year, or at least be announced. If we take a look at the schedule that Nintendo committed to in 2016, that would make a lot of sense. Even though the Switch is Nintendo’s primary focus for AAA games, the NES Classic had a huge amount of attention due to the fact that it released over the winter holiday months. It was the perfect stocking-stuffer; the gift that everyone wanted to give the significant gamers in their lives.
That was great, overall, for the Nintendo brand, and a repeat of that event is absolutely possible with a Super NES Classic. Other reliable news sources have speculated that the oncoming release of the Super NES Classic is the reason that Nintendo chose to discontinue the NES Classic. Being that the company wants to keep a majority of attention on the Switch, having too low-priced emulators — as desired as they are — would detract from the press and sales for Nintendo’s flagship console.
But what games should we expect to see on such a machine? Given that there hasn’t been an official announcement regarding the Super NES Classic, we have no idea. But that hasn’t stopped many fans from speculating and even wondering if it would pack in more games than the NES Classic did. It’s certainly possible since the chips used to emulate the NES Classic, and hypothetically the Super NES Classic, are relatively small and simple.
Additionally, the Super NES just has a greater library of games to choose from, especially since more people were getting into gaming during the years of the console’s popularity. Allegra Frank, a Polygon writer who frequently covers Nintendo news, has concocted a great list of potential games that everyone interested should check out. This author agrees with every single title on that list!
While it’s extremely likely that we will see a Super NES Classic before the year is out, that’s about all we know. When it comes to games, release dates and other details, nothing official has leaked from Nintendo, and none of the journalism sources that might obtain such news have spoken on it. That’s not a reason to be discouraged, of course. It’s all the more reason for us to keep counting down the months until an announcement is likely; probably about one year after we first heard about the NES Classic! If you have any comments about the possibility of the Super NES Classic, or just want to share some of your gaming hopes for this console, let us know in the comments below!