Well, I'm here again with another topic that has already been covered to death across the interwebs but I'm struggling with ideas for gaming-related posts at the moment so ripping into Nintendo for something they've done seems like a reasonable way to fill a void with some content...if you can call it "content" (which even I wouldn't to be fair).
ANYWAY, Nintendo recently announced their decision to discontinue production of the NES Classic Edition/NES Mini/That Thing That Was Never In Stock, a press release that was met with a universal "buh?" from the gaming community. The puzzled reaction was hardly a surprise either for this thing has been selling like crazy since its release and - to my knowledge - has never not been a hot product, always out of stock and being sold by shameless scalping re-sellers for way over the standard RRP. People still want one and yet, with the stock shortages still not resolved, Nintendo have pulled the plug.
Now I have to ask: what on earth are they thinking? I could waffle on for paragraphs about this decision of theirs and why it makes no sense but for ease of reading, I'll summarise the main points as I see them into a handy little list.
- Consumers are still prepared to hand over their cash for one. Why would you stop manufacturing it?
- Stores are constantly out of stock or never received what would be described as adequate stock. Surely they will still be interested in placing orders with distributers?
- Nintendo's loyal fans are pissed-off that they couldn't/can't get their hands on a unit and are being exploited by re-sellers. Is not resolving this problem really the best way to keep a fanbase happy?
- Nintendo are just feeding the suspicion that they have deliberately manufactured a market hype by purposely limiting the supply of a product and receiving a huge buzz around their name in the process.
|Remember THIS "limited" stock situation from the 90's?|
We only recently saw the exact same situation with the Amiibo figurine line (a product even closer to toys) and while the supply situation was ultimately rectified, we still saw certain figures produced in suspiciously smaller quantities and selling for three, four or five times their RRP on places like ebay. Worse still, it brought the most toxic of attitudes within the gaming community to the forefront with certain people buying up all available stock of certain Amiibo and being quoted as saying that they were intentionally preventing others from acquiring the likes of Rosalina or Lucina so that their own collection(s) would be more valuable. How on earth does any of this fit into gaming being about fun, entertainment and escapism? Suddenly, games have become more akin to stocks and shares...or the last scraps of food in a starving, post-apocalyptic world.
|Do they purposely take advantage of pervs and otaku?|
- Innocently attempting to minimise unsold inventory
- Genuinely so stupid as to do themselves out of sales by not understanding what will and won't be in demand from their own catalogue of products
- Playing us all by controlling stock supply to maximise media attention and increase people's hunger for products.
I for one have pretty much had it with Nintendo and anything of theirs that is needlessly difficult to obtain or sells out within minutes. The recent Fire Emblem Fates saga (and boy have I talked about that at length on this blog) really made me question the point in it all. Most Nintendo limited/collector's/special editions are produced in ridiculously tiny quantities and sell out on pre-order more or less immediately so unless you research the time that a product is going to go on sale and then get yourself online at some sort of dark, unsociable hour then you're screwed. The same thing doesn't happen with the majority of Playstation or Xbox collector's editions and honestly, all those lengths that you have to go to just aren't part of what makes gaming enjoyable for me. You have to jump through hoops and even though me saying "I'm done" will have no effect on the bigger picture, I'm happy to no longer want to jump through hoops.
|I don't care HOW you try to seduce me, Nintendo...|
I've gone extremely off-topic here haven't I? Discussing the demise of the NES Mini has led on to Amiibo, scalpers and me padding this crappy essay out with dubious imagery so I can only apologise if you're confused or offended in any way. Then again, you probably won't still be reading this if you fall into those camps. To summarise by returning to the original topic, the whole thing has been a joke as far as I'm concerned; a real "f*** you" to the fans that Nintendo are supposed to be satisfying in exchange for their continued support. Not to mention the fact that they seem to be doing themselves out of many thousands of additional sales. All I can say is that this will be a drop in the ocean compared to what will happen if they announce a SNES Mini...