Nintendo accused of ‘Artificial’ NES Classic Edition shortage

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As covered in another article on Nerd Reactor, Nintendo is attempting to reassure everyone more NES Classic Editions are arriving to meet the, perhaps predictable, high demand. But, people continue to insist Nintendo is creating the shortage on purpose in order to drive up hype for their retro product and create headlines.

Released on November 11th, the NES Classic is a “mini” Nintendo Entertainment System with a few changes. Most notably, the games (30 in all) come preloaded on the system. The original NES itself revitalized the video game industry in the 1980s, and the same titles are played today through various platforms including the Wii Virtual Console.

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For those who want an “authentic” experience though, the NES Classic offers a console design reminiscent of the past, with the same controller for a more nostalgic feel. It is a product fans want, if they could find it.

Just search for “NES Classic Shortage” on Twitter and read a few angry comments regarding the matter.

One IGN Editor wrote, “I know you do this artificial shortage crap on purpose, @NintendoAmerica. People want NES Classic. It’s nostalgia. Just MASS-PRODUCE THEM.”

Another person claimed, “Why did Nintendo make an NES Classic shortage? Same reason they revealed every single Pokemon; so people talk about it non-stop.”

Even a couple of Xbox executives took shots at Nintendo, as pointed out on Forbes.

Shannon Loftis, the GM at Microsoft Studios Publishing, tweeted, “irrationally angry at not being able to get the NES Classic. Come on, Nintendo. Why would you short-bake these??”

In response, the Studio Head at 343 Industries (Halo 5) Dan Ayoub wrote, “Right!??? I was refreshing Amazon like a crazy person.”

In addition, there are a number of YouTube videos documenting unsuccessful trips to the local store for the NES Classic. A majority of retail outlets only carried a few consoles, which meant frustrated customers went home empty.

Nintendo’s perceived strategy is seen as similar to Apple and their iPhone releases, where company devotees line up outside their official stores in order to pick up the famous smartphone. News outlets cover the mass hysteria over the iPhone, which in turn provides free advertisement for the company and subsequently drive up sales.

Critics will argue that creating fake shortages creates angry customers for Nintendo, many of whom will resort back to illegal methods in order to play classic NES games again.

Regardless, Nintendo is thriving. Not only has the NES Classic Edition been a success, but the announcement of the Nintendo Switch and the upcoming Super Mario Run for iOS helped the company dominate gaming headlines in recent weeks. According to one CNBC report, “Shares of the gaming giant were up as much as 5.3 percent.”

Plus, new Pokemon titles were scheduled for release this week.

Fans will have to wait and see if Nintendo upholds their vow and makes enough NES Classic Editions to meet demand this holiday season. If so, they may keep the momentum going into 2017.

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