When Nintendo first announced the NES Classic Edition, I thought it was a great idea. Rather than compete once again against Sony and Microsoft, they chose to bundle thirty classic games in a nice, cute package and sell it all for the price of a modern video game. Not only does it give Nintendo a chance to cater to the casual audience (and hipsters) but it gives the younger generation a chance to experience these old games. It won’t just be, “Oh hey, I know that guy from Smash Bros.”; they can find out how these characters play like in their respective games. Now whether or not they’ll like the games is a whole other question.
In fact, I’m pretty sure a lot of the people who the NES Mini will hardly be able to beat a majority of the games without having to resort to a guide of some kind. The save states will help out against the danger of game overs but will do little against the aimless wandering in games like Metroid or Final Fantasy.
For many, I think it’ll make for a good decoration to put on their desk or shelf and show off how ‘nerdy’ they are. But I can already see people online and on social media creating the “#NES30” challenge: beating all thirty games. (On a side note, it’d be cool if you got something for beating all the games.)
And as far as doing a SNES Classic or anything else, I’m a bit more skeptical. The NES is more commonly identifiable by gamers and non-gamers alike, where the SNES leans a lot more towards gamers. Plus, many of the deemed “good” games might be more difficult to use due to copyright. For example, Dr. Mario has replaced Tetris in many instances for Nintendo most likely due to the legal hassles.
In regards to people saying “What’s the point since emulators exist?”, once again I’m pretty sure most of the appeal comes from the cute little NES package. People can and have been emulating these games for years. But here’s a chance for many to support and legally purchase them, essentially for $2 a game. Add to the fact of simple set up and couch multiplayer, plus with Christmas around the corner? Even if you wouldn’t want it yourself, you could think of someone who would.
As far as getting your hands on one, it seems now that they’ll be “impossible” to get. In reality, I’m positive Nintendo will have plenty in stock by the time Black Friday/December rolls around. They’ve has been pulling the whole ‘scarcity’ thing with other products for a while now and it seems to work out well for them: it drives up demand and makes people more impulsive to buy it if they happen run across it.
All in all, the NES Classic was a great idea for Nintendo to execute. It’s been reported that they’ve thought of it years ago but held off on it. If true, a pretty smart move on their part, really. They saved the project for when they would benefit most from it, instead of being greedy and creating it while they were already making money from the Wii or something.
Even if there’s a slight interest, whether for yourself or another, I’d say pick one up. For thirty fun, challenging games, what have you got to lose? Definitely pick it up sooner than later, though…I have a feeling it might be a little scarce, due to how many will purchase one.