There is a lot to love about the Super NES Classic Edition, and we’re still getting over our enthusiasm from the announcement, but Nintendo needs to do a few things to really master the business of re-selling old games and classic hardware in miniature form.
Here’s our list of ways Nintendo can improve its Classic Edition business.
Retailers weren’t supposed to take pre-orders for the NES Classic Edition, although a few here and there did anyway. But Nintendo’s official position seems to be that the company likes lines, would like lines to form and enjoys the positive media coverage you get from a nice, long line.
That’s really crappy.
Pre-orders can help gauge demand and, while they’re useless for most releases due to zero scarcity, we know the Super NES Classic Edition is going to be hard to find. You can argue about whether that scarcity is due to negligence or part of a managed strategy, but forcing everyone to wait in line in the hopes of getting a system is a terrible way to treat your customers, and that issue can be alleviated by allowing retailers to take pre-orders.
It looks like this is happening in other parts of the world, so let’s hope it happens in North America as well.
MAKE MORE SNES CLASSICS
This is a really easy one. No one has a Super NES Classic Edition to break down yet, but there was nothing about the NES Classic Edition that was hard to manufacturer. There are no aspects of this system that rely on components that are hard to find.
Emulation is more or less a solved problem when it comes to the included Super Nintendo games, and the rest is just basic manufacturing. Nintendo has created and shipped physical products since it was selling playing cards, and it knows how that game is played.
So for the love of god, Nintendo, make enough of them. Nintendo has claimed that the NES Classic Edition was always meant to be a limited release, but it was way too limited by any metric other than publicity.
Manage initial inventory if you want those free headlines, but would it be so terrible to maximize profits instead of player frustration? We want to exchange our money for your goods, please allow us to do so.
Fix the controller ports
Nintendo wants to control every aspect of its hardware, which is why we’re stuck with proprietary controller ports on these hardware re-issues. But the company keeps saddling us with the Classic Controller port instead of using the original Super Nintendo ports or, better yet, using a USB connection to give players more options.
Nintendo would of course love to sell you controllers again rather than have you use the Super Nintendo controllers you may still have around the house, but the company seems willing to choose weird battles when it comes to maximizing profits.
Here’s an idea: However many they’re thinking of producing, triple that number and just use the original Super Nintendo controller ports. More money, happier customers and everyone wins.
Share the international love
It’s telling that so many of these suggestions boil down to “let us give you more money,” but the European and Japanese version of the Super Nintendo is a lot more attractive than the clunky box we were given in the United States, and I would much rather be able to purchase that one instead of the standard North American release.
If you disagree, I don’t care. I think you should be able to buy the design you would like as well.
So many Nintendo collectors would likely buy both systems if given the chance, and the design you didn’t get in your home country is always going to seem a bit cooler than the design you’re used to. Releasing both flavors of the console in every region would like to a few more inventory questions, but the sales would likely more than make up for it.
This is assuming Nintendo is still in the business of making money, and that always seems to be an open question.