Friday, April 14, 2017

Fumbling a Classic: The NES Classic

For well over a decade, there have been many plug and play systems with a set number of number of built in games. I've had a few over the years and they still work fine. If there was one that could have done it well, it was Nintendo. With a background of many titles from the last 35 to 40, they would give fans what they wanted. In the midst of this, however, was a big fuck-up that really shouldn't have happened in the first place. I'm talking about the NES Classic system.

Back in November, Nintendo released the NES Classic to stores. They had 30 built games. Some first party and some were third party. You would think theoretically this would be a home run and it was... kind of. From what I understand, not many places got enough stock and one of the problems now is scalpers selling them at ridiculous prices. Underestimating that many would not care is nothing short of baffling. If there's a candidate for the most stupidly loyal fanbase, Nintendo would probably be at the top if not, near it. And I'm not talking about the casual people who want to relive what they had in the late 80s and early 90s. Some are willing to pay hundreds without turning the other cheek. They did put out another shipment, but this is probably one of the most surprising things to come out of this company.

Nintendo has announced that they are discontinuing the NES Classic. It's not a surprise people are pissed about this. Whether you grew up on an NES like my family did or not, many are going to be very disappointed. For one of the hottest products this past Christmas, for it to not last even six months is a tragedy in itself. Nintendo really dropped the ball on this. Millions grew up on this 8-bit system. It was a lot of people's first system and for some, their only one. From a simplistic age and the titles they offered, they should have known it would have been a bigger deal than what they expected.

Honestly, who knows what the factor is for discontinuing. I'll say this as a heads up, but the more I do blogs about Nintendo, the more you'll know how I feel about them. Their Japanese division is one of the most incompetent companies in all of the world. They almost have a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde personality. At times, they do understand what audiences want. However, the other side is having no goddamn clue about what goes on outside of Japan. They put up a good effort or the minimal. When there's a hot product like they had with the Wii back in 2006, you try to give people what they want, not kill it off so quickly. I know it's apples and oranges, but, come on.

Speaking of Wii, there is the Virtual Console, which has continued on with Wii U, 3DS, and the new Switch system. That might make a little sense, but the audience for the Switch is different from what the NES Classic is going after. My family had an NES from 1987 until at least 94 or 95. I've had my own since June of 2009. If i didn't have one, I would have asked for this immediately. The NES isn't exactly the most reliable machine for video games. One of the few mistakes Nintendo did was not re-releasing it at a good time. For its top loader to come out in the fall of 1993 is one of the big blunders before they made mistake after mistake starting with the Nintendo 64.

I know it's been hacked and a couple of other things, but it's not like the NES is going to be forgotten as the years go on. This is one of the most important systems for the industry, especially in America where it helped recover from the Video Game Crash of 1983. Even with some of Nintendo's illegal methods, this is a part of history. I doubt we'll get anything sincere since President Reggie Fils-Aime is a puppet, but Nintendo better have a good explanation for this if they have any. There is no reason to kill off something that you could easily sell to many and make a good profit off of. The NES Classic was reasonably priced. There was games you could easily put tons of hours in. It did it right compared to other plug and plays. But now, it's just another black eye full of backlash that they haven't evaded since 1996. Stuff like this is why people give Nintendo the finger and not take them seriously.

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