Editorials Gaming

The Super NES Classic Snafu and How to Prepare For the Next Time it Happens

I’m going to get straight to the point. Nintendo does a horrible job when it comes to managing the amount of product it sells at launch. The Nintendo Switch launched in March and it’s still difficult to find one. Before that, it was almost impossible to find an NES Classic. Before that, it was the Amiibo. Before that, the Wii.

I don’t trust Nintendo, or any major retailer for that matter. They’re not your friends. They’re in business to make money. Yeah, I’ll buy the products they sell because I want them. That doesn’t mean I hold any loyalty to them.

I missed out on the NES Classic. I should’ve known that Nintendo wouldn’t make enough to satisfy demand. I messed up and it was my fault. When the Super NES Classic was announced, I vowed to keep my ear close to the ground. I wasn’t going to miss out on this one. Even with my knowledge, I was lucky to secure one.

Soon after its announcement, many retailers had pages posted pages for the Super NES Classic. It wasn’t for sale (it goes on sale late September). It wasn’t even up for pre order. The pages were just placeholders for when the pre orders go live. Most retailers were kind enough to offer to notify you when it time to pre order. I say this sarcastically because no one was notified.

About a month ago, on a Friday afternoon, Walmart’s website began selling pre orders. About a half hour later, they were sold out. During that weekend, everyone’s pre order was cancelled. Walmart issued a statement saying there was an error in their system and the pre orders were not supposed to go live.

In an attempt to quell consumer frustration, Nintendo told everyone that the pre orders for the Super NES Classic would go live late August. Then they sat back in their chairs and watched as the chaos ensued.

On the night of August 21st, around 10:30 pm PST, Best Buy was suddenly taking pre orders. A few hours later, around 2 am PST, Amazon began selling theirs. Throughout the morning, the other retailers followed suit. Target’s site was glitching for a lot of people. The item would be added to the cart only to suddenly disappear during checkout. Gamestop’s site crashed so they offered in store pickups. But since people knew that was the day the pre orders went live, there were already lines in every store.  Think Geek had some to sell, but they were bundled with random crap you didn’t want to buy. That and the cheapest bundle was around $150 with the most expensive around $300. Each of these sites sold out in about a minute. No joke. I think Walmart sold out in thirty seconds. It was nuts.

Lots of fans were very upset at this. Nintendo said late August and that was it. No specific date or any other kind of warning. If you weren’t on your phone or computer all day refreshing each site, you didn’t stand a chance of getting one. Remember how I said each vendor offered to notify you when the Super NES Classic went on sale? That didn’t happen. Each retailer either changed the SKU, or the product page, or simply didn’t send out any kind of notification. Very cool, guys.

So you missed one. What do you do now?

It’s quite simple really. You want to know the instant something like this will go on sale? Use Twitter. Yeah. That’s it. Follow @wario64 or @cheapassgamer. More often than not, they’re the first ones to notify you of any video game related sale. It’s kind of what they do. Follow them and make sure that Twitter sends you push notifications from them. Other than standing in line for hours hoping the store you’re parked in front of has enough for you, this will be your only real chance to get one. And if you think it’s too late to use this method for the Super NES Classic, try it anyway. I missed out but got lucky when Walmart randomly released more pre orders on the following Friday.

If you really don’t want to use Twitter and you’d rather go physically hunt one of these down, then let me tell you the best spot to try. Go to Toys R Us on launch day. Toys R Us was the only major gaming retailer not to have pre orders go up. All of their stock will be sold in stores so they’re most likely to have the most on launch day.

Oh! One more thing. Make sure to create profiles on all the major retailer’s sites if you haven’t already. You improve your chances of getting one if you don’t need to create an account or add your form of payment.

I hope this info helps and I hope Nintendo sticks to their word and make enough supply to meet demand. I just hope you’re ready when it doesn’t happen.

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