This time last year I decided that I didn’t really need a NES Mini Classic. Despite having many happy memories of owning the full sized NES the first time around I’d gone back to play some of the games again and felt them best left alone. I sank hours into playing Zelda 2 back then but revisiting it again just made me appreciate the modern versions a whole lot more. There was also the usual Nintendo stock shortages and it seemed impossible to get hold of one even if I had wanted to. It was a bunfight I really didn’t feel like I wanted to be part of. They sold out within minutes everywhere and haven’t been back in stock since.
Sure enough Nintendo decided to give the Mini Classic treatment to their next console in line, the Super Nintendo. Once again pre orders went up and very quickly were sold out. History was about to repeat itself. I used to work in a small independent games store. On the final day before it closed I had managed to bag myself the store display SNES and I still had it in storage. If I really wanted to play the games I remembered from the 16 bit era then it would only have taken a few quick trips to eBay. I decided that I didn’t exactly need a SNES Mini Classic. The usual flood of ‘Sold Out Here’ news stories persisted.
I read a story online a few weeks later about Argos having a few preorder slots left over. Rather than just giving out their stock on a first come first served basis from one pile they were apparently splitting it up based on location. Within minutes I had friends from Glasgow and Edinburgh saying that they had typed their postcodes into the site and been given the usual ‘Sold Out’ screens. I live in the very South of Scotland though, one hundred miles away from either of those cities. Curiosity took hold and I wondered if I could have bought one if I wanted to.
Putting in my postcode gave me a positive response as far as stock went. The one slight point Argos put on the pre orders was that full payment had to be taken there and then. I put my card details in fully expecting to be denied at the last moment. The money went through, the confirmation email arrived and it was very much ‘Thank you for your business’. I had accidentally pre ordered a SNES Mini Classic.
I told myself that I didn’t really need it but, thinking it over, I became really reluctant to actually go ahead and cancel the thing. The sensible part of my head was soon drowned out by the part that had hold of something rare. Why give up on this pre order if you may never have the chance to buy it again?
Then I thought about just waiting until it had arrived and selling it, unopened, on eBay. Surely, if there were still stock issues, then a tidy sum could be made? I shot that idea down in rapid time however as I came to the conclusion that it would just be me scalping somebody else and I really didn’t want to be part of that. At the time of writing this however there are still people out there selling their preorders for £200 a pop.
There’s still a small part of me that thinks it won’t come through and I’ll get an email from Argos within the next few days telling me that there’s been a problem and to have my £70 back. In all honesty I won’t believe that it’s happening until the console arrives through the post on September 29th. Nintendo have apparently promised there will not be a repeat of the shortages of NES Classics witnessed last year so I’m hopeful that they’re freely available to anybody that wants one on the day.
In the meantime I’ve come to the conclusion that it’ll be a handy thing to have to show my son all the games I used to play when I was younger. He’s currently really digging Breath of the Wild so I can show him Link To The Past. I still think he’d love Super Metroid, Earthbound has it’s own charms and he’s yet to throw a fireball in Street Fighter 2 Turbo. He’ll probably also wonder why the heck we ever coped with pads that had to be wired into the console.
For that reason I’m now looking forward to the SNES Mini arriving. I might have had an NES back in the early 90’s but the SNES was when gaming as a hobby really clicked for me. It’s still one of the best consoles and bringing that piece of Nintendo history to generations who weren’t there at the time has to be well worth it.