What is that old saying? The NES classic edition is dead. Long live the NES classic edition.
Several weeks ago Nintendo announced that it would be discontinuing its wildly popular NES classic edition console. They have offered some nonsensical explanations on why...such as “unlimited resources” or what I like to call packaging nostalgia, putting a reasonable price on it knowing that supply will never meet demand but we all will be talking about it. I mean, It was a limited first party product with all of the same sentimental feel and emotion to get people giddy from the jump. Hell they even went out of their way to add things like scan lines, etc. and even hid little etchings on the PCB board for super fans. It was never a product but a commercial.
It is possible to criticize a company and still be a fan of them. In fact, I would say that it’s entirely likely that most of the people complaining about Nintendo’s approach to this product are big fans of Nintendo and that’s why they are so upset about it. They want Nintendo to do well and to be able to give them their money, but Nintendo doesn’t seem to want it. It wants to be the company that you spend the most time thinking about.
Are there consequences for a strategy that seems more manipulative than what most game companies do? It doesn't seem like it. The NES classic edition has sold every single unit. The Switch is consistently sold out. I can keep writing these articles, but the fact is people are still throwing down their dollars. Nintendo just needs to keep doing what it's been doing.
The NES classic edition is fun and quirky and hits all the right back in the day buttons-but it only comes with 30 games and you can't add more. It comes with controllers that have three foot long cables, just one third of the length of a real NES controller's cable, and honestly not all the games it comes with are even that great. Some are, sure, but this is nothing to fret over. So if you desperately NEED one, head to the online scalper of your choice or build your own Raspberry Pi gaming device.
Since its release, the Raspberry Pi mini-computer has been saluted as the perfect all-in-one retro game console. The best part, you can make your own in minutes (less than an hour!) and hey, props to you, you actually built something. Also, the final build sets up emulation for a vast number of computers and consoles, it can be argued that you end up with a machine that's a lot better than Nintendo's much sought-after box. You have to source the games online yourself, as you can only legally download and play them if you own the originals or if their license has expired, but technically you can build a console that is capable of playing games for more than 50 systems. That includes NES, but also SNES, Megadrive/Genesis, N64, ZX Spectrum, C64, Playstation, Amiga, Atari and much more.
Go ahead and google 'How to build a Raspberry Pi emulator' and tutorials on tutorials will be at your fingertips. It really isn’t that hard to do. On top of this, all the parts you will need could be found locally and of course, through online retailers. I made mine for under $90 dollars and I even scored a SWEET custom Atari 2600 3-D printed case from Ebay. If you end up going the DIY route let me know what games you chose to put on yours as I am always looking to expand my library. One cannot live on Chrono Trigger alone.
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