Need a great business plan? Create a product that everyone wants, then stop selling that product.
At least, that is the strategy that Nintendo is employing, as it discontinues its wildly popular NES Classic game console. But the console is in high demand, so why is Nintendo doing this?
In IT Blogwatch, we’re on the lookout for answers.
So what is going on? Dave Smith has some background:
Nintendo has officially discontinued production on the NES Classic, its incredibly popular…game console. … The NES Classic…was a miniature version of the original Nintendo Entertainment System that could play 30 classic NES games out of the box, and could connect to modern HD televisions with updated ports.
What is the big deal about that? Alex Cranz fills us in:
The NES Classic sold out as soon as it was available in November 2016…There was something perfect and blissful about this easily consumed little nostalgia nugget, and it resonated with consumers. … The success took Nintendo by surprise…and…despite Nintendo providing additional shipments…assuring fans more $60 machines were coming, supply just never kept up with demand.
So when will shipments officially stop? Jose Otero has the scoop:
A Nintendo representative provided the following statement to IGN: “Throughout April, NOA territories will receive the last shipments of Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition systems for this year…NES Classic Edition wasn’t intended to be an ongoing, long-term product.”
Alright, it wasn’t intended to be offered forever. But do we know why it is being discontinued? Scott Stein has an idea:
To those looking for an NES Classic…this is bound to be disappointing…But therein could lie the point: the NES Classic’s affordable collection of retro games is an alternative to the Nintendo Switch, an equally hard-to-find $300 device that will launch its own paid online service with access to NES and SNES games this fall.
Ooooh, so this is all to boost sales of the Switch? Kyle Orland has some more information on that:
The NES Classic news comes as the Nintendo Switch also continues to sell out quickly…a situation that…could last through the end of the year. Nintendo is reportedly doubling its rate of Switch production from 8 million to 16 million units for the calendar year in light of that demand.
It seems like that might be it. Although Ben Kuchera speculates on other possible motivators:
Here are a few theories about why Nintendo may have done this…The NES Classic Edition has been hacked to hell and back, and it’s a trivial thing to crack the system with software found online to add downloaded NES ROMs…if the licensing agreements became too costly, it might make sense for Nintendo to cease production to avoid losses or even breaking even. …It’s possible…that one of the publishers that owns the rights to one of the games got pissy about the success of the product and wriggled out of its licensing agreement before telling Nintendo the game couldn’t be sold with the hardware anymore…Nintendo may be playing with artificial scarcity by yanking the console at the height of its popularity, only to replace it with another system later this year with a new color scheme, design or selection of games.
Despite all these possiblities, Chris can think of one more potential reason it was discontinued:
It was deemed too popular.