The NES Classic has already found itself at the top of many people’s wish list this holiday season .While the supply is apparently quite limited,yet many people are seeking guidance on how to buy one and also reviewing it’s hardware.
Social media is loaded with ways you can manage to find one as soon as possible, with people glued to their computers trying to find one on Amazon. The fact that Nintendo can’t satisfy this demand seems utter nonsense, and may be a part of an elaborate marketing strategy. The question is why? Since PCs and laptops can emulate these 30 NES games well enough, and it’s easy and cheap to put together a custom system through the likes of Raspberry Pi for emulation. It’s also quite easy to find an actual NES, although there are games included with the Classic that are hard to find when it comes to secondhand cartridges. Why would anyone queue up to pay $60 for something that is apparently so redundant?
Firstly it’s simple. The NES Classic connects via an HDMI cable, which means it’s compatible with every recent TV. You need not swap cartridges, neither do you have to plug it into a wall socket since it’s powered by USB, and most of current TV’s come with USB ports. Nintendo chose 30 games that are a symbol of the NES era, and added in enough options to be helpful but also balanced so it wouldn’t be overwhelming. The back of the system only has two ports, both clearly marked. In comparison to the PlayStation 4 Pro, yes it’s strange to compare a $60 “console” with a $400 platform, but still while pondering over buying a PS4 Pro is quite complex and mind boggling, even if you know a bit about technology, choosing to buy an NES Classic is pretty straightforward. You don’t need to do hours of research, and you shouldn’t have to face the dilemma of it not working the way you expected with your TV.
Another factor is nostalgia. You’ll find people in their 30’s lining up to buy the console they grew up with to try and relive some of the beautiful moments from their youth as Nintendo has given many some wonderful childhood memories. You just don’t get the same vibes from an emulator as you get from looking at an actual NES or the original controller. Retaining the original hardware design was a wise move, and it immediately differentiates the official product from all third-party knockoffs that feature questionable emulation.
Nintendo didn’t just duplicate the NES, they redesigned it by making it smaller and essentially a lot better looking. People may mock the idea that good looking consoles sell better, but they do. It’s also a hardware design decision not many companies make, which is why the NES Classic feels so fresh.
There is a market for cute electronics that no one is willing to fill and Nintendo is happy hogging that market to itself. While other brands are occupied with trying to make their hardware look serious and expensive they don’t focus on making something that’s cute. It wasn’t necessary for Nintendo to pack in a cool, retro poster. Neither did they need to scan and upload the original manuals for these games. But the attention to minor details is exactly what transformed this from a regular product launch into queues of old sleepy gamers at midnight. Nintendo perfectly executed a balance of novelty and nostalgia. We can already witness the NES Classic Edition becoming something of an obsession object for older players willing to fork out $60 on trying to relive their youth, or enjoy these games with their children. Staying true to the original design while just making it smaller seems an obvious move, but so does every good idea after someone else makes a fortune implementing it perfectly.
I’m pretty sure we all remember blowing our lungs out on cartridges but let’s be honest, that part sort of sucked. While you can improve the reliability of existing NES systems, most of us would rather avoid that headache and just pay for something that works perfectly out of the box. The NES Classic fits the bill and while there may be a certain lure to buying an actual NES system and refurbishing it, most people might just fell the urge to play Zelda immediately.
IT’S ALSO 100% LEGAL which may not exactly be a massive sales booster, but the legality of the ROMs in the NES Classic ultimately weaves its way into all the points made above. For example you download an NES emulator. Finding ROMs for games this common is pretty easy for most gamers and internet users. But the NES Classic is a conventional product; people who don’t generally buy games are craving after one. Most of them would rather avoid a trip to the shadier parts of the internet and risk downloading malware trying to obtain ROMs of their favorite games through methods that are both questionably legal and straight up annoying. Plus, they don’t want to find a USB controller and configure things accurately in an emulator.
NES Classic buyers are aware that the companies who own the rights to these games are being paid for their use which could help encourage more publishers’ to officially re-release some of their back catalogs.
The NES Classic is a product that few companies would consider let alone execute flawlessly.
The fascinating part isn’t what Nintendo will learn from this launch. It’s the probability that other companies will overlook the lessons taught by the NES Classic regarding innovating your hardware and library. People aren’t attracted to it because it’s rare, they want it because it’s a great product. It also paves the way for Super Nintendo and classic Game Boy hardware to potentially be utilized in the same manner. Nintendo has made the all round package feel as if it is worth it.