Nintendo is reportedly planning to launch a mini Super Nintendo Entertainment System for the Christmas market. It would explain the seemingly baffling decision to scrap the highly popular NES Mini.
Eurogamer cites “sources close to the company” as confirming the SNES Mini. The belief is that Nintendo produced the NES Mini as a novelty retro item, hence the relatively small production run. When it sold much better than expected, many observers expected Nintendo to produce more to meet the demand.
Instead it appears that wasn’t viable as the company had already scheduled a switch in resources to work on the SNES edition. That will go ahead, but most likely with a much higher print run.
There aren’t many other details on the new model. Eurogame says Nintendo is “expected” to go with the same basic setup as the NES Mini, including having games preinstalled rather than using cartridges.
Exactly what games will be included is also up for speculation, with both licensing issues and the inclusion or absence of a Super FX chip as possible reasons why the most obvious titles might be missing.
There’s also the question of whether the design will resemble the North American edition (pictured) or the original Japanese Super Famicon look that was used in other foreign markets.