The NES Classic is finally returning to shelves on June 29. Nintendo says it will be available until the end of 2018.
When the device launched, demand clearly outstripped supply (which Nintendo called a “market disconnect”), with one theory being that the mini-console unexpectedly had an appeal beyond the pure nostalgia market. Nintendo surprisingly ceased production rather than increasing it to meet demand, which it later explained as being because it was concentrating on the follow-up SNES Classic.
That sold better (partly because supply was more realistic), but Nintendo originally said it would stop production at the end of last year. It later backtracked and said the SNES Classic would be available throughout 2018.
The NES Classic’s return was also expected, though the date wasn’t confirmed until now. It certainly suggests Nintendo believes there’s still strong demand that goes beyond the Christmas gift market. There’s no word on how many units it plans on making and it will be interesting to see how many would-be NES Classic buyers got the SNES Classic instead and won’t feel the need to get both.
Both consoles being out until the end of 2018 would seem to imply Nintendo isn’t planning to extend the series with a mini-N64 for this year’s Christmas market. There’s been no signs in that direction other than a trademark application last year covering the N64 gamepad design as a physical product.