Episode 223: The Disturbing Trend of Nintendo Product Shortages


Sometimes, I wonder if Nintendo actually wants to make consoles these days. I say this because I went out a couple of days ago with a song in my heart in the hopes of spending some of my hard earned cash to buy me a brand new SNES Classic. I already failed with before with the NES Classic earlier this year but I was still hopeful because, by this time, I was sure Nintendo would’ve learned their lesson. I figured out that Nintendo’s manufacturing and logistics teams knew that demand for the SNES Classic was going to be astronomically high so I expected them to be prepared and have hundreds of them made when it was released.


Just like with other Nintendo’s new products like the Switch, the NES Classic and amiibos, it was just impossible to get a SNES Classic. It was out of stock… well, the first store I went to didn’t receive any stock. The second store only got around 3 of those little buggers and they were sold out in an instant. So, what now? Am I supposed to go to eBay and pay for the exorbitant prices that scalpers are making people pay so they can get their hands on it?

That’ll be $10,000, plus shipping, sir.

As much as I hate the scalpers putting these things up on eBay, I can’t really say I blame them… even though they are being jerks for preying on gamer’s love for Nintendo products. They are just taking advantage of a bad but extremely familiar situation: Nintendo console supply will never meet up with the demand. I always find it incredibly weird that an industry giant such as Nintendo always has problems with their supply chain. They’ve been in the video gaming business for ages and they’ve generally been really successful with their console sales. Yet, time and time again, they’ve failed to keep stocks in healthy supply. It happened during the launch of the Wii. It happened with the early line of amiibos. It happened with the launch of the Switch and the NES Classic. And it’s happening once again with the SNES Classic.

The weird thing is, I don’t think this was ever their problem before. This was way before my time so I might be wrong, but I don’t think I’ve read anywhere that kids were having trouble getting the original NES or SNES before. And this was during the time when practically every kid had to get an NES or SNES! Like I said, I could be wrong and maybe there were shortages even then, but I don’t think they were as bad as the shortages Nintendo has had as of late.

The sad thing is, you know Nintendo would make tons more money if they actually had adequate stock of their products but they just suck at making sure they have the number of them available for consumers. And scalpers are fully aware of Nintendo’s inadequacies in this regard. They know that demand for Nintendo’s new stuff are astronomically high so they have no qualms of buying off the limited stock they produce. I guess they can be part to blame for the shortages because they are trying to buy them in bulk to make a profit. But, in the long haul, it’s still Nintendo’s fault for the shortages. If they produced more of whatever hype product, there wouldn’t be scalpers to take advantages of shortages, right?

Now, Nintendo’s President, Reggie Fils-Aime did say that their production of the recent SNES Classic was in full swing and they were eventually going to meet demand. While that may sound reassuring, it isn’t to me because I was one of the people who wanted to get an NES Classic before. But, in Nintendo’s infinite wisdom, instead of producing more NES Classic systems because not everyone who wanted one could get their hands on it, they decided that they made enough and ceased making it. I don’t know how the heck that’s sound business advice! Nintendo had the potential of making millions (yes, millions) by keeping the NES Classic in production but they decided to stop? So, when Reggie Fils-Aime says that they’ll eventually meet the demand, I’ll only believe it if and when I get my hands on the actual product and I just paid the retail price instead of the super high price tags scalpers have been putting up.

Oddly enough, I’m honestly optimistic that I will actually buy one at a fair price. At least, at the price that local stores will make available anyway. Nintendo did promise they will keep on making the SNES Classic all throughout 2018, reneging on their original statement that it’ll be in limited production until the end of this year only. And Nintendo did eventually keep up with demand for their other products. Remember the incredible amiibo shortages of last year? It seems ridiculous that many of those little statues became incredibly rare but Nintendo did step up and eventually made them incredibly easy to find. The Nintendo Switch is much more widely available lately. And, good news! Nintendo actually got it through their thick skulls and realized that there were many more fans that still wanted an NES Classic and they’ll start reproducing them… next summer. Still, I’m glad they’re gonna make more of those suckers because I really want one!

I still do wish Nintendo would realize that people love their products and consistently make them. I guess Nintendo is being cautious about making too much of their products because they don’t think they’ll sell well and they’ll be in the red with an overrun of whatever they’re selling. But Nintendo also has to learn to properly gauge the demand of their products as well. Hopefully, when they decide to bring out the N64 Classic Edition, they’ll have learned by then that their longtime fans won’t abandon them. Then again, I don’t know any games that were available on the N64. Maybe you can limit the product on that?

Just kidding!

What’s your opinion on Nintendo product shortages? Let me know in the comments section below!

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