Why Nintendo may have stopped making the NES Classic Edition
Nintendo’s decision to axe the NES Classic as the units were flying off the shelves into the waiting hands of eager fans seems to make little sense. Buyers are willing to pay ridiculous sums for the product, but Nintendo confirmed last week that they did not have plans to produce any more units.
This is not the result of the idiosyncratic nature of a Japanese corporation or a strategic blunder on Nintendo's part; this is a calculated business decision that was made with a long-term vision in mind. Let’s dispel once and for all with this fiction that Nintendo doesn’t know what it’s doing. They know exactly what they’re doing. At least, we hope so.
As sad as the NES Classic’s discontinuation is for retro fans, that console just won't give Nintendo the same amount of flexibility to monetize content down the line. You get 30 games with the console, and there's no way to legally acquire more. Nintendo doesn’t want too many fans to get the NES Classic because it’s too good of an opportunity for consumers and not enough in it for Nintendo.
The Switch, which was released at the beginning of March, is their current focus and Nintendo didn’t want their golden goose to be overshadowed by a cheap retro console. Unlike the NES Classic, the Switch has significantly more long-term monetization potential that will be instrumental in reversing those quarterly losses Nintendo has been suffering for years.