For people who are feeling nostalgic, there is the Nintendo NES Classic, which was launched in the United States on November 11. Like its name suggests, the console provides the same functions as the Nintendo Entertainment System that was debuted more than three decades ago, though it has been miniaturized for the maximum convenience of the consumer. As a result, it is no wonder that it has managed to stir up such powerful currents of excitement in its fans.
Still, the Nintendo NES Classic is not without its potential flaws:
1. Nintendo Has Not Manufactured Enough Units
First and foremost, Nintendo has failed to manufacture sufficient units to meet the demand that exists out there. For example, Amazon announced the specific time when it would be selling its stock, with the result that it sold out within a matter of mere moments. Likewise, numerous stores reported single-digit stocks, which is rather ridiculous considering the sheer enthusiasm that sprang up among Nintendo fans upon the announcement of its launch. As a result, some people speculate that the shortage of units is meant to stir up enthusiasm to a fever pitch, thus ensuring future sales while scalpers make small fortunes off of those who are unwilling to wait for further shipments.
2. Nintendo Could Be Misreading Its Fans
Of course, there is another potential explanation, which is that Nintendo was unable to make an accurate prediction of the demand for its product. This would mean that there was no malicious intention behind the shortage of units, but would have even worse implications because it means that the manufacturer has a poor understanding of its fans. Considering that consoles are reliant on the console manufacturers’ continuing support, this could mean serious problems for fans when Nintendo fails to re-release the games that they want to see the most.
3. Uses Emulation
Given that the Nintendo NES Classic is a miniaturized version of the NES, it should come as no surprise to learn that it uses emulation to run NES games. This means that this console is not the same as the original console in all respects, which could mean potential problems for both the sound and the video of the NES games run upon it. With that said, the reviews so far suggests that the Nintendo NES Classic’s emulation is superior to that of the NES Virtual Console on the Wii U, which should come as welcome news to those who are seeking some form of reassurance.
4. Minor Differences Between Regional Markets
People who are planning to buy a Nintendo NES Classic from retailers outside of their region might want to make sure that they will be getting exactly what they are looking for because there is at least one difference between the different models sold in different markets. In brief, the controllers on the Japanese version are hardwired into the console, which is a deliberate decision to evoke the controllers on the Japanese version of the original NES, which were hardwired as well. This means that people who buy from retailers outside of their region could receive a surprise, though they should be fine so long as they are willing to perform even the most minimal of research. However, a much more serious problem is that the Japanese controllers cannot be connected to the Wii remote for use with the Virtual Console on both the Wii and the Wii U, which is a rather important if not critical selling point for some of the consumers out there.
5. No Storage Space for Games
The Nintendo NES Classic comes with 30 games built into the console, which should be enough to provide consumers with hours and hours of classic entertainment. However, it has sufficient storage space for save states but nothing else, meaning that consumers will not be able to store further games on the console rather than a separate storage medium. As a result, while the Nintendo NES Classic is bound to receive more games for its catalogue, the process of actually getting those games to run on the console will be a little bit more complicated and time-consuming than it needs to be.
6. Region-Exclusive Games
Out of the 30 games that have been built into the Nintendo NES Classic, 22 of them were released in all regions where the NES was sold. In contrast, the remaining 8 titles were exclusive to either the Japanese market or the North American and PAL markets. As a result, people who buy their consoles from a retailer outside of their region could end up with games that are unfamiliar to them, though to be fair, there are bound to be some consumers who will consider this to be a plus rather than a minus. Of course, there are also some consumers who will be upset that their favorite games failed to make the list of built-in games, though it is important to note that the 30 titles that were chosen include entries from some of Nintendo’s most famous franchises as well as a number of third-party classics such as Castlevania and Final Fantasy.
7. Games for PAL Region Based on North American Localizations
This is a not so serious consideration for most people, but it is interesting to note that the consoles sold in the PAL region, which includes most of Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania, and South America, will be using North American localizations for the games that have been built into them. Some of the fans in said market might be disappointed by not finding what they remember, but for most people, this should be a minor issue at most.
8. In the End, NES Is Still NES
Finally, fans should keep their expectations at a realistic level. After all, the original NES came out more than three decades ago, meaning that NES games lack a lot of the refinements that most consumers take for granted. As a result, some people might end up being disappointed when the reality fails to match their nostalgia-laced memories, though so long as they keep their expectations under control, they should have no problems getting their money’s worth out of the Nintendo NES Classic.