The hottest gift this Christmas will be coming from Nintendo. They are firing on all cylinders right now (sort of) with the release of Pokemon Go (Nintendo owns 1/3 of The Pokemon Company) earlier this summer to the new adaptation of the Mario franchise with the release of Mario Run app on the iOS on December 15th. They are also going to be releasing a new gaming platform in March 2017 called Nintendo Switch.
All of these new Nintendo products are sure to excite gaming enthusiasts, but the hottest gift this Christmas will be the NES Classic Edition.
The NES Classic Edition is nostalgia at its finest. At $59.99 this thing is an absolute steal. It comes with 30 pre-loaded games, which equates to $2 per game, and they are some of the greatest ones ever created for the console. There are a handful of other games that could have easily been added to the list but I’m not complaining. There is speculation they may try to push a major update to the system via USB. Even though it appears to replicate the original NES, it is about 1/8 the size and looks more like a blocky smartphone. It does not accept original NES cartridges and you need an adapter to use the original controllers. It also uses HDMI and USB cables for display and power compared to the A/V or Coaxial cables of the past.
My major knock on the system is that they give you a single controller with a 2.5 ft cord, that is just not feasible and almost unforgivable. It would have made sense if people planned on playing this console on their old 20″ CRT. I’ll be playing it on a 60″ LED, so sitting that close to the TV makes absolutely zero sense. I will be purchasing the cord extension adapter in lieu of the wireless controller as I’ve heard the wireless controllers aren’t that great.
A select handful of major retailers are selling the NES Classic but they are all sold out. This appears to be either a Nintendo supply chain issue or a giant marketing scheme, or both. I lean toward the latter as Nintendo is notorious for pulling off this move to spur fake demand and hype up the product. The thing is they don’t need to hype it up.
Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon, and Gamestop have all carried the product since it launched on November 11th, but it sold out instantly. I wasn’t smart enough to pre-order it, but Amazon has said they expect to fill all pre-orders by mid-December. Which means, if Nintendo can get their shit together, hopefully we can all enjoy this over the holidays.
I’ve been looking forward to getting my hands on this system for a while. In fact, I was so anxious that I actually pulled out my original NES last weekend and tried playing with it. Unfortunately, when I went to start it up I got the red blinking light of death. Many of you are familiar with this conundrum. The traditional fix is to blow into the game cartridge or the front loading pin connector to blow out any dust or debris. That didn’t work like it had so many times in the past 25 years so I decided to take it completely apart and cotton swab the pin connector with alcohol (vodka). Again, that did not work, so I’m afraid I might have to order a new 72-pin connector or mod one of the chips on the circuit board. It’s funny how complicated yet simplistic the original NES is, being 30 years old.
Retro-gaming seems to be a trend that is coming back. One of the biggest reasons I stopped playing video games and getting the latest PlayStation or Xbox consoles is because the games are over-complicated and arduous. You could play a game like SkyRim and spend days, literally, playing it. I read online that a game like Skyrim takes 300 plus hours to beat and that’s probably if you knew every step to follow. A game like Super Mario Bros could take 3 or 4 minutes to beat if you do a speed run. That plays well when having friends over to play classics like Super Mario Bros, Donkey Kong, or Pacman. I’ve even seen bars pop up that have NES, Sega, Super Nintendo, N64 consoles set up where you can go and drink and play retro games that you played growing up.
This gift is a great idea for anyone between 8 and 45 years old. For the younger kids who are used to the newer systems, it is effectively 30 games for the price of 1 that the whole family can enjoy. For the older crowd, you can relive the nostalgia of the mid 80s and early 90s.
A word to the wise: Do not pay more than $59.99 for this system, unless you absolutely think you have to have it before Christmas and you love throwing money away. I have seen scalpers on major retail sites selling this thing upwards of $300. I even saw ridiculous outliers of $4,000 on eBay. It’s not that this system isn’t worth more than $59.99 (it is), but the fact is that Nintendo will make as many as possible to meet the demand, which is yuge. Based on demand for the Classic NES console, Nintendo could easily replicate their Super Nintendo console and N64 console and make a killing. Hopefully they don’t shoot themselves in the foot and provide ample supply for the Christmas shopping season.Comments »