Nintendo is yet again poised to have one of the hottest gifts this holiday season. Like last year’s offering, the SNES Classic Edition is a spitting image of one of Nintendo’s most beloved consoles albeit in a pint-sized package.

The two miniature systems are functionally similar in that they utilize pre-loaded games and the same Wii classic controller connector. According to recent teardowns, however, the retro gaming systems have more in common than meets the eye.

With review embargos having lifted earlier this week and inventory already in the hands of retailers ahead of tomorrow’s launch, it’s no surprise that some people have already got their hands on the SNES Classic. What is surprising, however, is what’s lurking under that cute shell.

Several people have taken to Twitter to share that the SNES Classic is powered by the exact same hardware as last year’s NES Classic. Considering the controller connector is the same, the HDMI and USB placement is identical and the user interface is similar, perhaps this shouldn’t be a total shock.

(NES Classic on the left, SNES Classic on the right. Images courtesy Eurogamer)

Armed with this knowledge, one can’t help but wonder if this is why Nintendo suddenly discontinued the NES Classic back in April.

Demand was still through the roof and for Nintendo to halt production with no explanation made zero sense. Given last year’s fiasco, Nintendo knew the SNES Classic would be very popular. In order to minimize inventory shortages, it’s my belief that Nintendo ceased production of the NES Classic and allocated all hardware for use in the new SNES Classic.

It makes perfect sense when you think about it. Why continue to manufacture the NES Classic at the expense of yet another PR nightmare? Instead, dedicate all available resources to the new SNES Classic in an attempt to launch with adequate stock then bring it back next summer when inventory (hopefully) isn't an issue.

Nintendo could have come out and said as much but that wouldn’t have been wise. After all, advertising that the SNES Classic uses the exact same hardware as the NES Classic would have only created additional PR headaches.

Also read: Nintendo SNES Classic Review

Armed with this new information, I’m somewhat inclined to believe Nintendo when it says things will be different this time around. The company has had plenty of time to build out the supply chain and ramp up manufacturing. With the NES Classic off the market, all resources can (and should) be devoted to the new console.

That said, I wouldn’t count on it. Systems may be easier to come by on launch day but I still think they’ll sell out. If you missed out on the pre-order but still want one, I’d recommend lining up at your local retailer bright and early.

The SNES Classic Edition with two controllers and 21 pre-loaded games launches tomorrow priced at $79.99.