Facepalm: Nintendo's stubborn approach to Classic Edition consoles is the sort of thinking that put them in last place in the first place. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to realize it's the hardware, not the software, that is selling these systems.
It may be time to put those Nintendo 64 Classic Edition rumors to rest. In a recent interview with Kotaku, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé all but confirmed that the highly anticipated miniature console won’t be making a surprise appearance in time for the holidays.
Fils-Aimé said Nintendo was clear when it did the first two Classic series that they were limited time opportunities meant to serve as a bridge from the conclusion of the Wii U to the launch of the Switch. “That was the very strategic reason we launched the NES Classic system,” he said.
Even more telling was the following statement.
“So while consumers may have been anticipating something, we view these as limited time opportunities. We’ve also now been very clear that as the consumer looks forward to engaging with our classic content that is going to happen more and more with the subscription service.”
Translation – Nintendo believes it can make more money by funneling its classic IP through the Nintendo Switch Online service (with a recurring monthly fee) versus bundling it with hardware and selling it to gamers that don’t own a Switch.
That’s an incredibly bold comment and frankly, quite disappointing, especially coming from the very company that jump-started the mini console craze. If we’re being honest, people aren’t buying classic consoles for the game selection.
Replica systems are adorable. They’re a great conversation piece. They bring back fond memories of yesteryear, like Grandma’s cookies. It’s the hardware that is driving sales, not the games themselves. Sony’s upcoming PlayStation Classic will prove that. Also, emulators and ROMs are readily available online.
“Would you rule out an N64 Classic coming?” Kotaku asked.
“I would not ever rule something out,” Fils-Aimé said, “but what I can tell you is certainly that’s not in our planning horizon.”