Picture this: last night I’m sitting in bed scrolling through Facebook before going to bed and I see a shiny new video posted by Nintendo. My interest is piqued. Apparently, they’ve built a new Rewind feature into the Super NES Classic console. Cool, right? Once you get your hands on this console you’ll be able to run through your favorite classics and have the option to go back to previous sections and snatch all those coins you missed in certain areas.
We all love loot, right? We all can’t wait to get our Super NES Classics, right?! That’s what I thought until I happened to scroll down into the dreaded comments section. Die hard Nintendo fans are currently calling for 8-bit blood because the company has apparently been up to some “shady practices”.
People are outraged because Nintendo has fed completely into the notion of overpromising and under delivering. They’ve promised a robust retro gaming experience by cashing in on people’s obsession with reclaiming the past. That all sounds good. But the problem comes in the form of who will actually be able to secure one of these consoles.
Tuesday night, people felt hoodwinked and bamboozled by the Best Buy website when their website showed that the console was available for pre-order and then subsequently finding out that it was a system glitch. Unfortunately, logic took too long to set in and people immediately decided that the company released a pre-order link in the middle of the night just to trip them up and the much sought after console has once more slipped from their grasp.
Clearly, that wasn’t the case. As of this morning, their website simply has the console listed as ‘coming soon’. That’s fair. Mistakes happen. That doesn’t change the fact that Nintendo has employed pre-order and rarity tactics in the past to capitalize on fan consumption.
As a person who worked at Best Buy in the past, I have literally seen people panhandle for Amiibos. It was all because Nintendo touts their products as being the best things ever then drops about five of them into a store inventory and then sits back like the Mad King and watch the chaos ensue.
While the blood sport can be fun for a while, consumers quickly realize that it’s an awful practice. Instead of bringing its community together this rarity practice has literally seemed to fracture the once strong Nintendo community.
Only time will tell if Nintendo can bounce back and come out of the shadow of Sony and Microsoft, but right now with its discontent community it seems unlikely.
Maybe they should take some time to promote and create content for the Switch instead of relying so heavily on what worked in the past. The technology is there all they have to do is grab it.