Nintendo is about to embark on delivering yet another hit console just a few months after the hugely successful and innovative Nintendo Switch went on sale, and this one will feature majority of its technology from the 1990s. The SNES Classic has been announced for a September 29, 2017 release, offering a chance to enjoy those old school 16-bit titles all over again in a modern day, flat screen TV setting. Certainly the earlier rumors of a SNES Classic console late last year have proven to be true. It sounds insane, but to date, only Nintendo seems capable of pulling off a gig like this one successfully compared to other console manufacturers. Try asking Sony to work on a PSOne Classic console and see whether it is able to shift as many units as Nintendo’s best selling NES Classic and soon, SNES Classic? Chances are the suits at Sony are not going to take such a risk.
The SNES Classic was no doubt inspired by the now-discontinued NES Classic, but majority of video game fans would keep their fingers crossed that Nintendo would have been able to sort out whatever issues that plagued the NES Classic before rolling out the SNES Classic. It would be nice to see a steady supply of SNES Classic consoles available on store shelves as well as online inventories, instead of having to scour online retailers to pick up whatever handful of available units, or to turn one’s eyes to an online sales platform that might see scalpers take advantage of the supply-demand issue by doubling or even tripling the price. These are the two major stumbling blocks when it came to procuring the NES Classic before the Japanese game company decided to stop manufacturing the console.
Assuming all goes well with the SNES Classic and its manufacturing process, and is able to meet demand with an ample production line, will it mark the final “Classic” console from Nintendo? Perhaps, as the next major console from Nintendo would be the Nintendo 64, also fondly referred to as the N64. The N64 did not live up to expectations in terms of sales and game titles, although first party titles and the likes of Goldeneye 007 helped to tide it through.
While the NES and SNES have a huge library of memorable games to offer for the masses, the N64 fails miserably in comparison. Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Super Mario 64, the original Super Smash Brothers, and Star Fox 64 are the few memorable titles, while classics in the vein of Goldeneye 007, Perfect Dark, Banjo-Kazooie and Jet Force Gemini might be far more challenging to license. It would not make sense to offer an extremely limited library of games since there are so few quality titles to choose from, and it would not make fans bite, even hardcore ones.
In the event that Nintendo managed to fork out enough money to come to an agreement to obtain such rights (which are owned by Microsoft), most of the mentioned titles gained a second renaissance recently in the Rare Replay a couple of years ago -- on the Xbox One, no less. Other titles like Super Mario 64 was ported to the Nintendo DS, while Zelda: Ocarina of Time was ported to the Nintendo 3DS in 2011, hence having a N64 Classic would no doubt see symptoms of Nintendo-fatigue or an overdose of the Big N.
However, there might be a chance that Nintendo could pull something out of their magic hat. Perhaps an integrated console that carries the Classic suffix, except that it will handle best titles from the NES, SNES and N64 eras? Now that would be something worth drooling over, and if it were to be a crowdsourcing project, it would most likely attain its goal within the shortest time possible.