The quest for an SNES Mini, Nintendo #1 in disappointment
You may have felt a certain melancholy in the air during the afternoon hours of August 22, 2017. A strange sadness hovered over the United States, a cloud of disappointment resulting from the collective heartbreak of gaming nerds. And there's a lot of us. The SNES classic had gone live for preorder at multiple retailers during the day, and many hopeful buyers were left wanting.
I know this, because I was one of them...And I was texting with two more.
Not surprisingly, our stories followed a similar plot. We had each gotten word by some alert or notification that the SNES classic was now available for preorder at given retailers. As our heartbeats quickened, we had texted each other and independently used our various devices to frantically add the item(s) to our digital carts and input any and all data the site could possibly need in order to take our hard earned money for a piece of nostalgic gaming. Each of us met the same fate: crashing pages, transactional errors, and ultimately empty shopping carts and inboxes void of confirmation emails.
We had remained vigilant since the announcement of the SNES Classic; we had diligently set up notifications and built an alliance to aid one another in the quest. We had done what we felt reasonably possible in order to acquire the in-demand retro console. After the initial disappointment, one of us even left his office for the day and went to a nearby Gamestop in hopes of securing one of their physical pre-orders, only to see it sold to another who cut in line. Then, of course, we got word of the arrival of ThinkGeek online bundles, which were clearly designed to force you to purchase overstock collectibles for which no demand existed by bundling them with the most highly sought after gaming item of the moment. Even I was prepared to drop an additional $200 to secure of these parasitic pairings; but once again, I was thwarted when checkout failed, and my cart was empty shortly thereafter.
(Editor's Note - Apparently a popular bot program was partial to blame as it could check out in milliseconds while people like CJ clicked around like...futile human beings.)
Granted, I was trying to alert others, and I also was trying to buy two. Maybe that was my fatal flaw—the split second choice of a second click here or a text message there. And I know you may be thinking, “HA! Scalper. You deserved to miss out.” but I was buying for myself and a friend whose life demands would not allow him the freedom to join the pre- order frenzy as I did. It was going to be his birthday present, and all I could think during the madness was that I failed not only myself but him as well, doubling my disappointment with each new incomplete transaction. Upon reflection, I wonder if I should have just secured his and left my own to chance.
When the dust settled, I got word one of my buddies had secured a pre-order via the ThinkGeek pre-orders. Instead of jubilation, he was filled with angst, wondering when he would get the cancellation notice. He said he wouldn’t celebrate until he had the item in-hand. That’s over a month away. For all his efforts, he gets to spend a month waiting for a possible shoe to drop. How fun.
Those who could not secure the SNES are disappointed, frustrated, and probably questioning why they were interested in the first place. They may also be asking themselves which retailer they will choose for their final gambit during the impending camp-outs to occur in the early hours of September 29, 2017. Not surprisingly, those who succeeded are also feeling anxious, nervous, and unwilling to accept their good fortune. This is the mental and emotional landscape that Nintendo has created. And I know we’re all thinking the same thing: It’s a silly repackaged console that is going be buggy and imperfect; and given the current crises we face as a human race, it’s a completely foolish thing about which to be concerned. But emotions are, at times, relative; and for those who live aware of these crises often reach for some bit of fun, escape, and merriment amidst the hate, fury, and bitterness. Now the very hobbies meant to offer respite from the stress of everyday life are adding to it.
The truth is that maybe those who were unable to acquire a SNES Classic system should get a life and move on. And they will. Yes, a handful may lose sleep over this, and it may be the straw that breaks a camel’s back for one or two, but most of us will move onto whatever new shiny gimmick pop culture throws our way. But the fact that so many fans were left wanting, while the few who succeeded are left wondering if it’s too good to be true is sad. It’s just sad. Plain and simple.
And gaming shouldn’t be that way.
(Editor's Note - Nintendo is terrible. Just make a Raspberry Pi emulator so you can get even more games on your system and Nintendo doesn't make any money off of it. They already have proven they don't want your money anyway or they wouldn't have cancelled production on the NES mini when they clearly were nowhere near meeting demand. I typically hate piracy of any kind but Nintendo deserves all of it and I would rather set money on fire than give it to them. Plus we are capitalists this is a free market solution, and it is in stock, and will be restocked)