Update: It's almost time! The NES Classic will be available again this Friday. We've already gotten word that Best Buy and GameStop will be selling the console in-store and online with a limit of one per customer. You could also grab it in-store at ThinkGeek or on its website at 9 AM EST that day. Amazon Books stores will have limited quantities, so if you live near one, you may want to check that out. Other retailers should have it available too, though there's still no word on whether it show up at Amazon's website; it might be a wise idea to keep an eye on its product page there. Source: Nintendo, Best Buy, GameStop.
The elusive NES Classic Edition by Nintendo is returning to stores on June 29, 2018 for only $59.99. This system was initially launched back in early November 2016 to huge fanfare, though the excitement would only lead to disappointment for some. Availability on the console ended up being extremely limited, with many retail stores selling out of all stock received within a couple of hours after release. With 30 of the best classic titles available all on this one console for the same price as a new game sells these days, it's no wonder fans responded the way they did. Resellers beat many of them to the stores that day, resulting in many of the NES Classic Edition consoles ending up on eBay selling regularly between $200 and $300 each. A few sold for as high as $1,000.
Back when the console first came out, I was working as a merchandiser in Walmart and assisted in stocking the new game releases every week. This console was sold out before I even came into work that day. The Video Game Manager was a bit perturbed with people calling for weeks asking for the console, while Nintendo continually sent signage promoting something which was never in stock. There's a very good chance this year's return is also a limited chance to grab the system. It won't be as crazy this time around, as you can grab an NES Classic on eBay or Amazon these days for around $100 to $150. This year's re-release should help bring the cost down on those sites even lower, but there's no telling how quickly stock may be bought up and resold for triple the price again.
A good sign that maybe things might turn out better this time around is how Nintendo has handled the successor's release. The SNES Classic was priced a bit higher at $80, with stores receiving stock at several times over the past year instead of just once. They also seem to have produced more of this console in general, as some resellers via eBay have them for the same price. If you haven't gotten your hands on one of those yet, it's nowhere near as difficult. They're actually in stock right now at GameStop.
There are some really nice accessories coming out for these consoles too. One such item is this awesome Deluxe Travel Case which can store either of the classic consoles along with games and other required equipment. There are even some vintage-looking options like this PDP Deluxe Carrying Case for the SNES Classic.
Nintendo stated that the NES Classic Edition console is expected to be available through the end of the year once it's released in June. Just in case though, I'd make sure to grab it the morning it comes out to avoid any potential repeats of its original release.
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