Earlier this week, Nintendo announced it would release a new console: the SNES Classic Edition. The console will come with 21 built-in games, including some of the classics like Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, Kirby Super Star, Super Mario Kart, and Yoshi’s Island.
The mini console will even include a Super Nintendo game that it’s never been released before: Star Fox 2.
The company announced that the SNES Classic Edition will be released on September 29 and will retail for $80.
Nintendo releases the SNES Classic Edition on September
Some fans are concerned because while the device’s predecessor, the NES Classic Edition, was a great console, Nintendo didn’t make enough of them, and this resulted in many people not being able to get one. Plus, it also opened a way for scalpers to hoard them and resell them at high prices.
Other experts are unhappy that the consoles seem to be coming at the cost of Nintendo’s Virtual Console service. The Virtual Console is a digital store where the company sells its older games to play on its newer systems.
However, Nintendo’s Switch doesn’t have its Virtual Console store yet, and the company will only give access to classics as part of a subscription-based online that launches on 2018. Some believe that a Virtual Console store for the Switch would be better than buying a separate machine.
“The Classic Edition line is a great way for Nintendo to monetize its back catalog without directly competing with the Switch,” Daniel Ahmad, Niko Partners analyst, told GamesBeat. “Nintendo could certainly bring its Virtual Console service to Switch, but they’d have to rely on each user buying a total of 10 Virtual Console games at $8 each to extract the same amount of value that they would get selling a SNES Classic Mini at $80 a pop.”
Ahmad added that Nintendo can easily generate a higher return through its classic line than through individual sales of Virtual Console games and that the same goes for Nintendo Netflix-like subscription service for classic NES games that will be released on Switch next year.
Expert believes the SNES Classic Edition will draw more attention than the NES Classic did
According to Venture Beat, it’s clear that Nintendo relies on these Classic Edition systems because they make more money per transaction than the Virtual Console stores. So, it is unclear why the company decided to make few mini consoles, as the NES Classic Edition earlier this year was discontinued after being on the market for few months.
“This is just my interpretation, but I think both the NES and SNES Classic, Nintendo wanted to a) do some fan service, b) boost marketing, and c) gauge how high the interest is in their classic games,” said Serkan Toto, chief executive officer of Kantan Games, according to Venture Beat. “The financial benefit is clear: the games can generate more money in a future digital store on the Switch.”
Even if Nintendo wants to make enough SNES Classic Editions this time, that could be challenging. Toto told GameBeat that he believes there’s more interest in the SNES version than the NES Classic, and that could cancel out the higher production volume Nintendo promises.
SNES Classic Edition games were chosen depending on the game’s popularity
During a brief interview with Nintendo in Famitsu, the company explained how the games were selected for the SNES Classic Edition and why Star Fox 2 will be released on the mini-console. Nintendo explained that the games were chosen for their popularity.
“It depends on the game’s popularity, whether people were familiar with it and the number of units sold,” said Nintendo, according to Forbes. “We carefully handpicked each title to ensure the game lineup appealed to a large audience, so it makes the SNES Classic Edition an easy purchase.”
The SNES Classic Edition has a different game library in each region it’ll be released in. The company also explained why Star Fox 2 would be available for the SNES Classic Edition before it was even available on Virtual Console, which is down to emulating the Super FX chip.
Nintendo noted that it’s difficult to bring Super FX Chip titles to Virtual Console, so they had never distributed them through the Virtual Console service up till today. They also said they found a way to solve that problem in the SNES Classic Edition by including those titles inside the lineup, and that there isn’t a physical Super FX chip built into the mini console.
Source: Venture Beat