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Nintendo's SNES Classic failWe thought we'd be preordering an SNES Classic. That didn't happen.
[MUSIC] Hey, there, this is Sean Hollister with CNET and I'm pretty pissed. I just spent the entire morning trying to get the SNES Classic Edition, the itsy-bitsy $80 Nintendo console It's going to be one of the hot items this holiday season. It was not particularly easy because like many of you, I found out this morning it had all ready gone on sale on Amazon and Best Buy over night. I didn't get any notifications in my inbox even though I had signed up for those. There was nothing to tell me that Amazon was gonna throw this thing live at 3 am or Best Buy at around 10 pm last night. So I missed out on those sales. And I figured, maybe this morning it'll be a little bit better. This morning I heard Nintendo was going to have it on sale again, possibly at Best Buy, possibly GameStop. And so I did a little bit of digging, and found out that, indeed, GameStop was going to have it at 10 am Pacific this morning. So, I got ready. And I wrote up a post to tell our readers all about the SNES Classic. And 10 AM rolls around and not it's not their in game stop sight. I email the PR rep back inside out it's only going to be in store, you physically go to a gamestop store lined up and see if you get one of these things. And just then Walmart starts their preorders so I click on the Walmart. I'm like okay, is it really there? I refreshed the link and it's already gone. Walmart sells out in less than two minutes. Okay, what am I going to do about that? I'm not sure. So I take a look over at Target. Target pops up, it's preorder page and I'm in there. I'm trying to get my order in some other [UNKNOWN] two it's in my cart and I think I'm going to get it. All of a sudden, it throws an error message. I can't get my SNES Classic there either. It tells me, what does it tell me? Let's take a look again at my phone. It tells me, sorry something went wrong. Please try again. Due to a temporary issue, you can't change your delivery method right now. I didn't really want to change my delivery method but there you go. It gets pulled right our of my cart and all of a sudden, it's gone. It's sold out at Target too. What am I gonna do? I run down to a physical game stop store. I figure, okay, if they say you gotta go there in person to get the preorders, you gotta go there in person. So I'm 43rd in line at this game stop store waiting in this long line trying to get At the console. It turns out, I'm there sitting in line for maybe 45 minutes. The sun's beating down on me. It's first world problems I know. But it's kind of annoying to have to sit there in line for this thing I thought I was gonna get online. I'm waiting there, the sun beating down, and the line starts moving very slowly, because They haven't even started moving when I get there, cuz they don't have their cash registers up and running, the allocations, or the units. Their computers haven't been authorized to let people have it. So I'm sitting in line waiting for the line to start moving. Finally, starts moving very slowly, 45 minutes later, about three places behind the front of the line, all of a sudden They're out of units, too. Turns out this GameStop, the San Francisco flagship GameStop store only got 36 units, and I was 43rd in line, so I'm not getting one of those. So I sit outside a little bit. I'm doing my duty as a journalist, and I talk to a person coming out who did get one of the units. And she's ecstatic about getting the unit, but even she's not too happy about the situation. She talks about how big a cluster I'm not gonna say [UNKNOWN] this whole situation was that Nintendo didn't make enough for this. The retailers won't prepare, the websites were down while I'm sitting there. The GameStop app. People say you can get one through the GameStop app. So I pull up the the GameStop app. And sure enough, the units are there. The bundles are there. But you can't add any of them to the cart, the app doesn't work. Here's the item in the app, it says it's unable to look up the product, what am I gonna do about that? So I try the website, Game Stop's website is down, I give up, I'm walking back from Game Stop, back to the office I think I'm gonna do some real work now. And on the way back, I see a tweet from Wario64 who follows these things very closely. He says, hey they're up at thinkgeek. So, I take a look at thinkgeek, and sure enough, thinkgeek has some of these bundles. But they are not cheap. The minimum they want for one of these bundles is $140. And I'm not gonna pay 140 dollars for an 80-dollar product, particularly when these bundles here are sold by GameStop's company Thinkgeek. Thinkgeek is owned by GameStop, they are basically scalping their own customers here in order to get them to buy Expensive bundles with things you don't really need that are made by GameStop, made by thinking in their own line of products. You can get a cool little Zelda shield or something like that, or they've gotta like a Mega Man buster arm which I guess is cool, but I don't want those things. I might already have those things. I just want to get one of these consoles and GameStop is making me pay extra to get one. So I don't buy one of those either. Just as I'm getting back to work, I'm getting back to see that headquarters. I hear that the game stop side is finally up. This is 12, 1:30 now I had a quick lunch to help cool myself down. Turns out, we still right now can't get into the game stop site, still can't get his preorders taken cared of, all of this retailers push this things live randomly. You had to be, refreshing these pages non-stop to figure out if you were going to be able to get one of these, because they didn't give anybody any warning that this was going to happen, you just had to be there at the right moment, at the right time, in order to hit F5 and keep refreshing until you finally get one of these things. And it really, it really pisses me off. And I can't really understand, I still don't understand to this day why Nintendo would do this. They haven't learned any lessons from SNES classic when they had the same issue last year. Limited amount of stock, a lot of people wanted it. Only folks who were really quick on the trigger online or scalpers who can spend all day looking at this were using bots that scrape these sites and try to figure out how to enter in that payment information Those are the only kind of folks who get things. And Nintendo's typical, that's not really Nintendo's typical fan. Nintendo's typical fan, they sell to families. They want young kids who haven't experienced these games. Parents can buy these classic consoles and share these games with their kids. That's not really happening here unless those parents cough up a lot of cash on eBay or are super savvy. And if a tech editor like me can't get one of these units How does Nintendo expect any of those folks [UNKNOWN]? Well, last year after the NES Classic sold out so abruptly at all these places, Nintendo abruptly discontinued the entire system. And I wonder if, and that didn't make any sense then. I wonder if what's happening here with this system. The SNES Classic and the NES Classic before that is maybe Nintendo is just trying to get publicity. Maybe they are just trying to say look at all these fans, they're rabid for Nintendo nostalgia, these Nintendo products and get that they have to translate somehow into. game a telephone too. Nintendo's great or maybe they go out and they buy the new Nintendo Switch instead of these classic consoles. But that means a lot of people miss out on these classic games because there's no way to buy these on a Switch either. A lot of these games They aren't easy to buy on a new Nintendo console. And in fact, one of them, Star Fox 2, which I was really looking forward to playing, is an SNES game that was never been released before. There's no other way to play this game. And Nintendo hasn't said they're gonna bring it to any other systems. So they get this publicity for Being amazing. They're coming out with this game that people never go to try before. Coming out with this cute mini console where you get all these games for a great value. But who actually gets to try that? Very few people. Now we're hearing that there will be some more stock of the console in stores at launch on September 29 Maybe. You can go to your local Game Stop, or Target, or Best Buy, or Walmart etc, and get one of these things. But in the meantime, it's leaving a really bad taste in my mouth and in some of the other people who were trying to get these consoles today. I just wonder how many people don't even know that this device went on sale today They were waiting you know they've probably been hotly anticipating this ever since it came out and unless they checked news, unless they checked their you know tech site like CNET in the last eight to twelve hours they don't even know that this happened and they're gonna come in and they're gonna say **** I missed out, it's too late for me and I wonder if overall that helps or hurts Nintendo Certainly doesn't help me personally. So that's my [UNKNOWN] on the SNES Classic's snafu, and we'll bring you more about it at cnet.com. Thanks for tuning in. [MUSIC]