The princess is in another shopping cart

Hope you weren't pinning holiday hopes on Nintendo's mini-NES.

Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister
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Patrick Holland/CNET

As 2 p.m. PT approached, our quest began. Fingers poised to click, we logged into our Amazon.com accounts to vie for a chance to buy this holiday's must-have item.

But there was nothing -- Amazon's listing for the Nintendo NES Classic Edition, the "mini-NES" you've heard so much about -- still showed the system as "currently unavailable."

At 2:06, we punched through Amazon's big question-covered brick to the magical, wish-fulfilling "Add to Cart" button. But pressing it did nothing. Or perhaps you saw this:

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GIF by Morgan Little/CNET

By 2:08, the button seemed to work! If by work you mean a warp whistle to an empty shopping cart.

At 2:12, the world's leading retailer found a brilliant way to solve the issue: a totally blank white website! It's still blank, 45 minutes later.

And at 2:13, presumably because the company had no way to update its own completely blank webpage -- perhaps they should have used EC2? -- Amazon issued this tweet:

E-commerce in 2016!

(But hey, you can still buy these pretty decent alternatives.)

You might have seen a similar sequence of events if you tried to buy one from GameStop.com this morning -- us would-be buyers totally knocked that website off the internet.

Hey, maybe we'll get to do this all over again when Sega announces a more portable Genesis. (Oh wait.)