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Goodbye, NES Classic: Nintendo stopping shipments this month

Forget about your hopes of getting an NES Classic at a regular price this year.

Sarah Tew/CNET
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Nintendo's retro phenomenon, the NES Classic, is going away despite its popularity. At least, for this year.

The $60 (£50 or AU$100) all-in-one system has 30 built-in NES games and became one of 2016's hottest holiday gifts. But the NES Classic's not going to be around anymore. Nintendo of America told CNET the following, which first emerged as a statement to IGN on Thursday.

"Throughout April, NOA territories will receive the last shipments of Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition systems for this year. We encourage anyone interested in obtaining this system to check with retail outlets regarding availability. We understand that it has been difficult for many consumers to find a system, and for that we apologize. We have paid close attention to consumer feedback, and we greatly appreciate the incredible level of consumer interest and support for this product."

It hasn't been confirmed whether the NES Classic will be discontinued worldwide, or whether the NES Classic will emerge again after 2017.

Nintendo also told IGN that the "NES Classic Edition wasn't intended to be an ongoing, long-term product. However, due to high demand, we did add extra shipments to our original plans."

Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime talked to CNET about the NES Classic's shortages last year, but until now it wasn't clear the mini console would ever stop being made. Nintendo executives told CNET last month that more NES Classic systems would be arriving soon, ending shortages.

The NES Classic is currently selling for about $160 on Amazon through third-party sellers, which has been common since last Christmas. Nintendo had already sold 1.5 million as of February.

To those looking for an NES Classic, which has been continually sold out since its debut, this is bound to be disappointing. My son loves the NES Classic more than the Nintendo Switch. But therein could lie the point: the NES Classic's affordable collection of retro games is an alternative to the Nintendo Switch, an equally hard-to-find $300 device that will launch its own paid online service with access to NES and SNES games this fall.

First published April 13, 3:26 p.m. ET.
Update, April 14 at 12:33 p.m.: Adds confirmation from Nintendo.

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