Nintendo’s Super NES Classic, a 1990s era Super Nintendo that’s been hit with a shrink ray and stuffed with scads of superlative games, has been AWOL from U.S. preorder queues since Nintendo unveiled it late last month. It’s due on September 29, and among its many resurfaced delights, includes a never-before-released followup to pioneering polygonal 3D shoot-em-up Star Fox, turning it from a novelty desirable into a crazed collector’s obsession.
Scan the interwebs and you’ll find stock trackers humming the same tune they’ve been for Nintendo’s other elusive console, the Switch, since it launched in March. You can’t preorder the system yet, a Walmart website glitch that let some buyers preorder the console only to suffer the indignity of having those preorders cancelled notwithstanding. The only surefire way to secure an SNES Classic at the moment is to sidle up to scalpers, who’ve turned a $79.99, 21-game stroll down memory lane into a luxury rarity that’s trending in the vicinity of $200.
What to do? Here’s a rundown of everything we know about the Super NES Classic so far, updated as new info breaks.
What is the Super NES Classic?
More than merely a Super NES knockoff, the Super NES Classic is a pint-sized replica of Nintendo’s beloved 16-bit gray-and-purple console that first arrived stateside in November 1991. Instead of top-loading cartridges, it comes with 21 games baked in, a pair of replica controllers and high-definition graphic support.
What’s the Super NES Classic’s release date and price?
You can have it on September 29 for $79.99.
When can I preorder?
The Super NES Classic will finally be available to preorder in late August, says Nintendo. The company posted as much on its official Facebook page in a clarifying August 1 dispatch.
“We appreciate the incredible anticipation that exists for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System,” says Nintendo in the post. “[We] can confirm that it will be made available for pre-order by various retailers late this month.”
What games does the Super NES Classic include?
You get 21 acclaimed gems, including original U.S. SNES pack-in Super Mario World as well as a Star Fox sequel that Nintendo and British studio Argonaut Games fully developed but never released. (To access Star Fox 2, you have to first beat Star Fox‘s starter level, says Nintendo, quipping “We didn’t want to make it too hard!”)
Here’s the full list:
- Contra III: The Alien Wars
- Donkey Kong Country
- Final Fantasy III (hence renamed Final Fantasy VI)
- Kirby Super Star
- Kirby’s Dream Course
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
- Mega Man X
- Secret of Mana
- Star Fox
- Star Fox 2
- Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
- Super Castlevania IV
- Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts
- Super Mario Kart
- Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
- Super Mario World
- Super Metroid
- Super Punch-Out!!
- Yoshi’s Island
What else comes with the Super NES Classic?
In addition to the system, the box includes an HDMI cable, a USB charging cable with AC adapter and two Super NES Classic Controllers — essential if you’re up for some local two-player per games like Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting, Super Mario Kart, Contra III: The Alien Wars and Secret of Mana. The controller cable length has wisely been extended to 5 feet as well. (The NES Classic’s controller was just 3 feet.)
Where can I find one?
Game blogs (as well as roundups like this one) will lag the signal flares whooshing from social hubs like Twitter and Facebook, or forums like Reddit and NeoGAF as sales news breaks. Monitoring the Twitter and Facebook feeds of retail giants like Target and Walmart for unexpected dispatches is a good start. Watch Nintendo of America’s Twitter and Facebook feeds, of course. You can also keep an eye on the unofficial Nintendo Reddit (be sure to scan the “New” view), or monitor NeoGAF’s SNES preorder thread, with the usual caveats about information gleaned from anonymous public hangouts. It’s also worth bookmarking in-stock checkers like NowInStock.
Nintendo has yet to divulge its list of retail partners, but you can sign up for availability notifications from Amazon and Best Buy, and it’s all but certain GameStop, Target, Toys ‘R’ Us and Walmart will carry the system.
How are scalpers selling the Super NES Classic?
Some retailers outside the U.S. have already allowed preorders, which is what you’re seeing as you scan sites like eBay for sold listings. At this point, with no retailers allowing preorders in the U.S., there’s no reason to pay extortionate prices for the system. Better to wait and watch.
What’s the deal with Walmart?
An apparent website goof on July 21 surfaced the retail giant’s Super NES Classic’s preorder page early, resulting in tons of orders the retail giant wound up subsequently canceling. This made no one happy — presumably Walmart least of all.
How many Super NES Classics will Nintendo make?
Nintendo has promised to produce “significantly more” of the SNES Classic than it did the NES Classic, a system that was perpetually sold out and eventually canceled well short of meeting consumer demand. It’s anyone’s guess what the total will be, but we know Nintendo sold 2.3 million NES Classics during its five-month run, so clearly more than that.
In an August 1 Facebook dispatch, the company reiterated its commitment to producing the system in high volume, writing “A significant amount of additional systems will be shipped to stores for launch day, and throughout the balance of the calendar year.”
What’s this about a companion Super NES Classic book?
Publisher Prima is putting out a companion book to fete the Super NES Classic titled Playing With Super Power: Nintendo SNES Classics, a compendium that’s due simultaneous with Nintendo’s micro-console on September 29. The beefy 320-page book combines historical info, speedrun tips and factoids, and is analogous to the book Prima published to celebrate the NES Classic last year.
Buy now: Playing With Super Power: Nintendo SNES Classics, Amazon, $26.99