The Ethics of Console Bundling

I’ll take one NES Classic Edition with a side of GOUGE-ME-FOR-$200 please and thank you!

#569 – GameStop, ThinkGeek, and other retailers are starting to hold their Nintendo inventory hostage and sell it along with a bunch of other junk. If you’re looking for a Switch or even an NES Classic Edition, you may have noticed this questionable business practice… Simeon and Scott are here to look at the issue from all the angles, and determine if stores have a right to do this. And is it in consumers’ best interest? (Go ahead and guess the answer to that one.)

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (
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N64 Classic Edition Wish List

What’s next… GameBoy… or VIRTUAL BOY?!

#561 – As Reggie once said, Nintendo fans are “insatiable.” We really can’t deny it. As soon as we learned the NES Classic Edition was being made, we celebrated alright… but fans quickly turned their focus to the prospect of a Super Nintendo Entertainment System reboot. And now that we’re getting THAT this holiday, what else could we think about besides the Nintendo 64? So many must-plays debuted in 64 bits that the list practically writes itself. Watch us read off our picks for inclusion!

Footage credit: Diddy Kong Racing Wizpig Race – William5000000 | F-Zero X – arronmunroe | Goldeneye 007 – CasaRetro | Paper Mario – NomComms | Pokemon Snap – DazzaBound

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SNES Classic: Big Unanswered Questions

The SNES Classic Edition has been unveiled, but not in enough detail!

On June 26th, Nintendo announced that it will be following up the popular NES Classic Edition with an SNES successor. At an MSRP of $80 and containing 21 games, this bundle of 16-bit nostalgia is liable to fly off shelves as quickly as Nintendo can stock them. However, there is still some information about this mini console that is shrouded in mystery and could affect gamers’ buying decisions.

Controller Cords and Ports (Answered!)
Immediately following Nintendo’s announcement of the SNES Classic Edition, questions of the controllers’ cord length and connectivity method surfaced. Thankfully, so did some answers! Nintendo confirmed that the controller cables will be about 5 feet long, an extra 2 ft. compared to the previous Classic console.

It also became clear that the SNES controller ports on the front of the unit are simply for aesthetic accuracy. Due to Wii Classic Controller and Classic Controller Pro compatibility noted on the SNES website, it is confirmed the controllers will plug in with the same type of ports utilized by NES Classic Edition and Wii. So questions of the controllers can be put to rest!

Just How Limited is this Edition?
The NES Classic Edition was notoriously hard to find last Holiday season and through the remainder of its short production run. Nintendo cites a misjudgment of demand as the reason for that inconvenience, but it also came to light that the system was meant to be sold as a limited run (and actually got extended as its popularity became evident).

How many Super Nintendo units are going to be manufactured is unknown, but Nintendo insists that more units will be made available than its NES counterpart. Though they won’t commit to any production past the 2017 calendar year, they are making an effort to avoid shortages. Understandably so: with sales data on the NES Classic, Nintendo will try to leave less money on the table now that the market has now been proven for these throwback consoles. Additionally, the new system is going on sale several weeks earlier than the NES did, so Nintendo appears to be gearing up for more availability going into Q4.

Will Nintendo Allow Proper Preorders?
A missing piece of this puzzle is preorders. Fans of retro gaming were disappointed when preorders never opened up for the NES Classic Edition, and quantity was too limited on launch day and during the restocks that followed. Taking preorders would certainly alleviate much of this frustration, as Nintendo can gauge interest and adjust production accordingly. Allowing gamers to pre-purchase the console would also help avoid common issues with scalpers, and get the 16-bit console into the hands of true Nintendo fans.

Amazon may offer their own form of preorders (like Amazon UK did, and quickly sold out, for this very product), but whether they have actual shipment quantities to allocate remains to be seen. Unfortunately, Amazon has been known to cancel orders when they do not receive as many units from Nintendo as they hoped. Nintendo needs to have strong communication and systems in place with retailers for this product to be a true success, and avoid the frustration that their product distribution has become known for.

How Will the User Interface be Improved?
The NES Classic shipped with a perfectly serviceable user interface, allowing players to quickly scroll through the catalog of games, change visual filters, and create restore points while playing. It didn’t leave much to be desired, except one thing: the main menu was only accessible via the console’s Reset button. That is markedly less convenient than the Home buttons Nintendo fans have grown accustomed to since the Wii era. The Super Nintendo’s Reset button will probably retain this functionality as well, but a controller button-combination (like Select + Start) for quick access to the menu would be a welcome addition.

Will Nintendo Have a Different Stocking Stuffer?
Many fans expected Nintendo to follow up the NES Classic Edition with another entry in the Classics brand, but it came as a surprise when Nintendo announced its release date to be considerably earlier in the calendar year. The Mini NES was clearly intended to be a Holiday impulse-buy (which would have worked if the inventory was there), but now that the SNES will launch on September 29th, it raises the question of Nintendo’s Black Friday strategy. Will there be an alternate “stocking stuffer” to occupy Christmas lists around the globe, or will Nintendo opt to increase their marketing efforts for the system as Thanksgiving gets closer?

Do the Regional Versions Feature Different Games? (Partially Answered!)
The NES Classic Edition featured 30 games, and the list of titles differed from region to region. It was unclear if that would be the same case again until Nintendo of Japan officially announced the Super Famicom Mini. We learned that, yes, 4 different games made the cut (and 4 will remain exclusive to North America and Europe).

In PAL territories, SNES titles were originally made with a slightly lower frame-rate to match the local television sets of the time. On modern HDTVs, this difference is noticeable and can be bothersome. We don’t know which software versions Nintendo of Europe will implement in this new collection, and these are the types of technical specification questions Nintendo tends to leave unanswered.

Will There Be an N64 Classic Edition? What About Handhelds?
Rather than just a one-off run of NES systems, the Classics label is now a brand of products for Nintendo. And with two consoles being remade in as many years, it begs the question: “What’s next?” Nintendo 64 follows, but introduces more controller ports, polygonal 3D graphics, and more complicated control schemes that vary from game to game. Nintendo won’t be able to release a Classics console annually for much longer before they catch up to the Nintendo Switch, or the scope outgrows what is reasonable for an impulse-buy product.

An alternate course of action would be to release Handheld Classic Editions, starting with the GameBoy! Grab some Pokemon games, Tetris, Metroid, Kid Icarus (maybe throw in a backlit screen and wireless multiplayer if we’re getting really crazy) and you’ve got yourself an affordable chart-buster.

Clearly, there is a lot that we don’t know! As we wait for answers, let’s take a step back and anticipate all the great things that have been confirmed: Dual controllers in the box? Check! Unreleased Star Fox 2? Check! September release date? Check!

What information are you desperate to know about the SNES Classic Edition? Sound off in the comments below!

Hacking the Mini NES Classic Edition

We forgot to examine the aspect of fun. This WOULD be fun to do.

Nintendo’s recent rerelease of their very first home console has a design flaw… it’s hackable. That’s right, you can hook it up to your computer and load games onto the hardware that Nintendo never intended you to have access to on the miniature device. This is a great opportunity, but it has legal, technical, and even moral implications that must be examined first! Let us do the research for you and then you can make up your mind after this video. Let us know your stance in the comments!

Nintendo’s stance

Game Capture Credits: Philip J Reed | NakaTeleeli | ColeNL112 | arronmunroe

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (
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NES Classic – Super C (Contra Gameplay)

When your BFF gets the machine gun, the bullet spreader, AND then dies right away.

In an effort to live up to his brothers’ reputation, Scott takes the NES controller, plugs its short cord into the NES Classic Edition console, and tried to make some headway in the Contra sequel, Super C. Of course, as always, Simeon joined him for the effort and ironically performed far better than his cohost counterpart. The few attempts are amusing, and hopefully you enjoy the retro nostalgia goodness!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (
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Why the NES Classic Edition is Pure Genius

I’ve been playing a lot of NES Classic Edition around the Holidays, and it’s a big hit. I think Nintendo hit it out of the park for multiple reasons, and I’m going to go in depth on each one!

Brand Top of Mind (in Absence of Switch)

Nintendo wouldn’t be kidding anyone if they told us that they didn’t want the Nintendo Switch to be released this holiday season. The November weekend before Thanksgiving is their favorite day to launch their biggest hardware and software, year over year. Yet they couldn’t quite make it in time for the 2016 Holidays, so the Switch will be releasing on their second-favorite slot: March. That left kind of a gaping hole in November, so Nintendo brilliantly filled it with the NES Classic Edition.

What’s going to be on every Christmas list? What is going to get brought out at family gatherings? The NES, or even simply, “the Nintendo.”

The brand might not have the benefit of the buzz through their new console this winter, but everyone’s going to be repeating their name thanks to their throwback console.

Nostalgia is Big Right Now

Who knew that 2016 would be such a perfect year to be a ’90s kid? Everything that was old is new again, and gaming, film, and TV industries have all wizened up and they’re repackaging our memories of old and selling them to us all over again. Nintendo is no different. Their stable of IPs is in the top 5 strongest in the world, among the likes of Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars (or should I say, Disney, Disney, and Disney).

The NES Classic Edition was a very calculated move. Down to the packaging on the box and each and every commercial, the marketing has been a complete throwback. There’s not a young-to-middle-aged adult alive who wouldn’t want to pick up the perfect replica of that controller. Nintendo didn’t wait too long for this and they didn’t do it too soon – the timing is just right.

It’s Not Just 3rd Parties

Nintendo has been working on this console rerelease for quite awhile. Want to know how I know? Because of all the licensing deals that went into it! They could have scraped together 25 or 30 first-party IPs and shipped it out, but instead they held meetings and struck deals with other companies, allowing third-parties to get in on the action. In my experience, Contra has been one of the most recognizable names on the system (albeit in the game Super C), so it’s a good thing that Nintendo branched out and expanded the library through its partners. The Big N doesn’t get to keep 100% of the profits anymore, but I think it was well worth it. I’m just surprised news of the mini-console didn’t leak with other companies being brought into the circle.

It Has Spot-On Emulation

I didn’t realize just how bad the NES emulation was on Wii U until I saw it in contrast to the NES Classic Edition.

Trust me, if you haven’t seen the difference in emulation quality, you will be appalled. Nintendo didn’t do so hot with NES games on Wii U, but we really couldn’t ask for better than the Classic Edition. With the three different display options and the boost in brightness and clarity over Wii U, it just can’t be beaten.

It’s Literally a Stocking-Stuffer

This thing is so small. I know that the first image Nintendo released of this console, it showed the mini-NES sitting in a model’s hand. Still, my mind didn’t quite grasp the size. It wasn’t until I opened up the tiny box and held the even-tinier console replica that I understood just how small it is! It’s absolutely fun-sized. And I think it could actually fit in kids’ stockings this Christmas. This thing has the potential to be the #1 impulse-buy of 2016, if Nintendo could only just produce enough to fill up store’s end-caps.

Also, the price is perfect. You see that the thing is $60, you see that 30 games are included, you do a little quick math in your head and you exclaim “That’s only $2 per game!” That’s literally every consumer’s thought process. Everyone feels like they are getting a steal of a deal. If there were only 25 games included or if the console was $70, the story would be completely different. Nintendo hit the bulls-eye on this one.

I’m really happy about this product. I’m a huge NES fan and I’ve actually been wanting Nintendo to reproduce the system for many years. I never had the idea of it being miniature and coming with packed-in games, but they absolutely made the right choice with that design. There’s no bulky consoles or rows of cartridges taking up shelf-space, just this little joy of a system. I hope all the TBC fans who want one are able to find a console of their own! Nintendo really needs to stop playing so conservative with their supplies and just make more of these things. But Foxconn is probably busy making Switch parts, and I won’t complain about that.

Nintendo Voice Chat Podcast

This podcast occasionally contains too much water…

There are a lot of Nintendo podcasts for fans to listen to, but there is one that rises above the rest and sets itself apart from the competition. That one podcast is Nintendo Voice Chat, a podcast made by IGN and hosted by Jose Otero, Peer Schneider, and Brian Altano. Those three hosts make sure we have a great time every Friday, as well as provide insightful looks into the industry. This podcast is pure Nintendo fan gold, so don’t pass it up. Give it a try! And if you’re just not a podcast listener, they’re really great for taking with you on your commute to work, or for mundane tasks like doing the laundry or the dishes. You’ll be hooked on podcasts and hooked on NVC. Thanks for the great podcast, IGN!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (
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What to Do About NES Classic’s Short Cords?

This may just lead to the NES-eyeball epidemic of 2016.

The NES Classic Edition is afflicted with short cords. We’re talking 3 feet long controller cables. What is a gamer to do in this situation? We’ve got three options for you.

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Famicom Classic Edition – All You Should Know

Well, the controllers are attached, but at least they are miniature sized! …Wait…

Japan is getting their own miniature version of the classic 8-bit console, and we’re here to discuss all the important differences between the NES Classic Edition.

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (
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Crazy Amiibo Requests

Can we please just have amiibo chips in everything?

Can you ever have too many amiibo? NO! Especially if they are very unique, like the ones we are officially requesting Nintendo to produce. We will preorder promptly when they are announced!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (
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SNES Classic Edition 30 Game Wish List

One can only hope for Star Fox 2.

With the announcement of the NES Classic, it’s inevitable that the big N is going to come out with an SNES Classic sooner or later. Today we’re talking about its inevitable library!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (
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NES Remix 2 *Gold Challenge*

Who’s fob? Meta Knight is fob.

This is just a plain old session of gaming with the Crew! No Let’s Play, no glitching, and no agenda. Sit back and enjoy! Help make TBC better!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (
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