Classics always find their way back into popularity, and Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition from 1985 is a perfect example. The video game console was re-released in November, and people have experienced a tough time trying to get their hands on one after selling out within minutes at U.S. retailers. But that's slowly starting to change.
The nostalgic gaming console is essentially a miniature version of its old-school Nintendo Entertainment System and is pre-loaded with 30 different games like Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Pac-Man, and more. The console is also paired with its classic miniature controller and an HDMI cord that is a little on the short side if you are wanting to comfortably play from your couch. The console’s current retail price is $60, which means its 30 games are practically free.
Stores like Best Buy, Target, and GameStop, which are usually fully equipped to sell popular items like the NES Classic Edition, have been selling out regularly, and their updates have been few and far between.
As of Feb. 1, Nintendo has sold 1.5 million NES classics. In a financial briefing, Nintendo also issued an apology for “product shortages” and said the company is working to increase production but that “parts take time to procure.”
Over the weekend, Walmart added new NES Classics to its stock, listing them for $157 a piece. Last November, when Walmart announced its first few waves of stock, Walmart’s site crashed every day for the first week due to high demand, and the consoles sold out in less than a minute.
Walmart is the first major online retailer to get a significant amount of NES Classics back in stock. In late January, GameStop received a limited number of the NES Classic consoles in its U.S. stores. The store allowed customers to get an additional $50 in store credit "on any trade of an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 and an additional $25 credit on any trade of a Nintendo 3DS or PlayStation Vita to put towards their purchases,” a company spokesperson said in an email to the Daily Dot. That would make the NES Classic an almost-even trade.
GameStop is limiting consoles to one per customer. If you're looking to stock up, you refuse to shop at Walmart, or if your location is already sold out, what’s a gaming fan to do?
How to buy the NES Classic Edition right now
Gaming and toy stores like Player’s Choice and Chunk Toys are selling the NES Classic at a hefty price that fluctuates weekly. Player’s Choice is offering the console for $239 with $5 shipping, and Chunk Toys is selling it for a total of $249 and free shipping. Chunk Toys also offers a two-player bundle for $299.
Third-party sellers on Amazon are offering the NES Classic anywhere between $180 to an insane $1,000.
GameStop restocked the mini NES Classic in its physical stores on Jan. 24. Make sure to call and check the availability before making a trip.
The NES Classic is listed as the second best-selling product in the video game consoles category on eBay, with prices ranging from $41 to a ridiculous $12,000.
Walmart is selling consoles for $157 with free standard shipping.
One good option for scoring Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition is through third-party sellers like Players Choice Videogames, which is offering the NES Classic Edition for between $239. Craigslist and eBay sellers are offering the consoles for purchase as of this writing, and a lot of sellers offer free shipping to make up for the steep after-market raise in price point.
You can also try Amazon, but the NES Classic Edition moves quickly there. In mid-December, Amazon Prime Now members were able to order the gaming console with a free two-hour delivery service, but it quickly sold out. The same thing happened at Amazon’s first batch of brick-and-mortars called Amazon Books, located in Seattle, San Diego, and Portland, Oregon.But Amazon has third-party sellers too, which are selling the gaming console as steep as $400. Granted, it isn’t the original bargain price, but if patience is not your best virtue, this seems to be the quickest way to get yourself a new toy with free shipping probably thrown in for pity. A Best Buy representative told Forbes that it expected to sell the consoles in all stores Dec. 20 but to expect an “extremely limited” amount of consoles in stock. Those are long gone, and there's no word on when they're coming back.
EBay is another great option for the fastest service and lowest price point. The online resale shop has been selling NES Classics every minute and 23 seconds, according to Polygon, and they’re selling as low as $143.
Craigslist might be in your favor as another option for instant gratification. The majority of sellers are willing to meet in person to complete the trade deal. Chances of finding an NES Classic Edition in your neighborhood might be slim, but it is worth a shot. Prices for the gaming console on Craigslist range from $175 to $500.
To get an NES Classic Edition right now, one will have to either hit up GameStop or Walmart immediately or take one for the team in paying the price and check out third-party sellers on eBay or Amazon.If you're patient enough to wait around for the convenience of purchasing the NES Classic Edition at the original retail price, you will save yourself a chunk of money. If you are not, you definitely have the right to flaunt your new NES Classic Edition.
Here’s the full list of NES Classic Edition games that will be available:
- Balloon Fight
- Bubble Bobble
- Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
- Donkey Kong
- Donkey Kong Jr.
- Double Dragon II: The Revenge
- Dr. Mario
- Final Fantasy
- Ghosts' N Ghoblins
- Ice Climber
- Kid Icarus
- Kirby's Adventure
- Mario Bros.
- Mega Man 2
- Ninja Gaiden
- Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
- SUPER C
- Super Mario Bros.
- Super Mario Bros. 2
- Super Mario Bros. 3
- Tecmo Bowl
- The Legend of Zelda
- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Editor's note: This article is updated regularly for relevance.