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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

SNES Classic Edition Preorders are a Nightmare and Everybody Hates Walmart

When Nintendo came out and confirmed that they would indeed be releasing a miniature version of the SNES dubbed the Super NES Classic Edition, gamers leaned forward in their chairs with gleeful anticipation and scalpers crouched in the bushes like they were getting ready to pounce on unsuspecting prey. Walmart was the first US retailer to begin taking preorders last week on their website on Friday, July 21st at around 11:30 PM. Unsurprisingly, within a matter of minutes, preorders sold out. Those that did manage to make preorders in the very brief time that they were available were sitting comfortably, knowing that would have no trouble obtaining what will be a much sought after item this holiday season. Like a bullet through a windshield, that peace of mind was shattered. The very next day preorders went up, customers were receiving e-mails that their preorders were cancelled. The reason "a technical glitch" in Walmart's system caused preorders to go up early.

Glitch or an honest mistake, this is not a good look for Walmart, a company that already has pretty awful reputation to begin with. No doubt this is sure to earn them a spot on gamer's crap list. The strange thing is, not everyone has recieved this e-mail, as some orders are still being read as processing, although it could only be a matter of time before these people also get the dreaded cancellation e-mail. I've even read comments that some were able to preorder from three to ten Super NES Classic Edition units. For those that are planning to have multiple units as Christmas gifts, that's great, but you already know anyone snagging 10 of those suckers already has plans to flip them on eBay or Amazon.

If I had to take a guess, I'd say that Walmart has no idea how many units of the SNES Classic that they will be getting. Taking more preorders than you can fulfill is never a good move and demand for this thing is already through the roof. Even if it was a glitch, there's no denying that Walmart royally screwed up, incurring the wrath of once hopeful consumers. Are Walmart's systems so faulty, that pre-purchasing a hotly anticipated item can be done early and hours can pass before they take notice and do something about it?

Nintendo has said that they would have more of the SNES Classic than they did the NES Classic. However, this is Nintendo we're talking about here, a company that has one of the worst grasps on the concept of "supply and demand" that I have ever seen. Nintendo's definition of "more units than the NES Classic" could be a handful more. I mean, sure, that's still more but it's also pathetic.

I talked to some of the employees at my GameStop about a month ago, asking if they were taking pre-orders for the SNES Classic. They told me that they weren't and that they aren't sure if they were going to. The best they could do was place me on a call list for when they become available. So it looks like I could end up having to go to there early before they open up on September 29th if I want to get one. I imagine other SNES Classic Edition hopefuls to be doing the same. Expect that you won't be alone and not everyone waiting outside will get one.

In a perfect world, Nintendo would manufacture enough SNES Classic Editions so that everyone that wants one can get one without any hassle. Scalpers would never be given the opportunity to sell them for five times the MRSP because units would be plentiful. Regrettably, we don't live in a perfect world. We live in a world where Nintendo does a horrific job of supplying enough retro consoles and Walmart's tech on their website is so abysmal that it can allow preordering to go up earlier than it should. Nintendo, you've got a little under two months to make the SNES Classic Easier to get than the NES Classic, but I'm not holding my breath.

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