The Hunt For An SNES Classic Is Already A Mess

A lot of people just want to preorder a damn SNES Classic. But nothing’s ever easy with Nintendo

The SNES Classic isn’t scheduled to come out for another few months but everyone is already furiously trying secure a preorder. As a result, when Walmart appeared be accepting them late Friday night, people swamped the site trying to lock one of the mini retro consoles down. Those of us who were asleep at the time, or working a late shift, got back to our computers hours later only to see we had missed the small window of opportunity completely


An entire Reddit thread popped up with people trading stories of where they were when they weren’t checking their email and subsequently preordering an SNES Classic the second it became possible to do so. As if the absurdity of Nintendo announcing it would produce limited quantities of a small boutique device that would emulate ROMs of 21 old, beloved SNES games before it’s even started porting them to the company’s latest system wasn’t enough, Walmart had to go and begin accepting preorders, unannounced, late at night on a Friday.


But this is where things started to get even more confusing. Starting early Saturday morning, several people started getting notices from Walmart that their preorders had been canceled, either due to allegedly incorrect payment information or other issues. An apparent screencap of someone’s conversation with a Walmart Customer Service agent started making the rounds, and appeared to indicate that Walmart’s preorders had gone live in error and that all of the ones which had been placed thus far would be canceled. Other people have claimed to speak with different store representatives and receive different answers.

As of when this post first went live, there are still people who report their preorders haven’t been canceled, and Walmart has yet to issue an official statement on the matter. In response to one person, however, the company did tweet the following:


There are entire articles devoted to strategies for preordering an SNES Classic. That’s how high and intense demand is for it. Like those people felt waking up Saturday morning, no one wants to come back from dinner, or get out of a meeting, and find out that for the five minutes they were off living life every SNES Classic that Nintendo plans on making already sold out.

As if to stoke people’s anxiety, Target decided to tweet yesterday that it would indeed have preorders available sometime in the near future. Understandably after the Walmart debacle, people were a bit jumpy. Did this mean preorders would go live at the company’s online storefront imminently? As a result, the company had to clarify that it didn’t yet have any information on a time table, and responded to many people’s requests for information each individually with the confusing statement “We’re excited about SNES release this fall too? Check online periodically for our pre-orders! We’ll share your request for notification.”


People might be more chill about the whole thing if they didn’t have déjà vu from when Nintendo trotted out the NES Classic last year, another device that was in extremely high demand, with scalpers reselling them for hundreds of dollars above the retail price, and which the company decided to inexplicably discontinue earlier this year. The SNES Classic has an even better lineup of games, some of the best ever created, and will, when it arrives, be the cheapest, legal way to play them. Nintendo has said they plan to address the supply issues that plagued the NES Classic, but given the scarcity of Nintendo Switches several months after it was released, people could be forgiven for remaining skeptical.


If history repeats itself then, you’re best bet of getting an SNES Classic this Christmas will no doubt be from some dude in the Best Buy parking lot selling for the same price as a new Xbox One X.

Share This Story

About the author

Ethan Gach

Kotaku staff writer. You can reach him at