With the introduction of the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System, it seems Nintendo is taking an interesting approach to its backlog of historical consoles and titles. NES titles listed in the Nintendo eShop start around $4.99. There are 30 of these games included within the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System. If you were to purchase those individually through the eShop, you’re looking at a bill of nearly $150. With the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System though, you’re getting all of those games, the “console”, and a controller for $60. That’s a hell of a deal, and I’m expecting Nintendo to sell a ton of these things through the Holiday season.
So, if I’m correct, and the “console” garners the type of success that seems likely, let the good times roll, right? And that’s exactly why Nintendo gave this newly birthed NES such a wordy title. This isn’t just a one-off edition, it’s the first of series. Next year, we’ll be getting the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System. A likely more to follow after that…
With the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo has already put deals into place with Arc System Works, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Capcom, Koei Tecmo Games, Konami, Square Enix and Taito. Many of those publishers have a plethora of iconic titles on Nintendo’s latter consoles as well. Nintendo can build upon that already established list of 3rd party publishers, add a few more, and continue to deliver us iconic titles built into future Nintendo Classic Mini iterations.
On the hardware front, R&D shouldn’t be much of a factor on Nintendo’s bottom line. Emulation code has already been established for the majority of Nintendo’s systems. Implementing that into a new “console” for release under the Nintendo Classic Mini banner should be relatively easy. And with that, Nintendo is essentially just printing free cash. They’d be silly not to continue this trend if the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System is as popular as it seems it could be.
Storage of games and saves wouldn’t be an issue either. Let’s just say that each additional Nintendo Classic Mini continues the trend of 30 games included within the package. The largest SNES titles released for the original console were Tales of Phantasia and Star Ocean, both of which came in around 48 Mbits (which is about 6 MBs). Play math on the safe side, and 30 titles at 6 MBs comes in at only 180 MBs. That’s essentially nothing these days.
Let’s continue this game with the Nintendo 64. The largest 64 titles were Resident Evil 2 (a Capcom game) and Conker’s Bad Fur Day, both coincidentally at 64 MBs each. 30 games at 64 MBs equates to the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo 64 needing just 1.9 GBs of storage for its titles. Easily doable.
Finally, the last likely Nintendo Classic Mini option we would have is probably the Nintendo GameCube. Storage gets a bit dicier here, but it’s nothing that is out of the realm of possibility by any means. The GameCube used a miniDVD for its optical discs. Each of these miniDVDs held 1.5 GBs. If the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo GameCube came with 30 games, we’re looking at a storage necessity of around 45 GBs for its titles. This shouldn’t be much of a hurdle for Nintendo. You or I can go online right now and find 50 GB SD cards for under $20. Nintendo can have those mass-produced for dramatically less than that. Sure, the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo GameCube would probably cost more for us when it would get to retail. But put that bad boy at a $99.99 price point with 30 games included, and you’re sure to sell it like hot cakes on a day that people are really in the mood for hotcakes.
The Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo GameCube could also end up being something fans have been clamoring for a while. The GameCube is one of the few Nintendo consoles not represented in the Nintendo eShop. This is likely due to the obtuse GameCube controller setup. Nothing like it has been used by the company since. Thus, it’s difficult to pull the trigger on the mass production of a controller with such specific use. However, throw one in with the package as you have its predecessors and problem solved. Knowing it will sell would justify any production costs too. I do question whether Nintendo would be able to pull off licensing deals with as many 3rd party studios on GameCube ports though. With more modern titles comes higher development costs, and thus higher negotiated deals. Hopefully it’s a hill that Nintendo could climb and create a win-win situation for them and their 3rd party partners.
So, what do you all think? Nintendo would be nuts not to give us a Nintendo Classic Mini for at least the SNES and Nintendo 64, right? And who is to say the company couldn’t follow the same path with their GameBoy and DS lines? Time will tell. But first, the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System has to sell well this holiday. And I don’t think there’s going to be any issues with that.