Nintendo Reveals How Many NES Classic Editions They Sold

The NES Classic Edition was even more successful than Nintendo hoped it could be.

Conspicuously absent from Nintendo’s recently released earning reports was any information regarding how many NES Classic Editions were sold. Given that the product was notoriously discontinued recently, some fans suspected that its absence suggests that the console was either underperforming or performing so well that the exact sales figure would raise further questions regarding the end of the console. 

As it turns out, it’s a case of the latter. 

In an interview with Time, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Amié revealed that Nintendo has sold 2.3 million NES Classic Editions during the console’s five-month retail lifespan. When you consider that the Nintendo Switch – a brand new console that will be viable for years – has sold 2.7 million units thus far, the success of the comparatively limited NES Classic Edition is that much more surprising. 

Apparently, Nintendo was also caught off-guard by the system’s success. 

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“We just didn’t anticipate how incredible the response would be,” said Fils-Aimé. “Once we saw that response, we added shipments and extended the product for as long as we could to meet more of that consumer demand.”

Hearing exactly how successful the NES Classic Edition has been just makes Nintendo’s decision to end the console that much more curious. According to Fils-Amié, Nintendo is well-aware of the negative feedback surrounding their decision, but their decision to end the NES Classic Edition had everything to do with practicalities. 

“Even with that extraordinary level of performance, we understand that people are frustrated about not being able to find the system, and for that, we really do apologize,” said Fils-Amié. “But from our perspective, it’s important to recognize where our future is and the key areas that we need to drive. We’ve got a lot going on right now and we don’t have unlimited resources.”

Of course, there is always that rumor that Nintendo is working on the Super NES Classic Edition, so perhaps their limited resources will eventually be devoted to more madly successful retro consoles. 

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