If you’ve been eyeing either an NES or SNES Classic console from Nintendo, be aware that they aren’t going to be on store shelves forever — or even much past 2018. If you have an interest in one or both of the platforms, you should plan to pick one up in the near future.
In a wide-ranging discussion with the Hollywood Reporter, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime states:
There’s no ability for add-on content with our classic consoles, so when you purchase the console it’s coming with that set roster of content. We worked very hard, both for the NES Classic and the SNES Classic, to really have the best games that defined that generation. We’ve said that the current systems are the extent of our classic program. We’ve also been clear that, at least from an Americas perspective, these products are going to be available through the holiday season and once they sell out, they’re gone. And that’s it. The way that consumers will be able to continue participating with our classic content is going to be through Nintendo Switch Online, and we just released three new games (Ninja Gaiden, Wario’s Woods and Adventures of Lolo) from the NES generation onto that platform. We look at that as the main way that consumers will be able to experience that legacy content.
The verdict? No more consoles after this holiday season, and no plans for an N64 Mini, either. And really, this isn’t too surprising. The NES and SNES consoles have all relied on emulation rather than any attempt to duplicate native hardware, and the state of N64 emulation is, according to all reports, a bit rough in comparison with what you might expect.
A perusal of GameTechWiki and various forum threads on the topic suggests that in many cases, tweaks and careful tuning are sometimes required for specific titles. It’s not a question of whether there are any good emulators, but whether there are any good emulators that would offer a “just works” style solution for the console when running on the same type of hardware that typified Nintendo’s NES and SNES Classic. That platform is a quad-core Cortex-A7 with an ARM Mali 400MP2 for a GPU. Given how anemic this is, it’s not hard to believe that an N64 might need more firepower to emulate properly. With just 512MB of storage onboard the SNES and NES Classic, it’s also possible that Nintendo balked at building the more expansive storage requirements it would need to offer.
Either way, once stocks are exhausted, the Switch will be Nintendo’s one-stop shop for retro gaming.
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