Mini Nintendo rant

I’ve loved Nintendo and been a loyal fan ever since my family upgraded our Atari 2600 to the NES back in the 80s. But they’ve long had this bad habit of creating “artificial scarcity” by intentionally not shipping enough units of their systems in order to drive up demand & customer frenzy. Key word there is “intentionally”. They’re not taken by surprise; this is their well-known and very deliberate business tactic. Obviously it must work for them because they’ve been doing it for decades, and eventually you can find their stuff.

So, last November they released the NES Classic, which had a bunch of old games on one console, with nice HD compatibility and better save functions and stuff. As usual they created the artificial scarcity and didn’t ship enough out, so the prices immediately tripled, or even quadrupled, on the secondary market (thanks, scalpers!). That was for the holiday season. I was assuming that they’d have finally started meeting demand by the time I found a job. It was really the one thing I was looking forward to getting, when I had spending money again.

Well, I’ve found a job, but… Oh it turns out they’re just completely discontinuing them after only a few months of massive shortages and huge demand. So the scalper price is going to go even higher. Yay! Anyway, this is the last straw. I’m breaking up with Nintendo. I’m not buying another of their systems. For all their problems, Sony and Microsoft don’t jerk their loyal fans around nearly as much as Nintendo does. So if I ever buy another system, it’s going to be a Playstation or Xbox. I do have an Xbox 360 which I bought on clearance from Circuit City when they were closing down, and while it doesn’t have Link, Samus, or Mario, it’s still a perfectly fine and enjoyable system and I could see myself eventually upgrading to a newer generation, rather than buying the Switch or whatever new thing Nintendo has put out by the time I feel the urge to upgrade.

One other thing: I was so irritated by the deliberate shortages that I wrote them a letter a month or so back. Yes. An actual, physical letter, sent through the mail. They responded with a “Thanks for the feedback! We love getting suggestions for new games!” I mean, I know big companies don’t actually care about their customers so long as they’re profiting off them, but most companies will at least pretend to care. Nintendo can’t even be bothered to go that far.

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