Heading into tomorrow’s release of the $79.99 Super NES Classic Edition, the question on the minds of Nintendo fans is what supply will look like. We all remember the impossible odds of procuring an NES Classic last year, and Nintendo has stated numerous times that it has ramped up production and launch-day units this time around.
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has urged consumers not to get suckered into paying exorbitant reseller prices on eBay and Craigslist. If you miss out on launch day, be patient. The company has promised to manufacture “significantly more” of the miniature Super Nintendo than it did the NES Classic.
But odds be damned, maybe you’re determined to get an SNES Classic of your own tomorrow and play it all weekend. That’s where I come in, friends. I want to help ensure you find your way to those glorious hours of Donkey Kong Country, Star Fox 2, Super Mario World, and yes, even Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts.
The first decision to make is whether or not you’re willing to drive around for one.
I don’t trust the internet and I want to buy one in real life at a store.
Generally speaking, all major US electronics retail chains are guaranteeing that they’ll have the SNES Classic in stores on September 29th. But just like last time, everyone is also emphasizing the term “limited supply.”
The approach to handling people in line is a bit different between retailers. Some are using an orderly ticketing system, and others are simply going first-come, first-served when their stores open.
Best Buy: The go-to electronics retailer will be distributing its SNES Classics through a ticketing system. Every Best Buy location will have stock, and tickets for all available launch-day units will be distributed at 7AM to those in line. Best Buy isn’t holding a midnight launch, nor is it opening early for this launch; regular business hours at most stores start at 10AM. But if you manage to get a ticket before then, you’ll know you’re guaranteed Nintendo’s latest nostalgia gadget. “We will only pass out as many tickets as we have systems available, with a limit of one per customer,” the company has confirmed.
GameStop: Again, every location is guaranteed to have some Super NES Classic devices available on day one. GameStop isn’t doing tickets, but the retailer is taking a somewhat unusual and transparent step to at least prevent people from waiting in long lines for no reason; it will post the number of consoles available right on the front door before stores open on Friday. Also, they’ll be sold individually and you won’t have to buy a bundle with things you don’t want.
Nintendo World NYC: Nintendo’s flagship retail store in Manhattan is being pretty strict about this launch. The company is limiting SNES Classic purchases to one-per-customer. The console can only be purchased with a debit or credit card, and the name on that payment method must match the ID of whoever’s buying. If it doesn’t, you’ll be turned away.
Target: Every Target will have stock and customers in line will receive tickets for the SNES Classic before doors open. Many Target stores open a couple hours earlier than your typical Best Buy or GameStop, so it might be worth an early AM visit.
ThinkGeek: I’m still bitter and ashamed that I somehow convinced myself to give ThinkGeek over $100 for an NES Classic and some stupid Tetris lamp a couple months ago, but that’s a thing that happened. For the SNES Classic, ThinkGeek wants you to know that it’s going to be selling the console individually without forcing customers into buying a bundle.
Toys “R” Us: Every store will have SNES Classics available, but there are mixed reports on whether Toys “R” Us will be handing out tickets to line dwellers before opening at all stores or just certain locations.
Walmart: The Super NES Classic will be available at every Walmart. For Walmarts that are open 24/7, the console will be available for purchase beginning at 12:01AM ET. Elsewhere, they’ll go on sale as soon as the store opens.
I’d rather obsessively keep hitting refresh on like 14 browser tabs, thank you very much.
Unless otherwise noted, you should be going on the assumption that online sales will start promptly at midnight or maybe a minute after. It’s not clear whether every one of these stores will be selling the Super NES Classic immediately at launch, though. Best Buy has already confirmed that it’s not.
Best Buy: Best Buy won’t be offering web sales of the SNES Classic — at least not on launch day.
GameStop: Here’s the link you need. Some online-only bundles may be offered if the individual console sells out.
Target: Here’s the link you need.
ThinkGeek: Here’s the link you need.
Toys “R” Us: Here’s the link you need.
Walmart: Coming soon.
Neither of those worked! Things are looking bleak and the child inside this 30-something body is weeping. Help.
If you miss out on the SNES Classic right at launch, the best path to snagging one is probably with an inventory monitoring website. These services constantly check stock across numerous retailers and can send you notification when it finds the Super NES Classic available for purchase. But you’ll have to act fast before it sells out again. That window can be very short. These sites are usually free to use if you’re comfortable giving over your email address or phone number for in-stock alerts.