Nintendo’s Classic Mini NES sold a whopping 196,000 units in November in the US, according to an industry tracker.
By comparison, NPD found that Nintendo shifted just 220,000 of the soon-to-be-defunct Wii U console in the US over the six month period from April through to September. UK sales figures have yet to be reported.
Combined with the estimated 261,000 units of the Mini Famicom sold in Japan in just one week (according to the country’s industry tracker Media Create), Nintendo’s nostalgia boxes are off to a flying start. That will come as as little surprise to anyone that’s actually tried to buy a Mini NES or Famicom in stores, with the console remaining largely sold out throughout the US, UK, and Japan.
Current eBay auctions price the NES Mini at around £140, a substantial mark up over its £50 retail price.
The question is whether Nintendo can continue to ride the success of NES Mini until the launch of its next console, the Nintendo Switch. Much of the fuss surrounding NES Mini is thanks to Christmas demand, and the shortage of units—as much as it drives good press—isn’t going to do much for Nintendo’s bottom line.
Still, if you’re lucky enough to get a NES Mini for Christmas, there’s plenty to like about the console. It’s easy to set up, comes with a good selection of games, and the quality of emulation is leaps and bounds ahead of Nintendo’s Virtual Console on the Wii U. The only stickler is the laughably short controller cable (just over 70cm) that means you need a very long HDMI and power cable, or you need to sit painfully close to the TV in order to use it.
As for what Nintendo has coming next, further details on the hybrid portable/console/tablet Nintendo Switch are due at a two-day event in Tokyo on January 12. Nintendo will also be hosting regional events for the press and Ars will be there to bring you a full hands-on.
In the meantime, check out the time US TV host Jimmy Fallon got his hands on the Switch courtesy of one Shigeru Miyamoto. And, if you’re into DIY stuff, and you don’t want to give the scalpers £150 for a Mini NES, might we suggest you build your own?
This post originated on Ars Technica UK