All of this written by Julie Muncy at WIRED:
Considering the dizzying popularity of the NES Classic—Nintendo reported in January that they had sold 1.5 million units—it’s difficult to find the logic in ending production. The product’s entire brief life seems, in hindsight, to have been a rolling disaster: Product shortages popped up almost immediately upon release in November, and even now, four months after the holiday season is over, Nintendo still hasn’t managed to overcome the scarcity issues. Repeatedly, Nintendo has stated that they were surprised by the high demand for the micro console and their supply chains struggled to product enough units to accommodate it.
It shouldn’t have surprised the company, though—and the fact that it did is awfully telling. Preloaded with 30 original NES games, the Classic offered an entire generation of Nintendo fans an easy way to play games that they hadn’t spent time with in years. It’s a different, broader audience than the type likely to buy a dedicated Nintendo home console like the Wii U or Switch, and it hit all the right buttons at a time when the availability of classic Nintendo products was at an all-time low.
This points to an ongoing problem that has plagued the company for years: Nintendo doesn’t seem to understand, or be interested in, the ongoing interest and affection people have for their old games. People, whether they consider themselves gamers or not, want to play Mario games, want to remember what it was like to catch Pikachu for the first time, want to feel the thrill of getting the Master Sword in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Nostalgia is a hell of a drug, and videogames in general are excellent at evoking it.
And I couldn’t agree more.