by Graham Pierrepoint
The NES Classic Mini was a sleeper hit during the latter half of 2016 – a surprise perhaps to no one more than Nintendo themselves, who, while arguably working on polishing and marketing their Switch console, found sales of the retro system add a healthy boost to their stock while draining their supply – eventually resulting in a proud ceasing of manufacture, rendering the system a collector’s item. The NES Classic Mini was a smaller facsimile of the firm’s original NES, or Nintendo Entertainment System, and came bundled with big name games such as Super Mario Bros titles, the very first Legend of Zelda outings and many more. Given the success of the hardware, it was only a matter of time before the Super Nintendo – first released worldwide in the early 90s – had a similar celebration launched.
Nintendo has therefore this week unveiled the Super Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition – SNES Mini to you and I – after months of speculation from fans and after an E3 showcase filled with promising titles lined up for the Switch later this year and into 2018. The SNES Mini, much like its predecessor, will come with several games installed – 21, to be exact – including huge classics such as Super Mario World, Star Fox, Final Fantasy III, The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past, Street Fighter II Turbo and many more. What will be most interesting to collectors, however, will be the inclusion of a highly sought-after title that has been the stuff of urban legend for decades.
This title is Star Fox 2, which was officially finished but never released anywhere. The game will make its global debut as part of the SNES Mini line-up later this year, towards the end of September – and it is therefore advised that anyone keen to recapture their youth via the likes of Donkey Kong Country and Super Metroid in HD should consider pre-ordering – particularly as the NES Mini was a resounding success.
Will the SNES Mini replicate Nintendo’s shock success of last year? Who’s to say – but with retro gaming still very much in vogue among players in their mid-20s and upwards, it remains to be said that the future of gaming – as Nintendo is finding out – could very well lie in the past. It’ll be interesting to see how this system fares against the Switch, too!