Despite massive demand for the product, Nintendo made the controversial announcement yesterday that it will be ceasing production of the NES Classic Edition. Nintendo followed up the bad news by announcing that the Japanese version of the NES Classic Edition, the Famicom Mini, has also been discontinued.
Just like the NES Classic Edition, there has been plenty of demand for the Famicom Mini, but Nintendo has struggled to produce enough units for consumers. Unlike the NES Classic Edition, though, Nintendo's announcement that it is discontinuing the Famicom Mini is a bit more optimistic, stating that the console is only going away temporarily.
This seems to indicate that Nintendo will resume producing Famicom Mini units again at some point in the future, and could possibly confirm that the NES Classic Edition will make a comeback as well. So, since Nintendo is not completely abandoning the project and there is such feverish demand for both the NES Classic Edition and Famicom Mini, why would the Big N discontinue the systems at the height of their popularity?
We can't say for certain why Nintendo has decided to discontinue NES Classic Edition and Famicom Mini, but there are a few theories floating around that may offer an explanation. One prominent theory is that Nintendo is discontinuing the NES Classic Edition and Famicom Mini now to build even more hype for the systems, and then bring them back this holiday season. The revelation that Famicom Mini's demise is only temporary seems to lend support to this theory.
Another theory that paints Nintendo in a slightly better light is that the company simply doesn't have the resources to dedicate to the NES Classic Edition and Famicom Mini at this time. After all, Nintendo has recently doubled the production of Nintendo Switch units this fiscal year, and since the Switch is more vital to the company's continued success, it makes sense that Nintendo is focusing on it now over retro throwbacks.
Speaking of the Switch, it's possible that Nintendo decided to axe the NES Classic Edition and Famicom Mini because it is planning to launch the Switch Virtual Console soon. Of course, that's just speculation at this time, and anyone wanting definitive answers will have to wait for Nintendo to be ready to share more information.
Famicom Mini has been temporarily discontinued.