According to NPD data, the NES Classic Mini console comes in as the third best-selling console in January, trailing behind the PS4 and Xbox One but beating the Wii U and 3DS.
Nintendo’s new take on an old console, the NES Classic Mini, has been one of the must-have gaming items of the last few months. Offering 30 pre-installed games, the mini version of the retro console has been hugely successful, leading to NES Classic stock shortages and even crashing the sites of online retailers. In fact, gamers are so eager to get their hands on the console that eBay’s NES Classic Mini stock was selling for $1,000 a pop, with the price bumped up to make bank on the enormous demand.
This interest in the console even seems to have lasted beyond the busy holiday shopping season too. According to industry tracker NPD (via GamesBeat), the NES Classic Mini was the third best-selling console in January 2017. The PS4 may have been the best-seller, with the Xbox One in second place, but it’s nothing short of incredible that a retro console reboot is seeing such high demand. This also means that the console has outperformed Nintendo’s other devices, the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS.
There are a few takeaways from this data. First and foremost is that Nintendo now has a reason more than ever to discontinue the Wii U. Wii U production has already ended in Japan, following abysmal sales that have plagued the console ever since it was first release. Next month Nintendo is also set to launch its new home console, the Nintendo Switch, which will further eat into the Wii U’s already poor sales figures.
Some may even argue that this is a reason to drop the 3DS too. Nintendo has already had to publicly state its commitment to the handheld, saying that the Switch won’t replace the 3DS (or the Wii U). However, the company could be forgiven for looking at this NES Classic data – and how nostalgia has proven more powerful than the interest in mobile gaming – and then reconsider its plans for the console.
This data could also see those rumors about the NES Classic being discontinued put to bed. While Nordic retailers say that they will soon stop receiving shipments of the console, Nintendo maintains that the console would continue production and would still be available in Europe. There’s clearly some confusion on that front, and understandably fans are uncertain about the console’s future availability. However, between this best-selling data and the recent reveal that 1.5 million NES Classic Minis have been sold, hopefully Nintendo won’t even consider ending the console’s production any time soon.