According to eBay, the bidding site sold one NES Classic Console every 18 seconds on the device's launch day after U.S. retailers completely ran out of stock.
Anyone dying to get their hands on an NES Classic Edition has realized by now that it's probably not happening. After the console sold out at major retailers like Amazon, consumers flocked to eBay in the hopes to find one. According to eBay, an NES Classic Edition sold every 18 seconds on launch day, November 11.
Sales have waned since then, but even on Tuesday – days after the device went on sale – one was sold every 23 seconds. By then the original $60 price tag had jumped to around $230. Some listings had the console selling for a cool grand, an outrageously high price to pay for what is, by all accounts, a gaming console from the 1980s.
While speaking to Polygon, Jay Hanson, eBay's VP of North America Merchandising, Hard Good, declared that this is the type of service eBay provides. The bidding site's executive explains:
eBay is the destination for hard-to-find consoles, from the rare and vintage variety, to hot trending options, like the Nintendo NES Classic Edition.
Customers rely on eBay to offer a great selection of items that are difficult to find elsewhere. Specific with the NES Classic Edition, we sold one every 18 seconds on its release day.
The immense popularity of the throwback console even took Nintendo by surprise, as was evidenced by its lack of sufficient stock to keep up with demand. There has been a decent amount of backlash from fans, who were none too pleased with the shortages and criticized the Big N for its inability to foresee them.
The console's reveal came seemingly from nowhere when the NES Classic Edition was announced a few months back, but the project intrigued gamers – especially those who have fond memories of the original system. The device is smaller, thus more portable, it's able to utilize an HDMI cable, and comes packed with 30 pre-installed games. The games themselves are noticeably better looking than their original incarnations and even surpass their Virtual Console counterparts on modern consoles. All-in-all, it was an easy sell, which is why it's nigh impossible to find at the moment. Nintendo promises that more NES Classic Editions will be available through the holiday shopping season, but nothing specific was detailed.
This isn't the only Nintendo console making headlines, however. More information on the company's next major console, the Switch, is continuing to pour in despite the company's refusal to divulge anything new until next year. Regardless, EA has confirmed a major title under its control will be heading to the Switch. But while one console has yet to flourish, another is heading to pasture. Nintendo has officially announced that the Wii U will end production in Japan.
The NES Classic Edition will be coming back shortly some time around the holidays, and hopefully Nintendo learned a valuable lesson from all of this, which is to not underestimate the appeal of retro gaming. Stock will likely be a bit larger than it was at the device's launch – if Nintendo is wise – but even then there will be some competition. Best of luck, holiday shoppers.
The NES Classic Edition is out now.