It looks like the bootleg industry has dug its claws into the NES Classic Mini. The high demand for these nostalgia boxes has created a situation where desperate consumers can easily get taken advantage of. For evidence, look no further than eBay and peruse the console’s significantly jacked up prices.
The device has been selling out everywhere since it launched last year, but now it’s extremely difficult to find one since it stopped being manufactured altogether — unless you don’t mind buying a knock-off, of course.
NeoGAF members discovered listings for that very thing on Chinese sites like AliExpress and AliBaba, where a Chinese-made NES Classic Mini clone could be purchased. The listings have since been removed, but the devices have migrated to eBay.
The box for the device is a relatively good counterfeit. At a glance, it appears to be legit. Flaws on the console itself, however, are a little more conspicuous. The posting on NeoGAF breaks down the major differences, such as the somewhat crooked Nintendo logo and slightly off controllers.
The device’s menu is actually very similar to the real NES Classic, with a few notable exceptions, as pointed out by NeoGAF member Lupin The Third:
- Game title font size is smaller.
- Different spacing above the icons at the top.
- 1P/2P boxes use a different pixel-font.
- Font on SELECT and START button icons is different.
- 5 full game boxes are visible at once instead of only 4 with 2 cut-off on the sides.
The morale of the story is that those still interested in an NES Classic should be wary as they scour the market. Be sure what’s being listed is the real deal.
Those disenchanted by that hunt can always try their luck at snagging an SNES Classic instead. There’s certainly no guarantee they’ll get one, as it’s already sold out everywhere, but at least it’s still in production… For now. It has also been the target of scalpers, who have rushed to eBay to gouge buyers.
It’s unfortunate, but this is the situation Nintendo has created. Despite the company’s promise to have significantly more unit, it’s just not enough. Good luck, consumers!