Since the console was announced last month, fans have fought to secure their SNES Classic Edition pre-orders. Demand for the console has been incredibly high as just about everyone is eager for a retro gaming experience. This means that the second that additional SNES Classic Edition stock is available, fans have to move quickly.
So when North American retailer Walmart opened up its SNES Classic Edition pre-order page this weekend, with absolutely no warning, fans rushed to put their name down. Despite Walmart opening pre-orders out of nowhere, the retailer’s stock still sold out in just 40 minutes.
While the situation caused misery for those who were unprepared – including those who were asleep or were at work – those who did manage to pre-order the console are upset too. Reports on social media indicate that Walmart has now begun cancelling these pre-orders. In one supposed transcript with a Walmart customer service representative, the rep explains that the pre-orders went live due to a “website error” and that “the manufacturer doesn’t have the preorder yet.” The retailer is “working to have the SNES as soon as possible,” but any pre-orders placed now will be cancelled, according to the transcript.
— dr wily, dds (@benjamin_bear) July 22, 2017
Some are also claiming that Walmart told them that the page went live accidentally, while others are saying that only those who purchased with credit cards and did not have the cost of the console ($80) available will have their orders cancelled. There are additional reports that Walmart is only cancelling pre-orders placed by new, unverified Walmart accounts, which would make sense given that other retailers have had to take measures to combat SNES Classic scalpers.
It should be noted that there are some whose pre-orders haven’t been cancelled yet. It’s possible that Walmart just hasn’t gotten around to informing these customers yet, with one fan suggesting that call centers (which will issue the cancellations) work in waves and are still working to tell everyone. Unfortunately, Walmart has yet to issue an official comment on the matter and online speculation continues.
While the reason for this pre-order mess is unclear, what is clear is that retailers are likely to struggle with demand and fans are very concerned that they will not be able to get a SNES Classic Edition at all. Nintendo has ensured people that it will be making more SNES Classic Edition consoles than it did of the NES Classic, but it now seems quite likely that even this will not be enough.
The SNES Classic Edition launches on September 29, 2017.