Back in late July, Walmart randomly started accepting pre-orders for Nintendo’s SNES Classic Edition, which is expected to hit stores later this year. And as expected, the retail giant’s allotment of SNES Classic consoles sold out within just a matter of minutes. But in an unexpected twist, Walmart canceled all of the pre-orders that were placed just a few days later and told angry customers that the SNES Classic wasn’t supposed to go up for pre-order in the first place. They blamed a "technical glitch" on the mishap and pissed off a lot of people in the process.
Since there, there has been a lot of speculation about when the SNES Classic would actually be available for pre-order. In a statement released earlier this month, Nintendo hinted that it "would be made available for pre-order by various retailers [in] late [August]," but they didn’t release any other details at the time. As a result, Nintendo fans have anxiously awaited emails from those "various retailers" regarding the much-anticipated SNES Classic pre-order.
Shortly after midnight on Tuesday morning, notifications from one of those retailers finally came, but unfortunately, they came without much warning. Best Buy announced it was putting its SNES Classic pre-order up in the middle of the night and letting fans reserve their console immediately. Those fans scrambled to place their pre-orders, and Best Buy sold out of the mini SNES within just 30 minutes, according to Forbes.
There were obviously quite a few Nintendo fans who were thrilled about the sudden SNES Classic development. They bragged about scoring their SNES Classics from Best Buy on social media.
But because Best Buy chose to release the SNES Classic for pre-order at a time when most people on the East Coast were fast asleep, there are also plenty of people who woke up on Tuesday to discover that they missed out on the chance to pre-order the SNES Classic. There is a lot of debate over why Best Buy chose midnight as the best time to put such a coveted product up for pre-order.
And apparently, Best Buy wasn’t the only retailer to pull this SNES Classic pre-order stunt. It appears as though Amazon allowed people to pre-order the SNES Classic for a brief time early Tuesday morning as well. Amazon hasn’t confirmed whether or not it was legit yet, but according to Polygon, a pre-order page for the SNES Classic went up at around 4 a.m. on Amazon. By about 6 a.m., all of the available SNES Classics were gone, and once again, people were not happy about it.
Many people complained about not receiving a heads-up from Best Buy or Amazon regarding the pre-orders, even though they signed up to receive alerts from the retailers.
There is some good news for fans who missed out on the chance to snag an SNES Classic during the first legit pre-order. There are already some rumblings about Walmart putting the SNES Classic up for pre-order at some point on Tuesday. GoNintendo is reporting the SNES Classic could be available for pre-order as soon as 1 p.m. EST. Target is also expected to put the SNES Classic up for pre-order at some point soon.
So if you missed out on landing an SNES Classic from Best Buy or Amazon, keep an eye out for the next round of pre-orders. It, unfortunately, looks like the SNES Classic is going to be just as difficult to find as the NES Classic was when it first dropped. But Nintendo fans should, at the very least, get one or two more opportunities to pre-order the $79.99 console that comes with two wired controllers and 21 classic games before they’re completely sold out.