Now, the company is already hard at work on developing a mini version of the SNES, according to sources close to Eurogamer.
In an interview with Time Magazine published Friday, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé stated that the company’s global sell-in figure for the NES Classic microconsole has now reached 2.3 million. This is up from the previous 1.5 million number it reported at the end of 2016, and the two million mark it reached earlier this month after announcing it would stop production and halt sales at the end of April.
Despite its continued popularity and sell-out status, sources at Eurogamer have been informed that the development of an upcoming miniature SNES is one reason why Nintendo has chosen to discontinue the plug-and-play version of its 1983 console. Even with its ability to exceed the sales numbers Nintendo anticipated for the holiday 2016 season. Fils-Aimé said that the Classic Edition was only intended as “a product for the holiday,” noting that the company “added shipments and extended the product for as long as [we could] to meet more of that consumer demand.”
For its next region-unlocked microconsole launch, Nintendo plans to release the logical successor to the NES – the fourth-generation Super Nintendo from 1990 – and this time with a more advanced title lineup suitable for digital displays. It is one thing to run 8-bit games like The Legend of Zelda (1986) and Donkey Kong (1981) through an HDMI port using a Cortex A7-based processor, but the upgrade to 16-bit graphics is sure to entice 4K TV owners with titles like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1991) and Donkey Kong Country (1994).
The SNES mini is expected to retain the NES Classic’s plug-and-play setup and will likely be based on another ARM Cortex design with an HDMI output. The array of games will be preinstalled once again, but predictions say they could be more expansive than the 30 titles its predecessor contained. Other the notable SNES releases over the past 25 years include Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Chrono Trigger, Super Mario Kart, StarFox, Mega Man X, Donkey Kong Country 2 and Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars.
There is no information on a release date yet, though it would not be unlikely to see a holiday release scheduled towards the end of the year. Hopefully this time around, Nintendo will be able to avoid a repeat of the shortages the NES Classic experienced while being able to fulfill demands for expanding Switch orders, a new 2DS XL console, and continuing Wii U shipments.
“From our perspective, it's important to recognize where our future is and the key areas that we need to drive,” he said. “We've got a lot going on right now and we don't have unlimited resources.”