A very juicy rumour set the fanboy flames blazing across the web this week, after Eurogamer claimed that Nintendo was secretly working its shrink-ray magic on the SNES.
The early leaks say it’ll be just like the Nintendo Classic Mini NES, only, y’know, more Super. That’s right: a miniature version of your favourite childhood games console (unless you were a Sega kid, of course) packed with a handful of the best games ever released for it. Oh, and it’ll arrive just in time for Christmas.
It would certainly explain why Nintendo discontinued the Classic Mini NES recently: it’s not because the company just plain hates money, but because it needs to free up production to work on a new, must-have plastic brick of gaming nostalgia. Which is both a good thing and a bad thing. Here’s why.
DON’T SKIMP ON SUPPLY
See, the NES mini did gangbusters for Nintendo, selling out just about everywhere it went on sale as the perfect stop-gap before the Switch arrived in March.
People snapped them up to give as Christmas presents, and desperate parents were forced to turn to Ebay and pay extortionate prices to avoid disappointing their kids. There’s still demand today, with the US$60 console going for well over four times its asking price on online auction sites. And yet there’ll never be enough. The Mini NES is dead. It has ceased to be.
If its replacement is to succeed, and not alienate gamers that want to buy one but can’t Nintendo absolutely has to make enough consoles to meet demand.
People are definitely going to want this thing. The NES might have been Nintendo’s first home console, but the SNES arguably had the better catalogue of games – Zelda and Donkey Kong are great, but they’re practically prehistoric next to A Link to the Past and Donkey Kong Country. To not have enough consoles to go around a second time would just be a slap in the face to die-hard Ninty fans.
GET THE RIGHT GAMES
The NES Mini had a decent selection of first-party games, and even a few major names from third-party publishers, so we’d expect a mini SNES to follow suit.
There’s a whole heap of titles to choose from, including Super Mario Kart, Super Metroid, and Super Mario World, as well as Star Fox, Earthbound and the aforementioned Zelda sequel. Those are obvious must-haves, but the Big N is going to have to break out the credit card and license some third-party games to keep us properly happy.
NBA Jam and Super Bomberman are two that instantly jump to mind – and are the two games that could even get us to buy a SNES Mini multi-tap, if such a hallowed object gets willed into existence by Nintendo.
Let’s not forget that the SNES had some of the best RPGs of its era, too. The Secret of Mana and Chrono Trigger are incredible, multi-hour experiences that are just begging to be replayed.
If all those licensed games are a bit too pricey for Nintendo to bundle on the console, then let us buy them separately – a downloadable game store, just like the Nintendo E-Shop, would be a guaranteed way to make some extra cash once gamers have paid for the hardware itself.
NO CABLE CATASTROPHES
Finally, while the NES mini might have been popular enough to sell out, it was hardly perfect.
Just take a look at those pathetically short controller cords; unless you trawled the console half-way across the living room, you’d have to get down on the floor and play mere feet away from your TV. So just like the original, I guess.
We’re not in 1990 now, though, so there’s really no excuse: add a few extra feet to your controller cords, Nintendo. Our cramped legs will thank you.
Being able to plug your existing SNES controllers in would be a bonus, too – it’s the reason we’ve been waiting for to get up into the loft and have a good rummage. It would mean you wouldn’t need to pay a tenner a time for Nintendo’s official USB pads, just to school your mates at Mario Kart.