Nintendo’s Mini NES is a missed opportunity

Mini NES
Outside the 30 games that came with Nintendo’s Mini NES console, there is no way you can put in additional ones. According to a report by Engadget, the device can’t connect to the internet or any other external storage devices. And no, the cartridge chamber doesn’t open either.

That means you’re stuck with the following preloaded games:

  • Balloon Fight
  • Bubble Bobble
  • Castlevania
  • Castlevania ii: Simon’s Quest
  • Donkey Kong
  • Donkey Kong Jr.
  • Double Dragon II: The Revenge
  • Dr. Mario
  • Excitebike
  • Final Fantasy
  • Galaga
  • Ghosts ‘N Goblins
  • Gradius
  • Ice Climber
  • Kid Icarus
  • Kirby’s Adventure
  • Mario Bros.
  • Mega Man 2
  • Metroid
  • Ninja Gaiden
  • Pac-Man
  • Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
  • StarTropics
  • Super C
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Super Mario Bros. 2
  • Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Tecmo Bowl
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Yes, it’s a terrific line-up, especially with a device that costs only $60, but I can’t help but feel that this is a missed opportunity for the Kyoto-based console maker. Here are several reasons why:

  1. There’s no telling if Nintendo’s NX console will be a success
    Apart from the Wii, which was able to successfully tap into the casual market, Nintendo’s home systems haven’t really been as successful as its console rivals during the past two decades. Because of this, it’s hard to say if the NX will be any different.
  2. The massive popularity of Pokémon Go won’t last forever
    Pokémon Go is just one mobile game; while it caused Nintendo’s stock price to more than double, its popularity will wane soon enough. How long? I have no idea. But clearly, Pokémon Go won’t keep Nintendo on top of the gaming heap longer than say, the original Wii ever did.
  3. Nintendo needs all the help it can get
    Nintendo originally had no plans to get into mobile gaming, but this changed, especially when the company struggled largely because of the Wii U. Pokémon Go may have given Nintendo a much-needed shot in the arm, but the console maker will need more than one mobile game to sustain its success.

The Mini NES certainly could’ve helped keep Nintendo in the black – at least until it could release the NX, which would hopefully be as great as we’d want it to be. But strangely, Nintendo wanted the Mini NES to just be a one-off transaction instead of a full-blown NES revival.

Admittedly, the Wii U already lets us play classic NES games via the Virtual Console, but the hardware isn’t exactly flying off shelves. There’s no assurance that the Mini NES would sell like hotcakes either, but if the $60 system would let you buy, download and play any other games in the entire NES library, it probably has a better chance of succeeding than the $299 Wii U.

  • Gentleman Gamer

    £1 says someone will figure out how to expand the memory and add the whole NES library within a week.