Today, September 29, is the day the SNES Classic was released, and unlike other unmentionable “brand X” websites, we aren’t going to preface this news story with the assumption that you found one. As this weary reporter knows all too well the pain of getting up at an ungodly hour, racing to Target, and finding all 70 of their shipped units vanished in seconds, I share your pity.
Nintendo has vowed to ship “significantly more” SNES Classic machines than they did NES Classics, as well as reprint the NES Classic sometime next year. Wondering how they can bring it back so fast? It most likely has to do with what Eurogamer found when they screwed open the complimentary prerelease SNES Classic Nintendo sent them. Inside was a circuit board identical to the NES Classic’s. The only difference was what was loaded on the ROM.
“The fact that the SNES mini runs on the same hardware as its predecessor has a number of implications,” said Eurogamer, mentioning how switching from SNES to NES at the factory would probably just require flipping a switch and hitting a button. They also guessed (correctly) that the SNES Classic would be just as hackable.
So you may be asking: if the guts are the same, why is this device twenty bucks more expensive?? ….Licensing. An extra controller. Longer cables. It all adds up. But it also has us wondering if one could buy an NES Classic and dump the SNES Classic coding into the ROM chip, saving about twenty bucks at the counter. Unfortunately, we’d have to wait until at least Summer 2018 for that to be a practical solution.