To the surprise of many (read: everyone), Nintendo recently discontinued their wildly successful NES Classic Edition, a miniature version of the Nintendo Entertainment System with 30 classic games. Amid the frantic rush to snatch up the last systems sitting on store shelves, the big question on everyone’s mind is why Nintendo would decide to stop selling that was still a hot ticket item nearly six months after its original release. It’s been speculated that Nintendo did so in order to focus their resources on manufacturing the Nintendo Switch — which sold 2.7 million units in March — or possibly because Nintendo plans to replace the NES Classic with a mini Super Nintendo later this year. Now, in a pair of new interviews, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé offers an explanation.
According to Fils-Aimé, the NES Classic has sold 2.3 million units worldwide, but despite that success, Nintendo decided to halt production. “We had originally planned for this to be a product for last holiday. We didn’t anticipate just how incredible the response would be, but once we saw that response, we added shipments and extended the product for as long as we could to meet more of that demand,” he told TIME.
The true reason for the discontinuation comes down to production interfering with the high demand for the Switch, a much more profitable product for Nintendo. “At the same time we were facing this surging demand for NES Classic, we were preparing to launch Nintendo Switch,” Fils-Aimé told IGN.
Fils-Aimé offered an apology to those who couldn’t get their hands on a NES Classic, but explained that the company only has so many resources at its disposal. “We understand that people are frustrated about not being able to find the system, and for that we really do apologize,” he told TIME. “But from our perspective, it’s important to recognize where our future is and the key areas that we need to drive. We’ve got a lot going on right now and we don’t have unlimited resources.”
In other words, have fun trying to snatch up the SNES Classic Edition later this year before Nintendo pulls the plug on it too!