Thoughts on the NES Classic Edition

“I cannot wait to get that NES Classic! HDMI out, it’s loaded with great games, and it’s only $60!”

“Yeah, it’s adorable and a great value. But..don’t you already have all these games?”

“Sure! I play the loose NES carts on my Retron, plus I have a few of these sealed in the box. I have a bunch of the GBA re-releases too. I also bought the Virtual Console version of a bunch of these on Wii, then a few more on Wii U since those didn’t transfer over, and I downloaded some of these on 3DS as VC releases, too. And of course, I have the ROMs of everything on my laptop.”

“So you’ve bought the classics four or five times…wow! Hey, what did you think of this year’s Call of Duty?”

“Screw that! Every year, they just keep releasing the same game!”

Look, I know people are buying this for what it represents as much as its easy functionality (HDMI is a godsend here), and the content has earned its classic status. I love seeing these games remain living history. But there’s this Nintendo cult effect where the warm fuzzies of nostalgia — even someone else’s nostalgia — cloud all decisions or discussions. When Activision re-released COD4, I saw comments like “Activision Want You To Pay Full Price For An Old Game That You’ve Already Bought.” When Nintendo releases literally the same game over and over again? “Why can’t I preorder?!” (And yes, I do believe these audiences intersect. Worse, I suspect there might be a sidecar of “Why would I buy Steam games if they’re not 75% off?”)

My motto remains “play what makes you happy,” always and forever, and I am staunchly dedicated to preserving game history. But when it comes to this kind of stuff, I feel like Nintendo gets a pass more often than not.

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