The Nintendo NES Classic Mini is due for release in about five days in North America and will come packed with 30 games from the 8-Bit era. This is a great way for gamers to relive their gaming past without all of the clutter of several game cartridges and the like. The Nintendo NES Classic Mini is a plug and play that we have all wanted for years. The problem is, Nintendo really missed out on a multimillion dollar opportunity with the NES Classic Mini. Twice.
First of all, I recently wrote an article detailing how the Nintendo NES Classic Mini is more powerful than the Nintendo 3DS. This means the hardware in this new plug and play is powerful enough to do more than just play NES classics via HDMI.
The fact that the Nintendo NES Classic Mini is not upgradeable by any known means does not bode well for Nintendo doing more with it. This is a shame as the hardware under the hood could definitely accommodate other things such as independent releases on this thing. Similar to WiiWare, new games could be programmed using software and such provided by Nintendo and put through whatever tests they do with the releases. Unfortunately, how Nintendo designed the NES Classic Mini means no real expandable options.
Second, Nintendo has agreements in place with many companies and individuals that hold the rights to various NES classics. Since this thing is running a Nintendo Entertainment System emulator it could easily accommodate more licensed games. How this would be done is by offering something similar to the Virtual Console on the Nintendo NES Classic Mini. Had Nintendo done this they could have easily turned this into the ultimate plug and play console – turning over new customers regularly. New games could be added just like the Virtual Console on 3DS and Nintendo Wii U, for a small fee to the consumer of course.
It is a shame that Nintendo did not take advantage of either of these options with the Nintendo NES Classic Mini. Either would have expanded the market base for the new plug and play and created new opportunities for game publishers.
Planning on picking up a NES Classic Mini? Check Ebay if your local game store is sold out.