Sources: Nintendo to launch SNES mini this year

Major factor for NES mini discontinuation.

By Tom Phillips. Published 19 April 2017

Nintendo will follow up its smash hit NES microconsole with a mini version of the SNES, sources close to the company have confirmed to Eurogamer.

The SNES mini (or, to continue Nintendo's official branding, likely the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System) is currently scheduled to launch in time for Christmas this year. Development of the device is already under way, our sources have indicated.

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Nintendo's plans for SNES mini are also a major reason why last year's NES mini did not see a reprieve from discontinuation, Eurogamer understands, despite the latter's continued popularity and sell-out status.

Last week, Nintendo explained that it never intended NES mini to be a permanent product. From the company's perspective, the microconsole was planned as a cool novelty item perfect for Christmas 2016, and the numbers in which it was manufactured and shipped were expected to be enough to suit this goal.

But NES mini ended up breaking out to become more popular than anticipated and quickly sold out, leading to a bustling resale market on eBay. NES mini shipments continued into the early part of this year, but its production run could not be extended further - as SNES mini was slated for production instead.

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Hopefully, more stock of the SNES mini will be made available to avoid a repeat of the same shortages.

The reality of a SNES mini is certainly exciting - while the NES was unique for being Nintendo's first home console, the SNES arguably boasts the better software line-up, and a catalogue of classics far more advanced than their NES forebears. Compare The Legend of Zelda on NES to A Link to the Past, for example, or Donkey Kong to Donkey Kong Country.

Other top SNES games from Nintendo include Super Metroid, Super Mario Kart and Super Mario World, as well as Earthbound, Star Fox and Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. The console also had some of the best RPGs of the era, including Square's Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana.

For the SNES mini, Nintendo is expected to stick with the NES mini's plug-and-play setup, and its array of games which come preinstalled and ready to play.

Nintendo declined to comment when contacted by Eurogamer.

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Retro