There’s a simple reason that Nintendo can’t keep up with demand for the SNES Classic and other consoles

There’s not much to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition, Nintendo’s new $80 retro console. 

So why’s it so hard to find one to buy?

Super NES Classic EditionNintendo

When retailers started taking pre-orders of the device in August, they reached their fill almost immediately. When the game machine hit stores late last month, many consumers went home disappointed. And it looks like few, if any, retailers have been able to restock their shelves. 

The situation has started to resemble those for Nintendo’s Switch and Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition, both of which were in short supply after the company released them. 

If you’re thinking there’s some kind of conspiracy that’s keeping the consoles out of your hands, that just isn’t case, Nintendo of America senior VP of sales and marketing Doug Bowser told Business Insider in an interview on Saturday. Instead, the problem boils down to much more mundane issues, he said

“We try to do the best we can with forecasting and anticipating demand, and to put a plan in place” said Bowser, who was in New York for the 2017 Nintendo World Championships, a fan event that pits players against each other in a variety of the company’s games. But, he added, “if you see a steep ramp-up in demand, it takes some time to catch up.” 

And it’s not something that can be solved quickly.  

“When you think about procurement of parts, procurement of manufacturing facilities, getting [production] ramped up — that takes some time to respond,” he said. 

nintendo switch launchReuters/Toru Hanai

Supply issues have been a repeated and persistent problem for Nintendo in 2017. 

The $60 NES Classic was nearly impossible to find before it was discontinued in April. Nintendo is putting the console back into production in 2018 — a direct response to overwhelming demand.

Meanwhile, the Switch has been short on supply until recently. It’s still not as simple as walking in to your local Best Buy and picking one up, although Bowser said the situation should improve.

“You’ll see a lot stronger supply as we float through the remainder of our fiscal year,” he said.

Bowser had a similarly hopeful message for fans still trying to buy an SNES Classic. 

“We’re really focused on trying to get as much SNES to the market as possible,” he said. He added: “You’ll see a much stronger flow of product than you did on NES. Lesson learned from the past!”

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