Nintendo’s Mini NES and Missed Opportunities

nes-classic-edition-in-hand If you haven’t heard of Nintendo’s new classic nostalgia grab, you’ve probably been avoiding the news lately. Who can blame you.

This fall Nintendo is going to release a mini version of the NES with 30 games pre-loaded. A boon to NES enthusiasts everywhere.

But Nintendo is missing a great opportunity here. If they based their mini NES on a platform like the Raspberry Pi and sold their ROMs DRM free to the masses, it would be a win for the company and fans alike.

There’s not a lot of money to be made off the old games, but if they were priced at 1 to 2 dollars that would make them an appealing impulse buy. Additionally, by making them cheap but not free, they could see which classics are generating the most interest by purchase. If the games were too expensive or given away for free it would impede sales or result in ROM hoarding.

So why would you want to sell a system and games with low prices and low to negative profit? To gauge which of these tidbits of nostalgia is worthy of a modern reboot.

We’ve seen with CD Projekt Red and the Witcher series that people will forego piracy if they think they getting their money’s worth, even if piracy would be easy to do.

By opening the doors to a commercial emulation endeavor, Nintendo could be generating income or market research off their entire past library, and not just a small subset.

WWMD? What would Mario do?