It’s finally here! This is the week you can buy the Super NES Classic Edition, Nintendo’s $80, nostalgia-laced game console.
At very least, this is the week the console goes on sale – whether you can actually buy one is another question altogether. The tiny game console is expected to be in high demand.
Chances are that if you’re reading this, you weren’t able to preorder the Super NES Classic Edition in late August. That’s OK – Nintendo swears you’ll be able to buy it on Friday.
But where do you have the best shot at getting one? We have answers.
1. GameStop (and its subsidiary ThinkGeek)
Every GameStop and ThinkGeek store will have Super Nintendo consoles for sale on Friday – how many each store will have is unclear.
“All GameStop and ThinkGeek stores will have SNES Classic systems available for walk-ins -quantities are limited, so GameStop recommends being at your local store when doors open at 10 a.m.,” a company representative told Business Insider.
There are nearly 4,500 GameStop stores in the US, so there are a lot of opportunities to find the console in person. But like the statement above says, you should arrive ahead of opening for your best shot at buying one on Friday.
2. Best Buy
- Reuters/Shannon Stapleton
Like GameStop and ThinkGeek, every Best Buy location – over 1,500 in the US – will have Super Nintendo consoles for sale on Friday.
Unlike GameStop, however, Best Buy is handling the expected demand by using a ticketing system: If you’re at your local Best Buy by 7 a.m., and it has enough consoles, you’ll get a ticket and are guaranteed the ability to buy the console when the store officially opens.
Since Best Buy may not be the first place people turn for a new game console, your chances of getting the Super Nintendo may improve by going to a slightly less obvious store. Maybe!
- Mark Wilson/ Getty
Every Target location will have Super Nintendo consoles for sale on Friday.
And since some Target locations open extra early, you could have a console in your hands by early Friday morning. You’ll want to check in with your local store to see how it’s handling the process, and at very least to check on when the store opens.
4. Toys R Us
“Stores will open at normal time and have limited inventory of the console, so we encourage customers to get in line before doors open on Friday morning for the chance to scoop up this hot item.”
That said, this applies only to “big-box” Toys R Us locations – if you’re not sure whether your local Toys R Us is one of these stores, call to find out. The best thing you can do to guarantee you get a Super Nintendo is to be outrageously overprepared.
- Thomson Reuters
Walmart is the dark horse here – many locations are open 24 hours, and every store is getting Super Nintendo units for sale “while supplies last.”
That means if you’re at a Walmart at midnight on Thursday, you may be able to buy a Super NES Classic Edition long before anyone else. Moreover, we’d suggest attempting as much.
As ever, good communication with your retailer of choice is key. If you’re thinking about going to your local Walmart at midnight on Thursday, make sure to ask whether it will sell you a console when the clock strikes 12:01.
6. The Nintendo World Store in New York City
- Ben Gilbert / Business Insider
Unless you’re already in line waiting at the Nintendo World Store in New York City right now, you’re probably not getting the console when it becomes available on Thursday at 9 p.m. That’s because Nintendo’s making an exception for the first 150 people lined up – only those lucky few can buy it on Thursday at 9 p.m. When the store opens Friday morning, more consoles will be available for sale.
Though the Nintendo World Store will assuredly have more units than any other store, it’s also likely to be ground zero for Nintendo’s most hardcore fans showing up to buy the console. In so many words: Don’t expect to easily walk in and grab a Super NES Classic Edition here, but do expect the biggest Nintendo-themed party you’ve ever seen. You may be able to buy a console, but you’re going for the festivities here.
You can also try ordering online at midnight — good luck with that!
With the exception of Toys R Us and the Nintendo World Store, every retailer above will also offer the Super Nintendo rerelease through their online storefronts.
Unless you’re armed with a battalion of computers trained on buying the console, we’d advise against this route. The world of resellers is far better at securing limited-edition items sold online than any average consumer – look no further than the Super Nintendo preorder fiasco for confirmation.
That said, some folks were able to preorder the Super Nintendo during the boondoggle in August. You might be one of those people this time, but you’re more likely to be defeated by resellers and their elaborate “bot” systems.
Regardless, good luck with whatever route you take! May the odds be ever in your favor.
And hey, if you miss out, Nintendo says it’s making consoles into 2018.
- Ben Gilbert/Business Insider
First and foremost, Nintendo says it’s making a lot more Super Nintendo consoles than previously planned:
“More units of Super NES Classic Edition will ship on its September 29 launch day in the US than were shipped of NES Classic Edition all last year, with subsequent shipments arriving in stores regularly. Fans have shown their unbridled enthusiasm for these Classic Edition systems, so Nintendo is working to put many more of them on store shelves.”
Second, Nintendo’s going to continue producing the Super Nintendo re-release into 2018 – the console was previously planned as a limited production run, from September to the end of 2017. That’s good news for people who weren’t able to pre-order the console, to say nothing of the people who may not be able to buy it on September 29. Beyond launch day, Nintendo is promising a steady supply of consoles to stores through the holiday season.