35 years after it originally launched, Nintendo’s now ancient games console managed to out sell all current generations of hardware during June this year. A $60 price point and the 30 classic games it includes helps explain why.
It’s hard to forget the mess Nintendo made of the first NES Classic launch in late 2016. Not enough were made to meet demand, then Nintendo discontinued the console meaning prices surged on eBay. Having seen the error of its ways, the NES Classic was relaunched on June 29 this year, and it sold so well it topped the charts.
Even though the NES Classic was only on sale for two days in June, the tiny retro console became June’s highest unit-selling hardware platform according to The NPD group. The PS4 still came top in terms of dollar sales, but then the NES Classic only costs $60 compared to the PS4 at $300.
June therefore counts as the first time since NPD tracking began in 1995 that the NES has topped the sales charts. It also acts as a reminder of the pull Nintendo continues to have with its back library of not only games, but old hardware. It also (hopefully) suggests that a Nintendo 64 Classic, Gamecube Classic, and Game Boy Classic will happen eventually. Nintendo would be leaving a lot of money on the table if it didn’t make them.
Hardware sales in general saw a major boost this year with spending up an impressive 52 percent ($350 million) compared to last year. The NES Classic played a big role in that, but the NPD also pointed to Fortnite as a sales driver as well as promotions around E3. You may remember Sony offered a limited edition blue PS4.
Nintendo came top in another category, too. The best selling game in June was Mario Tennis Aces on Switch. It now sits at the top of the all-time highest first month sales, unseating the previous highest which was Mario Tennis on the N64.