You may be thinking about buying a SNES Classic Mini – Nintendo’s latest miniature nostalgia machine – but wondering just how much value you get straight out of the box. After all, the original SNES is over 25 years old! Should Nintendo really be able to ask for $120 for an old tech/nostalgia hybrid?
Let's take a look.
It's official. after the runaway success of the Nintendo Classic Mini NES, Nintendo is releasing a retro remake of the Super Nintendo video game console. Boasting 21 of the best games from the 16-bit era, two SNES controllers and a nostalgic SNES design, the Super Nintendo Classic Edition is going to be one of the hottest items this Christmas. Here's everything you need to know - including links to pre-order right now!
Yes, alright, lets get this out of the way first – it’s definitely possible to get an emulator such as ZSNES to run ROM (read-only memory) files. This is definitely the cheapest way to play the entire library of Super Nintendo games, but as we’ve reported previously, emulators aren’t legal. So with that in mind – how much value is packed in to the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System?
A Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System retails for approximately $120. It comes with two SNES Classic Controllers, a HDMI cable and a USB power cable. It also contains 21 games, including the previously unreleased StarFox 2.
A PAL version original Super Nintendo goes for anywhere between 69.95 and 799.95 on eBay and doesn’t always come with the necessary cables to connect it to a TV. Gumtree has listings for up to $450, with games. Gumtree also has listings for the Classic Mini SNES with prices up to $400 – it’s not worth going to Gumtree for a SNES Mini because it’s still possible to find it in retailers such as EB Games and JB Hi-Fi at less than half that price. Don't get ripped off!
A more reliable option, if you must have the original SNES, would be to look at somewhere like Gametraders, which sell it for $199, with one controller and standard cable. Gametraders offers you a warranty on the console, for peace of mind, and has access to a range of retro games. As they are franchised, it's best to phone them and see what their stock levels are like before heading in.
For comparisons sake, the Gamesmen have SNES consoles for $249 with one controller and a six month warranty. However, most modern TVs will require an AV cable to get the console to work, so that’s worth keeping in mind.
Here’s the breakdown:
|eBay||$69.95 - 799.95|
|Gumtree||$100 - $400|
Currently, eBay’s highest priced game is a new, boxed version of Hagane, a 2D action sidescroller featuring the ninja-robot Hagane. It is priced at $1,699. Thankfully, Hagane is not on the Classic Mini SNES but there are quite a few expensive cartridges out there for games featured on the system.
It’s also a little unfair to compare the original SNES cartridges – which are somewhat collector’s items – with a pre-packaged bundle that only comes with ROM files, but this gives you a good idea as to what you would be paying if you were looking for SNES games in a Classic Mini-less world.
We’ve looked at the cheapest ‘Buy Now’ prices for cartridges across eBay and added a cumulative total – how much it would cost to buy all these cartridges individually. Of course, Earthbound and Final Fantasy III were not released in PAL territories at all and StarFox 2 never saw the light of day anywhere, so it’s impossible to include them in this figure.
The standouts here are Mega Man X, with the current cheapest copy on eBay going for an unfathomable $154.99, and Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, which is currently at $104.99.
|Games||eBay Price ($AUD)|
|Super Mario World||$38.99|
|Super Mario Kart||$63.99|
|Street Fighter II||$39.99|
|Kirby Super Star||$79.99|
|Super Mario RPG: Legend Of The Seven
|Not released in PAL territories|
|Contra III (AKA 'Super Probotector')||$48.99|
|The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past||$104.99|
|Kirby's Dream Course||$43|
|Secret of Mana||$66.98|
|Earthbound||Not released in PAL territories|
|StarFox (AKA 'Starwing')||$24.99|
|Donkey Kong Country||$47.49|
|Mega Man X||$154.99|
|Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts||$43.3|
|Star Fox 2||Unreleased|
There's no real price you can put on a piece of gaming hardware like the original SNES. New, boxed versions are fetching prices almost four times the cost of the Classic Mini. Yet, what this breakdown shows is that, from a current real-world value perspective, you are looking at about $1100 worth of video gaming in that palm-sized console - and that's not even taking the cost of the console itself into account.