If the immense success of last year's NES Classic is any indication, the SNES Classic will be one of the most hard-to-find products of 2017. When pre-orders for the bite-sized console went earlier this summer, they sold out in seconds, leaving many wondering if they'd lost their chance to experience the nostalgia for themselves.
Fortunately, folks who missed out on pre-orders will have another chance to scoop the SNES Classic when it hits store shelves this Friday for it's official launch. Here's what you need to know.
Pick one up in person at a major retailer
Stores—those big buildings filled with goods that none of us really walk into anymore unless we have to—will be selling off their stock of SNES Classics on a first-come, first-served basis starting tomorrow. Some retailers might handle the rush with a ticketing system, handing out numbers to customers waiting in line prior to the store's opening. Others might just open the doors and let the chips fall where they may.
In any event, treat tomorrow like Black Friday: Get to your chosen retailer early to increase your odds of success. Better yet, carve out a game plan ahead of time by coming up with a list of stores you plan on visiting in the order that maximizes your time. With that said, let's take a look at the retailers you should be keeping an eye on.
In terms of sheer volume of stock, Target is probably your best bet for nabbing an SNES Classic on launch day. Unfortunately, it'll most likely be the most hotly-targeted store for customers hoping to get in on the action, too.
Most Target locations open fairly early in the morning, so if you track down a location with SNES Classics in stock, be sure to get there well before the store actually opens.
Best Buy has already indicated that some of its stores will be handling the rush with a ticket system, so plan on being an early bird tomorrow if you decide to go this route.
According to Best Buy, tickets will be handed out starting at 7 a.m. Once you've secured a ticket, you'll have to wait it out for the doors to open a few hours later.
Some Walmart locations are open 24 hours a day, so there's a good chance your local 24-hour Walmart will be doing a midnight launch for the SNES Classic later tonight. If you're not a night owl (or if your local store isn't open overnight), you might want to call ahead and ask a representative what the plan is for tomorrow morning. Don't be shy—they've probably gotten this question a lot this week.
You can also check Brickseek for local Walmart inventories.
Word on the street is that Gamestop locations won't be carrying as many units as the aforementioned mega-retailers, so unless you have no other option, I'd recommend reserving Gamestop as your last-ditch effort. As always, if you're planning on lining up, do so early. We're talkin' at least two hours in advance.
If your schedule prohibits you from lining up several hours in advance to buy a video game console, you're not alone. Sadly, door-busting shopping culture is not exactly kind to folks like us with work commitments and daily responsibilities.
Fear not—there's still a chance you could fight your way through the digital crowds and score an SNES Classic from the comfort of your own home or workplace. Here's a rundown of online retailers to keep an eye on throughout the day.
Don't forget Amazon!
OK, OK—so it's probably going to be extra hard to land an SNES classic via Amazon, but we've got some tips to make it a little easier.
If you don't already have a Prime membership, he first thing you're going to want to do is sign up for a free trial, which will grant you access to Prime Now, a service that offers same-day delivery for certain products available locally.
Prime Now was one of the best kept secrets on the launch day of the NES Classic. As long as your Prime account is tied to your zip code, you might luck out and find the SNES Classic in-stock nearby, which means you could get it delivered to you on the same day you order it.
Keep tabs on Prime Now tomorrow and maybe fortune will favor you.