Update: We've spoken with employees at several local Walmart and Target stores and have updated on-sale info listed below.
As any joystick jockey can attest, fall is one of the best times of year to be a gamer.
Thanks to the game industry’s habit of dropping much-anticipated titles and systems leading up to Christmas, the next few months will feature hordes of must-have games and items seeing the light of day.
And one of the biggest releases this fall will be the Super Nintendo Classic Edition.
In case you’ve been living under a Thwomp for a while now, Nintendo’s been tapping into gaming nostalgia with miniature emulator replicas of its classic consoles.
Last year, they released the NES Classic Edition, a pint-sized version of the game-changing Nintendo Entertainment System that boasted 30 old-school titles, including The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Ninja Gaiden, and all three Super Mario Bros.
It was a smash, to say the least. And in true Nintendo fashion, it was manufactured in limited supply, causing stores to pretty much sell out instantly, leaving gamers to pay upward of $500 on eBay to get one.
This year, the Super Nintendo gets its turn.
Like its predecessor, the Super Nintendo Classic Edition resembles an adorably undersized version of the system and features a library of some of its greatest games.
And while the selection is limited to only 21 titles – including Super Mario World, F-Zero, Final Fantasy VI, Donkey Kong Country, and Mario Kart – they’re all choice, especially the previously unreleased Star Fox 2.
And just like the NES Classic, the console is going to be in demand, probably because Nintendo is reportedly only releasing it in limited supply when it first drops on Friday, September 29.
Last year, gamers like Lester waited in line at local big-box retailers like Best Buy and Toys R Us to get
“When the [NES Classic] came out, I went to Walmart at midnight and they only had eight of 'em and that was it,” he says. “So it was pretty hard to find.”
And unless you’ve already pre-ordered your SNES Classic (which has reportedly been a hassle-filled clusterfuck), it’s likely you’ll wind up scrambling to get one on September 29.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of various retailers around the Valley that reportedly will have the SNES Classic (which retails for $79.99) in stock on its release date or shortly thereafter. And based on our conversations with both company spokespersons and store employees, many big-box chains in town will have it available, albeit in limited quantities.
In other words, unless you want to cough up a few hundred dollars or wait until Nintendo manufactures more SNES Classics next year, you’ll want to check out the following stores around metro Phoenix.
46 Valley locations
While we weren’t able to reach any company spokespersons regarding availability of the SNES Classic at its Phoenix area stores, employees at several locations around town told us that it’s expected to go on sale on September 29. And according to gaming website Nintendeal, individual stores will reportedly have around 30 units each. YMMV.
Update: Phoenix New Times has confirmed that the following 24-hour Walmart Supercenters in the Valley will have Super NES Classic available starting at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, September 29. It goes on sale at every other local Walmart store beginning at 6 a.m.
- 34399 N. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek
- 4617 E. Bell Rd., Phoenix
- 2501 W. Happy Valley Rd., Phoenix
- 18551 N. 83rd Ave., Glendale
- 1710 S. Greenfield Rd, Mesa
- 1060 S. Watson Rd., Buckeye
- 21655 N. Lake Pleasant Pkwy., Peoria
- 13770 W. Bell Rd., Surprise
- 857 N. Dobson Rd., Mesa
- 800 E. Southern Ave., Tempe
- 1175 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler
- 2501 S. Market St., Gilbert
- 15355 N. Northsight Blvd., Scottsdale
- 14111 N. Prasada Gateway Ave., Surprise
- 1725 W. Hunt Hwy., San Tan Valley
- 800 W. Warner Rd., Chandler
- 5290 S. Power Rd., Gilbert
- 4505 E. McKellips Rd., Mesa
33 Valley locations
A Target company spokesperson told Phoenix New Times via email that while they can’t share specific details regarding how many SNES Classics that each store will have available (if any), they will be offering some for purchase. “While we have sold through our preorder allocations, Target will have additional inventory available for the September 29 release,” they said.
Bottom line: We suggest calling a day or two beforehand to check availability at a particular location. Each store opens at 8 a.m. and people will be permitted to line up beforehand.
Update: We’ve spoken with store employees at the following Target locations and confirmed how many SNES classic they’ll have in stock. Those marked with an asterisk (*) will also use a ticketing process on a first-come, first-served basis to tickets for people waiting in line.
- 3777 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler: (51 available)
- 3425 W. Frye Rd., Chandler: (40-plus available)
- 16825 E. Shea Blvd., Fountain Hills (40-plus available)
- 1515 E. Warner Rd., Gilbert (25-50 available)
- 10404 N. 43rd Ave., Glendale (80 available)
- 9350 W. Northern Ave., Peoria (60 available) *
- 1515 N. Litchfield Rd., Goodyear (47 available) *
- 995 S. Cotton Ln., Goodyear (25-50 available) *
- 5110 S. Power Rd., Gilbert (50 available)
- 2151 N. Power Rd., Mesa (25-50 available)
14 Valley locations
According to a Best Buy spokesperson, SNES Classics will go on sale promptly at 10 a.m. on September 29. And while they declined to comment on specific numbers, they mentioned that supplies will be limited. A ticket system will be implemented on a first-come, first-served basis. Anyone interested in purchasing one can line up outside of any Best Buy location the night before.
Update: Tickets will be distributed starting at 7 a.m. on Friday morning, according to an update to Best Buy's website.
50 Valley locations
According to Eric Bright, GameStop's senior director of merchandising, any of its locations (including those in Arizona) will have the system for sale starting at 10 a.m. on launch day. Quantities will vary per location, however, based on demand.
"I'd recommend that consumers get there as early as possible as supplies will be limited and I would expect them to sell out in minutes," Bright says. "Much like when we have launches of famous games like Call of Duty, consumers will start lining up hours ahead of time to make sure they can either reserve or pick up a copy. I don't expect it to be any different for the Super NES Classic."
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Bright also recommends calling GameStops the week of the release for updates on how many consoles they'll have in stock. They'll also sell SNES Classics either by itself or in a variety of bundles, some featuring wireless controllers, strategy guide, or swag like a Mega Man helmet.
Toys R Us
Eight Valley locations
Unlike most of the other big-box retailers on this list, Toys R Us didn’t offer preorders of the SNES Classic, opting instead to sell the item in-store at each of its locations. According to spokesperson Jessica Offerjost, each store will have a “limited inventory” of the console.
As such, she encourages folks to get in line before doors open at 10 a.m. on launch day for a chance to get one. “We’ve seen lines start as early as 5 a.m., if not earlier, for other 'constrained' items like Hatchimals in 2016,” she says.
Editor's note: This post has been updated with additional details regarding when SNES Classics will be available at certain stores.