The SNES Classic Is The UK’s King Of The Micro-Consoles

Image: Nintendo Life / Damien McFerran

Prior to the arrival of the Switch, one of the most exciting developments in the world of Nintendo hardware was the NES Classic, a micro-console filled with 8-bit titles that made the company a tidy sum of cash. It was quickly followed by the SNES Classic Edition – not to mention similar products from the likes of Sega, Konami, SNK and Sony – and more recently we’ve seen the A500 Mini hit store shelves.

Our friends over at GamesIndustry.biz have been breaking down some data provided by GfK to see how these unique pieces of hardware have fared in the UK marketplace. It should come as no great shock to learn that Nintendo takes the top two places thanks to the SNES and NES Classic Editions, while Sony’s much-maligned PlayStation Classic is in third. Sega’s excellent Mega Drive / Genesis Mini is in fourth place, followed by the Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros, which is included in this list by the virtue of it being a ‘retro’ console.

The catch here is that the sales figures for these systems are quite low when compared to ‘proper’ consoles like the Switch. GfK’s data (which, it should be noted, only tracks sales via traditional retailers like GAME, Amazon and Tesco) covers a whopping 150 different devices, and just 1.5 million of these have been sold in total since 2005 (which is when the ‘Namco 5-in-1 Stick TV Games System’ was released).

However, GfK games boss Dorian Bloch tells GI.biz that, had Nintendo ensured that more stock was available for its SNES and NES Classics, the number would have been higher.

While we can’t imagine these machines will be challenging the Switch, PS5 or Xbox Series X when it comes to pure commercial clout, it does make you wonder if Nintendo has more ‘Classic Edition’ machines in the pipeline – or if it has simply shelved the idea to focus on Game & Watch handhelds based on key franchises, like Mario and Zelda.

The UK’s Best-Selling Retro, Micro and TV consoles

Position Title Manufacturer Year
1 Nintendo Classic Mini: SNES Nintendo 2017
2 Nintendo Classic Mini: NES Nintendo 2016
3 Sony PlayStation Classic Sony 2018
4 Sega Megadrive Mini Sega 2019
5 Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros Nintendo 2020
6 Sega Megadrive Flashback HD (85 Games) AT Games 2018
7 Namco 5 in 1 Stick TV Games System Jakks Pacific 2005
8 PlayStation TV Sony 2014
9 Namco Ms Pac-Man Plug N Play Games Jakks Pacific 2005
10 Steam Link Steam 2015



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