When Walmart briefly opened SNES Classic Edition pre-orders last Friday, it was a preview of the mayhem that was to come. Pre-orders sold out in about half an hour, but it was a day later when some users complained that Walmart was cancelling their pre-orders. Now, amidst conflicting reports, Walmart social media representatives are now saying that pre-orders went up early by mistake.
For those of you lucky enough to see the Walmart pre-orders go up last Friday around 7:30pm PST/11:30pm EDT, you might have been able to place a pre-order—my checkout was relatively painless—before stock depleted and the site crashed.
The cancellations started the next day with people going to forums and sites like Reddit to announce that Walmart had canceled some pre-orders, including myself but not others on the USgamer team. I and many others received emails that claimed payments couldn't be verified. One user posed a screenshot of a support chat conversation on Twitter that showed a Walmart representative say that the orders went up by mistake as part of a "website error, since the manufacturer doesn't have the preorder yet."
"Some people are reporting their Walmart SNES Classic Edition pre-orders have been cancelled."Me: pic.twitter.com/ddhZFKFbJT— Luis Illingworth (@HeyRaguio) July 23, 2017
Other users noted that this is a weird thing to say considering not everyone's preorders were cancelled, though just because the link went up early doesn't mean Walmart will necessarily cancel all pre-orders.
However, the official line, at least among Walmart support staff, is that the link to the online storefront for the SNES Classic just went up too early, with Walmart's Twitter account issuing multiple statements today that "this item was made available by accident."
Say what you will, but I'm getting serious flashbacks to the immense headache caused by trying to get one of Nintendo's previous throwback console, the NES Classic. If SNES pre-orders are already a mess on Walmart, I don't feel it bodes well for other retailers which haven't listed the SNES Classic as available yet. Though at least this time Nintendo is upfront about this being a limited item.