The hottest toy of the holiday season is, without a doubt, Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition. It’s no surprise why. Preloaded with 30 classic Nintendo games and costing only $80, the nostalgia-inducing NES console throwback is a hit with parents and kids alike.
It’s also next to impossible to find. The first waves of stock sold out in minutes across North America and replenishment isn’t looking good for the rest of the holiday season. If you had your heart set on tucking an NES Classic Edition under your tree this year, it might be time to start making alternative plans.
If playing the classics and waltzing down memory lane is what you’re after, one option is the Nintendo Wii U console system. Inside the Wii U’s built-in online storefront is Nintendo’s Virtual Console, which is home to more than 500 classic Nintendo games, including Super Nintendo hits and N64 hits. Games available for purchase include Super Mario, A Link to the Past, Super Mario Kart, Pilotwings, and F-Zero.
The Wii U is a pricier investment than the NES Classic Edition to be sure, but it’s also less likely to be dumped in the back of a closet a few weeks after Christmas. Like other major video game consoles, the Wii U connects to the internet, gives you access to apps like Netflix, and can play more modern games, including the upcoming Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
It’s hard to beat the value and visual style of the miniaturized NES Classic Edition, but it’s not the only way to play some of the greatest games in video gaming history.