A Twitter bot that logs new patents noted last week that on Dec. 5, Nintendo registered a new trademark for a controller resembling the classic 90s console, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
The Twitter bot sparked a flurry of rumors that the company may be rebooting the old console for nostalgic collectors. It was one of the top 20 best selling consoles of all time, selling 49.1 million units during its 1990-2003 run, and came with popular games such as Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Super Mario World.
However, according to the Daily Mail, the move may just be an attempt to curb knock-offs. The newspaper reported a Gonintendo forum user commented, “Numerous companies have been using the exact SNES controller design for their knock-offs. This trademark could be an attempt to curb that.”
Others have suggested that the move may be the precursor for a mini SNES like the mini NES classic that was released this holiday season. The mini NES retailed for $60 and came with 30 pre-installed games.
Consumers have reported struggling to find the product in stores due to its popularity and tendency to sell out. Some re-sellers have priced it at several hundred dollars on eBay and other resale sites, according to Kiro 7.
GameStop announced a small restock in physical stores nationwide. “GameStop has again received another limited shipment of Nintendo NES Classics,” the company announced, according to Kiro 7. “Only available in store, not online. GameStop recommends that customers call their local stores to determine local quantities.”
If a SNES classic is reintroduced on the market, it would likely be for the 2017 holiday season, meaning curious fans likely have months to wait before an official announcement, if any is to come.
According to the Daily Mail, Nintendo has had a successful year with the launch of the mini NES, the smartphone game Mario Run and the new Nintendo Switch, a console set for stores in March 2017. The new console is estimated to cost approximately $250, according to Pocket Lint, and will feature a 720p screen with two attachable controllers.