It looks like retro game fans in Quebec will have to go to even greater lengths to get their hands on Nintendo’s upcoming micro console. Motherboard Canada has ascertained that Nintendo will not sell the SNES classic in Canada’s only predominately French-speaking province.
According to the two anonymous EB Games employees interviewed by the website, Nintendo won’t be able to sell the SNES Classic in Quebec due to the province’s provision on video game sales. “It won’t be available in Quebec because of the French language,” said one of the employees, adding, “[Nintendo] won’t be able to ship it in Quebec.”
The second employee corroborated the first employee’s statement and provided additional context. “The reason why is that there’s two games that didn’t make it onto the SNES Classic in French and English, so we’re not allowed to sell that,” said the second employee.
#SNES Classic will be live for pre-order at approx. 10am PT. Web only. LTD QTY, no rainchecks. SNES is Eng only and not available in Quebec
— RZ Gamers Club (@BBYC_GamersClub) August 22, 2017
In this specific case, a 2009 rule requires that all video games sold in the province must be translated into Quebecois French if they’re available in French anywhere else in the world. It’s unlikely we’ll find out the identity of the two games that aren’t available in both English and French, but it seems probable that the previously unreleased Star Fox 2 is one of the culprits.
When Motherboard reached out to Nintendo for comment, a spokesperson for the company said, “Nintendo considers a number of factors when deciding which markets to launch its products in, but we do not discuss details about our distribution plans.”
As Motherboard notes, if you live in Quebec and want to get your hands on a SNES Classic, the one legitimate option you have is to drive to one of the adjacent provinces to buy the console there. However, given how scarce the NES Classic was when it was available, that seems like a long shot. More likely, most people will likely turn to emulation, something that’s not legal.
Then again, at the moment it seems most Canadians won’t be able to buy the SNES Classic. In the rest of Canada, Best Buy and EB Games started taking SNES pre-orders yesterday. Pre-orders sold out in less than five minutes, bringing back memories of NES Classic.