It’s either one of the most elaborate April Fool’s brand-o-jokes of all time, or today marks the last day Nintendo will be selling Super Mario All-Stars, either in physical form or via the Switch’s electronic shop. From April 1, they still maintain it’s to be taken behind Miyamoto’s barn and shot.
As the company made clear six-and-a-half months ago, the Switch’s remastered collection of Super Marios 64, Sunshine and Galaxy would only be on sale until March 31, 2021. It was an incredibly strange decision, clearly designed to inculcate a sense of FOMO into Nintendo’s passionate audience, but one that could only ever really result in overall lost sales for the Mushroom Kingdom.
All framed as a part of Mario’s 35th anniversary celebrations, the peculiar announcement was originally made in a surprise Mario Direct on September 3 last year. It went on sale two weeks later, and despite not being an especially amazingly executed collection (64 receives none of the updating love it desperately needs, Sunshine is still Sunshine, and the absence of Galaxy 2 remains extremely odd), it has sold pretty well ever since. Especially so in the last few days as people rush to buy it before they can’t do so any more — physical sales have gone up by a reported 276% compared to last week’s, let alone the undisclosed digital sales from the eShop. It’s presumably a massive coincidence that March 31 also happens to be the last day in Nintendo’s financial calendar.
Today also marks your last chance to play Super Mario Bros. 35, Nintendo’s stab at a Tetris 99-style online multiplayer. This seems even more damned weird than the All-Stars decision, since it was a freebie thrown in with Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions, and either you’ll not care because you bounced off or never bothered with it, or you will care deeply because you were still playing it. It’s a situation where absolutely no one is left better off, and Nintendo has one less reason for people to bother with their incredibly poor Online offerings.
In a rational universe, it would seem fair to suppose that this is all a bait-n-switch (geddit?), and Nintendo will announce that all three games will now be available individually on the eShop, or declare a souped-up version containing Galaxy 2 like it always should have, upgrades for early adopters, etc, etc. But we don’t live in a rational universe, and Nintendo never does anything that makes a lick of sense, so it’s just as likely they’ll surprise announce that they’re deleting the game from time itself, or giving it away free with cereal. Or just do the exact dumbass thing they said they’d do, and stop selling a working product — that’s otherwise completely unavailable — for absolutely no goddamn reason at all.