Update: Just as this piece was going up, Toys R Us' online allotment for the system sold out within minutes of becoming available for web ordering. And Nintendo provided Ars Technica with the following statement regarding availability:
The Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition system is a hot item, and we are working hard to keep up with consumer demand. There will be a steady flow of additional systems through the holiday shopping season and into the new year. Please contact your local retailers to check product availability. A selection of participating retailers can be found at www.Nintendo.com/nes-classic.
That's a more than 200-percent markup over the Classic Edition's $59.99 retail price (the median resale price on eBay is a comparable $179.99). And that average doesn't even include the single most lucrative auction we've seen for the console, which drew $499.99 from at least one buyer.
The immediate aftermarket price inflation comes after stores like GameStop, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart all declined to take preorders for the NES Classic Edition, forcing eager nostalgia-fueled gamers to line up to get limited supplies from brick-and-mortar stores today. Early reports from 24-hour Walmart locations (which had the unit available at midnight) suggest many locations only had six units to sell and had to send many in line home disappointed.
Amazon also did not take preorders for the console, and the online retailer says it will have "very limited quantities" available around 2pm PST today. Amazon has even turned off one-click ordering for the system to give more people a chance to get their orders in. "Demand is expected to be very high, and there's no guarantee that it will remain in stock for long," Amazon said in an e-mail.