When the NES Classic launched it was near impossible to get one. That was due to a combination of very high demand and Nintendo not making anywhere near enough of them. With the SNES Classic, due for release on September 29, Nintendo promises to do better. But that's probably not enough of a guarantee to stop a desperate scramble to pre-order one.
On July 21, visitors to Walmart's website thought they had got lucky when SNES Classic pre-orders went live. Six days later and it turns out all those pre-orders have now been canceled, and anyone who thought they'd secured their SNES Classic early needs to start all over again.
According to Polygon, Walmart is blaming a technical glitch for the product being available to pre-order. Deserie Dulaney, senior director for customer care at Walmart, sent an email to affected customers explaining that, "Unfortunately, due to a technical glitch, the Super Nintendo Classic Edition was mistakenly made available last Friday evening ahead of the official release date ... We, regrettably, will have to cancel this item on your order. We know that this is incredibly disappointing to you, and we're truly sorry for this mistake."
If Walmart collected any money for the pre-order, or you paid with a gift card, expect a full refund. However, that's apparently all you are getting. There's no goodwill gesture from Walmart, and no front-of-line guarantee when pre-orders do eventually go live.
On the one hand, this situation wasn't handled well by Walmart. On the other, those customers who did manage to pre-order haven't really lost out on much. Pre-orders aren't available for the SNES Classic anywhere else in the US yet, so they will still have as good a chance as anyone else to secure the $80 machine.