Is the Nintendo Switch Virtual Console ever coming?

Nintendo Switch Virtual Console
Five months has passed since the Nintendo Switch officially launched, and the traditional Virtual Console still is non-existent. Oh sure, there are plans to bring “select” classic games to Nintendo Switch Online. What games will those be? No one knows for sure exactly. But the Virtual Console gamers knew from the Wii and Wii U era seems almost doubtful.

The success of the NES Classic Edition and upcoming SNES Classic Edition are not helping.

Nonsense? Read the small excerpt below by senior executive officer Satoshi Yamato (via Polygon).

“Similar to these software titles we have made available on a variety of platforms over the Internet, we consider the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Famicom (to be sold as Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition in the U.S.), scheduled to be launched in Japan this October (and September overseas) to be a type of Virtual Console.”

Nintendo’s scheme to make an entirely separate console to put classic games on using a digital format worked. It worked so well, that it gave them less incentive to make sure the Switch offered those types of older games.

Also, consider another factor. The world is moving towards subscription models. Obviously, Netflix is one example of this. But think about software such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop too. Why give consumers the option to pick and choose what they want? Just make them consistently pay money and decide for them. Games might go in this direction.

And as another author explains below (via The Verge), it is a shame if the traditional Virtual Console is dead.

” … as for a dedicated shop to buy retro titles — a highlight of Nintendo hardware since the original Wii — there’s been no word. And it’s a shame, because the Switch might just be the ideal platform for playing old-school games.”


Of course, again, subscribers to Switch Online will likely get NES classics such as Super Mario Bros. 3.

As a counterpoint though, who has not paid money for Super Mario Bros. 3? The game has been available on multiple consoles over the years. Now, it is a “perk” of paying money for Switch Online. What about the people who bought this game on Wii or Wii U Virtual Console? Is it really an enticing bonus to see 8-bit NES titles as bait for the online subscription?

The freedom of choice given to consumers in a traditional Virtual Console is important. Gamers should not be forced to pay money for a subscription model, even if it comes with a substandard Nintendo online gaming service.

Yet, the traditional Virtual Console might really be gone.

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