Nintendo has finally revealed most of the details about the Nintendo Switch’s upcoming online service, but one of fans’ most pressing questions remained unanswered: would the Virtual Console be returning?
Now, Nintendo has answered, and it looks like fans’ hopes and dreams have been turned to dust. According to a Nintendo spokesperson, there won’t be any kind of Virtual Console system on the Switch, at least not in the form that we’ve become used to seeing it.
“There are currently no plans to bring classic games together under the Virtual Console banner as has been done on other Nintendo Systems,” the spokesperson told Kotaku.
This doesn’t mean that Nintendo is abandoning classic games entirely, but the implication does seem to be that we’ll get fewer games than before. Nintendo Switch Online, the new paid service that Nintendo will offer up to customers starting in September, will grant players access to a library of NES titles as part of the subscription. However, under the Virtual Console umbrella on the Wii, Wii U, and 3DS, players have been able to purchase games from the SNES, Nintendo 64, and Gameboy eras, not just the NES alone.
Given the beloved status of the past Virtual Console system, this new system may cause the successful Switch to take a hit. However, fans shouldn’t despair just yet. The spokesperson didn’t say that none of these past games are coming to the Switch, just that they wouldn’t be appearing under the Virtual Console banner. It’s possible that the Virtual Console name is dead, but that other older games could still appear on the Switch, perhaps bundled into their own sections of Nintendo Switch Online or simply included on the eShop.
The Nintendo Switch Online subscription service will launch in September. We may learn new information about future games at that time.