The Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo 3DS both offer Nintendo’s “Virtual Console.” The service first started with the launch of the Wii, and allowed customers to download classic titles onto their brand new system, from as old as the Nintendo Entertainment System, to as new as the DS and the Wii on newer consoles. The platform did have it’s fair share of issues, though. For example, if you wanted to have a specific game on more than one console, like both your Wii U and 3DS, you would need to repurchase the game on the other system.
Another issue was the availability of games. Nintendo has made games from a handful of their systems available on Virtual Console, and even went as far as releasing games from systems they didn’t create, such as the Sega Genesis, the Turbographx 16, the Neo-Geo and even the Commodore 64. However, Nintendo has not released a single Gamecube game digitally aside from Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, both being HD remasters of their original Gamecube versions. Nintendo has also made Super Nintendo games available on the go, on the Nintendo 3DS. Sorry, the New Nintendo 3DS. It is a New Nintendo 3DS-exclusive feature, even though homebrew has clearly proven that most Super Nintendo games can run on a original Nintendo 3DS with a proper emulator. Maybe the reason behind it is because they needed to push N3DS units, but it’s still pretty annoying that I have to buy another iteration of the system, just so that I can legally play Super Mario World on the bus.
But, according to our pals over at Eurogamer, Nintendo seems to have finally received the message, because with the Nintendo Switch, they’re switching it around!
Horrible puns aside, Eurogamer states that the Virtual Console service provided through the Switch’s online shop will release with Gamecube games available at launch. These include the following games:
- Luigi’s Mansion
- Super Mario Sunshine
- Super Smash Bros. Melee
- Animal Crossing (Currently being tested)
The emulator responsible for running these games is apparently being created by NERD (Nintendo European Research and Development). They’re the team behind the emulation that drives the NES Classic Edition, which (I hear) runs amazingly, and has no major issues. They also go into detail about some sort of upgrade program which will allow people who already own a specific game on their Wii, Wii U or 3DS to purchase it on the Nintendo Switch for a discount. The discount was not specified, but we’ll probably learn more come January 12th when Nintendo will go into more detail about all things Switch.
How do you feel about these changes? Do you want a specific game on the Virtual Console platform? When do you think we’ll finally get Virtual Boy games? Leave your opinions in the comments!