Virtual Console as we know it will not be coming to Switch

Posted on May 10, 2018

Hot on the heels of their announcement concerning the launch of Nintendo Switch Online, it has been confirmed that the popular Virtual Console will not be coming to the Switch.

It was confirmed in an email to Kotaku that the Switch would not be receiving the Virtual Console digital shopfront. A Nintendo spokesperson told them, “There are currently no plans to bring classic games together under the Virtual Console banner as has been done on other Nintendo systems”.

This comes as a disappointing surprise to those who were looking forward to playing past games on their new console. Beginning with the Wii and spanning the 3DS and Wii U, the Virtual Console brand was a source of many beloved classics from every era of gaming starting with the NES.

Gamers who were too young to own a NES or SNES could log onto the eshop and download the humble beginnings of such classic series as Zelda, Megaman, and Sonic. It’s a great shame that players for whom the switch is their first console should miss out on the Virtual Console. This might not be the end of retro games on the Switch, however.

the WiiU's Virtual Console

We already know that Nintendo Switch online will grant its subscribers access to a library of NES games, which will have added functionality such as cloud saving, online features, and voice chat. There’s no indication exactly which games will be included beyond the initial few that have been revealed, but its doubtful that it will be the full range of Virtual Console.

It’s possible that Nintendo is ditching the Virtual Console in order for Nintendo Switch Online to take up the mantle as the new platform to offer their retro games. Rather than a digital shopfront where games must be purchased individually, the games would be available to those with an online subscription, similar to TV streaming services like Netflix and Stan.

Whatever their plans for the Switch are, Nintendo is keeping it a secret for now, leaving us in the dark about the future of retro games on the Switch.