N-No Virtual Console for the Switch?!

Say it ain’t so, Nintendo!  Say it ain’t so!

Oh, don’t mind me.  I’m just…a bit upset right now.  It’s fine, really.  But hey, did you hear, Nintendo is apparently not bringing the Virtual Console to the Switch!  What is happening to my life!  I am ill-prepared for this news; why, cruel world, why!  (Oh, I realized after writing this that Hatm0nster already discussed Nintendo’s new online service.  But it can’t hurt to share my own thoughts, right?…)

Huff huff…calm down, Duck.  You’re starting to scare people.

The facts: no Virtual Console on the Switch.

The alternative: Nintendo Switch Online, a $20/year subscription service featuring a limited selection of NES games.  I hear that this includes multiplayer, voice chat, cloud saves, etc.  The great thing about this is it would hypothetically allow people to hear the Duck screaming in rage at Super Mario Bros from thousands of miles away.  What a mixed blessing this turned out to be!  (I am being so sarcastic right now!)

I don’t want to act like I know better than Nintendo.  After all, they are a massively popular company and are far more well-known and profitable than the Duck shall ever be, so they’re obviously doing something right.  Nevertheless, there are times that I can’t comprehend why they make some of the decisions that they do.  (As if Nintendo Labo wasn’t odd enough.)  In some ways, perhaps a $20/year subscription service would be a great thing.  I can’t say it’s overpriced, as I feel my Netflix subscription is pretty darn cheap, and it costs way more than $20/year.  Probably $120.  Wow, I’m being overcharged.

I don’t think it’s the subscription service that confuses me, as this could be a cool idea if you, you know, got access to all the games the Virtual Console currently has to offer, as opposed to a handful of NES games (the one Nintendo console I’m not all that interested in).  This is severely limiting, as it means no SNES, N64, or the wished-for GameCube games, not to mention the other categories of games available on the Virtual Console that I never really looked at.  (What the heck is TurboGrafx?)

Yes, Nintendo has released these little NES and SNES consoles that can play a select library of games, but the great thing about the Virtual Console was that you had a good level of freedom to pick popular games alongside more obscure titles that won’t be making it onto a “greatest hits”-style collection.  What constitutes as “greatest” is super subjective, and I’d rather pick and choose the games I deem as my favorites than have someone else do it for me.

Before I wallow in sadness and confusion for much longer, let’s take a step back for a moment and look at things in a more hopeful perspective.  Because maybe…just maybe…I’m interpreting things wrong.  Maybe Nintendo is starting with NES games being a part of their subscription, and someday they’ll add SNES, N64, and even GCN games back into the mix.  I can’t comprehend why Nintendo wouldn’t want to do this.  I mean, they’ve got a huge library of great games that they can keep reselling decades after their release.  That’s basically free money!  Take advantage of how much we love your games, Nintendo!  Because, as cheap as $20 a year is, I’d gladly pay more than that to buy individual VC games at my leisure as I have been doing on the Wii U.  And I’m sure that plenty of other people feel the same way.

Now, if that is not what Nintendo has in mind…I just don’t get it.  I really don’t.  And…I know it’s dumb, but…I kind of worry about the future of my favorite classic games if the VC doesn’t return.  My N64 is still going strong, but it won’t last forever.  I can buy most of my favorite Nintendo games over again on the Wii U, but even then, that doesn’t give me the same reassurance as knowing I can get my favorite games again years down the road on Nintendo’s current console.  Knowing that I might one day lose my most beloved games…Donkey Kong Country, Majora’s Mask, Paper Mario…it’s upsetting, to say the least.

Nintendo, I implore you, please bring back the Virtual Console.  Please make GCN games available.  Even if they have some alternative to the VC in mind that will bring back all the classics from the past, that is fine, as long as we aren’t limited to a “greatest hits” collection based on the opinion of someone other than the person buying it.

Are you saddened by the news that the Nintendo Switch won’t have its own Virtual Console?  Are you interested in Nintendo’s subscription service?  Please leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Don’t Make Me Switch to PlayStation…Ha Ha, Puns!


  1. Hey Duck – yeah, I’m not sure what Nintendo is up to here either.

    It seems they want to get Switch owners onto their subscription service, and that completely makes sense. But whether it’s through that service, or in the e-shop, or wherever, they don’t seem to be in any rush to release classics from the SNES, N64, GameCube, etc.

    Who knows? Maybe they’ll surprise us and announce that all the big ones – Mario World, Ocarina of Time – will be available to subscribers in the fall. I’ve never seen a company be so good at leaving money on the table!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. duckofindeed says:

      Nintendo really confuses me sometimes. The Virtual Console was great because it catered to a large audience, from fans of NES to N64, along with other consoles I never even heard of. A subscription service that only offers NES games is going to appeal to a far smaller group of people, and…it just makes no sense.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hatm0nster says:

    I’m with you Duck. I’m really hoping that they augment their selection of NES games with SNES, N64 and GCN titles. Can you imagine it? It would be like a Netflix of classic gaming goodness! They wouldn’t even have to make the Switch emulate the hardware since they’re already working on a streaming system for games (as weird as game streaming still sounds). That said, I’m no so sure they’ll do that. Nintendo, for better and for worse, has always tried to do things differently from everyone else. MS and Sony have their game streaming and backwards compatible offerings, so why would Nintendo want to copy that? It’s far more likely that they’ll aim to rework a few older games with online capabilities and what-not like they are with these first few NES titles on offer. Which is fine, but only so long as they don’t limit themselves to NES and put out more than just a handful each year.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. duckofindeed says:

      Yeah, a Netflix-like service with classic Nintendo games would be amazing! I really hope Nintendo won’t just stick with NES games, but I didn’t really get the impression they had plans for anything else. Nintendo doesn’t seem to realize that they don’t need to be different just for the sake of being different. There’s a reason XBox and PlayStation offer older games because it’s an easy way to earn extra money. It’s really a shame, too, after Nintendo surprised everyone with the Switch, only to start making silly decisions again.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. DDOCentral says:

    Reblogged this on DDOCentral.


  4. Geddy says:

    The Switch is such a perfect system for a virtual console, and let me tell you I was so excited to finally hear about Gamecube games making it on to the system. I kinda fell out with Nintendo around the GameCube/DS time and so I only played a handful of games, and was looking forward to being able to play them on the bus. Same for a handful of GBA games, of which I also didn’t get to experience a lot of. Looks like this won’t be the case unfortunately.

    I truthfully don’t understand it, but I do have my prediction: compilation packages from individual publishers. We’ve already seen it from Capcom, SNK, the Megaman collection, etc. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we started to see more of them throwing in the hat. Truth be told, I’d prefer collections if they were in physical form, but I know I am probably in the minority.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. duckofindeed says:

      The Switch could have been so amazing with the Virtual Console. We could essentially play nearly every classic Nintendo game, either at home or on the go. The Switch, by virtue of its very nature, offers such freedom, and yet, with no Virtual Console, its library will feel so restricted. Freedom and restrictions. They don’t pair well together.

      Collections can certainly be a good thing. As far as I can tell, buying the MegaMan collections is far cheaper than buying every individual game on VC. The one problem is that there are certain games that just won’t make it into a collection. If a game is not part of a series or made by a successful company that would want to make a collection of their most popular games, we probably won’t get another opportunity to buy it. Of course, there were some games the Virtual Console never got, but it did a pretty good job of making available nearly all of my favorite games from various retro consoles.

      Nintendo is certainly an enigma….

      Liked by 1 person

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