We are nearing the Switch being out for 6 months and one major feature that has been present since the Wii has barely even been mentioned by Nintendo; Virtual Console. So what is going on with it? And what will be different about it when it comes?
Let’s start out by asking the most important question; where is it? It’s weird that it’s taking so long because it was present at launch on the Wii and within the first 6 months of the Wii U’s launch. Well there is a few reasons that could be keeping the service from launching on the Switch, some are more logical than others but all could be considered unimportant reasons to keep the Virtual Console away from the Switch.
NES & SNES Classic Editions:
Nintendo has two classic consoles that have many games on each system. Each are extremely high in demand yet extremely hard to get. With these systems selling so well they may be holding back on releasing Virtual Console until they’re done with the Classic’s line, or at least until after the SNES Classic releases at the end of September. But are the Classics line of consoles to blame? I think it’s possible but i’m sure, Nintendo knows having Virtual Console available would not interfere with people buying these retro consoles.
Strong 2017 Lineup:
Given Nintendo has had such a busy year with nearly monthly first party Switch game releases you could say that Nintendo doesent have the need to rush out Virtual Console. Why release the Virtual Console when they are always releasing new games? Nintendo could possibly be thinking of releasing it when there isn’t too much new coming out, possibly in early 2018. Or maybe they will release it during the holiday season, they could release it anytime and it will make just as big of an impact. But this is the most speculative reason out of the three.
Classic Games Selection:
This is their Netflix style service that is releasing alongside the paid online in 2018. This service will have a variety of NES and SNES games with added online features. They may be holding back Virtual Console or even planning Virtual Console on the Switch. But in my mind that doesn’t make much sense given Nintendo is only receiving money from the online service, which most people will pay for anyway just to play games like Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe online. Nintendo would be smart to release Virtual Console either before or soon after the online services releases because it’s easy money for what essentially is emulation.
We could be waiting so long for Virtual Console because Nintendo is still working on it. With the Wii U it had a slow start and a long time to become a decent service. Maybe Nintendo is working on making the emulation software for the systems to be the best quality they can be and potentially to have an explosive launch. With older systems we had to wait for some consoles to arrive, such as the DS and N64 Virtual Console Systems not releasing until 2015. This could be a sign that Nintendo want’s to finally make Virtual Console have a great lineup of games at the start and more to follow throughout the Switch’s life cycle.
Now, when Virtual Console does come, what should be different from older Virtual Console generations. Virtual Console has been a prominent feature since the Wii, and yet hasn’t changed all that much. But with the Switch it could be the best yet with having most of Nintendo’s history of software being available everywhere you go! What should be changed and added to the service to make it the best it can be?
- Purchases tied to account: If you’ve ever purchased a Virtual Console game on one system then wanting it on another system, you will understand the struggle and annoyance of having to buy the same game for each new system that released. This needs to change and most likely will change this time around. Given Switch games are already tied to your Nintendo Account this should transfer over to Virtual Console as well.
- More Consistent Release Schedule: I don’t know how consistent the Wii’s schedule was but the Wii U’s was terrible. With normally only a couple games being released every week. It took 4 years to have a decent library of games that are available on Wii U. Having a couple games a week wouldn’t be so depressing if most weeks additions were Nintendo games but a majority of a time it’s a game many people didn’t really care to play and didn’t want. The Wii U had Wii and DS systems available in the Virtual Console service but besides the weekly additions during the month’s they were released, we didn’t see many new games for the service.
- Virtual Console Folder/App: Given the Switch’s Eshop and Home screen are much different from the Wii U’s and how would they adapt to the changes? With the Switch’s home screen and game selection it could be extremely easy to fill up you’re home screen with Virtual Console games. While this may not matter to some, but with the current lack of folders a dedicated place to have all of your Virtual Console games separated from everything else. As for the Eshop it could easily receive a Virtual Console section to stop from cluttering the new releases section.
- GAMECUBE GAMES: Come on, you saw this coming. Everyone wants to see the addition of Gamecube games on the service. While I don’t think Wii and DS Virtual Console will return for the Switch due to the difficulty of not having an easily accessible touch screen or good pointer controls I do think it would be epic to have games from the NES-Gamecube. Will it happen? I think it will, fans have been vocal about this and with Nintendo seeming to be listening lately it is very possible.
I am very surprised that we haven’t heard much about Virtual Console. I still worry that it’s not coming and if it is I worry that it will be the same small lineup that it was on the Wii U. I hope to be wrong and to see it soon. What do you think is going on with Virtual Console? And when do you think it will be released? Let me know in the comments and on my Twitter!
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