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Nintendo Switch Won’t Have a Virtual Console at Launch

Nintendo Switch

No classic Nintendo games for early Switch adopters.

With Nintendo having previously remained hush-hush about the status of the Virtual Console on the Nintendo Switch, many fans had begun assuming it would not be available at launch. As it turns out, these suspicions were accurate.

“Virtual Console games will not be available on Nintendo Switch at launch,” reads a Nintendo press release the company posted today. “We will share more information in the future.”


First rolled out on the Wii, the Virtual Console is Nintendo’s digital storefront for its enormous back catalog of games from past systems like the NES and Nintendo 64. In December, three separate sources confided to Eurogamer that Nintendo planned to have GameCube games available on the Virtual Console for the first time when the Switch launched.

It could be that those sources were unreliable and had their stories wrong. But it’s unclear if that’s the case or if Nintendo simply wasn’t able to or decided not to make it happen on launch day for some reason but is still working toward bringing a GameCube game-filled Virtual Console to the Switch in the future.

But where one group of games was lost, another was gained: Nintendo also announced that two more titles than originally expected will be available on launch day. Indie titles Shovel Knight and all of its DLC (including the recent Specter of Torment) and Fast RMX will release on launch day. This brings the list of total launch day titles to 11.

Nintendo also revealed that it expects more than 60 indie games to arrive on its new system by year’s end. Some of these indie Nintendo games – or “Nindies,” as Nintendo calls them – will be shown off during a video presentation on February 28 at 12 p.m. EST.

To purchase these games, owners will have to download a day one update that enables the Nintendo eShop. Owners who already have money in their accounts from other Nintendo devices can carry that money over through a convoluted-sounding process of linking “their Nintendo Network ID and Nintendo Account and then their Nintendo Account to their Nintendo Switch system.”

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