Late last night, Nintendo officially announced and detailed its long-awaited online service. With that news, though, Nintendo said the service will launch with 20 NES games available in a Netflix-like queue. Is this Virtual Console? If not, is Virtual Console still coming?
The answer to both of those questions is no and, as Jason Schreier of Kotaku reports, that’s because “there are currently no plans to bring classic games together under the Virtual Console banner as has been done on other Nintendo systems,” as a Nintendo spokesperson told Kotaku after Schreier reached out to the company via email.
Because we already know that 20 NES games are coming to the Switch alongside its online service, it’s tough to say Nintendo is ignoring its catalogue of older games and their potential on Switch. All that can be said at this point is that Switch users won’t see a catalogue of old Nintendo games to choose from under an application, or a grouping, titled Virtual Console like we’ve seen in the past on the Wii, 3DS and Wii U. All three of those systems had a Virtual Console that allowed users to shop from a limited selection of NES, SNES and N64 games. For those unfamiliar, the Virtual Console on these systems was laid out like a shop from which users could buy and download the title they want to play on their new console, in this case, the Wii, 3DS or WiiU.
If this leaves you concerned about playing classics on the Switch, Nintendo is confident you’ll still be able to do so, it will just be through other means that aren’t Virtual Console.
“There are a variety of ways in which classic games from Nintendo and other publishers are made available on Nintendo Switch, such as through Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online, Nintendo eShop or as packaged collections,” the spokesperson told Kotaku. “Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online will provide a fun new way to experience classic NES games that will be different from the Virtual Console service, thanks to enhancements such as added online play, voice chat via the Nintendo Switch Online app and the various play modes of Nintendo Switch.”
As far as other games coming to the Switch with Nintendo’s online service, namely non-NES titles, the company told Kotaku that they have “nothing to announce on this topic.”