After the Wii U, many gamers were skeptical about Nintendo’s next console. Wii U wasn’t a horrendous, craptacular disaster of a system (we’re looking at you, Virtual Boy), but it wasn’t the success it could have been. It performed under par for its whole lifespan, and has all but fizzled out. After the success of the original Wii, the U just didn’t do the silly name justice.
At first glance, the Switch didn’t fill many of us with confidence either. Its handheld/console hybrid functions looked a little gimmicky and impractical, like the previous system’s GamePad. It’s only been a few months, but it looks as though Nintendo have gone back to that magic formula, and cracked it again. Sales are solid, there are some great exclusives on the way, and they actually use the system’s unique characteristics in a positive way rather than shoehorning them in where they don’t belong.
Still, this isn’t a full-on Switch love-in. The device is currently lacking a function that has been central to Nintendo’s consoles for over a decade now: the Virtual Console. The service is on its way, though, as Nintendo Life reports.
The President of the company’s US arm recognizes fans’ clamour for the service to be added to the Switch’s repertoire. “We know that our fans, our players, want access to all of our digital content,” Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime told IGN at E3 2017. “What we're working through is, 'okay, what's going to be the best way to make that happen, to make that available?”
As fans know, Wii and Wii U (as well as the 3DS) have a section in the eShop where classics from the Nintendo archives can be downloaded. Select titles from the NES to N64 eras are available for purchase, and while this may not sound like such a big deal, it makes sense that Virtual Console functionality is quite a high priority for Switch owners. After all, while Nintendo have traditionally been a little shonky in their relationships with third-party developers, their first-party titles and IPs are second to none. Their consoles live and die by their Marios, Zeldas and such, and their retro games backlog is a real treasure trove that still captivates old and new players.
Judging by Fils-Aime’s words, the company are working on bringing some of their classic games to Switch at some time in the future. It sounds as though a fancy new revamped form of the Virtual Console may be on its way, and while there’s sure to be quite a wait for it, that’s an exciting prospect.
What do you mean by “all of our digital content,” Reggie? GameCube games, possibly? Ladies and gentlemen, start your rumor-mongering!