Ever since the release of the Nintendo Switch last year, fans of the system has been requesting for the addition of the Virtual Console to the system. Now, the company has confirmed to Kotaku that the Virtual Console will not be paired with the Switch. “There are currently no plans to bring classic games together under the Virtual Console banner as has been done on other Nintendo systems,” a spokesperson from Nintendo told Kotaku.
However, the absence of the Virtual Console will not mean that classic games of previous consoles will never come to the system, there just won’t be a dedicated brand for them on the eShop. In the past, Nintendo offered the Virtual Console on the Wii, 3DS, and Wii U and had a selection of games from the NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, Gameboy, and other platforms that players can buy a la carte.
It seems now that classic games will be released on the Switch either through the recently announced Nintendo Switch Online, which is a subscription service that will initially offer NES games, or directly through the eShop as part of a packaged collection such as the current Arcade Archives collection. It is still not known whether the online service will add more games from other consoles besides NES, but this is highly likely, given that the Virtual Console is no longer an option.
“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,” Nintendo 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.”
Personally, I think that Nintendo Switch Online is an interesting service, being a somewhat okay alternative to the Virtual Console. I just hope that the library of classic games that Nintendo will bring to Switch Online will be worth the cost of a monthly subscription.