The virtual console feature that has been with Nintendo since the Wii era will not be available at launch on the Nintendo Switch. The company stated the following in a press release:
"Virtual Console games will not be available on Nintendo Switch at launch. We will share more information in the future."
The Nintendo eShop will be up and running, so it's a little bizarre that Nintendo wouldn't have prepared the virtual console to launch alongside it considering it's the same thing. The big question is, why?
I have a feeling, but literally nothing to go off of, that Nintendo will be offering its virtual console via a subscription service. If you remember, Nintendo initially teased a free SNES rental a month for the platform which would be free with the online service, and that feature is nowhere to be found in this press release. Considering the success of PlayStation Now and EA Access and Nintendo's current streak of modernization, I have a good feeling that the company is gearing up towards offering a premium streaming service for its virtual console library.
Why do I feel so confident? Because there's absolutely no way that the virtual console library is not able to be ported over to the system. Before the goon squad shows up and says "well dur nintendo underpowered," a calculator can run NES games so save the trolling for your forum boards. Even if you were struggling with certain parts, I refuse to believe that you couldn't at the very least have a couple of NES games for people to screw around with. They've got something in the works, I guarantee it. So say I'm right, and Nintendo does offer a subscription service for its virtual console library, how much more are you willing to pay to have access to those games?