Much to the dismay of fans, Nintendo has officially confirmed its Virtual Console storefront won't be coming to the Switch after all.
The popular Virtual Console service, which sells classic games from yesteryear Nintendo console eras like the NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, DS and Game Boy Advance, isn't going to grace the company's newest system. In a statement to Kotaku, Nintendo confirmed it has no plans to launch the traditional VC "banner" on 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 said.
This move isn't exactly a surprise, however. Nintendo has been hinting that Virtual Console wouldn't make the jump to its new console-handheld hybrid generation for a bit now. With the NES and SNES Classic Editions the company sent a clear message that hardware-software retro combos are an option, despite it losing out on lots of potential revenue via Switch owners. After all Nintendo doesn't want to undercut its lucrative mini console business...but at the same time gamers will--and do--spend $5 a pop for NES classics, or $8 for SNES games, for example.
Other clues include Hamster's $8 retro games on the eShop and the Switch Online service that offers free NES games to subscribers.
In a bid to boost engagement, retain recurring revenues, compete with services like Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass, and further evolve and innovate its content offerings, the $20 a year Switch Online service will offer a pool of 20 free retro games for members.
These games have the added bonus of co-operative online play--even traditional singleplayer games like The Legend of Zelda--as well as voice chat through the smartphone app.
But all is not lost: publishers like SEGA will bring old-school Genesis games to the Switch's eShop. Other companies could follow and expand the Switch's content offerings past the traditional Virtual Console archetype, but it'd still be nice to have a cohesive way to sort through everything on the storefront.