Will Nintendo introduce a third Switch Online pricing tier for Game Boy and Game Boy Advance titles?
Nintendo is reportedly working on new Game Boy Advance and Game Boy emulators for its Switch Online service. The company has yet to make anything official, but dataminers have leaked system emulator files onto the internet.
The emulators, referred to as Hioyoko (Game Boy) and Sloop (Game Boy Advance) in the files, are in development at Nintendo Europe Research Division (NERD). Nintendo is actually using homebrew tech like EZ-Flash to load save states onto the consoles to test the emulators. Nintendo has tested 30 Game Boy Advance games so far. Only four playable games were found on the Game Boy emulator.
Games running on the Sloop GBA emulator.
The list of tested games include:
- Link's Awakening
- Super Mario Land
Game Boy Advance
- Zelda Minish Cap
- Yoshi's Island
- Super Mario Bros 3
- Ninja FiveO
- Metroid Zero Miss
- Metroid Fusion
- Megaman Zero
- Megaman Battle Network
- Mario vs Donkey Kong
- Mario Kart
- Mario Golf
- Mario and Luigi
- KuruKuru Kururin
- Kirby Amazing Mirror
- Gunstar Superheroes
- Golden Sun
- Golden Sun Lost Age
- Fire Emblem Sacred Stones
- Drill Dozer
- Castlevania Aria of Sorrow
A composite of images taken from leaked files and emulation menus.
The GBA and GB offerings may not come any time soon. Sources have told Kotaku the emulators currently only run on Switch development kits and not the consoles available to consumers.
Twitter user orcastaw posted an excellent run-down that shows NERD is using official Nintendo factory software like the 160p Test Suite to test the GBA Sloop emulator.
So far, Sloop is better at emulating GBA than the Wii U's emulation solution developed by M2.
The real question remains: Will Nintendo charge extra for Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games on Nintendo Switch Online? Given the breadth of games being tested and the significant added value, probably.
The newer Switch Online + Expansion Pak was the first price increase for the service. The Expansion Pak tier includes access to Nintendo 64 and classic SEGA Genesis games as well as full NES and SNES games for $49.99 a year.
That's more than double the base Switch Online membership, which costs $19.99 a year.
How much will Nintendo charge for GBA and GB titles? $59.99 a year? Even more? Only time will tell, but count on a new tier being added for the wealth of games available on these handhelds.
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