Nintendo Switch Will Not Have Virtual Console At Launch

We all thought this might be coming, and now it's official: the Virtual Console will not be live when the Switch launches next week, Nintendo said today.

"Virtual Console games will not be available on Nintendo Switch at launch," the company said in a press release. "We will share more information in the future."

It's disappointing news for anyone who hoped that Nintendo's impressive slate of classic games might help fill in the blanks between big Switch releases like Zelda and Super Mario Odyssey. Given the lack of details so far on the Virtual Console — and given Nintendo's history — it's fair to expect the worst, despite our brief optimism that they might get things right this time.

In the same press release, Nintendo added that FAST RMX and Shovel Knight (including the new Specter Knight campaign) will both launch alongside the Switch on March 3. You'll also be able to transfer your funds from other Nintendo devices after linking your "Nintendo Network ID and Nintendo Account and then their Nintendo Account to [your] Nintendo Switch system," which is hopefully less confusing than it sounds.


    'transfer funds'? So there wont be a universal wallet amount between consoles like what WiiU and 3DS have?

      No, it works exactly like the wii u and 3ds, they'll all draw from the same pool.

        "Transfer" doesn't exactly imply that though. It implies moving from one account to another. "Having access to" would imply it's still the same account.

          Transfer is the wrong word, and isn't a direct quote from the press release. You were misled by poor writing.

          Taken from the actual press release:

          People who already have funds in their accounts on other Nintendo devices can access them using a shared wallet that works on Nintendo Switch as well. Once they link their Nintendo Network ID and Nintendo Account and then their Nintendo Account to their Nintendo Switch system, this functionality becomes possible.

          This isn't like the transition from the wii shop, the switch eshop is shared via nnid with the wii u and 3ds.

          Edit: A link to the actual press release because journalism took a holiday today:

          Last edited 24/02/17 9:41 pm

    Well, they never even hinted that it would be.

      Right, Nintendo just stayed silent and let speculation run rampant ;-)

      They kinda did by saying they'd talk about it closer to launch - I guess you could argue this announcement is them 'talking about it' but seeing as we don't even have an ETA it's still a bit of a dick move. They should've just announced this back during the big reveal video.

    Well, that has sealed it for me. Switch will be a Christmas buy. Assuming more stuff comes out between now and then.

    Has it been said anywhere if games will be cross-buy in terms of digital purchases whenever the virtual console arrives? We have a lot of retro games we bought on the virtual console on the Wii U and Shovel Knight too. Not sure I really want to rebuy them all. :(

      This confirms that I was right to cancel my preorder. Nintendo really have no clue what they are doing anymore.

        Oh, I think Nintendo knows what it is doing, and knows it is anti-consumer, which is why it stays silent.

          I will wait for the Nintendo 2witch, which hopefully has Switch backwards compatibility, proper online, proper launch lineup, better hardware specs etc.

          I love the hell out of the Switch concept, just feel the execution is a bit limp.

      If Nintendo haven't learnt from their mistakes then most likely it'll be the "you get a discount for buying it for the switch"

      I would almost guarantee that they won't be. I'd love to be wrong, I too have a good library of virtual titles but I'm pretty sure you'll have to rebuy then if you want to play them on your new console. Even though Nintendo can see clearly who you are and what you've previously purchased, they're not really about helping their customers.

        All reports point to them porting over.


            It was on the Nintendo Switch subreddit some time ago, no link sorry.

              No worries. I'd be glad to be wrong about it.

    itll release when the online services are paid for

    Yes, a new console is out, perfect time to play all the old retro games I never got around to.

      When the console launches it usually has a very small library of games, after a lot of people beat Zelda it would have been nice to be able to play classics on your shiny new portable device.

    Shovel Knight? Hm. I really wish they would advertise new games, not games that are "new-to-nintendo". I suppose if you're a 12 year old kid that can't afford or just doesn't use any other medium for gaming, then the release of "new" games (that are, actually, years old) will be exciting.

    This is giving me the same feeling when the WiiU came out and Nintendo breathlessly advertised "Arkham City" - with the "super cool" new feature of..... being able to see the menu on a separate screen. Wowzers. Whoo. So cool.

    But I suppose I should give them a break. I do like the look of that new Skyrim game! Never seen that before, and I'm sure the Switch is the absolute best place to play it!

    Not too fussed by this news. Still have my retro games on the Wii U & will be focussed heaps on the new Zelda to really bother about any other games for a bit.

    Am more hoping that you won't have to rebuy stuff you brought on previous consoles or at least can transfer them over like with the Wii to th Wii U system.

    Why would they give there customers a discount there making us buy Mario kart again which is essentially the same game ... anyway I'll be to busy with Zelda to worry about games of yesteryear

    Lol guys let's be real here. Those that is saying how they cancelled the console, never wanted to buy, no virtual console no deal. You know clearly you never planned to buy the console.

    We get it you are not interested, there is no need to go shit talking Nintendo about it or dragging others to join in to boycott.

    Switch is close to sold out worldwide, with US sold out, Europe and Japan following behind. Whether you like it or not, Switch will sell better than Wii U.

      Nintendo consoles being sold out doesn't really mean a whole lot. For all we know it could mean they have already sold all 200 consoles world wide!

        Kinda wish it was the case but unfortunately not :(.

        2 million unit worldwide.

          Hopefully by the time they get to the SNES mini they haven't forgotten how to manufacture a lot of units again.

    At this point Nintendo's antics are just absurd. They seem to be focussed on losing business and alienating consumers. Screw them. They don't deserve your money.

    Ehh nothing about it really seems interesting to me.

      Also, woo I can post again! I guess I've been unbanned (if that's even what happened?)

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now