Nintendo Will Release Its Classic Arcade Games On Switch

Nintendo Will Release Its Classic Arcade Games On Switch

Nintendo is re-releasing some of its arcade games — for the first time ever since they appeared in pizza places and laundromats of the 1980s — on Nintendo Switch, beginning with Mario Bros. this month.

Interestingly, these games are coming over as part of game publisher Hamster’s “Arcade Archives” banner, under which it also publishes arcade games from other publishers on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows 10. (It’s probably safe to assume that the Nintendo games won’t be appearing on other platforms.)

You might be surprised to hear that Nintendo, a company that re-releases many of its classic games on a regular basis, has never taken the opportunity to port its arcade software. Nintendo even introduced Virtual Console Arcade to Wii back in 2009, featuring games from other classic publishers — but never its own library.

Well, for whatever reason, arcade games are back. And they fall into two major categories: the arcade originals that Nintendo made in the early 1980s, and games from the VS. System, which was a modular arcade system based on the Nintendo Entertainment System hardware. Games for VS. System were based on NES games, but with upgrades or alterations.

In today’s Nintendo Direct video, Nintendo announced the following games:

  • Mario Bros.
  • VS. Super Mario Bros.
  • VS. Balloon Fight
  • VS. Ice Climber
  • VS. Pinball
  • VS. Clu Clu Land
  • Punch-Out!!

Kickoff game Mario Bros., coming September 27, isn’t that different from the NES port that’s been re-released many times over, but it’s as we get further down the list that the differences grow.

VS. Super Mario Bros, released a year after the home game, starts out similar but has a lot of power-ups and 1-up mushrooms removed or their positions swapped, and eventually simply starts using the very difficult levels from Super Mario Bros. 2, aka The Lost Levels, instead.

VS. Balloon Fight‘s levels are actually two screens tall, and scroll up and down. In two-player mode, each player can see a different part of the screen.

And Punch-Out!! is a completely different game from Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! on NES — the arcade game used two vertically-stacked monitors and had advanced graphics the NES couldn’t touch, looking and playing more like Super Punch-Out!! on SNES. (Hopefully the Switch version has a few different display options for dealing with the stacked screens.)

Nintendo didn’t have that deep of an arcade catalogue, switching over to primarily home games after the success of NES.

So besides stuff like Donkey Kong (the original arcade version of which may not ever come out again due to legal entanglements) and the arcade Super Punch-Out!!, there’s not a whole lot more to look forward to for this service.

Meanwhile, this edition of Nintendo Direct was mum on Nintendo’s plans for its console games, which are currently only slated to be playable on Switch via the Nintendo Online subscription service launching in 2018.

For now, getting the chance to play (legally, that is) some long-neglected classics is a good stopgap.


  • No Donkey Kong?!

    Oh wait, missed that bit at the end. Pity… That’s the only one of their arcade games that I feel any nostalgia for.

  • Garbage Nintendo.

    My Switch (you know…. their $450 FLAGSHIP machine) is gathering dust while they continue to throw money and resources at games for the 3DS…. which until this week hadn’t received a game I’d think about buying in about three years.

    Meanwhile they’re busy making money hand-over-fist selling 30 year old games bundled in with two separate, stand-alone pieces of proprietary hardware at $100 a go.

    And the people who “only” bought a the best, most powerful machine get this f*c king nonsense.

    • What are you on about? There are more good games for the switch than I can currently afford to buy, and man o man I want that arcade version of Punchout more than I can say.

  • Y’know what would’ve been great? If they made the kickstand on the back able to prop up the screen in portrait mode. Would’ve been perfect for vertical shooters and such. Hell, even the original Donkey Kong.

    Looking at that Punch-Out screen makes me cry.

    • Zerodiv’s re-releases of Psiyko’s classics, Gunbarich and Strikers 1945, offer a vertical option! I haven’t worked out how to prop my Switch up vertically yet, but it’s still really cool to have!

  • Now I’ll admit I am not a Nintendo fan so I don’t keep a grasp of all the switches releases but from an outsiders view it seems the switch is mostly just a portable emulator.

  • Foggy you really need to watch your language because we will not accept this type of offensive language and as for you saying Arcade Archives Mario Bros for Nintendo Switch is complete garbage screw you. I’m excited for Arcade Archives Mario Bros because I have never played that game ever since I was born more than 20 years ago so I’m excited for Arcade Archives Mario Bros coming to Nintendo Switch.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!