Virtual Console Is Not Coming To Switch, Nintendo Says

Virtual Console Is Not Coming To Switch, Nintendo Says

Perhaps one day, it will be possible to play Link to the Past on your Switch.

In the wake of news that the Nintendo Switch’s online subscription service will include a Netflix-like library of NES games, fans have been wondering: Is the Virtual Console coming back? The answer to that question is no, according to Nintendo.

“There are currently no plans to bring classic games together under the Virtual Console banner as has been done on other Nintendo systems,” a Nintendo spokesperson told Kotaku in an email late last night.

Nintendo’s previous three gaming consoles, the Wii, 3DS, and Wii U, each had their own versions of this Virtual Console, a branded shop with a limited selection of classic games from the NES, the Super Nintendo, the Nintendo 64, and other platforms. You could buy and download Virtual Console games piecemeal, then play them on your new console with some extra features, like save states.

Although the library was fragmented and hard to keep track of – Final Fantasy VI, for example, is inexplicably only available on the Wii – the Virtual Console proved appealing to Nintendo fans who wanted to play or re-play entries in the company’s massive classic library.

“There are a variety of ways in which classic games from Nintendo and other publishers are made available on Nintendo Switch, such as through Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online, Nintendo eShop or as packaged collections,” the Nintendo spokesperson said.

“Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online will provide a fun new way to experience classic NES games that will be different from the Virtual Console service, thanks to enhancements such as added online play, voice chat via the Nintendo Switch Online app and the various play modes of Nintendo Switch.”

One Japanese publisher, Hamster, has already released Switch ports of classic games from the Neo Geo arcade, like Blazing Star and Fatal Fury. Sega has also announced plans to bring its classic Genesis games to Nintendo’s latest platform, a move that signalled the lack of a single unified store for classic games this time around.

Before the system’s launch, rumours had suggested the existence of a Switch Virtual Console that included GameCube games.

When asked by Kotaku if games from other platforms will appear on the Switch’s online subscription, Nintendo’s spokesperson said the company had “nothing to announce on this topic.”


  • Wow Nintendo sure know how to exploit their fans! Really disappointing.

    • Wait, doesn’t this mean they are still bringing old games to the console, but they are updating them with improved or added online play capability?
      I read the announcement as they were not bringing the old Virtual Console system to the Switch, but that they were bringing a better system for playing classic games?

      • maybe, but if we go on Nintendo’s past history, they are likely to make fans pay again for the same games they already have.

  • Have the Executives of Nintendo suddenly developed Mental conditions?

    Because youd have to be retarded to not have virtual console on a portable console like this.

    • Suddenly? They’ve always been this short-sighted when it comes to classic games 🙂 They didn’t think the NES Classic would be popular…

  • Read between the lines guys.

    Nintendo have said the *Virtual Console* is not coming to the Switch. They did NOT say anything about not bringing classic games to the Switch!

    There’s already going to be a service in place to play NES games on the Switch, and it’s not called the Virtual Console. It’s called “Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online” or whatever.

    I’m not interpreting this as meaning Nintendo are not bringing any more classic games to the system as a download service. I’m interpreting this as meaning quite the opposite – that Nintendo ARE bringing more downloadable classic games to the console, but the service will not be called “Virtual Console”. It’ll be called something else, possibly something specific for each old platform.

    • Yeah, a subscription-based Virtual Console is the way to go. Pay $X for access to the NES library for a year. $Y for the SNES library etc. with bundled prices for the lot.

      • I suspect the same thing but they really should announce that’s the plan if it is, it’d certainly get people like myself a lot more interested in their online subscription. Right now I have very little interest as there’s already more than enough ways for me to play the tiny selection of NES games they’re going to give us at launch…

      • That doesn’t sound too bad actually, assuming you get access to a large number of games in those libraries.

        I would also hope that their gameboy and gamebody colour libraries are available the same way.

      • It could be something like that… but this is Nintendo. They are more likely to copy Sony/MS by giving out a few games per month or whatever, so people will keep subscribing to NES-NSO in the hope that next month, next month will be when Nintendo will give us [INSERT NAME OF GAME HERE]…

        • If this is NIntendo, then they are LESS likely to copy Sony/Microsoft.

          Nintendo does whatever it feels like.

          • I dunno, they already copied Sony’s Vita (with some improvements) and seem to be copying Sony/MS’s pay-to-play-online. Other things, I’ll grant you, are pure head-scratchingly Nintendo.

    • Yep.

      Similar to @mysteryman above, my bet it’ll be modules of “Super Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online”, “Nintendo 64 – Nintendo Switch Online” and so on. Likely with a small hike in the subscription fee per module (hence starting with the NES, and the lengthy nomenclature) with games changing every few months.

  • Well that’s a smart business decision. /s

    What planet do these people live on? There’s already a team dedicated to hacking the Switch, and denying fans of the system the thing they’ve been asking for since the console launched is a sure-fire way to rally people against you.

    I’ve never been much of a fan of the Virtual Console system because it was tied to the console instead of an account, but even I would have paid money to access these old games on my Switch. Now I’ll just hack it when it becomes convenient. Such a wasted opportunity.

  • This is disappointing. One of the reasons I purchased a switch was with the hopeful intent of virtual console. I don’t want to play nes games. Hopefully they look at other systems. I also feel this will push customers to homebrew and emulators as they can just load up some roms.

  • I’m sure we’ll get to play OG system games at some point – its just that Nintendo is thinking of new and wonderful ways to get us to repurchase the same games again.

  • One of those topics where more will be read into what they don’t say than what they do – the actual quotes don’t say anything about them not bringing classic games back, just that they won’t be called VC etc.

    Happy to wait and see what they come up with; give me Wind Waker, Advance Wars, Fire Emblem & the other stuff already scheduled for Switch & I will happily keep throwing my spare beer tokens at you Nintendo.

  • I’m not paying a subscription to play games I have already bought. I am so happy the switch home-brew scene is exploding right now.

  • Be kinda cool if the likes of Square Enix releases a “Final Fantasy 1-12” game, everyone one switch would lap that up like a bulldog eating custard.

  • Nintendo sure like to make it a pain in the ass to get retro titles working.

    Good thing their consoles are so easily hacked.

  • Man… All the money i on my library of snes games on the wii u. What a waste.

  • That is a shame to hear. Hopefully Nintendo changes their mind in the near future.

  • The lack of comprehension from people is frustrating and only promotes the spread of misinformation. Classic games will be made available on the Switch but not through exactly the same means as the previous method, Virtual Console. The media are not being helpful either as they’re doing their best to skew things by using titles such as the one in this article. It’s purposefully deceptive and a good example of clickbait.

    • Not really. The Virtual Console is something Nintendo customers have spent money on already. So if these games are not made available through the same method, chances are we will have to pay for these games again if we want to play them. There’s nothing deceptive about this article at all, a product that was available will no longer be available.

  • I like to blame the awful games media because it frequently deserves it, but in this regard Nintendo hasn’t clarified the position on what they’ll do next or as a replacement for Virtual Console.

    so to announce this, without then clearly stating the next option is terrible again by Nintendo. Its run by fools.

    PS. Oh, and charging to save games online as the only save backup option is clearly an illegal scam by Nintendo.
    please call it what it is: an illegal anti-consumer scam.

  • “There are currently no plans to bring classic games together under the Virtual Console banner as has been done on other Nintendo systems,”

    And with a single sentence Big N have killed any desire i had to own the Switch.

    • But it looks like they will be bringing the games, and adding lots of extra online functionality, i.e. something better than VC was.

      • I have zero desire to pay a monthly subscription fee or have to source games from multiple different places.

  • Calm down people. Sounds like the games will still be coming in one form or another just not under the “Virtual Console” banner.

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