The Nintendo Switch Needs Virtual Console To Fill In Its Release Gaps ASAP – Forbes
I too am experiencing “that awkward moment” with the Nintendo Switch, as my colleague Dave Thier put it yesterday. It’s when you’ve finally convinced yourself you’ve done enough with Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and now none of the other current releases really hold your attention, from 1-2-Switch to Super Bomberman R and the like.
I expect this moment to last quite a while, as I don’t particularly care all that much about heading back to Mario Kart after I already spent a ton of time with that on the Wii U. ARMS may be good for a short while, but I don’t expect it to have legs. Really, I’m just waiting for Splatoon 2 this June.
A non-Nintendo console would have more options to fill the dead space, third party releases over the spring and summer. But Nintendo does not have Mass Effect or Ghost Recon. Instead, what Nintendo should have as a “back-up plan” is its collection of older games, made accessible by its Virtual Console. But as we know, the Switch still does not have its own VC.
It’s time for Nintendo to start talking about what exactly their plans are for Virtual Console on the Switch, and why it’s taking so long to get here. It was frankly shocking that VC missed the Switch’s launch window, given what a beloved feature it is for most Nintendo fans, but now here we are, a full month after release and Nintendo still has not shared their plans about Virtual Console, neither when it’s coming, nor what form it will take when it does arrive.
Googling “Nintendo Switch Virtual Console” will get you pages and pages of stories about how Virtual Console will miss the Switch’s launch, but exactly zero about when it is coming to the system, since Nintendo hasn’t said. It’s possible that VC may not arrive until Nintendo fully launches its online service this fall, though that would be an excessive amount of time to wait, and already, players are feeling the itch. They want Virtual Console now.
And it’s hard to know a reason as to why Nintendo can’t provide this. It’s not as if the Virtual Console is a new or foreign concept to them, as they’ve been using the storefront in one form or another for ages now. And while it would be nice to have a Gamecube or Wii component to the store, no one would complain if the Switch’s VC just started off with NES, SNES, Game Boy, etc. The easiest ones.
Perhaps Nintendo is rethinking the entire structure of their Virtual Console, and changing the system from one where you have to re-buy every game on every new hardware platform to one where you share titles via your account might be worth the wait. This is the #1 thing Nintendo fans want to see from Virtual Console when it returns, because Nintendo keeps asking them to buy the same games over and over, punishing them for even switching platforms within the Nintendo family. It’s archaic, and has to be fixed.
Whether it’s including this feature or adding GameCube games to the mix or something else, even if Nintendo doesn’t launch Virtual Console immediately, it should at least start talking about it. It’s a key selling point of their hardware, and we are about to head into a stretch of time when VC games would be more than welcome gap-fillers if the Switch’s actual launch line-up isn’t eye-catching enough for many players. But as always, for now, it’s just silence from Nintendo.