I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: the Nintendo Switch just might be the company’s greatest system of all time. I mean, having the ability to take the system out of my TV and bring my large-scale, console-quality games on the go is simply perfect. In just its first year on the market, the Switch became the fastest-selling console in U.S. history, and surpassed the lifetime sales (approximately four years) of its failed predecessor, the Wii U. Most importantly, the games have been of the utmost quality, with the new mainline Legend of Zelda and Super Mario games taking bold new risks, both to great payoffs. It has been a rough several years for the Big N, but 2017 marked an unprecedented and absolutely magnificent comeback for the brand.
While I sing highly the praises of the Nintendo Switch, I do acknowledge its flaws, as no system is, has been, nor ever will be perfect. Namely, the console is a bit underpowered when compared to its contemporaries, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This I can understand though, as some sacrifices to its graphical capabilities need to be made in order for the console to double as a handheld, something that distinguishes it from the competition. However, one major thing that Nintendo could bring to their new system, seeing as it was on both the Wii and Wii U, but unfortunately has not (as of this writing), is the Virtual Console.
For those out of the loop, the Virtual Console was large selection of classic video games that could be purchased digitally and downloaded onto one’s Wii or Wii U. The games were ported over from the original Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, among others, and being older titles, were reasonably cheap. In my opinion, Nintendo made its fair share of mistakes during the “Wii era”, trying too hard to cater to as wide an audience as possible, including non-gamers. However their intent to make all their major legacy titles accessible on one convenient system, to generations old and new, was definitely not one of them.
You might be thinking: “why the heck is this service not on the Switch?!” Seeing as the Switch has objectively superior hardware and specs to its predecessors, it is indeed frustrating to see something proven technologically possible not be done. Additionally, as a big fan of retro games myself, I have become rather weary of the increasingly high asking prices for used, physical copies of them. As such, the idea of not only being able to get these games cheaply, but to also be able to play them anywhere, would be a massive missed opportunity for Nintendo if they ultimately do not do it.
On a more positive, optimistic note, Nintendo has stated that they are open to having Virtual Console in for the Switch. Perhaps they have been working on it, but have simply taken some extra time to make it even better (I personally hope that they will add GameCube games onto the service). They did say something about discussing updated “online services” at this June’s E3, so here’s to hoping we hear something about the VC!