I bought my Nintendo Switch in August of last year. I was so excited to see what the hype was all about. I played through Zelda: BOTW, I crashed cars with Mario Kart, and I even made cities in Minecraft, but I really was hoping for some of the past to sneak its way onto the Switch. Some Nintendo classic games are available now and Nintendo announced that with the launch of their online service, they will include 20 free Nintendo classic games to play online with friends, which is a good move on their part. As amazing as this sounds, they also announced that they would not be launching a virtual console for which people can purchase and play old Nintendo brand games. Their statement read as follows:
There are currently no plans to bring classic games together under the Virtual Console banner as has been done on other Nintendo systems. 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. 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.
I know, I know. They didn’t say they wouldn’t release Nintendo classic games games on the Switch and I know, they will probably release a couple of great old Nintendo games for us to enjoy. And I know I might be a bit dramatic but, I truly feel that this is a HUGE mistake for Nintendo. It is a move that could possibly hurt the company in the long run and take away from the success of the Switch. I bought this with the hopes and dreams that someday I would be able to enjoy Nintendo classic games from every generation with this new machine. They have the technology, but they want to save the past for their nostalgia machines they have been cashing in on for the past couple years. With the release of the “new” Classic systems they have been releasing, Nintendo does not want to give the option of people buying these games on the Switch. They think it would ruin sales. They would rather run limited edition versions of their old machines, at $80 – $100 a piece and hope that people will keep buying them until they sell out. Now this might sound profitable, which I am sure it is, but Nintendo isn’t giving the public what they want, which is the option to play their favorite Nintendo classic games on the go. The Switch would give the freedom of playing Goldeneye 007 on N64 with friends on a camping trip or allow for Super Smash Bros to take the bros show on the road. To me, this would make my Switch a must have, everyday item, along with my phone, keys, and my wallet.
So I guess my question is: why can’t we have both? People will most definitely buy the “classic” versions of their favorite old consoles, such as the N64 Classic or Gameboy Classics that are being teased around the internet. Nintendo fans are crazy for the collectors aspect of it and I can most certainly say that people will buy these games more than once, if given the option. I have bought Super Mario Bros. 3 a total of 9 times in my life, in various forms and fashions, and if they sold it on the Switch, I would buy it again. Now the task of getting a bunch of games into a place that people could buy seems like a daunting task, however, I do think that Nintendo could find companies to port various games to the Switch and give them a piece of the pie. This is an easy solution to a problem that Nintendo lovers have been clamoring for since they released the NES Classic a few years back.
Now does this mean that Nintendo won’t release a bunch of games on the Switch with their new online service? No, I am sure that they will announce a bunch of Nintendo classic games from NES and SNES for the Switch to partner their new online experience. But I was really hoping we would finally see some N64 games, Gameboy games, and DS games make their way to the Switch just because it is so portable. If you can port Skyrim to the Switch, you can port Starfox 64 to the Switch.
Nintendo is missing out on a huge opportunity to cash in on the nostalgia of the 90s and early 2000s babies. The amount of money on the games, not counting the number of Switch consoles that would be sold as a result, would be incredible. People would gladly pay $20 dollars for a ported version of Pokemon Stadium or any of the Mario Party games. These games were made so people could come back and enjoy them, but unfortunately, the cartridges and systems just don’t hold up to the test of time. The systems have gotten old and many of them no longer work.
Even so, I know that I have done my fair share of buying old games in new formats, just to have them. I mean for god’s sake, I paid $40 for Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the 3DS, a game that I already own and still play on the N64, just so I could take this version with me. Game companies know that a bunch of people agree with me. That’s why we are getting FFVII remakes, why we have HD Remasters of just about every popular game on PS2 and PS3, and why Xbox One keeps expanding its backward library. It’s because we want the old games we used to play and to remember the feelings we had while playing them. The games are not as good as we remember but we want that feeling of games we used to love. With the Switch, we could have them wherever we want. It’s a pretty simple formula. I guess what I am saying is: Nintendo, please take my money.