Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 22, 2017

Email: Could The Virtual Console get a physical release on Switch?

Hi there Sean,

You’ve been mentioning how Nintendo is focusing on lifelong gamers in your last few posts. This got me thinking: could we get physical VC games on the Switch?

Let’s take a look.

Nintendo right now is staying mum regarding VC on Switch. Reggie says that we’ll have to wait until closer to launch. What a lot of people have taken from this, is that the VC will be an afterthought like with the Wii U. But considering what we know already, I’m not so sure.

Afterall, Nintendo has been investing in older games more recently. There is the fact that Nintendo launched a SNES VC on the New 3DS last year, which still continues to get new releases. There is the NES Mini obviously. And now we know that the VC on Switch will have online multiplayer (which can’t have been cheap to setup!).

The above makes me wonder why Nintendo is spending so much money on its library lately. I mean, VC has been an absolute trainwreck so far. Enough that it has driven plenty of customers away. Spending money on it would seem a waste when customers feel so betrayed that they stop purchasing your games. Nintendo has even signalled to be aware of this when Reggie recently said about the NES Classic:
Did the surprising, to you, demand for NES Classic open your eyes to understanding the popularity of classic Nintendo products in this day and age?
Fils-Aime: […] I think that incremental demand is what surprised us. Because again, how many times have you purchased the original Super Mario Bros.? We thought that the consumer that already had a Wii or a Wii U and had purchased those games once or twice already, we didn’t think that they’d buy the NES Classic. And they did.
Obviously you’ve already looked at this from the side of Nintendo committing to lifelong gamers, but that interview does raise the question what they have planned for the VC. After the succes of the NES Classic, a physical VC line up doesn’t sound to far fetched. Nintendo probably realises that it can easily make back the investment this way.
Keep in mind that Nintendo has made work of releasing digital titles for indie developers as well. But also their own digital titles have been getting physical releases on 3DS. (NES Remix, BoxBoy series from the topof my head).
Thought it might be interesting to consider.

 

Why hasn’t any VC games been announced on the E-Shop yet? You’d think with the sparse launch line-up that Nintendo would be eager for us to give them our money. We knew what some of the initial VC games were for Wii before it launched.

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