In 2018, the Nintendo Switch is hopefully, probably, possibly going to start getting retro games. Virtual Console releases have been a part of Nintendo’s plan since it offered a digital storefront on the Wii. We’ve heard talk about the program extending to this new system. While early rumblings include a paid subscription service that includes access to enhanced versions of retro games, we have some ideas for what should happen when the regular classic games come out to play. Here are five things we think should happen with the Switch’s Virtual Console.
Have all the NES Super Mario games at launch.
If there is one series people will be willing to buy over and over again, it’s the Super Mario line. They are iconic. Players want them on every Nintendo console, so they don’t have to drag out old systems again. When the Virtual Console launches on the Switch, every one of the NES games should be part of the welcoming committee. That means Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, and Super Mario Bros. 3. Maybe Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels too, if Nintendo is feeling courteous. Make sure the games people want are there from the very start.
Include NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, Wii, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games.
So far, Nintendo’s retro selections have been rather sporadic. Nintendo picks and chooses which games can and can’t come to its systems. The Wii U had it best, with an assortment of NES, SNES, N64, Wii, Game Boy Advance, and even TurboGrafx-16 games. But do you know what would be wonderful? If right from the start, Nintendo committed to having its entire back catalog on the Switch. Assure us that we won’t just see the NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, and Wii games. Let us know all of the old handheld titles it could possibly run are there too. Maybe include some TurboGrafx-16, Genesis, and Game Gear games, if you are feeling especially kind. Just make sure we aren’t seeing the same 20 games over and over again.
Offer a consistent release schedule.
A huge problem with the 3DS, Wii, and Wii U releases of retro games is that there is no sense of consistency. For a while, it would seem like we were guaranteed at least two games a week. Then, there would be nothing. But even two games a week isn’t much, considering Nintendo’s rich history. When it comes to the Switch, we will need more regularity. Nintendo should commit to offering a certain number of titles from each console every week. Maybe every Thursday, make sure at least one NES, SNES, and Game Boy game are there, with the fourth title being from the N64, GameCube, Wii, or Game Boy Advance. That would keep people coming back and buying!
Provide a Virtual Console UI
Do you know what would be great? If Nintendo took some pointers from Sega and decided to implement some sort of UI for its Switch Virtual Console library. On Steam, Sega gradually released ports of its Genesis games. But then, it later released the Sega Mega Drive and Genesis Collection framework that would let you deal with a specific user interface to switch between the games you owned. It was a fantastic way to browse without leaving a designated area. It would be nice if Nintendo offered some sort of similar hub on the Switch. That way, should people buy some classic games to play on their handheld, they could head into this hub and be able to switch between these different titles without returning to the main menu. It could be really stylish and call to mind the NES Classic Edition and Super NES Classic Edition consoles.
Let people put My Nintendo Points toward games.
Every once in a while, Nintendo would let people use Club Nintendo or My Nintendo points to purchase select Virtual Console games for the 3DS and Wii U. Instead of making people wait for this option on the Switch, it should be a possibility the moment classic games launch on the console. After all, everyone who is a member has Gold Points, the ones you earn from purchasing games, languishing in their accounts due to the lack of available rewards. Let us put them toward something great!