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The Nintendo Switch is Almost a Year Old, Where is the Virtual Console?

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Nintendo Switch logo HQ

The Nintendo Switch launched on March 3rd, 2017 and quickly became a smash success, mostly on the back of its amazing catalog of titles that keeps growing. In September, six months after the Switch’s launch date I wrote that the console, despite its collection of amazing games, still felt like an early access console due to its lack of some key features. Now, fourth months later and just about a month away from the one year anniversary of the release, the console has grown but is still missing a lot of features that fans want, with the Virtual Console being the biggest.

I won’t go so far as to call the Nintendo Switch an early access console anymore, though the main OS hasn’t evolved all that much in the intervening months. But the Switch still feels like a better investment today than it did back in 2017, still thanks to its software library more than anything the platform itself is accomplishing. If someone asked me whether they should buy a Switch or not, my answer would be an emphatic “yes”. In fact, that is how I answered to a lot of friends over the holidays, so don’t let my pessimism bug you too much.

The big question on every Nintendo fan’s mind is “where is the Virtual Console on Switch?”

But it’s easy to see what the Switch lacks that other consoles don’t, including the antiquated 3DS. YouTube, Netflix, and other media apps have been in a perpetual holding pattern for months, waiting for Nintendo to give the all clear to launch, at least according to rumors. Beyond multimedia apps though, the Switch still struggles, such as its woeful save magement system. Cloud saves make sense and fans want them very badly. These would be awesome to have, especially given the portable nature of the console, but the real big one, the one every Nintendo fan has been asking for since day one, is the Virtual Console.

We’ve only seen small hints of this feature making its way to the Nintendo Switch, with the release of a few “Arcade Archives” titles. But mostly Nintendo has been quiet on the whole topic of Virtual Console on Switch. This has left fans to speculate, and this usually leads to bad stuff for the company being speculated about. So far the fan consensus seems to be that Nintendo is holding off on the Virtual Console release while they rake in the money on NES and SNES Classics. This has a bit of a flaw in that Nintendo seems not too interested in making all the money they can off of these devices, limiting the hardware supply to extreme levels.

But there does seems to be something holding up the release, as it was implied by Nintendo that Virtual Console would be a key part of the online subscription. This subscription is another aspect of the console that still, almost a year after release, feels half baked. The paid online service seems to have been pushed back, which is a very good idea as there’s not enough to warrant the cost.

The big question on every Nintendo fan’s mind is “where is the Virtual Console on Switch?” The answer still eludes us, but as we approach the one year anniversary of the console’s release, we can only hope that more info will be revealed soon.