After months of waiting, Nintendo finally dumped a ton of info last night about their upcoming Switch online service. Costing just $20 a year, the subscription is a fairly decent bargain, though the benefits aren’t entirely known just yet. One thing that caught the attention of many fans was how Nintendo described the “free” Virtual Console games that members will be able to play. Shifting away from their original plan, it looks like Nintendo might finally be delivering the Netflix-like Virtual Console experience that we’ve all been waiting for.
The original plan was for a rotating selection of older Nintendo games to be available for members to download and play. New games would arrive every month, and the old titles would no longer be available, unless you paid to purchase them.
This has now changed to a system where members have access to a wide selection of games, as long as they maintain a membership. As Nintendo told Kotaku, “Nintendo Switch Online subscribers will have ongoing access to a library of classic games with added online play. Users can play as many of the games as they want, as often as they like, as long as they have an active subscription.”
What kind of games will there be in this Netflix style offering? At first only NES games, though they appear to be looking at later consoles. “Nintendo Switch Online subscribers will be able to play a wide variety of classic games, including Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight and Dr. Mario,” Nintendo continued. “More games will be announced at a later date. At launch the classic game library will include NES games. Super NES games continue to be under consideration, but we have nothing further to announce at this time.”
So not the true gaming dream that we’ve all been waiting for, but far closer than what was expected for the Nintendo Switch Virtual Console. It’s closer to what I laid out in this opinion piece which described the company’s many failing when it comes to the Virtual Console and their back catalog of classic games. Hopefully more details are shared at E3 2017, which is right around the corner.