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Nintendo confirms that a key Switch feature everyone wants isn’t happening anytime soon

Published May 8th, 2018 9:44AM EDT
Nintendo Switch Virtual Console
Image: Nintendo

It’s a case of “good news, bad news” for Nintendo fans this week. On Monday night, the company revealed that cloud backups for save data will finally arrive alongside the launch of the Nintendo Switch Online service this September. It has been arguably the most requested feature since the Switch was released, but another highly-anticipated feature appears to be dead in the water as Nintendo finally confirms that there are no plans for a new Virtual Console.

“There are currently no plans to bring classic games together under the Virtual Console banner as has been done on other Nintendo systems,” a Nintendo spokesperson told Kotaku in an email on Monday night.

Each of Nintendo’s previous three consoles — the Wii, the 3DS and the Wii U — gave players access to a version of the Virtual Console, which collected classic Nintendo games from the NES, SNES, N64 and other platforms. While a Virtual Console for Switch wasn’t going to be ready for launch, it seemed to be an inevitability. Nintendo even left the door open with vague answers in interviews, but the messaging seems to have changed:

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.

Nintendo hasn’t completely closed the door on a Switch Virtual Console, but it doesn’t sound like it will materialize any time soon (providing it ever does). The Switch could easily be the perfect console for a store full of classic titles, with its mix of power and portability. One way or another, let’s hope that Nintendo finds a way to bring the best of the Nintendo 64 and the GameCube to the Switch, Virtual Console or not.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.