Yesterday, May 7th, Nintendo released some information regarding their Online Service. Even though it was only partial information, it’s still important and they have said there is more to be disclosed. The online service will cost 20 dollars a year, which is really cheap compared to Playstation and Xbox’s online services. A big thing that people are excited for is the ability to back up and cloud save your games. Now you don’t have to be worried about losing all of your progress if your Switch breaks or gets stolen. No more trying to unlock all of those karts in Mari Kart 8 Deluxe again. Nintendo also released the games that consumers will get with their Netflix-like game subscription. The Nintendo Online Service has promised to release with 20 games and these 10 are s far confirmed;
- Donkey Kong™
- Mario Bros.™
- Super Mario Bros.™
- Balloon Fight™
- Ice Climber™
- Dr. Mario™
- The Legend of Zelda™
- Super Mario Bros.™ 3
All of these games will have some form of multiplayer but Nintendo has not said how this will be implemented.
Virtual Console Is No More
Now we get to the most important bit of information and something that a lot of people aren’t happy about. Nintendo has said they will not be doing virtual console on the Switch. Fans have been practically begging Nintendo to have Virtual Console on the platform so it’s a big hit to moral. Obviously, this has pros and cons but honestly, I think it’s more of a positive thing. You’re still going to get classic games with the online service, and yes so far they have only released NES games, but I’m sure there will be games from other platforms like the SNES, N64, Gameboy and maybe even the Gamecube. 20 games right off the bat is a really great deal with promise of more? Personally, I’m sold. Would I like Virtual Console and all the games that came with it? Absolutely. But if I get to play with them by only paying 20 dollars a month like I do with the Nintendo Online Service, then I think that’s a steal compared to paying for each game individually, especially ones that I have already bought on the Wii and Wii U. Yea there is a way around this with just somehow loading the games or transferring them like you could do from Wii to Wii U. Hell, even a hybrid of the Virtual Console and the online service type subscription, where you could buy certain games but also get free games every month, would be nice.
Here’s the main reason the online service would is good
Are you going to buy Celeste & Don’t Starve if you haven’t played them before, or are you going to take the familiar, more nostalgic route and buy Ocarina of Time or Super Mario World and play it for the 100th time?. Then think of all the games to play after that. I could think of 20 games off the top of my head I’d buy and play; Luigi’s Mansion, any and all Mario Kart games, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Fire Emblem, any Mario game ever, the list goes on. You should be playing games like Don’t Starve, they’re amazing! And worst of all, if Virtual Console came out, I’d have to pay for all of these games. Even if they were a small fee of 5 dollars, that would stack up really quickly and we easily cost more than the online service. And I’m sure if there were Gamecube games, they would sell for at least 20 dollars. Nostalgia is a very powerful thing, especially in Nintendo’s case. They’ve even built a market off of it with their mini classic consoles.
I can’t put it better than the fantastic YouTuber BeatEmUps has, and that is, if there was Virtual Console, the indie scene on Switch wouldn’t stand a chance. A lot of indie developers have found a lot of success on the Switch but imagine if they were competing with the games I mentioned above? They have been doing so well, Nintendo has even given them their own Nintendo Direct presentations called The Nindies. It would also be a lot safer for you to buy a game you know you will already like then to take a risk on a indie game.
The Switch Is Doing Well
It’s no secret that the Switch is doing incredibly well at this point and maybe adding the Virtual Console will just put mud into the water of what is making it work so far? Is Nintendo missing out on a ton of money? Possibly. But I’ve seen so many fans say they don’t want to buy Super Mario Bros 3 for the 3rd time on Virtual Console, but now that you don’t have to, you just have to pay 20 dollars a year for the Nintendo Online Service and get many titles, those fans are now mad about it for some reason. And yes, I realize there is a glaring hole in my argument because Nintendo is still releasing these game with their online service, but maybe because we are getting them trickled down to us and not all at once, we will still have the money and time to buy and play indie games.
I have loved what Nintendo did with Virtual Console and yes I do still wish it was a thing, But I think it’s good that it isn’t coming. Supporting smaller game devs and indie developers will only help the industry and motivate more people to put their games on the Switch and to actually make games in general. The online service Nintendo is offering is actually really good, really cheap and I’m very optimistically positive about it and I think you should be too! For all your gaming news, stay Savvy!