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Nintendo Switch won’t have a Virtual Console

But retro and classic games will be available in other ways.
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Rob LeFebvre/Engadget

The announcement of an online service for the Nintendo Switch yesterday raised more questions than answers, it seems. People have been waiting for the Switch Online service ever since the release of the popular console, and with it comes cloud-based backup saves. The news that the subscription fee ($4 per month, $8 for three months or $20 for a year) would also give subscribers access to 20 NES games spurred discussion of whether Virtual Console would be making a return to the Switch. Sadly, it doesn't look like that's the case, but it doesn't mean retro and classic games won't be available on the Nintendo Switch.

Virtual Console was first introduced on the Nintendo Wii as a move to appeal to original Nintendo fans in the wake of an experimental console. It allowed users to play games from older retro consoles like the NES and Nintendo 64. But the project never quite lived up to its promise, with a limited library and SNES games only available on the Nintendo 3DS.

Now, Kotaku has learned that Nintendo is not planning on bringing Virtual Console to the Switch. "There are currently no plans to bring classic games together under the Virtual Console banner as has been done on other Nintendo systems," a spokesperson said to Kotaku. However, it's important to note this doesn't mean that Nintendo won't make older games available to play on the Switch. But when it does, they won't be part of a Virtual Console. "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," the spokesperson said to Kotaku.

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