My Love-Hate Relationship With Nintendo’s Virtual Console.
For the past few years I have been extremely confused with Nintendo. I mean, they are everything you want in a gaming company. They are focused on fun, not scared to try new things, and they have an enormous collection of old, yet amazing games. However, for some reasons I don’t understand, they continually seem to neglect the apparent demand for them. For years they churned out several poorly made in-house games that made me want to hurl. They shun extensive third-party development, and as a result all aspects of their design feel rushed. They are trying to compete in a hardware battle that consistently chews them up and spits them out. On top of all of this, their inconsistent Virtual Console has been so non-user-friendly, that the only thing that I have wanted to enjoy about Nintendo for the past few years has been hard to love.
Now I own a Switch, and I can confidently say that if Nintendo puts the same care, and attention into this generation of games as they did with Breath of the Wild, they have fixed the internal issues that held their games back since the Wii. Their hardware is much better compared to consoles past, even though they lack they processing power of the XBOX and PS4. Their mobility, and small but excellent library make up for it. Nintendo even announced the great Netflix-like classic game library coming next year with their online service, which sounds like a step in the right direction. However, I still feel like I can’t trust this service to live up to our expectations, based on how weird they have handled their classic game library VC in the past.
I know where they are coming from. This is what is running through their minds… “If we offer all our old games, it will slow sales of our new products, and that’s bad.” I fundamentally disagree with that mentality. Nintendo is different from other gaming companies because the quality and nostalgia of their old games add to the value of their new games.
After I beat breath of the wild, I went back and beat every single Zelda game that was available on the Wii U, Wii, and 3DS VC, and it was an absolute treat. Nintendo even made a couple bucks off games that are older that a lot of people playing the Switch. I have not had a similar experience with any other non Nintendo franchise. Unfortunately, the only experiences that you can have like this are with Mario and The Legend of Zelda. Any other franchise has absolutely pitiful VC support (especially for games that came out after the Super Nintendo). Classics like Donkey Kong, Fire Emblem, Smash, and Pokemon will require you to dust off your collection of 15 year old consoles and hope they still work. I don’t know about you, but my Gameboy Advanced is somewhere lost in my mom’s basement.
Nintendo, if you make it easier to access your library of games, I would be much less tempted to go somewhere else to play them. The temptation to pirate their games to play them on my phone during my lunch break is becoming overwhelming because I currently have an itch I can’t scratch. Luckily for them, there is a huge silver lining. The Switch.
With a few minor tweaks, they can take their hybrid console and turn it into another landmark Nintendo Goliath. Aside from the Online Subscription solution, they need to offer an extensive classic game library spanning from the NES to the Wii. They also need to offer cross-platform syncing of purchases so I don’t need to buy Ocarina of Time 3 times on three different consoles, in 5 years.
Ultimately I feel like Nintendo is beginning to get back on the right track. If we see any of these fixes I think it can buy Nintendo enough time to really develop amazing games, all the while distracting us with their amazing classics. If while I wait for the new Zelda DLC to come out I can 8-bit Fight my brother in Blades of Steel for the NES I am more than happy to be patient.
#My Love-Hate Relationship With Nintendo’s Virtual Console.