Nintendo Switch Online might actually be worth subscribing to soon

Nintendo Switch Online NES and SNES game selection
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo Switch Online could receive a massive shot in the arm, as Game Boy and Game Boy Color games are tipped to come to Nintendo’s subscription service in the near future. 

Game Boy and Game Boy Color games were first rumored to be coming to Nintendo Switch Online in 2019, thanks to a datamine that revealed four emulators were hiding inside Nintendo’s NES app. One of the emulators, ‘Hiyoko’, would reportedly enable Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles to run on Nintendo Switch. 

Speaking on the “Nate the Hate” podcast, known insider ‘NateDrake’ believes that Nintendo could add Game Boy and Game Boy Color games to the Switch Online service in the next few weeks. However, it’s unclear how many titles will hit the service initially, or whether they will be drip-fed into Nintendo’s growing retro library much like NES and SNES games are. 

Sources at Nintendo Life have also confirmed that Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles should hit Nintendo’s online service “really soon”, though no specific date was given.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Game Boy Advance games or Nintendo DS will be coming to the service anytime soon. The Wii U offered titles from both handhelds via its Virtual Console service.

Analysis: Nintendo Switch Online needs more 

Nintendo Switch Online

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Even though you need a Nintendo Switch Online membership to play online, Nintendo’s service isn’t very appealing, despite its cheaper price point. For starters, the online infrastructure on Nintendo’s system leaves a lot to be desired: you can’t send messages or use party chat on Nintendo Switch, and games that support voice chat are often handled by the dedicated Nintendo Switch Online app.

Nintendo’s wonderful Virtual Console service, which was one of the best bits about the Wii, still hasn’t been replicated either. Instead, Nintendo has a library of NES and SNES titles available, with questionable additions being added to the service at an agonizingly slow pace. 

In contrast, both PS Plus and Xbox Live are required to play online on PS5 and Xbox Series X, but Sony and Microsoft give away multiple games every month for users to download and keep as long as they’re subscribed. Discounts are also offered on various titles. 

The addition of Game Boy and Game Boy Color games won’t address the problems with the Nintendo Switch Online app, but they will at least provide more value to those who are subscribed to Nintendo’s service. Here’s hoping Nintendo doesn’t take an eternity to add the games people want, though.

Adam Vjestica

Adam was formerly TRG's Hardware Editor. A law graduate with an exceptional track record in content creation and online engagement, Adam has penned scintillating copy for various technology sites and also established his very own award-nominated video games website. He’s previously worked at Nintendo of Europe as a Content Marketing Editor and once played Halo 5: Guardians for over 51 hours for charity. He is now an editor at The Shortcut.