Virtual Console isn't coming to Nintendo Switch

After a lot of waiting and wondering, Nintendo Switch fans have finally been offered some more solid details on the Nintendo Switch’s online service before it launches in September of this year. 

With cloud saves and a Netflix-like library of NES games, Switch owners definitely got some of the things they were looking for from their console. But many were left wondering if the long-called for Virtual Console would be a part of the online package.

It won’t be, Nintendo has confirmed in an email to Kotaku.

No VC, much cry

“There are currently no plans to bring classic games together under the Virtual Console banner as has been done on other Nintendo systems,” the email stated.

Before now, the 3DS, Wii and Wii U have all included the Virtual Console shop which allows players to purchase a selection of classic games from Nintendo’s older consoles such as the NES, SNES and Nintendo 64. 

The library wasn’t complete, varying from system to system, and each game was an individual purchase. But the games usually had some useful modern features included and offered a way for Nintendo fans to access the games they loved most from years gone by. 

Instead, it seems that any retro games that will come to Switch will be included as a part of the Online service fee, purchasable through the eShop or released as full collections. They won’t, however, fall under the banner of 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 Nintendo spokesperson continued in the email. 

“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.” 

At the moment, the only retro games available through the upcoming Online service are NES games, which is slightly more limited than many fans were expecting. 

Before the console’s launch it was widely rumored that the Switch’s Virtual Console would include a wider range of titles, including GameCube games. When asked if games from other platforms would join the NES titles currently available through the online subscription, though, Nintendo said it had “nothing to announce on this topic.”

This doesn’t mean, then, that a wide range of retro titles won’t be available to play on Nintendo Switch at some point in the future. It just means that they’re likely to be packaged up and offered in some different ways.

Emma Boyle

Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.