Soapbox features enable our individual writers and contributors to voice their opinions on hot topics and random stuff they've been chewing over. Today, Thomas discusses the unnecessary 'choice' by Nintendo between Virtual Console and Nintendo Switch Online subscription apps.
Out of the various questions, debates and issues that came to the surface following the announcement that the Wii U and 3DS eShop stores will close down in 2023, one that caught my eye was the topic of Virtual Console platforms that'll be lost. Though I included a jokey option in our Poll article at the time poking fun at some of the collective outrage, implying that many of us were upset despite having not used either store (or made a purchase) for quite some time, there were valid points around content that will disappear. My first instinct was to think about system exclusives (particularly excellent Indie titles) that will be gone, but seeing references to the VC offerings definitely led to more pause for thought.
While ceding expertise, data and resources to Nintendo, its approach to accessibility and monetisation around its retro content still baffles me. Below is an answer that was actually removed from the official Q & A, addressing the fact that a lot of retro downloads will no longer be available to purchase legally from the company.
Across our Nintendo Switch Online membership plans, over 130 classic games are currently available in growing libraries for various legacy systems. The games are often enhanced with new features such as online play.
We think this is an effective way to make classic content easily available to a broad range of players. Within these libraries, new and longtime players can not only find games they remember or have heard about, but other fun games they might not have thought to seek out otherwise.
We currently have no plans to offer classic content in other ways.
This could change of course, but let's take it at face value and assume that, in the near-to-mid term at least, Nintendo will continue with its current approach of occasional one-off eShop releases of retro games - like the bizarre limited-time release of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light - with others appearing as part of Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions. As most reading these pages will know it's a very slow drip-feed of releases on specific platforms, with the Expansion Pack currently a big focus for Nintendo following confirmation it'll also include the upcoming Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass. Between both NSO options we have game batches (of varying sizes) for NES, SNES, Nintendo 64 and SEGA Genesis / Mega Drive.
The logic of pushing for growth in subscriber numbers is undeniable. As Kate Gray highlights in this article on the topic, businesses value the reliability and consistency of income from having popular subscription services. The base NSO package is required for cloud saves and online play, dragging in some Switch owners with little-to-no interest in the NES and SNES libraries. The Expansion Pack, meanwhile, is arguably worth it for the Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Happy Home Paradise and upcoming MK8 Deluxe DLC alone, whether or not you want N64 or SEGA genesis titles. On the flipside some subscribers will be signing up primarily for the retro games, so the strategy is easy to see.
While that's valid, though, that old social media meme 'why not both?' springs to mind. Why not have subscription options and a Virtual Console eShop? With NSO being multi-faceted in its offering, it seems unlikely that everyone would drop that subscription in a heartbeat in order to buy Super Mario Bros. for $5.
Thinking back to the Wii / 3DS / Wii U eras of the Virtual Console, there was certainly an element of VC fatigue after a while among dedicated fans. Perhaps the sales data was low by the time we got to the 3DS and Wii U iterations, though retro Pokémon games have dominated the 3DS eShop charts for a long time. There were also complaints over the years about emulation - in Europe we endured 50Hz refresh in the Wii years, and every VC platform addition would trigger debates about resolution, filters and so on.
I can't help but feel like a fully loaded Virtual Console eShop (without the drip-feed releases of previous iterations) would be a hit.
They were vocal arguments between a minority, I'd say, and the reality is that for me and others the Virtual Console was a wonderful entry point into gaming history. Despite being old enough to have theoretically owned a NES, Game Boy and SNES, my first Nintendo system was the N64. When I got the Wii I spent plenty of money on classics that I'd never played, valuing the chance to catch up. Then the 3DS Virtual Console came along and I bought a bunch of Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles. Even on Wii U I was right there for a handful of key Game Boy Advance titles. My first thought whenever the availability of redownloads is threatened - which hasn't happened yet - is to get on the case and download my collections on each system.
In terms of the model, while subscription platforms like Netflix are solely about streaming, other major services in entertainment allow you to subscribe and buy. Microsoft's Game Pass doesn't stop you from being a subscriber and purchasing downloads of games that are also on the service. On PlayStation a lot of content on PlayStation Now is also available to buy. On TV, platforms like Amazon Prime and various services allow you to both stream and buy the same content, often with the streaming and purchase-only stores existing side-by-side.
The other side of the argument could be that Nintendo doesn't have the resources or inclination to update and produce the necessary game page texts and other aspects we're used to on NSO, like the control screens and so on. It's not just a matter of dropping a few hundred ROMs onto a store and watching the sales roll in, there'll be a lot of background work to produce the 'products', and it likely wouldn't be a simple case of reusing the store assets from previous Virtual Console platforms. It would be a relatively significant project, and perhaps Nintendo has research and data to suggest that the effort wouldn't pay off.
That said, I can't help but feel like a fully loaded Virtual Console eShop (without the drip-feed releases of previous iterations) would be a hit, especially at this stage in the Switch lifecycle when it has a large and engaged user base. Add in systems that Switch owners haven't experienced — like Game Boy, Game Boy Advance — and surely there'd be renewed interest. As it is we rely on compilations from third parties like Konami and Capcom for some of these experiences.
I understand why Nintendo has tried an alternative to Virtual Console with Switch Online. What I don't understand is why VC was completely dropped - for a company with such history and unrivalled powers of nostalgia, it's oddly shy about sharing that retro content with as many people as possible.
Let us know what you think about this, as always, in the comments!
I just wish I could buy a select few N64 and SNES games. I have no interest in paying an expensive yearly subscription to only play a few retro games. The system that Nintendo came up with is far worse than the Virtual Console, and I wish they would revert to how things used to be.
EDIT: Though I should mention that this service has a great chance of improving. If they consistently add new games to it, it will definitely have better value. It’s gotten off to a rough start, but I think it will improve overtime. Just even the addition of GBA games will make me consider purchasing it.
That's what I thought too. They could have Switch Online as something akin to a "rental gamepass", and then you could pay money to download the game from virtual console to fully own it, Nintendo can guarantee double the money.
Because Nintendo isn't good making decisions to keep it simple.
I really do hope Nintendo will bring back the Virtual Console or a similar model in the future and get rid of subscription service like models.
Removed - disrespecting others
Not enough people supported VC, so Nintendo took it away.
Nintendo fans have only themselves to blame.
I've given up on Nintendo for providing consistency for legacy releases of any sort on their platforms. Modding community is not only far more effective and owners of the franchises tend to do far more interesting packages for these games, including releasing them on something other Nintendo hardware. So net positive.
I'd say it's so they can keep people on the online plan. A lot of people mainly sign up so they can play classic games on the go so offering them those games elsewhere would kill a lot of the interest in the service for current subscribers. That's my take on it at least.
I don't care what Nintendo does as long as they make a big change and turn NSO into a streamlined GamePass Ultimate style service. Just something better than the convoluted mess they have now. That's really the issue here - they don't offer a modern solution to access old content. I've had better experiences with dial up modems and MS Gaming Zone.
I'm fine to pay an annual subscription for old games on my Switch, but I dread when they shut it down or remove games from the service only to drip feed it onto the Switch 2 all over again or even not at all if deals with 3rd parties can't be renewed. I don't mind buying compilations from Konami, Capcom, and Namco either, as long as I don't lose access to the games arbitrarily one day I'll be happy. I also still have my 3DS and WiiU tucked away with a few select virtual console titles that still haven't made it over to Switch.
@mikegamer “If I don’t agree I’m automatically a shill”
I wish this was the decision they took to have both, but for myself I don't really regret Virtual Console because I always thought it was too expensive for what it was, I only bought 5 games total throughout Wii and Wii U. I vastly prefer the Switch Online sub because I honestly stopped caring about ownership at this point for retro games, and having a bigger library is more motivating to play games I would have never bought before.
I do think Virtual Console could probably be more successful now than before; the Wii's interface was very bad for buying, the Wii U wasn't popular by itself, and the 3DS is an odd one.
But there's something going on about the Switch that goes against retro games as a whole: I don't think a Nintendo system has ever had this many releases of games daily in the past.
The problem here is how do you make retro games appealing alongside the newer games, without any bells and whistles of remasters or remakes. And I think that's impossible now without having a better offer like subs. It would work out probably better, but probably not enough.
@Matty1988 for some people is not that simple. not everyone can be constantly online for this kind of model. some people need to fully own the games to be able to play them.
Great article, Thomas. I definitely wish Nintendo gave the subscribe or buy option like Xbox and Playstation do. I think the main reason they won't do so is because keeping people subscribed to NSO brings in more money in the long-term. The rare digital purchases of retro games will be limited time only like with Fire Emblem 1.
They are making it simple, you want the retro games you subscribe to the online service, the Virtual console service was dying before the Wii U, we just need to let it go.
There are lots of retro games available on the e-Shop too.
Idk, shareholders? Apparently, VC wasn't that profitable for Nintendo. I loved it when it was new, but as is often the case with Nintendo, people generally were indifferent towards it or disliked it (to include so-called enthusiasts). Now that it's gone, people miss it.
Now as for the real question this is asking, I want them to do this, having the subscription and VC exist at once would be ideal for me. I can't think of any other reason they shouldn't, other than the above reason that diehards like us don't want to hear.
My WiiU was a VC machine during those years. I did eventually sell it off because I needed the money, so I'm glad I didn't have to rebuy all those games. Of course I'm also one of those awful people who doesn't try new things often, so the "Greatest hits parade" we've gotten from Switch Online is fine for me.
Always the same on here, the minorities think just because they want a Virtual console service, so does everybody else.
I hope they make an N64 mini. I honestly didn't think they would make N64 pads again but what do I know lol. It doesn't have to be a virtual console. The subscription service is inoffensive enough and practically nothing a year. I think there is a nice balance of having access to retro stuff on the NSO and remakes / remasters being released at retail. So overall I'm happy. There is so much to play.
Exactly, if there was money to be made on a Virtual console service, trust me Nintendo would be offering one.
Because Nintendo's primary goal is to grow its online service. Embedding legacy content is one way of doing that, since their old games are always in demand.
What I don't understand is why people want VC on Switch. It will be digitally only, meaning, as is no surprise with 3DS and Wii eshop news, there is no ownership forever of the games - which is the exact complaint leveled at having to use the streaming service. So you don't technically "own" the game forever with either VC or NSO.
There is a larger topic of here of "forever," this warm blanket of perceived security having one's games at their fingertips across any platform, never having to re-buy anything again ever. That is not going to happen. Our content overlords across all mediums want to keep the consumer ensnared in an ongoing dependency of streaming/long-term rentals.
Selling the titles via VC is always something Nintendo can keep in their back pocket if they got into financial trouble. Seeing where Switch sales are at, there is no need to.
As much as I would love the option for both, I think that it would ultimately devalue the NSO service.
I miss the VC option, but I really don't miss buying the same retro games every Gen. I still have not bought the NSO expansion, however, I am very curious to see how it plays out for gamers in the long run.
If the service is able to transfer to the next Gen, and we eventually get Gameboy, GBA, Gamecube and/or Wii games then I would say that it's a win-win. Also, more games like Tetris 99, Pac-Man 99 and Super Mario Bros. 35. I absolutely love those.
Who knows, let's wait and see... this is still very new territory for Nintendo. People should be much more patient, IMO
I've found switch online has given me a great opportunity to try before I buy. And honestly, the online play ability has never been a deal maker for me.
Let's not forget that Microsoft allows you to redownload your digital games on the next system. That would be the way to go with a proper Virtual Console.
Having said that, they should have released a VC, but we all know that people would complain anyway about the available titles and the prices for "games that old".
And I don't see how a VC would make people drop the NSO subscription. The classic games system is a perk, not the main reason for people to pay the fee, which theoretically is for playing online.
I wonder if the lack of doing things the VC way is because Nintendo didn’t want to (yet again) weather all the justifiable anger from people who would expect to be able to carry their purchases over from a previous console.
I’ve bought many Nintendo games (like Mario World) 3 times on Wii, 3DS and Wii U and would have been very annoyed to have to buy them all again on Switch.
By using a subscription service and presenting the old games as a bonus, Nintendo somewhat sidesteps this issue by not having any purchases for people to expect to carry over to their next console.
Let's be real. The virtual console wasn't all that everybody would like to remember it to be. The quality of the resolution was awful and the games overpriced. The switch online service games are superior quality in every single way. It's a much better deal overall, and more and more systems will be added overtime and I think it will be the model going forward for all future Nintendo systems. I'd like to actually know when many of the complainers of the virtual console ending actually last bought a game on there? I imagine it was years and years ago.
You don't support, it goes away. Simple. Just like with the Wii U.
I think its a combination of licensing issues, compatibility issues, other companies wanting to release retro collections, and Nintendo not wanting to cannibalize sales of their newer games with their huge retro catalogue.
They had a good virtual console for Wii U because they were desperate to keep that system afloat.
Subscription model ensures money are rolling in. Steadily. They finally figured it out. That is why they have no plans. Why would they?
I would prefer a purchase-based Virtual Console too, but Nintendo is going for a subscription-based model, so it is what it is. Most every business is on that bandwagon right now. Might I point out that when we had the VC, there was rampant complaining about having to purchase and re-purchase the same titles? And the pricing was also criticized. Thomas' example of $5 for Super Mario Bros. is a perfect example of a VC title that was the subject of such criticism. Not to mention that the Wii VC had hundreds of titles and people still complained about what was missing. So it's a no-win situation for Nintendo. Give away everything for free and eliminate most of the complaining, or run a business model of choice and endure the endless whining.
@DonkeyKongBigBoy Switch Online has a smaller selection, updates much less frequently, the N64 games were butchered at launch and just getting fixed, and ultimately you don't own the games since you're just renting them via a subscription whereas I can turn on my 14 year old Wii and still play the huge library of retro games I have on it.
Personally I'd rather pay for an individual game I get to own instead of a service that will inevitably shut down.
Genuine question: Is there a business or security reason why Nintendo can't include the option to purchase the games that are already on NSO? There's, what, 100 or so games available to subscribers, but no options for a permanent purchase? Why not let customers buy the games that are already installed on their console? Any extra games sold this way would likely just come from people who didn't want to subscribe in the first place.
Unfortunately, Nintendo wants to have it both ways. They want people to pay for classic content again, but they don't want them to have any real ownership of it.
That said, the answer probably isn't for the VC to return. It's for Nintendo to build a better subscription service, one for the next ten or twenty years, instead of reinventing the wheel on classic content with every new platform. The issues that fans have with the current NSO options (which I still think are good prototypes for what Nintendo should be doing) would be less contentious if we had some kind of guarantee that Nintendo was committed to building a classic game service that had staying power. Deals with third parties would help. Perks like more original artwork and manuals would be great. And of course, getting the emulation right is a big one.
It's not so much about subscription versus individual purchases as a sense of security and knowledge that the service will be around for the long term. It can be done but it requires Nintendo to invest in building and maintaining accounts/online play/content delivery systems which can stick around.
I almost guarantee they were holding things like the EarthBound games back from NSO until they were gonna shut down the 3DS & Wii U e-Shops. In fact they very well could be shutting them down early just so you have to have a NSO Subscription to play them. It would not surprise me if we see missing NES & SNES games come to NSO over the next year because they can't sell them anymore, maybe even a GB-GBC Online Service(s) by next year.
Though at the end of the day, the VCs are going away, and the NSO services will always suck. There's so many things they could do to improve the service but won't. They won't improve the online connections even though they could. They won't make or license more exclusive content like Tetris 99 or Pac-Man 99 even though they could. They won't translate, scoop up lost games/IPs, or license more NES, SNES, & N64 games for their Online Apps even though they could. NSO & the Expansion Pak will never be worth what they're charging and the money will never be used to improve anything.
And we will still pay, because there is no choice.
You know what would go a long way? Having one unified app handling all the virtual console/subscription games.
I was insurmountably perturbed when I opened the NES app before a flight and checked in to confirm my subscription for 5-7 days whatever it is. NES games were good to go without internet...
During the flight, I opened SNES and found that without an internet connection, I couldn't play the games. I never checked the SNES app in on an Internet connection beforehand so I couldn't play them...
With this logic, I need to open 4 apps now to check them all in before I go without an internet connection. That's absolutely bonkers.
Please, Nintendo, add all the subscriptions into one app so I can open one app and verify all at once.... 😫
AT THE VERY LEAST, have them all check in together when I open just 1 of the 4. I like how they're separate apps but it's insane that you have to open all 4 individually to check them all in every x amount of days.
Surely it wouldn't be major thing to be able to sell the NSO games individually for people that want them?
I am also hopeful that once the eshops close they will stick a boatload more games on NSO service at the very least. Make as much money from the mugs that supported the Wii U as possible first.
I distinctly remember people disliking the Virtual console because it cost too much and people begging for a Netflix style system for old Nintendo games.
They delivered on that, albeit in a more primitive form than expected. It's not all it should be yet, but that doesn't mean we won't get to GB, GBC, GBA, DS, 3DS, GC, Wii, and Wii U eventually. Yes it is slow to update, but it'll only keep improving over time.
I prefer the subscription model. I have most virtual games I want. Bought the original. Then on the Wii and then the 3ds and then the Wii u.
I find more value on the subscription as it is way cheaper for me and the subscription is shared among family and friends to make it even more cheaper
All this bullsht about things being lost, come on. The Mod community has endless copies of everything ever released for WiiU and 3DS. Stop whining and pirate your system alright and everything will be aarrrggighty-o!
Nintendo kinda has itself to blame if VC sales were poorer than hoped.
1. Even on Switch, and in common with so many retailers, “you played X so might like these…” recommendations are poor.
2. Learning about new releases of any sort requires effort to look up a list but a dull experience when you get there. Sure, it costs time and money to produce video but how about a monthly, localised “Nintendo Show” delivered on YouTube and direct to consoles (instead of Switch’s terrible news feed) with editorial about major new and retro releases, challenges with industry figures and, dare I say it, celebrities, and video tips for the latest big hot release.
Revive a bit of the late 80s/early 90s promotional vibe you had through events but in a modern format, Nintendo. Your brands are appealing but aside from the irregular Directs, you’re approaching being a faceless corporation these days.
@mikegamer if Nintendo didn't have a subscription model you'd probably be complaining they aren't keeping up with the times. All those purchases on the Wii, WiiU and 3DS, how they working out for you?
@eleven Physical? Enjoy. If you """own""" them on VC they can, and are, being taken away.
It's funny that today everyone remembers VC with such positive impressions, in the past everyone spat on it.
@retroman64 you have the option to play them all on your Wii so go ahead and do such a thing. Not sure what your point is? Virtual console was overpriced. I'd rather have a smaller collection of the best Nintendo licensed games in 'HD' than those old VC games. Enjoy your Wii. I'm playing switch
I am willing to bet the subscription model makes more money for Nintendo then the Virtual Console model of selling each game individually.
With the virtual console model, you pay $4.99 one time to buy Super Mario Bros. You own the games long as your account is active and can even transfer games between systems.
With Switch online, you have to pay at least $3.99 to play Super Mario Bros and that is for a month.
Once your subscription ends, you lose access to the game on Switch until you renew.
So, it begins to add up and Nintendo makes more money then they ever did just selling Super Mario Bros one time.
Because of this, I don't see Nintendo ever going back to the Virtual Console model. The subscription model makes more money and NES, SNES, and N64 games are an enticing carrot to dangle in everyone's faces.
@jikflet For the vast majority the subscription model is the superior model. And for once Nintendo aren't 10 years behind. The NSO stuff has the potential to resolve the ridiculous precedent of re-buying your games on separate consoles VC's.
To me, this article may as well say "Nintendo why won't you let me pay £7.99 for Ocarina of Time on the 3rd seperate Virtual Console?".
Yes that's the biggest issue.
Not that they're closing down Wii U and 3DS eshops as such,
but that they're not now making those games available for purchase on Switch.
@alecseus That's what I'm saying! I distinctly remember nothing but hate for the VC for years! Now all of a sudden EVERYONE loved it. 🤦🏽♂️
Why not give people the option?
Not everyone has the luxury of accumulating and keeping consoles forever.
Nintendo digital games are locked to your console after the servers go down. So you basically own that copy. If you lose it in some way, how is that any different than losing the physical copy of the game? You could just make digital backups of all of your games on the 3DS on your computer and SD cards. That's much more protection than a physical cart has ever had.
i just want to play mysterious murasame castle on my tv already
One word: money.
@Franklin because Nintendo makes more money from selling new games on the switch than selling retro games. Simple
Don't see why they can't sell old and new.
Own nothing and be happy about it, child!
Owning is vastly superior to renting or streaming!
Microsoft has it right, pay for gamepass, if you like the game, get a discount on it when purchasing.
Because when it comes to their classic catalog of games, Nintendo doesn't know what the F to do.
I'm kinda indifferent to both honestly. I even have not purchase any Virtual Console games during the Wii/3DS/WiiU days.
Part of my reasons was:
1.I'm not really THAT attached to some of the SNES, NES, & N64 games.
2. Sega Genesis games are pretty much available everywheres. Including PC. Not to mention countless collections Sega released from time-to-time. Plus i got alot Sega game roms on my lappy.
3. I'm always been a physical-only person. Call me old-school, outdated, or grampa. But I ain't changing that.
Lastly, I still am not fond of playing retro games tie to a online-only subscription. Plus, there is still alot of improvements it needs.
The fact that they've felt compelled to add Animal Crossing and Mario Kart DLC into the bargain, seems to demonstrate that the NSO isn't all that lucrative.
Times change. Subscription models are here to stay because people like being screwed nowadays. Embrace it or stay in the past, grandpa.
For the exact same reason any extra Switch consoles you buy and log into so your kids can share your purchases has to connect to the internet to do a licence check before you can play a game.
Connect to the internet. On a portable console. Every. Single. Time.
Because it’s Nintendo. They’re like an abusive partner that we constantly convince ourselves loves us because the shiny things they give us paper over the cracks.
I think Nintendo plays the fact that the rarity adds value and that they see they can play a much longer game his way. Earthbound is a good example.
Honestly, reading this, I wish they did both. As Nintendo fan and a PC gamer, I don't like Nintendo Switch Online. I'm sorry, why should I pay to play games I already paid for online, especially when the previous Nintendo consoles had free online play? With that said, I wouldn't mind NSO if it was only a subscription service for classic games, honestly, I like the SNES service. I can play Super Mario All-Stars and found some new favorites.
However, I like to buy the games I like just to keep them. I look at subscription services Netflix, Hulu, and Peacock, as I have those. I watch movies and shows on them regularly, however I can still buy movies I like on DVD/Blu-Ray. Good example, I love Trolls World Tour, I can watch on Peacock, but I still bought the DVD/Blu-Ray. Did this make me cancel Peacock? No it did not, but I have the option to watch my favorite movie if Peacock were to ever go away, or if I needed to cancel.
Similar to games, if I like a game, I want to be able to always play it, even if it means buying it. There are SNES games I haven't played before on NSO I like, and it saddens me once NSO goes offline, I lose access to them forever. Nintendo should see people who want to buy classic games as extra revenue. I know people will disagree with me, but I don't mind buying a game I like again if it means having it on modern hardware.
Personally, I still found no value out of the Expansion Pack. Do I really want to pay $50/year to play Star Fox 64, or classic Sonic, when I have many other ways of playing them, officially nonetheless? I have Sonic 1 (albeit it's not on NSO Expansion) on almost everything, and Star Fox 64 on Wii U, Wii, and 3DS.
VC value to Nintendo was being able to resell the same games over and over again with each generation. I don't think in 2022 people would find their VC purchases not carrying over to new consoles acceptable any more.
If they did carry over, aside from making it much harder for 3rd parties to agree to that, it would also be a service with very limited revenue with a guaranteed declining growth.
A subscription service solves both of those problems and I think it is perfectly fine if done right. Currently it is really lacking, it needs a larger library, ideally aim for the full library to become available and commitment from Nintendo for full support in all future consoles (and why not a PC and mobile app as well).
Yes why can't they? Sony has a subscription service and yet you can still buy the games off the shop as well. Oh and the classic titles aren't locked behind the subscription.
I'm sorry but not having the games be fully buyable so you can actually own the ones you really enjoy is stupid. Really really greedy and stupid. As a Nintendo fan and loyal supporter since day 1 i just can't defend this idiotic decision.
Sometimes Nintendo i am ashamed to be sticking by you with some of the crap you pull.
Nintendo is doing exactly what they think will make them the most money, not what’s best for their customers. The only way to pressure them to change their strategy is for NSO subscriptions to decrease, which doesn’t look like it’ll happen anytime soon.
My Wii has outlived the Wii U gen, all the current gen and will likely go on for more gens.
It can't read discs anymore but I'm always up for some SMW or ALTTP.
Once Nintendo shuts down NSO it's byebye to "your" retro games.
@Franklin you already said you own them all? Why do you want to pay for them again? That makes no sense
Because it’s Nintendo, that’s why.
Common sense is something they’ve always struggled with, either by not having it at all, or having it several years late
Because like Xbox or Netflix or any distributer of content they want that monthly income from as many people as humanely possible. You money as per usual.
Where did I say that?
My point still stands:
"Don't see why they can't sell old and new."
The act of being able to own these games is something I've always wanted for a while. I always had the idea that Nintendo could allow you to own the retro games in exchange for Platinum Points, which would allow them to have a good use for them. They could then add more missions for My Nintendo where you would be able to earn more Platinum Points for in-game purchases of their mobile games, which would get everyone into a cycle of all people who are exclusive to one part of either to get into the other parts of their business models.
Glad I still have my Wii and my handy little SD card fully loaded with over 300 VC games! The switch is great for the modern stuff sure but as a retro fan of the old school days it's severely handicapped without a propper VC.
@Matty1988 Honestly, this is how I feel. It's kind of crazy how many people I've had angry with me because I'm NOT mad about the NSO structure. It's just.. fine. It works and I'm okay with it. I don't want to go buy those games and I get that some people want their ownership over their digital content, but it just doesn't feel like a big deal to me. And they could do both, but why? You could pick any business model from any company in the world and argue why they should offer a second, unrelated business model. But the reality is, most companies will stick with one path (right or wrong) because it's not worth the resources to dedicate to both. Particularly when the people complaining the most are still willing to buy into the new way of doing things.
@Matty1988 I totally agree on not having to pay for the same games over and over again. But a very good alternative would be once and for all to link your nintendo ID to all your purchase history forever. like XBOX does. just one ID and all your games and saves are there forever. no matter which console is.
I have no problem with the subscription service but only alongside a purchase model.
Yes I understand that this is becoming the new norm as other companies are doing the sub model but here is the thing. They also offer the ability to allow you to purchase the game also. I think the only exception is Sony with PS3 games with their PSNow.
What they could do is they want people to be on the sub model but allow people to purchase the game is to allow a cool off period where it is only available on NSO for "X" amount of time before it becomes available to purchase.
I kinda need to share this article by Seafoam Gaming about the death of the Virtual Console as we knew it
Simply put; it was also a dripfeed, only it’s a dripfeed that is made up of multiple piecemeal purchases, back when third parties didn’t realize the profit that came from compilations and their own standalone eShop releases. Heck, you can thank SEGA for the $50 annual price for the Expansion Pack, considering they weren’t satisfied with their own investment in Virtual Console on Wii & 3DS.
Fundamentally speaking; I think NSO (Expansion Pack and all) is a overall better value, considering games like Banjo-Kazooie, Star Fox, and Stunt Race FX are all now available to a wider Nintendo audience. Not to mention there’s at least an effort to make these games more readily available.
All the VC’s will be gone soon and you guys are asking to be able to lose more money on VC? VC games are tied to hardware so when your console dies, so does your content. You never owned VC games and that makes it no different than NSO. You want Breath of Fire II forever? Buy the SNES or GBA cartridge.
That's how I feel as well. The NSO is not overpriced. I have no problem with it if, like you say, it moves onto the Switch successor with same content it has and does not start over again. I have about 120 games on Wii VC and then I paid the small upgrade fee to redownload them on Wii U simply for the ability to play them on the tablet. A lot of people balked at the idea of having to pay for the games again then (and understandably so). They should have found a way to migrate the entire catalog over to each successive system.
I agree that they should offer both, the subscription service and the ability to buy individual titles. Though with 75 NES games, 52 SNES games, 11 (5 more confirmed) N64 games, 19 Sega Genesis games available, it could get expensive a-la-carte at even $5 per game.
Definitely prefer Virtual Console and the one time payment of individual games.
Way cheaper. Which is probably why they don't do it. More $ in their pockets so they can afford another solid gold Ferrari or Lamborghini or whatever.
Real reason why VC is not on Switch: Because now, third party companies manage the releases of their legacy content. Most of the titles that came on VC on either the Wii or Wii U from companies like Capcom and Konami have already been released on Switch on their own compilations. And there's one more reason: People just didn't like the VC back when the Wii U launched, nobody wanted to "pay again for old games". There was simply no interest in VC, so Nintendo had to rework their strategy. So. grow up and get a life.
I heard someone said that the purchase rate of old games is really really low, low enough for Nintendo to think that going through with getting the rights and getting them rated for release isn’t worth it. It’s also why I think Super Mario 3D All Stars was a limited release digitally.
Third parties also manage their own re releases. It’s just more profitable to sell a collection of games as a sort of new release to get people excited for purchasing them.
Ha ha, Nintendo has irrationally left money on the table lots of times.
As someone who is about to drop $60+ on some old Pokemon games, I am definitely in support of the subscription service over the VC. As unpopular as the opinion may be, I don't want to spend $100 per year for individual 15+ year-old games when I can pay $20-50 a year for hundreds of games instead. That said, I do want them to release the games in console collections like the Sega, Atari, and Namco collections from years ago.
Compared to Xbox Game pass and actual online play, they are massively behind.
I have played these games before. And the ones I have interest in replaying I own on 3ds, Wii U or switch. Hopefully Nintendo does something with thousand year door soon. I would emulate it but I don’t have the means to do it.
Nintendo has a very condescending top down approach, depriving consumers of choice,
that will certainly lose them this customer come the next console.
Switch is a roaring success now, but if we've learned anything with Nintendo, it's that a GameCube or Wii U is potentially just around the corner.
@DaruniaJones1988 Is VC cheaper? NES games were $5 each, SNES games were $8 each and N64 games were $10 each. I guess it depends on how many games you have played on NSO but your $20 a year is 4 NES games or 2 SNES games based on VC prices.
I just want to buy GBA games on a modern handheld, Nintendo. COME ON
Yeah, I'd like to be able to buy these games too!
For the record, I prefer the subscription over VC. Games I've never played or even heard off, freedom to play wherever, online. Think for people who have never heard of Super Nintendo, chance to get see what they're all about.
Very good service and for the price, included in the fee to play online, superb.
Would I pay for a VC version if both were available together, no. Games I've got multiple times on multiple platforms, just done with that stuff now.
"Let's not forget that Microsoft allows you to redownload your digital games on the next system. That would be the way to go with a proper Virtual Console."
Spot on. Why is Nintendo so archaic? Why are they holding onto the past of this form of media?
If you want to buy a new DVD of a popular movie from the 60s, you most likely can. There's also a good chance that'll be on some streaming service as well.
@Franklin because they don't want to
You do realize that this article acknowledges GOOD subscription services like Game Pass, right? Game Pass does everything way better than Switch Online in terms of how they provide us games.
Because its nintendo 😋.
Q: "Why can't nintendo offer both a VC and switch online?"
A: Money. Why get paid, once, for something when you can get paid multiple times for said product.
@Sunsy I think this is why the gamepass does so well. They give you all these games in a netflix like service, But you can buy game there, if you wanted to own it. Even the really old stuff (I think)
I dont mind it as much as i once did
This idea that, because Nintendo did Virtual Console badly in a lot of ways, of which people were critical of, means that people can't want good Virtual Console and must be content with NSO, is absolutely cretinous.
It's almost as if Nintendo is sparing no expense at prolonging the Switch's life, even if it means forcing players to wait YEARS until they finally have a legal way of "accessing" legacy games, especially looking at the Game Boy Advance and DS parts of Virtual Console.
But I digress. This was inevitable, and also too soon. Unless people stop blindly paying Nintendo for NSO, nothing will change. People won't listen to us, like it or not.
I think once the Switch's lifespan is over, the Switch online service will become a proper virtual console for people that install custom firmware.
I bought tons of VC games on Wii Wii U and 3DS. If they offered VC for Switch I would only be more than happy to give them my money again but alas I can only play them under a Subscription atm which admittedly I despise.
@Snatcher Yup! While I don't have Game Pass on PC, my friend had it for a bit because of that three month offer. He played a bunch of games, and said he could still buy them if desired.
The answer to the question the article poses is very simple: it's all about control. After taking two entire console generations to tie digital purchases to user accounts instead of a single system (I had to repurchase games just for buying a different Wii after mine bricked), do you think it was an accident that Nintendo replaced the VC with a (grotesquely overpriced) subscription model?
Many (if not most) hobbyists would readily pay a single, one-time price for permanent access to legacy games, whether they're NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, or even Sega, TurboGrafx, or Arcade and so on. But Nintendo has meticulously built an entire formula around not only maintaining "value" of legacy first-party titles (no publisher more rigidly sets the price of current games at stores; sales happen rarely and ONLY by Nintendo's say-so, and even secondary retailers like GameStop have always been obligated to sell retro Nintendo games at close to or even above their original MSRPs), but asking prices for even their oldest games on the VC going for more than many newer third-party releases. Handing consumers permanent ownership of them would deprive them of a major revenue stream.
It's also no stretch to say this desire for control is also behind the push toward digital not just by Nintendo but by the entire industry; the elimination of the entire secondary market is their longtime dream, and in turn it's also why Nintendo in particular is so adamant in policing piracy and emulation as well as taking down any Youtube videos or other stuff that uses their IPs, imagery, music, etc.. CONTROL. Subscription models are the end of basic consumer rights of ownership, and the industry wants to "train" gamers to think it's more convenient to drop continuous money on subscriptions to content they have zero control over.
I would love for the VC to make a comeback, and I would support it vigorously, especially if it included extensive libraries for platforms like the N64, GameCube, Saturn, Dreamcast, and so on. But let's be real; we know that isn't going to happen, because Nintendo has found a more convenient way to get people to pay for retro content...and pay...and pay again to continue doing so.
I've said this before and it bears repeating: these guys are NOT our friends. They're corporations, and corporations are in business for one purpose: TO MAKE MONEY, and as much as possible by any means possible (one need only consider the industry's trend toward NFTs despite overwhelming opposition from gamers). And online functionality and subscription models are just two Trojan Horses by which they've accomplished exactly that.
Problem with only having the subscription service as an option means if you don’t play online you are being out more money in the long run than just picking out what games you purchase yourself. Not to mention Nintendo doesn’t cater its classic releases to individual consumers tastes and honestly it seems random what games they bring to the service and the slow drip of those games onto the service.
Virtual Console is the best option. But as of now I would have to pay $20 for years worth of online play that I don’t use, lose access to the games every other week due to the check in policy and have games bogging up the screen I would never play in any capacity. Not to mention if I wanted Genesis and N64 games I’d need to pay a premium for much of the same. Ideally they should use the account system that we tied our switches and 3ds/WiiU accounts to and transfer games to the next gens moving forward .
Depends on what games they release on the sub service you would actually play. If you weren’t going to buy it in the first place then it’s not savings.
@Mallow How is digital not "ownership forever"? It's inferior to physical copies because they have no resale value and you have to use your own memory cards, but you still own the game and can play it whenever you want. You lose it if your Switch ever stops working, but that goes for just about any product you buy (be it a physical Switch game or a lawnmower).
@GameOtaku If you aren’t going to play the games on NSO then don’t pay for it, same as VC offerings. Seriously guys, VC is just another digital copy and you don’t own the games you ‘buy’ on it. This should be obvious to anyone who spent a lot of money on the Wii, Wii U or 3DS VC’s and now realize those games will die with the hardware they are registered to.
Nintendo doesn't want third-parties/indies competing against all of their legacy VC content.
Because companies would need to maintain the servers indefinitely in the event you ever want/need to re-download the game again.
So yes, today you can lose your Switch, but you can re-download games from your account. If Nintendo decides to stop support that platform - then you have no access. So you "own it" so long as the infrastructure is supported. In 30 years, will you be able to re-download your switch games?
You do own them . I don’t sub to nso because I don’t play online. Technically we don’t even own the physical copies of the retro games or new ones.
@Euler My launch SNES doesn’t work anymore but the games work on any SNES or clone SNES. See the difference?
What if your PS2 games became worthless because they were registered to the first PS2 you played them on and the disc drive stopped working? See the difference between physical and digital now?
I would actually buy the games, if they do that. Or ad some 3DS games too.
Let the Indy’s that are clogging up the eshop die out I say. Better to buy a 30 year old game than a new piece of crap.
While things like VC and digital isnt perfect i feel like worrying about the hardware itself is still preferable to a subscription only model where your purchases are entirely dependent on an online service.
I would love to just have the option to buy the games, the subscription can still stay but just let the players buy the games separately like they did with the animal crossing dlc or the mario kart dlc.
@GameOtaku You don’t own any digital game (except maybe GOG) because it can be taken from you. However, yes I do own my copies of my physical games. Are you suggesting that Nintendo is going to come take them away at some point? Should I send in my SNES copy of Chrono Trigger before Nintendo sends out their lawyers?? LOL
I think most of us seem to be missing the obvious.
There is no VC on switch because Nintendo knows that their emulation solutions are not good enough. It's a nice add on, but I simply don't think they are comfortable about marketing it as a stand alone product.
You can watch videos (in Japanese, but most have subtitles if you look around) where Shigeru Miyamoto and Satoru Iwata talk about dumbing million dollar projects or starting a consoles development over from scratch because I/O lag was .001 second slower then the wanted it. I can't see them (or more accurate, the people within that culture who would make the decision today) playing an emulated game on switch and thinking "yeah, we can sell that"
Q: Why Can't Nintendo Offer Both Virtual Console And Switch Online?
A: At Nintendo, we decided to charge a monthly or, even better, yearly fee to our loyal fans to play the same games that they have been playing since they were 10 years old and that they will be playing for the rest of their lives.
All you people that wanted digital well here it is. All companies are going to a paid subscription now, Xbox is doing it, playstation is trying and failing but it’s been said they are revamping their subscription base.
A sub is the best way for companies to get more money. For every subscription everyone gets a cut and in the end over months or even years they milk more out of you than if you would have bought the game. As it becomes more popular they subscription price will continue to rise as well. This will be the end of anyone owning a game at all digital or physical. It will literally be the norm in less than a decade.
One issue is that I fear that on the “Switch 2” is that Nintendo will once again “start over” and pretend that they are doing us a favor by allowing us to play Super Mario Bros on yet another device, ignore the service, allow us to play Metroid, ignore the service, and so on.
If this subscription is here to stay it NEEEDS to be the same across both the Switch and “Switch 2” in terms of content.
Totally agree, why can’t people have the choice of having a monthly plan but also be able to purchase and keep the games we want!!!!!!!!
Eh they're stuck in the past as they've always been when it's coming to the scary online world. Pretty much that simple.
Of every online service I've used since Dreamcast, the Switch is by FAR the worst experience I've had the unpleasure of using. Adding on the expensive expansion that split it's subscriber base into have and have nots like a big middle finger, it's safe to say I will never worry about giving them money to use their early 2000s servers so I can lag and disconnect. At least Fortnite doesn't require NSO and it's actually a stable experience!
Very true. The launch of Apple Music didn't mean Apple had to shut down the iTunes Store. You can still buy that album you've always wanted.
IMO the Hamster ACA games have largely replaced Virtual Console. That and we got loads of retro game collections by now.
People act like the subscription service isn’t a good deal.
As I read the comments expressing the strong desire of resurrecting the VirtualConsole approach, it saddens me quite a lot. It is clear as a blue sky that Nintendo does not want us to purchase individual "VC" games.
Just take companies embracing apps "premiums".. Microsoft, Adobe and many others. They looove apps provided "as service". That is what NSO is and what will ever be. The times has certainly changed, whether we like it not.
@Hero-of-WiiU It isn't. Subscriptions for games have consistently been terrible deals, compared to one-time purchases that don't require Internet connections, particularly in areas of the world that lack stable connections.
I would be hesitant to buy anything from a Switch VC at this point. I don't have any good will towards the concept anymore.
This article is very relevant and I agree with it, however I’d like to take it a step further and suggest that Nintendo should just release retro cartridges for us that have compilations of classic games, like Sega Genesis has and Namco and others. And I don’t mean like 3 games as Nintendo does for the Mario games, but rather varied compilations of games that might include for instance the Super Mario games, Mario Party, Mario Kart, Paper Mario, Mario Tennis, Mario Golf, Dr. Mario, etc (all from older consoles) on one game cartridge. Even if it came at a higher price than the average full priced game, I’m sure it would still sell like crazy.
When are people going to realize that they have themselves to blame for all of this? What were the sales figures for the VC? I know that Mario 3 was the biggest success on Wii, with millions of downloads.
Well, not every game is Mario 3 and how many of you downloaded anything that was an obscure third party release? You don’t want the drip feed, but do you know what happens if Nintendo shuts off the drip feed and caters only to your narrow gaming diet? They run out of games they can actually release within weeks/months.
Simply put, I highly doubt the VC model was a very profitable venture for them.
For me the virtual console was never appealing as I love to collect old systems and games and also a big fan of emulation although I'm guessing that's not very popular around here. Plus I always found it overpriced, retro collecting isn't always expensive and your able to pick up physical copies for less than the vc in a lot of cases. I get that not everyone wants loads of consoles and games lying around which is fair though
@jikflet You don't have to be constantly online to play games on Switch Online. I think you just need to go online with it like once a week. In between those check-ins, you have access to everything.
@mikegamer Is that actually how you talk in real life? Like you would call someone a "Nintendo shill" and not feel an overwhelming sense of cringe at yourself? Honest question.
@Dirty0814 "This will be the end of anyone owning a game at all digital or physical. It will literally be the norm in less than a decade."
I truly and sincerely doubt it. If I'm wrong in ten years, I'll eat my computer.
"What I don't understand is why people want VC on Switch. It will be digitally only, meaning, as is no surprise with 3DS and Wii eshop news, there is no ownership forever of the games - which is the exact complaint leveled at having to use the streaming service."
Who wouldn't want every Nintendo system in a portable solution? The ability to travel with every Zelda, Metroid, and Mario game ever made is extremely appealing. Plus all the other great games that graced their systems or others as Genesis/Master System/Turbo Grafx/Arcade games/C64 were all highlighted on the Wii. If you kept building that collection on the Switch, it could really be special.
I think you have to highlight the reason people hate the subscription model is you pay and pay and pay again for the same content. Let's say you were interested in Ocarina of Time and Banjo Kazooie. Two excellent games that could sock alot of time for. You might be inclined to drop $20 to be able to play them the next 5 years on your Switch. You might be less inclined to pay $50 a year or $250 for the privilege of playing those games on your Switch. It's just too much and many people want to pick and choose the games they want to play. Also, while you can argue that you don't own digital games, there is no set timeline for games that you purchased. I'm still rocking virtual console games I bought on the Wii from 2007. Yeah, potentially my console will break and I'll lose access to them, but that's alot different than knowing in exactly 365 days I have to pay more or lose access to the games.
It's still so scummy to call it an online service when the only benefits i get are dozens of old games I don't even want, it's just something to begrudgingly pay for to get online back. Heck a lot of the n64 game highlights are solo play that dont even take advantage of online
I think the virtual console will come back with the Switch 2. I think the NSO online games solved two issues for Nintendo this round. Issue one was the upgrade fee was insufficient to get third parties excited about the Wii U virtual console. Many gamers that were interested in those games already bought the virtual console games on the Wii. Genesis didn't come to the Wii U because they didn't want to sell the games for $1.50 each. By missing a loop they will probably start over and not allow a discount if you've purchased those games previously.
I also think the second option is that Nintendo didn't think they could sell a $50/annual online membership. So the NSO games were kind of an inbetween. Not quite the full games that Playstation/Xbox were offering, but a discounted price to try and get more people involved. I think Nintendo is seeing that adding the Mario Kart pack/Animal Crossing pack/ and potentially a Pokemon pack add more value than the older games. I think with Switch 2 they will migrate to a $50/annual system that offers benefits tied to more recent games and hopefully a few recent games even if you lose access to those games in a few months.
Even if you “own” a physical copy in all the legal mumbo jumbo it says you are licensed the game. It really shouldn’t matter if you bought it digital or physical the licensing for that copy is yours.
All of this presumes that Nintendo cares about offering these old titles. They don't.
It's quite simple: Nintendo doesn't want you to own these games. We just saw fans fly into a rage with the announcement the 3DS and WU would close their eshops, and a subscription service avoids this scenario because of its very nature of being a service with a likely end date and you never owning the contents. There could also be licensing issues with some games that are circumvented if they are lent, not sold, to the consumer.
I'm the opposite of many on here it seems and resent paying Nintendo just to play ONE game online.
I have zero interest in any of the other stuff having grown up with the SNES and bought all the games I wanted back in 90's.
The whole problem with bundling a load of disparate things together is that it tends to please nobody but the service provider itself.
Even if we were miraculously treated to an updated virtual console this year on Switch, do we really think the pricing model is going to benefit us? Considering that an NES game cost $5 in 2007 and stayed at that range for fifteen years, the only price cut we got was through inflation. Hooray.
In fact, if I know Nintendo’s business model, they would absolutely reprice those fifteen year old prices in accordance with inflation. An NES game would now cost $6.78, an SNES game would cost $10.85, and an N64 game would cost $13.56
The best solution is to keep the current stupid NSO subscription cost at $50 yearly, but with added GB/C/A, GCN, DS, and Wii support and literally just dump all first party ROMS onto the service day one.
Never gonna happen of course, but hypothetically, all of a sudden, likely up to 70% of all Switch owners are subscribed to NSO now.
@GameOtaku Even if you “own” a physical copy in all the legal mumbo jumbo it says you are licensed the game. It really shouldn’t matter if you bought it digital or physical the licensing for that copy is yours.
No, I own my physical copy and I can play it anytime I like, I can sell it, I can loan it out, I can destroy it. No one can legally take it from me. The only thing I cannot do is make illegal copies.
That's because I do not own the COPYRIGHT. You see how the works, COPY RIGHT? I don't have the RIGHT to make COPIES. That doesn't mean I don't own my SNES copy of Super Mario World. It blows my mind how many people believe that you don't own your game cartridges.
Now let's look at digital. You own nothing because you can only play it as long as the Nintendo let's you play it. They can take it away at any time and it isn't legally considered theft. That is why they can close these stores and offer you no way to redownload the games you 'rented'. You can't sell it, you can't loan it out and no, you can't even destroy it. You may be able to ask Nintendo to remove it from your account but again, that's Nintendo destroying it and not you destroying it.
Please stop pretending that you don't understand this.
@DonkeyKongBigBoy you argued that NSO is the better service, and I argued why I think its not.
The games I'm interested in playing are ones I've played a million times before, I don't need to own them for the fifth time. Just gimme convenient access on whatever the most recent platform is. The whatever dollars they charge per year is negligible at the end of the day, I'll happily pay the one annual fee for continued access to whatever they decide to throw on there.
The most I care is that they keep building the retro libraries from scratch for every platform. It's a mild, inconsequential annoyance but life is busy, I have other hobbies, and there are a million other games I should probably get around to playing, so I don't think about it too much.
We can all dream. And Nintendo can crap all over those dreams. Crudely sums it up I think..
Agreed. Bring back VC and have all wii u and 3ds vc games tied to your account on switch. I'll still keep the base nso for online play so it'll be a win/win for both Nintendo and myself.
@Magician I think you know me enough to know that i'm not argumentative by any means on this site. But, is that true regarding not enough people supported VC( I'm genuinely asking and not in a sarcastic way). I find that a little hard to believe if true.
@Crono1973 @Mallow T It's a difference in degree, not in kind. You lose access to the game on the SNES cartridge whenever it stops working, even if it can be played on more than one console.
@Crono1973 All the VC’s will be gone soon and you guys are asking to be able to lose more money on VC? VC games are tied to hardware so when your console dies, so does your content. You never owned VC games and that makes it no different than NSO. You want Breath of Fire II forever? Buy the SNES or GBA cartridge.
By this logic, you wouldn't own breath of fire II when that cart takes a crap. When the cart dies, so does your content.
The way I’ve understood it was it still just licenses you a copy either way. You can sell your copy to someone else but that equals to you transferring your license to another user.
I hope they give us option soon, a subscription is nice but to be able to buy these games without having to seek them in the wild would be fantastic especially on games like EarthBound and Demon's Crest which are very hard to find now and very expensive to get due to carrying a collector's price and inflation. Collecting anything on the Sega Saturn, Super NES, and GameCube at this point is an impossible feat. I don't get why some companies don't want money.
@BAN Says the guy defending Nintendo's stupid decisions and calling people babies. Grow up.
@Matty1988 Oh wow, all 150 games over the course of five years, what a deal!
I honestly prefer the subscription model. Having to pay 5-10 bucks for each game was ridiculously expensive. This is way cheaper unless you only care about a few games. They should add more though.
@Euler If it breaks you can fix it. Save batteries can be replaced, contacts can be cleaned and chips can be resoldered. With digital, you can’t fix it when it’s gone.
Physical- you control how long it works
Digital - you have little control how long it works, maybe keep repairing your console but that’s not quite as simple or cheap as fixing.a cartridge
@Crono1973 "not quite as simple or cheap as fixing.a cartridge" -> a difference in degree, not in kind.
@GameOtaku selling a game cartridge is like selling a couch, there is no paperwork involved. No license transfer, no license expiration date.
No one is going to check your license credentials when you try to sell it. They may be throwing EULA’s all over games now but back then they weren’t and even now, physical games are treated the same as they always have been. EULA or not.
@Euler As I said, fixing a game console is not quite as cheap or simple as fixing a game cartridge. Plus when your console goes, you lose all your digital games, when a cartridge break (rarer, in my experience) you lose only one game.
That’s not to say they could’nt enforce it. This software is licensed not sold to you should sound familiar to most as the preamble to the eula. Couches aren’t software and they fall under completely different legalize (do not remove tag under penalty of law, you’d better watch out a SWAT team is going to bust you for removing it y’all!).
@NintendoByNature My cart is still going strong, these carts don’t die easily. Breath of Fire 2 came out on 1995, so that’s 26 years. I mean, my Super Mario Bros cart is still going strong and that game came out 36 years ago. You can’t even begin to compare digital stores to physical cartridges.
@GameOtaku Enforce what? Are you suggesting Nintendo could come take my Super Mario Brothers NES cartridge?
Edit: No, they can’t do that. They don’t own my copy of the game, I do and that is why I can do what I want with it short of making illegal copies. The process of selling a game is no more complicated than selling the console itself. There is no license key, you don’t need to contact Nintendo to transfer the non existent license. The new owner doesn’t need to register their copy of the game. Just because you heard some dumb ideas on the internet doesn’t make them true.
@NintendoKnight they probably think once u bought all the games u want, u would have no reason to stay subscribed.
@Crono1973 u can repair ur console all u want, but it won't matter when the servers are eventually shut down (& they will be).
It's a real simple fix. Add the option to download games on the service.
¿Por qué no los dos?
Honestly VC has lost all of its appeal, the whole buy it and own it forever is meaningless when everybody is losing their minds over the eshop closing. So no you don’t own it and you never will unless nintendo makes more physical copies of its legacy games. For what its worth people bought vc on wii and again on wiiu and again on 3ds, people will not buy super mario bros for 5 dollars again on switch. Nso with all its fault is the best we’re gonna get for a while, only wish nintendo would drop content faster.
@BAN Some times i cant even log in once per week. im a seafarer. internet is a luxury for most of us. I know.... is a very specific case. but still.
So by your logic we do own our digitally purchased games since we have to save them onto a memory card or in the internal memory. We own the card or console so selling our own digital copies shouldn’t be that big of a stretch.
I think a big part of the problem is that Nintendo is a toy company that got into gaming. They are fundamentally not an online services company, and for a long time disregarded online services as something they had tried and failed with back in the 1980s, what with the Famicom Modem and Satellaview.
Microsoft, on the other hand, has been doing online since the original Xbox and is basically a cloud services company that does gaming on the side as a secondary core business at this point. They have a lot more resources to throw at making a robust product, and a lot of experience with what doesn't and doesn't work in this space. It's also worth remembering that Gabe Newell is a former Microsoft employee that left to do his own thing ages ago, which should give you an idea of how Microsoft teaches its employees to think about this stuff.
Sony, on the other hand, is an entertainment company involved in music and movies, as well as electronics. They relied on DVD player functionality and later Blu-Ray functionality as selling points for their consoles. They really didn't have that much competence with online services initially either, but they saw the writing on the wall much earlier because of having a foot in the music and movie industry where all this happened already.
Considering all that info, it's really not surprising to me that Nintendo is struggling with this, especially since they do want to keep all this in-house and don't want to partner with a company like Google or Microsoft to build their online service for them (and indeed really can't because they are in competition with the gaming divisions of all major cloud service providers).
Well, as emulation and ROMS are never goong anywhere. Enjoy these old games which ever way you want to.
I don't care about these old nintendo games. I never paid for the NSO. My sister gave me 1 year of NSO for free. Once the 1 year term expires, I will not renew.
@Crono1973 I certainly can compare the two. Breath of fire is going for $80+ used and II is going for $130+ used after a quick search on lukiegames.com. Not only are they $7.99 on the eshop, but I can conveniently start them up on the same system along with dozens of other games from classic systems. Let me finish by saying I want both, digital and physical moving forward. But when a used 25 year old game is going for nearly $100.00, I'll choose a digital purchase for $7.99 10 times out of 10. Barring any issue with my system, I have that game indefinitely. Same as your cart.
NSO weakness is you paid quite expensive price of subscription for a lot of Retro games that you might only like certain games available.
With Virtual Consoles, you can pick Retro games you want to buy without have to pay more for unwanted games.
NSO = Buffet, VC = Individual dishes
@Magician Yeah, Nintendo has the numbers. They know how many were purchased and how much time people engaged with them. That being said Nintendo is offering you a chance to buy the new DLC or get it for free with the service. So they prove you can do both.
I think the reason Nintendo doesn't allow purchases AND subscriptions is because it makes a lot of sense and is what fans want
If Nintendo continues to re-sell the same old roms every few years, to the same people with accounts, showing that they paid for them before, they could come under scrutiny for anti-consumer practices. Nintendo should allow accounts to roll-over like Sony do. Unfortunately Nintendo would prefer to cancel the service than risk allowing someone to have a perk for being a long time customer. With 'renting' Nintendo generates scarcity, which drives up the perceived value of their old roms.
Considering Nintendo's weakness was 3rd party support it'd be very foolish for them to offer both VC and NSO.
It's clear this generation Nintendo have focused on premium software and services, anything else has been free or temporary(Fire Emblem, 3D AllStars). That leaves the low end market open for 3rd parties and indie developers, many indies having their games succeed massively on Switch.
Having Nintendo dominate the high end with their new software and also the low end with the Virtual Console might be good short term. But it'd be an idiotic strategy long term that'd stifle non-Nintendo developers on the consoles and end up with another WiiU where developers withold their support or comfortable skipping it.
@GameOtaku You can’t sell, loan out, etc…. your digital games so no, you don’t own them. You can’t even play them on another Switch without Nintendo’s approval. Why are you pretending that you don’t understand this?
@NintendoByNature Good thing I already have both games physically. Thanks for pointing out their resell value.
I also have them digitally but I know those can be taken away.
Based on what, the requirements of us here on internet forums, even the mini retro systems were quite niche sales wise, of course that was down to Nintendo not making enough... etc etc..
Based on the many times many people have wanted to spend money on something, and Nintendo have refused to provide it.
"Nintendo is offering you a chance to buy the new DLC or get it for free with the service. So they prove you can do both."
Here's a BETTER Question:
Why can't the ps5 play ps1, ps2, ps3, nor ps4 discs?! And why does ps now suck so bad?!!
At Least Nintendo Switch Online has Masterpieces Worth Playing.
If Nintendo wants more money, they should just offer full Virtual Console Support and charge original MSRP indexed to inflation for each game.
With the higher price point, they could retrofit online play and new features onto the existing base, so all gamers would be satisfied.
I would pay $100 for original Super Smash Brothers with online play, but I will not allow myself to be bullied into supporting horrible games that I have no interest in playing.
"The other side of the argument could be that Nintendo doesn't have the resources or inclination to update and produce the necessary game page texts and other aspects we're used to on NSO, like the control screens and so on. It's not just a matter of dropping a few hundred ROMs onto a store and watching the sales roll in, there'll be a lot of background work to produce the 'products', and it likely wouldn't be a simple case of reusing the store assets from previous Virtual Console platforms. It would be a relatively significant project, and perhaps Nintendo has research and data to suggest that the effort wouldn't pay off."
That quote is nonsense corporations feed you to bully you into buying stuff you do not want.
I could hire a group of 20 high school interns and the whole project would be done in less than 12 months with $0 in financial cost.
Nintendo would have it even easier because they could offer the interns a chance to hang out with Reggie or someone at Nintendo that speaks English as a reward in lieu of no pay.
The idea that translating control screens from 1 system to another for a company that programs video games is literally preposterous.
Again who are we talking about, how many people, as the idea of Nintendo not wanting to make money is absurd, most of the time it's the core assuming there are far more people being left with their money in their pockets, than is actually the case, pretty sure if a Virtual console service was a viable option it would be offered.
Also love all the threads stating Nintendo are wrong for charging $60 for certain games, then say they are not interested in making money, when they refuse to cater for every core fans persona whims.
So if you do not agree with this you are a boot licker, sounds totally ludicrous to be honest.
I had the Virtual console on the Wii/DS and Wii U/3DS, bought games and bought them again when the systems changed, lost them all again after we moved to the Switch... so decided that was just not for me anymore, much prefer the online rental, system, if this means I am gross (as you put it), then so be it.
Love the way you can play games on the online system you might not of otherwise have bought.
Virtual Console sales weren't all that strong on Wii (the overwhelming majority of sales were for Nintendo's big IPs and nothing else) and things got way worse on less successful platforms like 3DS and especially Wii U.
Also, I was around when Virtual Console was alive and nobody was happy about the prices, emulation quality, or library. Calls to turn Virtual Console into a subscription service were loud back then, even from this very website:
The top and bottom of all this is most of the Switch audience is not that interested in buying older retro games, outside of a novelty value.
I have owned every single Nintendo console since the NES, and even I am not all that bothered about these games, sure through nostalgia tinted glasses they are awesome, but in reality I just want Nintendo to make more new games.
Problem is you will always get the core fans who obsess over this kind of content, and get upset when Nintendo refuse to cater for them in the exact way they want, for me the online was a perfect compromise, yes it could improve, but overall have been pretty happy with it.
@NintendoByNature I'm just being half serious, half trollish. If VC continued to be worthwhile from a cost-benefit standpoint I believe Nintendo wouldn't have ceased selling retro games a la carte on the eShop.
Aside from N64 emulation issues that are gradually being fixed, the biggest problem for NSO and NSO + Expansion Pack is content, not the business model.
Adding more games and platforms to NSO (starting with GB/GBC) and more paid DLC expansions to NSO + EP (like with Mario Kart and Animal Crossing) should resolve the content issue over time. Nintendo can and should work to increase NSO's value faster but things are definitely not static as some seem to believe.
Totally agree, but still feel it's a core fans wish list more than anything else, sure we will get the GameCube at some point, but not so sure I would even play those games all that much.
The Animal crossing and Mario Kart 8 DLC are both awesome additions, just hope they continue to support the SNES and NES as well.
@Magician gotcha. Makes sense for sure.
@NintendoEternity NSO has it's share of problems as well. The price is ridiculous for the small amount of games they offer and performance is not the best, which is embarrassing when N64 emulation was perfected years ago by fans. PSNow on the other hand offers hundreds of great games, however the fact that they are streamed is unfortunate and your experience will depend on your interned speed. Also, let's not pretend PSNow doesn't have amazing games
No-one is saying that Nintendo doesn't want to make money, we're saying that they are not as efficient as they could be in doing so.
This is to be respected in some ways, infuriating as it sometimes is, for they are quite true to their Japanese, in particular Kyoto, roots.
At some point in life you seem to have learned that a winky face is a substitute for concluding a discussion. It isn't.
"Always the same on here, the minorities think just because they want a Virtual console service, so does everybody else."
Ridiculous strawman argument.
Neither the article nor the majority of comments here are suggesting that everybody wants Virtual Console, they are asking for choice.
Like the choice recently provided to either get the Mario kart DLC through NSO, or through a separate service.
Nothing to do with a Strawman argument, you stated Nintendo were losing money, I simply stated there was no proof to this.
Choice is great, but the company involved will only offer choices that are profitable, my guess is the Virtual console service is not as feasible as it once was.
There are a lot of keyboard business managers that could do a better job at making money than Nintendo, trouble is they only draw information from a very limited source, and have little idea as to what will be popular or not, as sometimes all the research in the world can't predict a hit.
What is wrong with the winky face, no more annoying than the old "Strawman" argument that keeps getting brought up.
"Always the same on here, the minorities think just because they want a Virtual console service, so does everybody else."
This was the Strawman argument, not the claim that others were suugesting that Nintendo were losing money.
The comment was true, we always feel that it's more people than it actually is, I mean it's only normal to feel ones own views are widely shared.
And happens in a lot of comment sections on here.
It may or may not be true, but it still misportrays the argument, which isn't that everyone wants Virtual Console, but that people should be given the choice.
You make some interesting points however.
I do think it's interesting that Nintendo always seems to take so much heat for this, but I can't play PS3 games I bought digitally on my PS5 and those games aren't for sale on the PS5 either. There's no way to buy PS1-PS3 games on the PS5, and people are upset they can't buy games 10 years older than the oldest PS1 game on their Switch. And if Nintendo did offer those games for sale, people would say, "I bought these games 6 times already, why would I have to pay for them again". Can't win for losing.
Here buddy borrow my memory card with the games I have loaded! See it’s that simple.
It should be easy enough to transfer digital content such as ROMs from one gen to another. We have the ability with emulation to do just that.
Example: I have Mysterious Murasame Castle on 3ds via VC. It’s shows on my account I purchased that game. So I in theory should send that games ROM to the Switch and play it on the emulator for NES. No more starting the service over from one gen to another! Just keep building the library of games. For this a sub could work out great and if you only wanted certain games to play all the time regardless if you sub or not you have that option to purchase.
To be honest if Nintendo launched a virtual console on the Switch tomorrow I would be buying all those games once again... so who am I kidding..
I do like the online for being able to play games I might have not bought, and the Animal crossing and Mario kart DLC is pretty cool too.
To be honest you are one of the more level headed posters on here, sorry to for jumping the gun a little.
@GameOtaku They won’t work on my console, did you not know that?
Because they don't want to. Besides: Offering the old games also as vc takes away "value" from Online, meaning less people take Online.
You could borrow the whole console .
I don't understand the authors confusion on the matter. He claims that Nintendo is being shy about offering its retro game content....but that's not true at all. NSO is a very cheap subscription that gives you access to literally everything on the platform at once. That's anything but shy. I'd say the VC model was much more shy where you have to pay a premium to play every single individual game. Most people would maybe spend 50 bucks buying a handful of games in that model and only get access to a handful of games. Whereas NSO give you access to tons of games for a very low yearly cost so it feels more friendly to consumers than saying paying $10 for a single N64 game.
The subscription model gives Nintendo a steady income stream and allows them to market a single product instead of trying to market hundreds of separate retro games. Plus they bundle it with Switch online play and cloud saves. It's simply a much better model than VC was, for both Nintendo and consumers. Literally the only problem with it is they have been expanding it too slowly. If they had already added GB and GBA and had weekly game additions no one would be seriously complaining. And for many popular retro third party games you can buy those on the eShop usually as collections so you already get those similar to have the VC did it.
VC was cool before subscription model, but now NSO is so much better. They just are adding stuff too slowly. But if this is to be their permanent long-term retro games service, for one that means they don't need to rebuild it on every system, and it's only going to get better and better. So the complaints about adding games too slowly and not enough games on there will be forgotten to history as a small complaint made just in the first few years of the service.
There is no reason for Nintendo to create and operate two redundant online services when they've already chosen the better model for both their business and for consumers.
Because upkeeping two different services that offer more or less the same content is dumb, Tom. Is it really that hard to comprehend? It's the same reason why NES and SNES Classic were limited runs. Nintendo's theme with the Switch has been unification, they don't want their content to be all over the place, they want to streamline it.
@GameOtaku That’s how it would have to be, with digital you would have to loan out your console and ALL of your games to loan out a single game. With physical you only need to loan out the single game.
The first argument I would make against the NSO is that if you are out on the road, and you wanted to play an NES or a SNES game in the back of the car/bus, you can't since you need a solid internet connection to do it with. Second, I say the premium for the N64 and Genesis games is INSANE, and I rather pay 20 bucks for an actual N64 cartridge than pay 20 dollars more for a small library of N64 games. Third, this is by far the least consumer-friendly practice that I've seen Nintendo do. To explain myself, all the titles are online, right? You need the internet to play these tiles, right? What if something were to happen and Nintendo removes a game for whatever reason, YOU CAN NEVER PLAY THAT GAME AGAIN UNTIL IT COMES BACK UP. It's the same argument I would make with streaming services, where they can pull something down at any moment, and all reason to own it is gone (since the current experience for streaming services is that there is only one good thing to watch on each of them). This is why piracy is a thing, and why it's going to remain here to stay...
See, Nintendo will lose a battle against piracy, due to the current lack of accessibility of these titles. You cant play them without paying 20 dollars (40 for N64 and Genesis) and no internet. Another argument I keep seeing in the comments is how Nintendo can't run two different services. I can easily shoot this down with the argument saying, "why couldn't they make the two services, one?" To elaborate, the NES, SNES, N64, and Genesis are all downloadable service apps, right? Why not make those apps a browser for Virtual Console services? Then of course, if you don't have NSO you can still purchase the game outright and download it onto your Switch, and with NSO you get a discount and a free trial. Not to mention, you can also have online multiplayer and other features like that added to the VC service if you do have NSO. This is a system model where EVERYONE WINS. Nintendo rakes in the money from the people who pay for NSO and buy the VC games. Players are happy since they can have games to play on the go (which was the primary reason why people got the switch in the first place) without having to be connected to the internet.
But currently, I think what Nintendo is doing right now is incredibly stupid, especially with them doubling down on NSO like it's hot stuff when even the competition has better offers. I got NSO about two years ago, and I've barely used it since there isn't much reason to use it. Right now, all it's just a way of playing games online and has the key to the NES games, but I really don't think that's worth investing in. While the trail idea is good, why does it only has to be ONE game? It wouldn't hurt to have it so you can access all games give it a shot for a certain amount of time and then make the decision on if you like to purchase the game or not. You know what else would be nice, something like Miiverse where you can communicate with other players, share your screenshots/videos, make new friends, ETC. I would really enjoy paying 20 dollars a year then, the service would have more reason to justify its existence.
That could change. I like the idea of transferring games I’ve purchased on emulation services like VC just migrating over to the next gen.
Nintendos stance is other companies are bringing retro content to the Switch. So where is it? It’s always something either cut from collections or due to them not wanting to negotiate with license holders.
I’d rather it have an option for people who don’t have internet or desire to play online games. What about that is so hard to understand?!
Nintendo is just plain greedy, they will never stop reselling you games. Even though with digital you're paying for LICENSES, you should have the right to play that game on every single platform is on.
Theres a real big reason Nintendo is fighting piracy, they're the company that deserves it the most.
@Venivik lol. Greedy? They don't owe you anything. Feel free to build a company as successful and long lasting as Nintendo and I'll steal from you and say you're just greedy. Also, they don't WANT to resell ROMs and is literally giving them away for virtually free. How is that greedy?
@SNES64DD because you don't understand the concept of a consumer purchasing a virtual license, you don't get to limit how they use it. Nintendo will fall in line within the decade, Sony is already facing the music. You will see for yourself, Xbox and Steam have set the standard of the future.
You speak of a company with praise of its hubris. You will learn the lesson of the Titanic.
It is just insane to me that you said Nintendo owes me nothing, I've help fund their ecosphere for 3 decades!
@Crono1973: I never downloaded any Switch games, but for the 3DS, I read their whole user agreement one time and it explicitly says that Nintendo is allowed to delete it from your system at any time.
It was then that I began hating that the Nintendo of America branch has started corrupting the Nintendo of Japan branch because Japan would never have done shady things like this on their own.
Does anyone know what the actual US rule is that made the former NOA employee say, "Nintendo would be facing a class action lawsuit if they did not support their products for at least 10 years."
A better investment for our time would be to petition our elected representatives to change that law to 100 years or infinite.
I would be willing to organize a petition and/or bulk e-mail if someone can find the actual law.
For people saying Nintendo cannot offer 2 redundant services: the Wii Shop did not close until 2017, so it obviously worked for Nintendo for 4 years to have a Wii Virtual Console and a Wii U Virtual Console simultaneously.
Why was it OK then and not now?
@Slownenberg: "NSO is a very cheap subscription that gives you access to literally everything on the platform at once."
That is EXACTLY what I HATE!
I only want to support games I like. Now I get forced into supporting every single game.
If Nintendo ever adds Gummy Bears Medallion to the service, whomever made the game that literally induced nausea to the reviewers of the game will get a small royalty for every subscription sold.
Additionally, I feel compelled to 100% every game i buy. If i have access to the game, I feel obligated to finish it and I spend hundreds, if not thousands of hours of gameplay on games I play.
I assume the service has a Zelda game on it. It would take me 10,000 hours of gameplay to 100% a Zelda game with the way I play games. (My projections to 100% Kirby: Squeak Squad for DS are 700-1,400 hours.)
And I HATE Zelda games! I bought 3 separate Zelda games to try to like the series, but after not enjoying any of them and getting stuck 10% into the game, I finally concluded I am just not a good fit for the franchise.
So, I have no choice but to boycott Nintendo Switch Online, when I would easily have given Nintendo $10 (even $100) for every single game I actually wanted.
But hey, they totally "won" with their forced strategy? RIGHT!
sigh… Listen Ninty (Navi Voice), I would literally gladly pay $100/year for a comprehensive & extensive Nintendo Virtual Console Subscription Service (basically like every other popular streaming/subscription service currently) if Nintie would just give us all the platforms + catalogues we want on competent legal proprietary emulators i.e. with rewind, fast-forward, turbo, more save states, downloadable/uploadable/transferrable community shared saves, cheats, scanned game manuals, multiple suspend play, custom button-mapping, online netplay with chat, filters, borders/themes and/or widescreen adaptation... most of which is already included notable free emulators out in the wild for some time now.
Nintendo has such a beloved and cherished archive of gaming history... yet they either neglect it, withhold it or give it little TLC. C'mon pick it up and get it together with the NSO service quick, fast and in a hurry please Nintendo! ... Cuz this? This ain't it right now.
... Wun can only hope.
In my opinion it is a shame that there is no virtual console. I'm not saying that there should only be the virtual console and eliminate the subscription service but at least give US the choice! (NINTENDO! ISN'T THE CUSTOMER THE MOST IMPORTANT THING??) From my point of view it is absurd that I have to pay to rent a game, I want to buy it! And the really absurd thing is the fact that the switch is perfect for the virtual console and despite this there isn't ... and what about talking how BORING the store has become: do you remember how was beautiful and "playful" on wii the online store ?? Satoru Iwata is dead and with him the real Nintendo ... how sad ...
I got an FPGA and stopped caring. No lag either.
The answer is it’s Nintendo. They always have to go out of their way to frustrate their loyal fanbase.
It's been discussed ad nauseaum and there's still no more conclusive answer than "they have no desire/motivation to". But on the other hand, is Switch library not full of retail retro offerings between various collections and separate arcade ports? The latter of which even include a couple of Nintendo's own titles?
Nintendo wants your money. Why charge $4.99 for Super Mario Bros. and instead charge $19.99 for a subscription even if you only want to play that one game?
To all those who called for the death of the VC for years and years, ultimately getting your wish, I bestow you two nice, big middle fingers for Christmas. 🎄 🖕😉🖕
Seriously though, I hate these people. RENTALS SUCK.
i don't know why anyone would want the old VC back. I don't want to buy this games digitally again. also third parties re-release their games anyway as their own stand alone versions. look at stuff like grandia or mana collection or now the final fantasy pixel remasters. almost all nintendo first party games you can get via NSO and if the price is to expansive for you, then just wait a bit longer and they will add more systems to it
This is what bugs me the most about the whole thing. Why not just sell the games separate and give players a choice on what classics they want to buy and play? Seems more convenient.
Because Nintendo are anti consumer
ah and downloading digital games are that much different to renting? if they would release their old games as physical collections (like mario 3d all stars) i would agree with you but digital games are nothing more than the right to play the game instead of owning the game.
@jojobar Uhh physical games are literally just the right to play the game on a bit of plastic. It's not like you own the media in any capacity beyond the simple right to play it.
If anything digital games would have a bit more ownership entitlement as you can re-download anything you purchase on another device. All you need to do is activate the console and you can play them whenever for as long as you like.
@BishopShiozawa Well clearly the deal here is that Nintendo is trying to sell people a subscription. Honestly I don't mind subscriptions... when they're offering new games like we get with GamePass on Xbox. What I don't like is being sold a subscription so I can play a bunch of old games that I previously bought on past Nintendo consoles.
Seems pretty obvious why, they decided not to. They probably looked at the previous sales data for virtual console games on 3DS, Wii, and Wii U and realized that most people only buy Mario and Zelda, etc. and ignoring the more obscure options. Then if they're selling great retro games for next to nothing, that's going to impact current gen sales.
If you've never played them, if you can get Zelda Ocarina of Time or Mario Kart 64 or Kirby Super Star on SNES for $10 or less, a consumer is far less likely to want to spend $60 for the latest entry. It's also going to hurt 3rd party sales because if I can get Super Mario World for 5 bucks, I probably won't spend anything on a new IP platformer. Or Donkey Kong Country, if you never played those and you see they cost $5 each and right next to it is Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze costs $60 a lot of noobs to the series are going to spend the $5.
Of course they can just spend the annual or monthly fee to play those games on the online service, but they're not in direct competition since they're not on the eshop showing up when you search for "Donkey Kong" or whatever.
Why should they? NSO likely allows for Nintendo to offer games that either they have the license to or don’t have to go through a lot of licensing red tape to offer. So that saves on overhead for the service it it isn’t like mainstream consumers are hanging on to their wiis to keep access to VC from before. People already complain about the prices of the 30 year old games (and wanted VC to be a sub back then too) and the main games that hit the top of the charts of VC were the same fan favorites that are mostly on NSO as is. So why waste time with a licensing/emulation sink hole when you already know what will sell. And the NSO apps aren’t conducive for single purchase. It’s not as simple as putting a buy now button in each NSO app. MS and Sony can do it because they don’t wrap their games in an app the just set the individual apps to a subscription check status (same as they do with sales) and then put the gamepass/psn banner on it (which is why you get issue sometimes when you own a game that is now on their sub). NOS would have to be reworked (new time sink) to accommodate a few people. Most folks have bought on one system or another the non popular games and the popular games are on offer with NSO, there is no reason at all to make these games ala carte.
Also no VC licensing means other IP holders have been releasing more collections of their old games (personally I think the recent collections and ports have been so much better than VC). So they fill the void and Nintendo just takes whatever its eshop/licensing cut is to allow the games on switch. Overhead costs rest with the third party and any extra money from sales are gravy but not an ROI issue. As with DLC on NSO Nintendo is trying to add on items that have the least amount of cost to offer but still enhance NSO which is online multiplayer access first and foremost. If resources were unlimited and businesses were charities then every game ever would be available but simply put people only want a small percentage of a library and they move on to the next best thing. So it’s a waste of time catering to a vocal minority that will usually not put their money where their mouth is anyway (often the same folks whining about NSO were the same ones whining about VC prices and then vowed to emulate. They had no plans to buy from the start) . If NSO goes to the successor then at least we keep access to the library built up at no extra cost/repurchase. Nintendo is trying to make their services portable and NSO seems to be meeting that requirement.
@jojobar If you can tell me of a better, legal method of acquiring 30+ year old games, or a better, legal way of obtaining slightly more contempory games that are not three figures, I'm all ears.
Seriously, you're picking an argument that doesn't even compare to what I was talking about. The VC was awesome. Renting crap from NSO/GamePass, etc... is not the same as buying a download. My sub ends, my collection is gone. But I can still play my purchased game without a fee constantly draining me.
The thing is; I personally don't mind the idea of a subscription fee, it gives players a good chunk of classic games to play for a not-so demanding price. I mean I know NSOE is like £50 for a year but that's not exactly unreasonable for someone with a standard income.
But the way Nintendo has handled this has just been horrible, if we got like 3-6 games every month then sure that'd be good especially since N64 games are now in the mix but the output of these games has been so horribly slow that it makes you wonder what the point of having it in the first place was.
And it doesn't also help that whenever they do add some new games, they usually are games nobody wants. I mean we still ain't got Super Mario RPG for crying out loud! And no, Geno being owned by Square is no excuse, if they can get him into Smash as a Mii Costume they sure as heck can get a port of the game he's from for Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo either needs to ditch this game subscription service and just bring back Virtual Console or book up their ideas and actually make NSO good.
If à la carte Virtual Console downloads aren't considered viable, then Nintendo ought to do what virtually every other long-standing publisher has been doing over the last two decades and release their catalogue titles in the form of compilations, which would be even better than downloading the games piecemeal from the eShop.
I'm not subscribed to NSO for the same reason I'm not subscribed to any video streaming platform: I want to own what I buy. And unless software/video distributors intend to make their downloadable content purchasable without restrictive DRM, I'm not interested, and there would be very, very few cases where I would be willing to make an exception (and I regret and resent it every freaking time because I've acquiesced to a substandard product/service).
All in on vc. Don't like the rental service.
I have always wondered this. I don't want to rent monthly. I want to buy once!!!!!
They are milking the classics dry. You won't see gamecube and wii games on switch nso, they will save those for switch 2 so they still don't have to compete with Sony, Microsoft and PC's.
If only they allow purchase on NSO games then I betcha Square Enix would had include all their classic games on there rather than through remasters and collections. The only reason there were no Square Enix games on NSO yet was cause Square Enix doesn't like customers playing their full old games for free through a subscription (which had a monthly fee to which its price doesn't go back to Square Enix anyways).
Nintendo does have the resources and manpower to port over virtual console. They just know that the fanbase is very gullible and easy to exploit and want to continuously dripfeed its fanbase in the hopes that they will add an older game on their outdated online membership.
Classic Commodore 64 games such as Uridium and Nebulus being released on the Virtual Console was a wonderful way of keeping my favourite beige bread bin’s content relevant. They could just as easily have put The Last Starfighter and Tower Toppler out there, the respective NES reskins, but they didn’t. They respected the work of Andrew Braybrook & John Phillips, and kept their original forms intact.
Time moves on, I know, but still the past is revered. I have both models of THEC64 after the only really successful project I backed on Indiegogo (and even then it didn’t make its goal, they just did it anyway!) and my various emulator boxes, and my gaming mag of choice from the 80s, the legendary ZZAP!64, has been revived for the retro scene. However, way before all this happened, Virtual Console was a fantastic part of the Wii/Wii U/3DS legacy, and it’s a crying shame it’s not still around. Yes of course, the rights would be a pure bugger to keep up, but they’ve managed it for a decade plus across three consoles - a fourth wouldn’t be that much of a stretch, would it?
(And if it gets brought back - Armalyte & Wizball, kthx.)
I think its part of their bussiness plan, dlnt give people to much now so we have some extra suprises for the next console. (More power, better controls, virtual Console and nintendo switch online) and on top of that a smashbros Ultimate+ Service with a new subspace style storymode, new season characters and stages, and yes you already have a new system seller 🤣.
No but seriously i dont get it why they removed that VC.
@NCChris I downloaded SMRPG for the Wii VC, so you're right about it not being a matter of Square being unwilling to comply.
@NintendoByNature true rental is so crap should be like microsoft if we get them with gold then we own them
The more options the better so being able to purchase individual games in addition to the subscription would definitely be welcome!
That said, personally I don't mind the way it currently is that much since I'm in a family plan with 6 friends so it's €10 each per year.
I have played more retro games via NSO than I have on any of the previous platforms combined (Wii, Wii U and 3DS). I like having the ability to check these games out as part of the subscription. For those that prefer to "own" their VC games the option to purchase them would be nice of course.
@Ryu_Niiyama pretty much nailed it...this comment section is bingocardtastic.
@The-Chosen-one My guess is that Nintendo's contract with M2 is over and they (Nintendo) refuse to renew. This may be why they use their own in-house emulators for NSO than the ones M2 did. Remember M2 handles all the emulation work on Virtual Console for Wii, 3DS, and Wii U (the Wii side of it). It wasn't until the Wii U that Nintendo began to use their own in-house emulator for VC (the Wii U side) but for Switch they change that course in favor of a subscription model instead. Since they don't have to rely on M2 anymore, they don't have to offered games for download either. This may also explains why most games (Ocarina of Time, F-Zero X, Mario Kart 64, etc.) had emulation issues especially the N64 ones since Nintendo's own in-house emulators are still quite buggy compare to the one M2 used for Wii. M2 still makes retro games for download on Switch, just not VC anymore.
Why would it matter if they were using a in house emulator or M2s? Thing is you purchased the games. We should be able to transfer our games over and just use whatever emulation is being used to play them. You can have several different nes emulators in a pc and play the same ROMs on all of them.
A great point. If only Nintendo listened to such things.
Wow this information, i never knew this.
@burninmylight Wait no way! They did that!? I genuinely had no idea that was a thing.
@WiltonRoots my only issue is the same issue I have with all of the services. Licensing. Which I understand logically that there is only so much the platform holders can do so I buy what I can from modern storefronts and purchase retro otherwise. PC imo is worse. So many games lost to time unless you kept/backed up your discs. But from a business perspective I get it (except Blizzard breaking world of warcraft 3 they can get bent for making my discs coasters). At this point I want to beat games not horde them across every generation. Not even worth playing NL complaint bingo. You’d win 10 comments in. Sometimes from one comment.
Has anyone thought that maybe VC was unprofitable? According to insiders publishers saw very little income from VC titles and Nintendo titles tended to be the most downloaded. The way I see it is Nintendo doing a subscription is that they pay a consistent licensing fee for publishers so they get recurring revenue no matter what.
I'm sure if VC was profitable Nintendo would had continued it. Based on the lack of it... It must had not been.
It’s all profit. Most of these games are around 20-30 years old. They certainly aren’t getting any money off of the secondhand market.
By far my biggest disappointment with the Switch is the lack of the Virtual Console. It seems like a no-brainer that Nintendo should include it at least as an option for those uninterested in NSO.
I wouldve been happy to buy and own snes/n64 etc games on switch, but not interested in subscription without the option to buy.
I'm the type of gamer who likes to own games.
That's why xbox game pass is fantastic, at least that way, I can try out many games, and the ones I really like, I buy.
thank goodness for emulation, I get to play all of nintendos great games on retroarch series x anyways.
yeah i was hoping that nintendo adding an account system to wiiu would mean a more unified store when it came to legacy content, mentioned it in a previous post about digital BC on xbox, also during the psp/vita/ps3 era and the unified psone classics store (i could buy FFVII on ps3, and play it on psp and later vita just by linking my accounts without having to buy it again)
as mentioned in another topic i feel like an issue with VC back in the day was that Nintendo didn't offer an account system to go alongside the digital purchases and it felt like the wii shop channel was less "future proof" than something like the psn or xbox live marketplace, so you had wii, wiiu and 3ds all with their own VC libraries rather than a unified one.
It does feel like going by how many we are seeing that the "compilation" route seems more viable nowadays, would love to see some nintendo/M2 collections similar to what konami did with the likes of castlevania and contra. Imagine a 2d mario collection with the original 3 (4 technically due to 2 "mario bros 2"s) games plus world alongside different versions such as the GBA releases and all stars, maybe even with the "land" games.
I would think a few physical limited time retro collections from Nintendo would do really well. Just a cartridge of all the games from the NES Classic and another with all the games from the SNES Classic would be instant buys for me. If the 3rd party rights are too difficult then just do one cartridge with all the Nintendo games from both. Do I want more than that? Yeah, but that would be a great start.
At some point people will have subscription fatigue and then most companies are going to have to pivot quickly.
I end up missing the previous generations take on VC games with every generation. I loved the Wii’s range of VC games. I thought it was incredible. I was late in getting a Wii and by then the VC library was huge. I was disappointed in the lack of non-Nintendo console range on the Wii U VC catalogue but I at least appreciated the DS releases and appreciated many of the GBA releases we got (e.g. Super Mario Advance 4 with e-reader levels).
To me this subscription service is a joke. I don’t care for the range and Im not interested in paying extra for more consoles. Id buy specific N64 games for example. But I wouldnt pay for a subscription for them. I just like have access any time i like. Its something i enjoy about being a gamer even if these days a lot of games are purchased online. I like have a collection.
Yeah it can feel like despite nintendo not viewing other publishers and whatnot as "competition" doesnt mean that what they do exists in a vacuum and while they have every right to do what they do naturally there will be comparisons which how other publishers handle similar things.
I definitely feel like Nintendo has fallen quite far behind other publishers when it comes to their legacy content and while the addition of online is a nice option the NSO apps lack a lot of common features with retro collections and services such as being able to remap the buttons on a game-level, and a general lack of screen options (unless these were added since i last tried it)
it does seem like while the virtual console may not have been as profitable as nintendo hoped, other companies seem to have found viable methods over time such as the compilations you mentioned or something like capcom arcade stadium which kind of seems like the NSO apps only you can buy the games (both individually and in bundles iirc) also i think sonys psp/psone releases on ps4/5 can be bought without PS+.
it is nice at least that there are people discussing things like whether they find it viable or not without dismissing others as "whining"
Either bring back the virtual console or make the games available in the eshop as remastered. Any game on NSO should be available to purchase. Call me old school but I can’t stand the subscription model.
It’s great that goldeneye is coming but it seems we will be limited visually and not full screen (if following all the other NSO titles). It’s frustrating when there will be an updated graphics and full screen version coming on Xbox.
NSO games should be full screen. Pc emulators can do it so no excuse for Nintendo. Also the Sega games are available in the eshop and are full screen so Nintendo purposely makes the NSO versions 4:3. Crazy.
@Slownenberg As a customer I prefer the choice to buy or subscribe. Take the Apple Music store - I can do either. And why is NSO 4:3????? The mega drive games are full screen if you buy in the eshop but 4:3 on NSO. + There’s a new goldeneye coming out but appears Nintendo will limit the switch to the original……in 4:3!
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