More details about the NES games to be made available alongside the launch of the Nintendo Switch Online service have been revealed. Apart from the ability to play against others online, it's now been discovered the games will include a variety of features to make the experience more enjoyable for modern audiences.
A recent email sent out by Nintendo explains what exactly service subscribers can expect from the retro library of games:
Gain access to a growing library of classic NES games anytime, anywhere - with added online features and other enhancements, like HD resolution, filters and special save states!
In the past, all of Nintendo's classic re-releases have supported save states and the ability to suspend play, so it's no surprise to see the feature make a return on the Switch. As for the addition of HD resolution and filters, hopefully, it will make these games look better on modern screens whilst channelling the nostalgia of the original versions.
On Nintendo's website, it's also mentioned how a friend will be able to display a hand-shaped cursor on the screen to provide tips and clap while you play a game:
When playing online, you can display a hand-shaped cursor on your friend’s screen. Use it to give hints or point out strategic locations. You can even clap to congratulate them.
What do you think about the inclusion of save states, HD resolution, filters and a hand cursor? Tell us in the comments.
[source nintendo.com, via resetera.com]
Sigh, groan...I just got my hands on an NES Classic two months ago.
Ah, now that's something I can't complain about. Kinda neat.
The improved resolution is very nice, but it would be even better if we could play the games in a 16:9 widescreen format.
People say this distorts the original image, but the Wii Virtual Console displayed games in widescreen and I quite preferred this format.
"Gain access to a growing library of classic NES games anytime*, anywhere - with added online features and other enhancements, like HD resolution, filters and special save states!"
*Lol, say that if you're on a plane or cruise ship and don't have WiFi
You don't need internet to play them, only 1 connection per week to keep them playable ( I know this article is about online functionality but your quote is still true without internet access).
All that was possible in emulators for ages, and you're not limited by a horrible set of trash games. Hate piracy? Buy all games on cartridges & dump 'em.
Anytime, anywhere you can have these internet corporate controlled games taken from you. Such bullcrap that something that could be so fun is being done in a blatantly anti-consumer way. I love Nintendo and their games, but they've had a long history of being against the freedom of gamers and collectors. I'm mainly remembering their fierce anti-game rental campaigns. We need Nintendo to stop being anti-consumer and listen to fans and do what is fun and supportive of consumer freedom and enjoyment. For example, I would happily pay a higher price like Microsoft and Sony charge for their online services if it meant I could keep and "own" the digital games like these NES games. Just freaking let us own these classics the same as other digital releases! Jeez
Hoping for a CRT filter because there's something wrong with me and I like playing old games like they looked on my childhood TVs.
I’m gonna just stop reading comments on this site for a while. Yeah.
For me, the biggest problem with NES games and why they've aged so poorly is the flickering sprites and edges of the screen. If not for that, they'd look fine. Arcade Archives Super Mario Bros Vs doesn't have any flickering and it looks great. For someone of my age I can live with it but if it was very noticable to a young me in the 80's, it's going to be even more noticable to a kid in 2018. I had hoped they were going to clean all these NES games up but it appears not. Super Mario Bros 3 and Kirby, especially Kirby the flickering is very noticable.
I swear if someon finds a way to complai about this...
I understand the need to be connected to the internet to verify subscription and such, but I wish this was waved or extended if you had a 12-month subscription.
Can't wait for the eighteenth.
@Not_Soos No, the Wii Virtual Console didn't display games in 16:9. You had stretch mode enabled on your television and failed to disable it so that your VC games were properly pillarboxed.
Like any 480i or 480p source, the user was supposed to enable and disable stretch mode as necessary on their tv on the Wii. Playing a NES game on the Wii meant you had to set the tv to maintain the 4:3 proportions of the signal being sent to it. Super Mario Galaxy on the other hand meant enabling stretch mode, so that the anamorphic picture compressed in the Wii's 4:3 480p output was re-expanded to 16:9 proportions by your tv's scaling chip.
Wii U as of the big patch a year into its lifespan, did this all automatically for Wii Mode when the system was set to a HD resolution. During the upscaling process, anamorphic widescreem games were stretched to 16:9 while 4:3 games like NES downloads on the Wii VC were pillarboxed 4:3. No user intervention at the tv end was necessary. A nice backwards compatibility perk of the Wii U for original aspect ratio purists.
I’m not out of range of WiFi for more than a week very regularly. And I play games like Fortnite that are online, but I’d still like more than a week before check in— even two weeks would feel better imo. But I enjoy all these other features for sure!!
@Atariboy Well it didn't do that for my Wii U Virtual Console games, and I never changed the settings. They only ever displayed in 4:3.
I mean I'm not sure how this is some amazing feature when you could actually own the games before.
It's lime this is the highlight of their online service and I feel as if it should have more, I don't know, online service to offer?
@Not_Soos I don't see why it couldn't be an option
@Not_Soos You just said in your earlier comment that Wii VC games were always 16:9 for you, lol.
Whatever they were displayed in, it was all because of your television's settings at the time. No matter if the game was 4:3 only or had an anamorphic widescreen mode, or if you had 4:3 selected or 16:9 enabled in the Wii's dashboard, if the tv's picture setting was set to stretch mode, all Wii content would be stretched to 16:9 proportions regardless if it was correct or not for each game. And in the opposite way if your tv's stretch mode was disabled, they were displayed as pillarboxed 4:3 even if your Wii was set to 16:9 and it was a widescreen-enabled game like Twilight Princess or Metroid Prime 3.
Stretched Virtual Console games on the Wii weren't Nintendo's doing. It was incorrect television settings at the user end. Worked out for you of course since you liked the look, but it wasn't Nintendo's doing.
Its still a NES game though...
It’s not going to look any better
It's just upscaling of the original 240p output. There's no way Nintendo is recreating scores of NES classics from scratch just to enable true HD.
Especially when 2D games like these look so good just by mere upscaling, there's just no need.
You can polish an NES game any way you want, at the end of the day it's still just an NES game. You simply won't gonna turn Super Mario Bros. into Horizon Zero Dawn by just upscaling it to HD.
@retro_player_22 Thank Heavens for that. Great classics shouldn't be tampered with.
@Atariboy The Wii had widescreen settings I believe, but it still just meant the games would be stretched.
This is the first good news I've read about the service in quite some time
@Sinton The Wii indeed had widescreen settings, but setting your Wii to 16:9 just meant that it enabled anamorphic widescreen mode in widescreen supported Wii titles (Widescreen GCN games were still enabled in each game's menu).
This meant that the game would render a widescreen picture that was then compressed to 4:3 proportions in the Wii's 480i/480p output, which the user then had to have their tv re-expand to 16:9 proportions by selecting stretch mode on their widescreen tv.
That Wii setting didn't affect 4:3 games like Virtual Console NES downloads, since there was no anamorphic widescreen mode for the setting to trigger in the 1st place. So if one had 16:9 NES games on their Wii, it was all because of what setting their tv was set to. You were meant to disable and enable the tv's stretch mode as appropriate for each game.
@Atariboy In my second comment I said Wii U Virtual Console games were still displayed in 4:3, whereas that wasn't the case for Wii games, which stretched to 16:9 automatically. After rereading your initial comment, it seems you already addressed that, though. I must admit this all goes over my head and you probably understand it better than me. At the very least I hope NES games on Switch have the option of not automatically scaling back to 4:3 as the Wii U did, if that's feasible.
@Atariboy Okey, I’m sure you’re right.
@Not_Soos I'm sure they'll be 4:3.
But alas for fans of the stretched 16:9 look, I don't believe they'll provide that option. NES downloads on the Wii U Virtual Console lacked it as did the NES Classic Edition. And while I've never downloaded a NES download on the 3DS, I also believe there's no stretch option present there as well.
I suspect the NES Classic Edition is a good indicator of what sort of video options we'll see here. A 4:3 mode, a 4:3 mode with filters, and a pixel perfect mode for those that insist that NES games weren't developed with 4:3 displays in mind and instead were meant to be displayed with pixel proportions that were perfectly square.
I never got an NES Classic so this will be awesome!
@Sinton Nintendo didn't help matters.
Widescreen for pre-HD resolutions was essentially accomplished by cheating, with technology that was never meant for widescreen images.
Yet the Wii's operations manual has nothing in it explaining the basics. So people were basically left to their own devices to figure it out.
At least HD just works. Widescreen is widescreen and 4:3 is 4:3. None of this aspect ratio fiddling at the user end is necessary anymore with modern sources.
Are the colors in these NES games going to be dark like every other official Nintendo NES rom ever released?
@Pichuka97 NES Classic Edition wasn't dark. And the little bit of video footage released so far looks fine for these Switch games.
And I don't have my copy handy and haven't played it in years, but stumbled across a Zelda II video on YouTube the other day of the game running on the GameCube and was surprised. It looked bright and colorful like it was supposed to look, rather than drab and dreary like on the Virtual Console.
While I don't own Animal Crossing with all of its unlockable NES games on the GCN, I'll have to reacquaint myself soon with that Zelda collection and see how the NES emulator looks. Never really spent time on it with the two classic NES games back when it first appeared in the late days of the GameCube.
The hand cursor idea (+ hand clapping) is super brilliant!
I could see that as being a great and fun way to interact with another player. In some ways I could see couch co-op benefitting from this as well (i.e. a parent visually showing their kid where to go, or I guess from afar if they're out of town), though I don't know if that's an option to do it locally
@Not_Soos Just no.
I already own an NES classic.
@Atariboy I should correct myself. I meant every VC release. The NES classic actually didn't look half bad
@Likethepear Well unless you choose to mod yours (no judgement here) the Switch will have games the NES Classic doesn't.
For a new generation of Nintendo gamers, it's pretty cool they will have access to the beginnings of the company. Anyone who picked up BotW will have access to NES Zelda. If I was a newbie, I would be loving it tbh.
@Likethepear Which is yours forever and the better option really.
@saintayu You don't own digital games. You are buying a license for it. You only own physical.
imagine you rented an apartment, you sign for 12 months and pay up front for everything but the landlord tells you that you have to check in every 7 days with him or he'll lock you out.
HD shouldn't be a surprise for anybody. NES and SNES Classic Mini have it. Hamster games are displayed on the Switch beautifully. The only company that doesn't understand how to make pixel based games look good on a big screen is Capcom. Well, only with Street Fighter, which is weird, because they handled Mega Man collections and Disney Afternoon really good in this regard.
HD resolution? Right! How does that work pray tell?
Obviously, those games are not going to be 1:1 pixel mapped, but rather see some form of upscaling. Now whether they'll employ a more complex approach that can turn those pixel into vectors and work it from there or just basic pixel-interpolation remains to be seen, but still, this 8-bit games cannot just be tuned to render and output at a higer ("HD") resolution than previously as 3D games can.
It would be interesting to see though, what an optimized N64/GC emulator can do on the Switch in this regard with 3D assets. I hope we can find out.
Just to be clear : HD enhancement was introduced with the Wii U virtual console. At 720p. And Nes Classic Mini got the same feature.
I guess the Switch in docked mode will feature 1080p.
No you are wrong on the Wii it automatically stretched the virtual console games no matter what setting I had on my TV. Also I never stretched my TV screen it was always set to "just scan" to match the sources ratio exactly.
@SBandy Nope, the Wii was a 4:3 console through and through. Widescreen was only even possible with it via the anamorphic widescreen technique where a 16:9 picture is compressed into a 4:3 frame, that the television than re-expands to 16:9 proportions via stretching the picture with its internal scaling chip.
Nintendo's own support page for the Wii even has this under widescreen settings...
"Please note that in addition to using the Wii's setting, you must also adjust your television's options to take advantage of its own widescreen mode."
That's referring to enabling and disabling your tv's stretch mode as appropriate.
Well in that case it was even more behind the times than I realised!
@SBandy It might've even been a fluke with your tv.
Did you ever use the aspect ratio controls with anything else?
@RandomLeo00 Wait, so does that mean I have to go online to play a gane at least once a week to keep these games? What if I don't? Will thy be available again next time I go online?
It sucks that there's still so many little questions left unanswered literally days away from this starting
@Shinnos Switch of course doubles as a portable system, which means it can be used outside of wifi range.
This basically gives you a seven day leash away from the internet before access is disabled to these NES downloads. Reconnecting to Nintendo's servers will restore access.
Nope always just scan option. The Wii never fit the screen 100% though which backs up what you were saying.
The hand cursor sounds like one of those options no fan actually asked for. But I do like the faded borders on either side of the image. Wish the NES and SNES Classics had something similar. HD filters... we'll see. All Nintendo has to do is display them as the mini systems did. If you look at the NES VC on 3DS, Wii and even Wii U, the image is dark and blurry, whereas a decent emulator has been displaying these titles beautifully for decades. From the preview images Nintendo has put out, though, these games look fine. I'd enjoy a menu with access to scans of the original manuals and box art.
@Shinnos You will have to connect your Switch to the internet once a week at the minimum to keep access to the titles.
@sleepinglion No, he won't.
This is a compromise to allow Nintendo to retain control over this feature, while still enabling some form of limited offline access when the user is away from wifi, has an internet outage, etc.
All you have to do is reconnect to Nintendo's servers if you've gone seven days and lost offline privileges, which if you're paying to subscribe to an online service in the first place, probably isn't a burden.
Nice to see a positive article re the online service.
I agree with all the justified criticisms and frustrations, it’s just nice to hear something identified in Nintendo’s small print that doesn’t seem like a slap in the face for once.
You don't have to do anything other than have your Switch be on the internet. So as long as you play fortnite once a week you'll be fine
Still they are same old NES games we played and bought on older Nintendo consoles before... Guess its just an extra to sugarcoat the online subscription service that is the main dish. Wont hold my breath for SNES upgrade anytime soon
A plane trip that takes 7 days?!?
Yes, I see. That is problematic!!! Happens all the time .
I think the most people have their Switch in sleep mode, and connected to internet all the time at home?
Then you have like 7 days with offline NES games, the moment you take your Switch out on a trip, and before you have to think about renewing your verification token.
Is that really such a big problem? Of course it would have been better and more fair, if this verification check was monthly based, instead of weekly. But it is still a minor issue.
@Atariboy Oh, okay.
so not getting a NES Mini due to shortages is finally about to start to pay off, calculated...
Great that they're being optimised. I'm still holding out, though not holding my breath, for other offerings, but great to know that these will be good versions for anyone looking forward to them.
@Likethepear You should have bought http://www.retrogamescreations.etsy.com
All of Atari and Nintendo games and more included SNES controllers
you’ll still have access to the games after 7 days. You’ll just need to download them again and seeing as they will be MBs in size it’ll be virtually instantaneous. It’s not like you’ll get booted off the subscription service and locked out. And if you don’t have access to the internet on a weekly basis then why or why would anyone pay for an online subscription service. It seems people are moaning about something that has very little chance of affecting them if ever in this modern internet connected world. Also how about this, if you lose access to the NES classics for a few days on holiday in Antarctica how about playing some of the hundreds of awesome proper switch games instead and waiting for your subscription service when you reconnect?!
You dont have to re-download them again. That is nonsense.
Your NES games and saves are always there on your local storage. But you have to download a new verification token every week, so that you can access all your downloaded NES games again.
Your games will not be deleted after 7 days without a verification.
Maybe Nintendo will delete your local NES games, if they verify that you are not subscribing anymore. That could be, but I do not think so. I just think you loose access to play them, and then you can delete them yourself.
But nothing happens with your local files and games, if the verification token runs out.
Remember when Sony and Microsoft gave you 30 years old games with their online subscriptions?
Haha, of course not because it never happened! They give you contemporary games you might actually want to play!
Will the 8-bit era ever end at Nintendo...?
@oji I though that was still illegal?
@construx Remember how PlayStation and Xbox weren't around at the time and now can't dig into the gold mine of nostalgia that Nintendo is sitting on right now?
@Ensemen of course they will.
Oh, wow, that makes it all incredible. Wow. Amazing. That’s the best. Gj Nintendo. Woo.
Retro gamers are a minority of gamers.
I can't imagine why Nintendo would create a contemporary online subscription service for the majority and use these old games that will only interest a minority of them...
I would rather pay 40 bucks more for 24 Switch titles to play in a year...
@Likethepear Why? We have known about Nintendo Online giving you NES games since last September..
@beazlen1 I'm quite sure redownloading won't be necessary. What possibly could make you think that would have to happen?
Once again, this is an offline compromise. Nintendo gets to maintain control with these online subscription perks while the end user gets some flexibility in how they play them when away from wifi, during internet outages, etc.
Checking in after seven days have passed by simply reconnecting to the internet will renew your license, re-enabling another seven days of offline access.
The kinds that you can buy on PS3/4/X360/X1 consoles for 3-4 bucks anyway?
Yeah, I agree, there would be a riot.
@construx Have you ever played them?
And the majority of Nintendo fans are retro gamers
In many countries it's legal to make backups & use them in your own (non-profit or non-sharing) way. So if you care about piracy just investigate your local laws and if they allow it, buy games on cartridges, dump them (or get those dumps in any other way, as they exactly the same) & play. Also, if an emulator requires a BIOS dump you have to own an original console too before you can use it.
@construx us older gamers are the reason games are still around.early 80s video games was done.till the nes came out and us kids wanted one.I've been giving Nintendo money since 1986.not alot of KIDS can say that who post on this site
Only us retro gamers who has been playing since the 80s
I've played them in the 80s. And in the 90s. Some of them on Wii, 3DS and Wii U, too.
I really think it would be time for Nintendo to move on. They've monetized everything in the 8-bit era, on multiple contemporary and stand-alone consoles.
Even SNES games would be a lot better and I didn't even say GameCube which would really be something.
Not to mention they need millions of subscribers in a very short time unless they want to see interest fade in their traditional online titles like Splatoon or Mario Kart.
If there aren't enough subscribers, people won't be able to play online or at least would have to wait for opponents longer. And that would be a downward spiral as the more people would be bored with that, the more would leave the service.
And that would pretty much hurt Nintendo.
I can't see how they want to achieve necessary numbers with NES games...
@construx They why are you acting like you're not a retro gamer?
Just because I play a variety of games doesn't make me a retro gamer.
If I want to play retro games, I have multiple opportunities without this one.
Most of my play time does not consist of retro gaming.
Would be more impressive if we can actually play these games in real 16:9. HD resolution can mean anything... would be kinda stupid if the HD resolution they are talking about is just 720p.
So it's like the HiDefNES Kit from kevtris and the NES classic edition rolled into one. How nice.
@mikegamer the games are downloaded to the console, and you can play the. Without internet connection for 7 days....
Castlevania 1-3 Jan '19! Sigh let the drip feed tormenting begin...
Beautiful features. I am happy about them.
@mikegamer you can play the games offline for 7 days without internet
Added multiplayer into certain games would be a KILLER app. Co-op Smb3 would make everyone subscribe the online service!
Too bad the rest of the service sucks.
Cant wait for the gamecube games ++.
It would be even better if they allowed you to REWIND with the L button
@construx I dont main retro games but still consider myslef a retro gamer. What's bad about the fact that Nintendo is giving it's fans what they wanted in a different form?
@oji It is nor like Nintendo cares. They already pirated said games and sold them on the virtual console despite being the original developer and publisher. xD
This is cool and all except the fact that it would be nice if they added SNES or Game Boy.
Knowing my luck, I'll play against some jerk online who will cover up a Goomba with that hand.
@Alikan Same. I hate playing old games without CRT filters. I especially love using it in Final Fight and Marvel Vs Capcom.
I can understand where a lot of the complaints are coming from, but I am very excited to finally get to experience some of these classics outside of the five minute Smash demos. The Mario Bros games are the only ones I've really played through, and small snippets of others. This is a great way to introduce younger kids to these games. I do wish they had at the very least SNES/Game boy games, though.
I do wish there was some clarification about "playing against" people online. Are they referring to leaderboards or will these games support actual online play? I wouldn't mind playing some Mario 3 online, especially with some of my friends. This would really open the door for some fun online play too, especially with puzzle games and beat-em-ups. I'm ASSUMING online play is possible since I remember Nintendo talking about having a virtual "pass the controller" option online, which would actually be really cool for games like Zelda, which I remember we used to pass the controller over upon game over and such.
Meh. Nintendo has some damn nerve locking these behind a subscription as opposed to oh, I don't know, actually bringing the damn Virtual Console back?! They've been doing so well with the Switch, why do they have to go and f*** up now?
Well apart from the hand cursor I expected all of those features and credit where it's due because there looks to be a better collection coming than I was expecting. I just hope Nintendo don't go back to their ridiculous drip feeding ways and ruin the service
@Alikan Yes! There are som really good and "authentic" filters out there that will make small flickers and such, trying to mimic playing on a CRT. I hope we get something similar, not just scanlines or worse using smoothing. shudder
@CstrpRXL Big whoop.
@Zequio Hardly a compelling feature
@dres Wow, what a feature, what was I thinking?
@RandomLeo00 NES games are badly aged, Snes would have been better, couldn't care less
@Not_Soos I can report that there's no stretched 16:9 option. Screen options are the same as the NES Classic Edition (4:3, 4:3 with a CRT filter applied, and pixel perfect).
@Atariboy Wow, thanks for taking the time to go back to this comment section and let me know. I'm on campus right now (I come home on weekends) and I can't connect my Switch to the university wi-fi, so I had no way to know. Realistically, I expected as much, but I was desperately hoping. Thanks again!
@Zequio Yes, but you're still tethered
@mikegamer youll be always tethered, youll have to charge the thing sometime.
Any way, who goes more than a week without internet connection?
@Zequio Yeah, good thing I have no interest in NES games. I'll stick to my Super NT thank you. At least that uses pure hardware emulation.
@mikegamer if you have no interest in NES games, why whinning about it in forst place????
@Zequio You seem upset
@mikegamer not really. Im happy and positive about the matter of the article.
You on the other side are whinning about it, even when you are stating that you have no interest in.
@Zequio Your point?
@mikegamer my point is that is funny that even after making a statement that you have no interest in a product you click on an article about it and keep discussing about it.
Move along already
@Zequio Whatever shrug
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