Does We Still Need Virtual Consoles?

0
1007

Nintendo have recently confirmed that the Switch will not be receiving a virtual console in the same way as the Wii, Wii U and 3DS. The Switch’s steady flow of eShop titles has already included an ever-growing assortment Neo Geo titles which seem to be holding their own against  “new” digital and indie titles. Considering the vast amount of retro-inspired titles out there its perhaps unrealistic to expect games to pigeon-hole themselves as somehow less valuable just because they’ve been released previously – especially as ports and remasters become more and more common. Nintendo’s online service for the Switch has been the target of a lot of criticism since its announcement, but its ‘growing library of NES titles’ is certainly an intriguing prospect.

One of the biggest changes that has taken place since the original Wii was launched is an explosion in the popularity of retro games. Whatever else it became the Virtual Console was an excellent method for marketing older games that’s simply no longer needed. Micro consoles have taken off in a big way over the last few years and the surprising, often infuriating, levels of demand is a testament to the nostalgia people have for older games.

Before the month is out we will also see the release of one of the most impressive sounding retro collections ever produced. Sega Mega Drive Classics for the PS4 and XBOX One may just be a disc and not a teeny little plastic console you can connect to your TV, but in many ways isn’t that better? Throw in the fact that its less than half the price of a SNES Mini and its a package that’s very tempting (plus, according to that box art, it comes with a double-sided poster). Releases like this used to be pretty common, particularly in the PS2/Gamecube era . Rare Replay is one of the new modern examples of this that received a lot of attention. The downside of re-releasing games like this? At about 50p a game it definitely suggests that games like Phantasy Star 4, Beyond Oasis and Gunstar Heroes are bargain-basement oddities instead of evergreen classics. 

SHARE
Matt Crofts
Matt is the SFFN's Retro Editor, focusing on all things old but interesting, including (but not limited to!) books, movies and video games. As a researcher in Gothic literature Matt also has an affinity for black cats, Hammer horror, and all things Dracula.