Only Nintendo’s New 3DS Capable of SNES Emulation

By | 8 months ago 

After 3DS owners ask why their handhelds don’t support SNES Virtual Console titles, Nintendo insists that only the New 3DS has the necessary CPU power.

Nintendo has been releasing SNES titles on the Wii U Virtual Console since 2013, several months after the platform launched. Several major SNES titles made their way to the Virtual Console, including The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid and Super Mario World. Yet despite the growing selection of SNES titles on the Wii U, the question remained: why are there no SNES titles available on the original Nintendo 3DS’ Virtual Console?

The question grows more pressing when considering that several Nintendo 64 titles have been re-released for the Nintendo 3DS, including The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and its sequel Majora’s Mask. Even the Wii U took until mid-2015 to get Nintendo 64 titles brought to its Virtual Console. Surely SNES Virtual Console titles can’t be too difficult?

Yet Nintendo has gone forward now with the launch of SNES titles on the New 3DS Virtual Console, with no plans to bring those titles to the standard 3DS. Why? Here’s Nintendo’s response, as reported by Game Informer:

“As previously announced, New Nintendo 3DS has an improved CPU, which enables Super NES games to run on the system with quality results. The Super NES games also include Perfect-Pixel mode, which allows players to see their games in their original TV resolution and aspect resolution.”

Those Virtual console titles now available on the New 3DS include Super Metroid and Super Mario World, titles Nintendo has had working on the Wii U Virtual Console since 2013.

New 3DS SNES Virtual Console

Will standard 3DS owners be disappointed by this news? Absolutely. Should they be disappointed by this news? It definitely seems reasonable, considering Nintendo’s ability to port Nintendo 64 titles that they had trouble bringing to the Wii U onto their apparently weak handheld. But the fact is that it won’t change anything. Any Nintendo fans hoping to play SNES titles on a handheld device will have to upgrade to the New 3DS.

Whether or not Nintendo is being honest ultimately doesn’t matter, though perhaps the perception does. It seems like it’s perfectly reasonable for Nintendo to be able to emulate the SNES on the Nintendo 3DS. Third-party emulators for the SNES on PC are less than a megabyte in size and run on numerous. The emulation technology is readily available, so it must be more of an issue with the 3DS hardware. Yet, as already stated, the system is able to run ported Nintendo 64 titles.

Now that Nintendo has released the New 3DS it donseem to have much support from third parties to make games for it. Unlocking SNES Virtual Console titles on the New 3DS will definitely add to sales. And with the launch of the new Nintendo platform, the NX, later this year and it rumored to be an iteration on handhelds, selling as many of those New 3DS handhelds is a big deal. It’s just disappointing that 3DS owners miss out on such an exciting feature.

At the very least, Nintendo 3DS owners are likely already very content with their purchase — SNES emulation or not.

Source: Game Informer