In an official statement from Nintendo, the company confirmed that the Nintendo Switch will launch on March 3 without any virtual console support. The official statement reads, “Virtual Console games will not be available on Nintendo Switch at launch. We will share more information in the future.”
The lack of virtual console support at launch for the Switch doesn’t come as much of a surprise, considering the rest of the Switch launch plans. There are only a handful of games that will be available on day one, with more to arrive in the following weeks and months, and gamers have already been complaining about the long wait before new titles like Splatoon 2 and Mario Odyssey.
The fact that Wii U owners can play Breath of the Wild on March 3 without dropping $299 on a new console may end up hurting the Switch’s performance in its early months. The real concern is that there is just a lack of content on the new machine. Zelda is definitely exciting, but with no virtual console and no Netflix support, gamers could run out of things to do on the Switch long before the arrival of Splatoon 2, which seems like the second guaranteed hit.
Arms is scheduled to arrive just a few weeks after launch, so if the new IP catches on in the same way Splatoon did during the Wii U era, that could go a long way to giving players something to do on the console. That said, the initial hands-on experiences don’t seem to be quite as positive as they were for a game like Splatoon. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will arrive in the spring as well, but that is another repackage of a Wii U game that doesn’t include quite enough new content to be enticing.
The Switch’s launch is less than two weeks away, so we’ll have a more concrete idea of the hardware’s initial success very soon. Hopefully the arrival of the virtual console won’t be long behind it.
Are you disappointed that the Switch won’t have a virtual console on launch? Does this impact your decision about how soon to purchase the hardware? Let us know in the comments.
Nintendo Switch releases on March 3, 2017.