Nintendo has done it once again. With another console launch has come another innovation in the video game industry. Nintendo has always been interested in trying to push the envelope and change the industry in new and exciting ways. There’s nothing wrong with Sony and Microsoft’s approach of mostly just increasing power but I’m sure we can all agree that if it weren’t for Nintendo, the industry just wouldn’t have quite the same spark. Microsoft has the Kinect and is also working on their hololens while Sony rolled out their VR late last year. It’s going to be interesting to see how these technologies develop over the years. Nintendo’s latest innovation is absolutely my personal favorite though. You may be wondering why but it’s actually rather simple. I love playing video games and I’m now free to play wherever I’m at and at my own leisure. It’s a dream come true.
The Switch may have launched without a virtual console but we know that Nintendo will be launching it in the near future. It’s always exciting getting to access older games at low prices on current technology so they can be experienced without needing to mess with cords, systems, and all the other fuss that can come with hooking up older systems. Don’t get me wrong–I love playing games on the original hardware but it is nice just tapping a few buttons and getting lost in Super Metroid and of course, being able to save whenever I want. This time the virtual console launch is even more exciting because now these old games will be playable in HD and anywhere. That’s right! Whether you’re in the bathroom, laying in bed, flying, or at work hiding under your desk, you can experience timeless retro gaming goodness right at your fingertips.
Ideally, we’ll get to play across numerous different systems from not only Nintendo but other companies from the vaults of gaming. We don’t know if this will be the case. I’m just speculating and hoping this will be the case since the Wii and Wii U Virtual Consoles had games from Sega and TurboGraphx-16. My hope is that with the new technology multiple companies from gaming’s history may want to get on board and make some money. There are however a couple different systems that I specifically want to be represented on the virtual console and with good reason.
5. Virtual Boy
Look, I know there aren’t really critically acclaimed games available on the Virtual Boy. In fact, there aren’t even a lot of games on the system but it’s a piece of gaming history and despite it flopping, it made an impact. It no doubt helped inspire Nintendo to later create the 3DS and in typical Nintendo fashion, it probably created some inspiration in the minds of hardware and software developers who were in the industry or would later go on to work in the industry. It’s difficult to play the Virtual Boy now. It’s bulky. It’s a few hundred dollars. The technology leaves a lot to be desired and it can even cause headaches or put strain on the eyes.
I think it’d be great if Nintendo cleaned these games up and re-released them on the Virtual Console so that gamers of all ages can check them out for a low price of entry. Here’s the catch, though … have you seen a Virtual Boy game? They look rough and require the Virtual Boy hardware in order to work correctly. I’d like Nintendo to remake these games so that they look like SNES or N64 games. I know this kind of takes away the “magic” of the Virtual Boy (if you can even call it that) but it would make them playable and help them survive history. There’s also some fun to be had with these games and if we could ditch the weird graphics for sprites or a different design choice, we could enjoy them better and without straining our eyes. There’s also never going to be a system that will emulate the display of the Virtual Boy correctly–and there isn’t that much of a drive for it in the consumer market either. Cleaning these up and putting them on the Switch would be a dream come true for geeks like me who would love to check these out without the price tag or the literal headache. Come on, Nintendo! I want to play Virtual Boy Wario Land!
It’d be an insult and a disservice to the impact of the TurboGraphx-16 to call it underrated. It sold well and has plenty of love in retro gaming circles. A handful of its games were even released on the Virtual Console for the Wii and Wii U. That’s not enough, though. This is a beautiful system with plenty of gaming goodness for gamer’s to sink their teeth into. With the power of portability on the Switch, there’s no better time to give everyone a healthy dose of the TurboGraphx-16.
Originally designed to compete with the NES, it later went on to compete with both the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo. It sold particularly well in Japan. There was even a point where it was the best-selling system in that market but it didn’t do nearly as well in America. It’s not hard to believe it struggled in America though. Sega and Nintendo were duking it out in the console battle that would go on to define video game rivalries. It was a bloodbath between Sega and Nintendo. Not only was there not too much room in the market to complete but there was also a lack of third-party support and of course the lack of a second controller port.
There were some great games to be found on the TurboGraphx-16 that I want people to be able to have easier access to and of course it’d be great if we could have the capability to make save states and play them wherever we happen to be. Next time you’re waiting in line at the check-out lane, you could bust out Bonk’s Adventure, Alien Crush, or Neutopia. And then next time you need groceries you can just give up eating and stay at home while you Dungeon Explorer! Seriously, though, there are some damn good games on this system and I want to get as many of the almost 140 games on the Switch as I can!
3. Sega Saturn
Sega loved to innovate just like Nintendo did. Most of the time their ideas were pretty great but they just didn’t land the right way. One of Sega’s biggest issues had nothing to do with the innovations themselves but rather the speed at which they were implemented. It may have been hard to contain the excitement of all the ideas that were happening in-house but sometimes it needs to be done. Sega would release technology too quick sometimes. When it came on the heels of systems and hardware gamers had just purchased, it was bittersweet. Sure, they wanted to buy the new system or add-on but money is an unfortunate reality. On top of that, they, of course, wanted to use the system that they had just purchased. There was nothing wrong with that system. They had just gotten it after all and hadn’t even had time to experience all the promises that Sega had made on it. This was one of the biggest reason’s for Sega falling out of the console business but there are still some incredible games sitting in their vault that I’d love to play on the Switch.
The Sega Saturn is ripe for the picking because there are some really good games that are not only expensive to purchase but also hard to find. The Saturn lacks the mainstream appeal that the Genesis still holds to this day. It’s because of this that there haven’t really been too many Saturn games released on other hardware or in digital versions. Sega could make a lot of money and Nintendo could help pull some people into their shop if they can show off games like Grandia, Panzer Dragoon Saga, and NiGHTS Into Dreams. There may not be a lot of great games on the Sega Saturn but there are absolutely some gems that need to be played that we could all enjoy for a low price, on the go, and in nice, crisp high definition.
This system doesn’t even need an introduction at this point. It’s loved by millions everywhere even years after its original release. It’s the system that shouldn’t have failed. Sega sold it as razor thin prices and had incredible games in development even right up to the end–but it wasn’t enough. Consumer confidence was too shaken from previous mishaps from Sega and the Sony Playstation had a DVD Player and better third-party support. There was no stopping the demise of the Dreamcast. Sega did all they could but in the end, they were either going to have to step away from the console business or bleed out.
Before the Dreamcast took its final bow, though, we received countless games that have mostly aged pretty well. The Dreamcast was very ahead of its time in not only its technology but its aspirations. We’ve seen some Dreamcast games ported other systems, like the Gamecube, PS2, and Xbox 360, but it’d be nice to have the full library available for a low price of entry and in the palm of our hands. It’d be nice if the multiplayer games retained not only the full multiplayer but maybe even some online functionality to boot. I’m looking at your Soul Calibur! Just imagine the possibilities for your next party when you pop out a Switch, prop it up on the counter with its kickstand, and start up Marvel vs Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes. That’s right–someone would need to call the fire department because that party would be on fire.
1. Game Boy Advance
Please don’t hate me. Put down your pitchforks. Hear me out. First of all, I absolutely love the Game Boy Advance. It’s one of my favorite game systems. Second of all, there’s a ton of games on it. Finally, think of the possibilities. The Switch is portable, HD, and has the perfect controller setup for you to be able to enjoy GBA games. I think the Switch’s D-Pad layout is even better than the GBA’s and I get dizzy thinking of how many hours I would put into replaying the games from my childhood. The Game Boy Advance had so many highly rated games that were loved by both critics and gamers alike. There were a few issues that the GBA had that certainly didn’t hold it back from being successful but these games weren’t able to shine in their full glory. The Game Boy Advance wasn’t backlit, required batteries, and even in the best lighting you could find, the beautiful range of colors and Mode-7 effects weren’t able to shine like the developers had intended them to.
Imagine booting Metroid: Zero Mission or The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap in 720p right in the palm of your hands. You’ll never be bored again. I loved my GBA and the SP variant was great too but all I can think of is spending hundreds of hours playing Golden Sun, Pokemon Emerald, and Advance Wars. And that’s just the beginning. You know as well as I do that this would make the Virtual Console the number one stop to drop off all your money in a big brown bag for Nintendo. I know we can replay the dozens and dozens of classics on the GBA on the original hardware or the GameCube but I would love to Switch it up and play these anywhere I want, on a big screen, and with a massive rechargeable battery. Join me in calling Nintendo and crying for GBA games on the Switch. It happened on the Wii U but this would be even better because we would never be restricted from enjoying our GBA library–just like back in the day.
Did I miss any of your favorite systems that you’d love to see make an appearance on the Nintendo Switch? Let me know in the comments–or hit me up on Twitter at @Mrjoshnichols! I’m always playing something and normally tweeting about it as well. Tell me what you want to play on the Switch … maybe it’ll be something I haven’t played yet and I can join you in calling Nintendo and begging for them to put it on their Virtual Console service!