When asked, most people on the planet, gamers or not, would openly admit that Nintendo is no stranger to weird business decisions. While some would defend Nintendo as a “creative” or “innovative” strategist, others would rather just come out and say that some times it seems like they are throwing darts on words and praying for a Hail Mary.
The Virtual Console on the Nintendo 3DS currently has a little over 150 games, not including approximately ten or so more for Ambassadors. Now, while this may seem as a large amount of games because 150 in some cases is a pretty big number, it pales in comparison to the library the NES has alone with over 700 licensed games released. Especially considering the fact that the 3DS’ Virtual Console is a mixture of NES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, and SEGA Game Gear titles. Even stranger, is the fact that even though a game such as Super Mario Bros. is $5 both on the Wii U and the 3DS, the consumer would still have to pay $5 for each, even if it is the exact same game, for the exact same price, with the exact same Nintendo Network account.
Recently, Nintendo has been allowing cross-buy for some titles, not all, but some new releases such as OlliOlli and Mario vs Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars. However, this has not extended towards the Virtual Console, and it is hard to determine whether or not it will be a feature on Virtual Consoles in the future. At this point if Nintendo were to do so, it would come down to the decision to either start implementing cross-buy at a specific date and forget about past purchases, or to be find some way to reimburse those who shelled out money for the privilege to play the exact same game on the Wii U and 3DS without being able to transfer save files between the two.
Interestingly enough, some on the internet have actually started to come up with their own ideas as to how Nintendo should handle their Virtual Console. One of the most notable ideas is a Playstation Now-esque streaming service which would in theory work because of the game’s small file size and potentially low CPU demand. This theoretical streaming service would cost a certain fee every month, and feature temporary saves that would delete themselves once a subscriber ceased payment. Meanwhile, others argue that Virtual Console titles should just cost less as they have already been developed and there is not too much extra work being put into them aside from constructing a Miiverse page, unless they are a 3D Classic.
Lastly, one of the largest complaints with the 3DS’ Virtual Console is that SNES titles are still nowhere to be found. There do not seem to be any performance problems holding them back from performing such an action, but it could just be possible rarer SNES games like Earthbound are the real system seller the Wii U has been waiting for all along.
What do you think of Nintendo’s Virtual Console Service? Should it be drastically transformed, or is the addition of SNES titles and cross-buy good enough? Make sure to leave a comment below!