It’s always interesting when Nintendo releases their games on somebody else’s console. News broke today that, in an effort to break into the Chinese market, Nintendo is releasing New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Twilight Princess, Punch-out, and (eventually) Super Mario Galaxy in HD on the Shield TV. Rumour is that the Metroid Prime trilogy is also on the way.
The Shield TV and the Switch share a lot of the same hardware, so I’m sure you can see where this is going.
But here’s the thing (from The Verge’s story on this):
Nintendo hasn’t released the Switch in China, and historically doesn’t directly offer its consoles for sale in the market; a subsidiary called iQue has handled China-specific variants of handheld consoles as well as a version of the N64 back in 2003. This, then, is a significant step into Chinese living rooms for Nintendo.
I don’t necessarily think any of this is an indication that these games are coming to Switch, and I wouldn’t hold my breath for them any time soon. Nintendo claims the Virtual Console (or something like it) is coming, but historically, they’re very bad at these things.
To me, this is a strong indication that Nintendo is dipping their toes into the waters with emulation on the Nvidia, which comes as a side effect of an experiment in the Chinese market.
This isn’t to say I wouldn’t want these games on my Switch. I’d love the ability to play these games on the go (although I would have some serious questions about how the Switch handle’s the Wii’s motion controls). I’m on the same page as everybody else here. And I’m certain that we’ll get older games on the Switch eventually. But their delivery mechanism is up in the air for me. Will they be released through Wii-style Virtual Consoles, the regular e-Shop, or a new streaming program as part of Nintendo’s online plan in 2018? I have no idea.
But most importantly, I’m not convinced by this story that any of these specific Wii games — no matter how badly we all want them — will get released on the Switch.