Backwards compatibility is rapidly becoming easier for Nintendo than ever before. At least, that’s what Shingeru Miyamoto implied at a recent Q&A following the company’s latest financial report. And while the Switch continues to build up a growing library of NES, SNES and N64 titles (if you have the NSO Expansion pass, that is) Miyamoto wants to ensure that the company remains focused on the future, despite this ease.
Reading through any Reddit forum or the comments section of an NSO announcement, it would be easy to assume that if Nintendo was to just drop a Game Boy and GBA library on the Switch then all would be well in the world. Miyamoto addressed the simplicity of this in the Q&A (as translated for VGC by @Sephazon), speaking of how difficult Nintendo’s Virtual Console was in the past, before stating that all of this has changed:
Recently, however, the development environment has increasingly become more standardised, and we now have an environment that allows players to enjoy older video games on newer consoles more easily than ever before.
This being said, the Nintendo director was quick to note that this does not mean that backwards compatibility is the company’s focus for future consoles:
Nintendo’s strength is in creating new video game experiences, so when we release new hardware in the future, we would like to showcase unique video games that could not be created with pre-existing hardware.
Whether we end up getting more game libraries added to the Switch is still uncertain. Seemingly, today’s technology makes it easier than ever before to implement such a device, but would Nintendo really want to keep looking to the past when it could be focusing on the future?
It would be excessive to suggest that this statement means we will never see another Virtual Console on any future Nintendo release, but perhaps the comment does point towards a future in which Nintendo is not so reliant on re-releasing games from days gone by in order to drum up player anticipation.
If there’s one thing that this statement makes clear (not crystal clear, obviously, but Nintendo rarely is) it is that whatever console comes next – Switch 2, Pro, U or otherwise – don’t expect it to be bragging about GBA titles at launch.
Do you think Nintendo is right to be focusing on the future or should it still be wheeling out releases from the past? Fill out the following poll and then take to the comments to let us know your thoughts!