In a statement to Kotaku, Nintendo has confirmed they have “no plans to bring classic games together under the Virtual Console banner as has been done on other Nintendo systems.”
There was a lot of rumor and speculation leading up to this point about the fate of Virtual Console, with some hoping to see Gamecube and Wii titles arriving on the platform. Nintendo for their part refused to confirm or deny any rumors surrounding the service - just that were simply undecided on the matter.
The writing has been on the wall for a bit now, with companies like Square Enix, Capcom, and SNK having already released or made plans to release their legacy titles for the Nintendo Switch as part of their own collections. There's also the Arcade Archives brand from Hamster, and Sega is working on bringing their classic titles under the Sega Ages branding. We also can't forget the NES Classic and SNES Classic.
This will be really unfortunate news for those who were hoping they could bring their purchased Virtual Console titles to the Nintendo Switch, saving themselves from having to purchase the same titles all over again as has been the case a number of times in the past. On the bright side, Nintendo also hasn't said whether this is just the case of the Virtual Console label being retired and still having their old titles brought to the platform in some shape or form.
They just announced overnight that their online service, Nintendo Switch Online, will come included with at least 20 throwback games from the NES era complete with online features, with more on the way in this Netflix-type subscription service. However, this once again brings up the argument over ownership rights and whether those who happen to invest in this service will be able to re-download their games if for some reason they are pulled from this subscription service.
We'll share any updates regarding what the Virtual Console replacement will be whenever details are shared.