In most cases, the release of yet another classic console emulator for the Switch wouldn’t be all that noteworthy. But experts tell Ars that a pair of Game Boy and Game Boy Advance emulators for the Switch that leaked online Monday show signs of being official products of Nintendo’s European Research & Development division (NERD). That has some industry watchers hopeful that Nintendo may be planning official support for some emulated classic portable games through the Nintendo Switch Online subscription service in the future.
It would be so much easier for everyone involved if companies like Nintendo embraced the classic gaming emulation scene instead of fighting it. Imagine if you could easily buy ROMs for classic NES, SNES, Game Boy, and so on, games, without having to resort to shady ROM sites.
I don’t like this gatekeeping. And for once, Microsoft seems to be doing the right thing.
Sony PlayStation 3: Removed back compat (they could run PS2 games), removed Linux. And recently they tried to remove PSN online store. Fortunately there was enough backlash to prevent it.
Again Sony PS Vita: Is not going to play some PS One games, even when you previously purchased them. There is no technical barriers, heck, once there was a “bit flip” by mistake, where lucky people downloaded them onto their consoles, fully functional.
Nintendo: This thing. They not only are capable of making a good emulator, they even try to block third party ones, or YouTube videos. It is quite possible to run Nintendo 64, Wii, Wii U, or even some Switch titles at 4K on a PC. But not on a new Nintendo console.
General: Many otherwise functional games are blocked due to expired licenses. I remember new owners of Dead Island even trying to pull down licenses people bought from Steam (https://www.reddit.com/r/Steam/comments/tmzt3/dead_island_pulled_from_steam_account/). Want to play a James Bond game? Nope, none of them are available anymore. X-Men origins? Nope. Jurassic Park? Only the latest game, not the good originals. Terminator? Same.
We have the technical capability to preserve all these games. And we already have the “bits” to replicate them. Yet, the publishers and platform holders are keeping them away from enjoyment of future generations.