With the launch of Nintendo Switch Online, we’ve also got our first glimpse of classic Nintendo titles like Balloon Fight and The Legend of Zelda being playable on Nintendo’s latest hardware. Today Twitter user @KevDoy tweeted an interesting string of text in the JSON file for the switch eShop page showing references to Virtual Console, and all of Nintendo’s home and handheld consoles up to the Nintendo 64, this isn’t something to jump to conclusions about though.

Looking at the tweet in question you can see the structure of the eShop taking place in the file with filtering tools to sort for different prices, whether games are “new”, and even headers for popular games like Pokemon and Animal Crossing, both of which are coming to Nintendo Switch. Further down the list is where we begin to see references to Virtual Console and other Nintendo consoles, unlike above entries the numbers next to total are 0 for all.

Twitter user @LombTV was then quick to point out that looking at the 3DS JSON file the same category headings are present, this time with numbers next to total that reflects the number of games available on each.

In what should be everyone’s first question “But the 3DS DOES have Virtual Console, wouldn’t this mean it’s coming to Nintendo Switch too?” The real answer to that is that we don’t know, but if we look at the times when Nintendo has told Kotaku “There are currently no plans to bring classic games together under the Virtual Console banner as has been done on other Nintendo systems” or Reggie himself explaining to IGN why Nintendo Switch Online is the future of VC with the new JSON file being identical to the 3DS one most likely what we’re seeing here is the reuse of code.

With the launch of Nintendo Switch online there are now 20 playable NES games through the NES application, none of which are showing on the Switch JSON file adding a bit more doubt to this file, as they are reusing the NES Classic emulator instead of the virtual console for them.

Do you agree with why it’s unlikely that this is a tease towards Virtual Console? Was there anything that I missed out on? Are you hoping for more console to appear like the NES games currently do?


Andrew Stretch

Events Coordinator

I have been playing all kinds of games for as long as I can remember with a particular interest in action adventure and platforming titles. While I am primarily an Xbox gamer I also spend a fair bit of time on the PS4 and on my PC in VR.