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After Nintendo officially announced the premium service setup for the Nintendo Switch's Nintendo Network, due to roll out in 2018, a lot of people were left questioning how the premium Classic Games Selection works with the Virtual Console and will it replace it? Well, the answer is no.
So then what becomes of the Virtual Console on the Nintendo Switch? Well, according to the rep from Nintendo the company is still "undecided".
So what's the difference between the Classic Game Selection and the Virtual Console? Well, the Virtual Console allows you to purchase and own classic Nintendo games from the yesteryears of gaming. You can purchase N64, SNES, NES and other games from Nintendo's retro library and own them on a newer console. Nintendo started the Virtual Console with the Wii and then carried it through with the Wii U. Since many GameCube games were already backward compatible with the Wii, it didn't make sense to add them to the Wii's Virtual Console.
But now that the GameCube is a legacy system (along with the Wii), and the libraries are now collecting dust, could it mean they could be revived on the Nintendo Switch? No idea.
Nintendo has been coy about answering that question, with NOA president Reggie Fils-Aime explaining that the company still hasn't committed to any announcements yet regarding the Virtual Console on the Nintendo Switch.
The thing about the Classic Game Selection is that it's restricted to the Nintendo Network's premium service. So you will have to subscribe to the Switch's premium network offerings to gain access to the Classic Game Selection. For the Virtual Console, you did not have to register with any premium service to make use of the games.
Additionally, the biggest difference between VC games and the CGS is that in the case of the former, the games were basically emulated to run on the latest hardware, in the case of the latter the games have been retrofitted with new-school online infrastructure. What does this mean? It means that Nintendo has made it possible to play classic games like Super Mario Bros. 3 online with a friend in the co-op mode, something that wasn't present in the Virtual Console renditions of the game.
Nintendo only announced three select titles for the Classic Game Selection, but there will likely be more games added to the stash before the service goes live in 2018.
One thing a lot of people are questioning is whether or not a Virtual Console and Classic Game Selection service can coexist? Some people don't want to pay a premium monthly price (or annual price) to access Nintendo's online services just to play retro games on their Switch. Other people don't mind, but would rather have full access to the Virtual Console library they already have. It definitely puts Nintendo in an awkward position, but we'll have to wait to see how the company deals with this conundrum.