YouTuber Hacks SNES Virtual Console onto Switch

When Nintendo doesn’t give players another way to play its classic games, some people make their own way. YouTuber and software engineering student Sam Breadman uploaded a video showcasing a Virtual Console-esque SNES Classic Clone running on his Nintendo Switch. In the short clip, you can see icons for games such as Donkey Kong Country, EarthBound, Final Fantasy 3, Mega Man X, and more all on the Switch’s screen.

Sadly, the video doesn’t show gameplay of any of the games in the menu so it’s tough to say how these games will eventually run if this project comes to fruition. The video’s description notes that the performance is not great due to the “inherent performance penalties running programs with LuaJIT.” LuaJIT is a compiler for the programming language Lua. If that jargon is confusing, then the rest of the video’s description will likely be just as puzzling.

This early homewbrew workaround comes only a week after Nintendo said that there “are currently no plans to bring classic games together under the Virtual Console banner as has been done on other Nintendo systems.” The Virtual Console has appeared on the Wii, 3DS, and Wii U which makes its exclusion a little puzzling until you look at Nintendo’s new shift towards playing old games.

Nintendo’s recently announced premium online service for the Switch will give subscribers a compilation of NES games to play with some new online connectivity. Couple this with the release of both the SNES Classic and NES Classic (both of which are returning soon), and you can see how Nintendo’s reselling strategy is evolving into something more complicated than simply selling old games on the Virtual Console.

Nintendo has little incentive to try to resell you the same games over and over again without a new twist. By locking older games to a subscription, they can get more money out of people on a month-to-month basis while enticing people to sign up for their new online service.