Nintendo considering extending Switch Online library beyond NES

Company president also acknowledges Switch redesign reports

Nintendo says it is considering extending its Nintendo Switch Online library beyond the currently offered NES games to other legacy platforms.

At the moment, Nintendo Switch Online subscribers have access to a regularly updated selection of NES games, which can be played at any time as long as the player retains their Switch Online subscription.

During Nintendo’s 79th annual general meeting of shareholders on Thursday, president Shuntaro Furukawa was asked specifically if the company has plans to re-release Nintendo 64 and GameCube software.

“At this place we cannot tell new information about future classic hardware among others, but we are thinking about providing an extension of the online service which is currently providing Famicom [NES] software, as well as other methods of providing them,” he said (translated by Japanese Nintendo)

“We also recognise that there are opinions wanting to play past titles.”

In the same interview it was revealed that products relating to late former president Satoru Iwata’s quality of life initiative are still in development.

Launched in September 2018, the Switch Online service is required to play most Switch games online (Fortnite is a notable exclusion).

Members can also access a growing library of classic NES games, back up save data online, and receive special offers including free access to Tetris 99.

Nearly 10 million Nintendo account holders are signed up to Nintendo Switch Online, the platform holder has claimed.

In Thursday’s AGM, Furukawa was also asked about the multitude of media reports regarding the potential release of redesigned Nintendo Switch hardware.

The president acknowledged the reports and said that in general, the company always has new hardware in development.

“We acknowledge that there have been reports [about this]. Answering to rumours and speculations would end up stealing surprises from our customers and also be unprofitable to all of our shareholders, so we have no answer to that.

“As a general theory, we are always performing development of new hardware.”

Additionally, Furukawa told shareholders Nintendo is still developing “quality of life” products, five years after late president Satoru Iwata announced his intention to take the company into the health improvement business.