When a Nintendo developer says supporting older games has become easier than ever, it might be worth listening.
Think about it: most Game Boy games ran on the Game Boy Color; most GB and GBC games ran on the Game Boy Advance, then the Nintendo DS (which became the platform with the most sales for the big N!) supported GBA games, then in a Nintendo 3DS, we could use our DS cartridges. On the Wii, we could run our GameCube games, and on the Wii U, we could run our Wii games. So for the big N, supporting older games is not new!
VGC has translated the Q&A session Nintendo held after its quarterly financial report. Shigeru Miyamoto, the company’s mainstay developer, openly stated: backwards compatibility is not complex! “In the past, we provided a service known as the ‘Virtual Console’ that allowed users to play older video games on new consoles with newer hardware. As long as the hardware remained unchanged, those games could continue to be played. However, the publishing rights to video games are complicated, and we have said that we would only add titles after securing the necessary rights.
Of course, video games developed for dedicated consoles were created in different development environments for each console. As a result, the development environment could not necessarily be reused when the hardware changed. So the video games released on older consoles could not be played on newer consoles without additional modification. Recently, however, the development environment has increasingly become more standardised, and we now have an environment that allows players to enjoy older video games on newer consoles more efficiently than ever before. However, Nintendo’s strength is in creating new video game experiences, so when we release new hardware in the future, we would like to showcase unique video games that could not be made with pre-existing hardware,” said Miyamoto, who declined to comment on the Switch’s successor, which could support the Switch library. That’d be excellent!
Earlier, according to him, Ampere Analysis analyst Piers Harding-Rolls predicted a new N hardware by 2024, and “Switch Pro” will not be coming. It looks like he’s right: research and development costs have reached record levels within Nintendo…