Nintendo Switch Rumored to Have GameCube Virtual Console Support

GameCube games on the go might be a possibility with the Nintendo Switch.

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According to Eurogamer, three separate sources have confirmed that the Nintendo Switch will have the ability to play GameCube games via Virtual Console. Three games will be available on the GameCube Virtual Console at the Nintendo Switch's launch: Super Mario Sunshine, Luigi's Mansion, and Super Smash Bros. Melee.

As for GameCube titles rumored to be appearing on the Nintendo Switch Virtual Console after the initial three, Animal Crossing is said to be under testing for possible release. Not only is Animal Crossing said to be working on the Nintendo Switch hardware, but the NES games included in the original release are also playable. This means that if Animal Crossing comes to the Nintendo Switch, you'll be playing an emulator on an emulator when accessing the NES games.

GameCube titles on the Virtual Console have been a fan request for years. However, it's likely the Wii U might have lacked the ability to emulate GameCube games correctly. Digital Foundry ran tests using the NVIDIA Tegra X1 chipset, which will be powering the Nintendo Switch, to see how well the Dolphin GameCube/Wii emulator ran. The results conclude that the Nintendo Switch should be able to run GameCube games at least as well as their original state.

Nintendo hasn't commented on these rumors, but whether they're true or not will likely be answered in the Nintendo Switch hands-on event in early January. GameCube gaming on-the-go sounds great, but until we get confirmation, we'll be keeping our fingers crossed.

Contributing Editor

From The Chatty

  • reply
    December 7, 2016 6:40 AM

    Jason Faulkner posted a new article, Nintendo Switch Rumored to Have GameCube Virtual Console Support

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      December 7, 2016 7:02 AM

      I wonder what this means for Wii U support. GCN support might seem tenuously connected to Wii U games on Virtual Console at best, but it could affect which versions of some titles Nintendo chooses to release.

      Legend of Zelda Wind Waker was great on GCN but even better on Wii U. I believe Nintendo or sources close to them have said the Switch won't support dual-screen games, meaning you'll play a game either on the tablet or your TV, not both. Assuming that's true, and assuming Switch won't support Wii U games because of it, does that mean we'd get a port of Zelda WW from GCN instead of the HD version of Wii U?

      I realize I'm kind of rambling, but this article made me think of it. It'd be difficult to go back to the GCN version of Wind Waker, with its slow sailing and onerous Triforce shard hunt, after loving the HD port on Wii U.

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        December 7, 2016 7:27 AM

        Yeah this is the sort of problem that happens when a game is released and re-released in HD remasters.

        It's going to get more complicated now with three generations of hardware and remakes and emulations.

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          December 7, 2016 7:45 AM

          I've been thinking of ways Nintendo could port Wii U games to Switch even if the Switch doesn't support dual-screen games. First, any game dependent on two screens probably wouldn't make the cut. ZombiU is out. Fortunately, that's a short list. Fortunately and unfortunately, because ZombiU is great, but it's also on other platforms so it's not like that great game will disappear into the ether.

          Most Wii U games use the second screen for maintenance: maps, inventories, health status, ammo, and the like. Before I go any further, let me say that I actually love that functionality. To me the Wii U's core hook was that you could play games on the GamePad, the perfect solution for households where a TV is in use but someone else wants to play a console game.

          Back on track: games like Zelda WW HD and Resident Evil Revelations used the GamePad for maintenance. I suppose Nintendo and publishers interested in porting Wii U games to Switch could just... strip that functionality out? Speaking to Zelda WWHD and RE Rev in particular, you could play those games with regular controllers; the GamePad was optional, so its functionality wouldn't have to make the jump in a port. It'd be a shame; I loved being able to glance down at a screen to get an idea of maps and inventories without having to pause and unpause over and over.

          Still, if it's a choice between Wii U games with GamePad functionality stripped out or no Wii U games, I know which one I'd pick.

          Super Mario Maker was successful enough that Nintendo would probably just release a new version rather than bother with porting the Wii U original. I do wonder what they'd do for other first-party games like Super Mario 3D World. The Toad levels required the GamePad, if I recall. Do they rework the code so that regular controllers stand in for the GamePad? That seems like the obvious solution, but the chief appeal of a port is it should be quick and easy money: no extra work required. Having to go in and rework code puts a dent in that appeal.

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            December 7, 2016 9:10 AM

            You just wrote all I was going to say. Sad more people won't play Affordable Space Adventures but I'll survive.

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              December 7, 2016 9:38 AM

              Such a neat 2D space ship stealth exploration/enviro-puzzle game. :(

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                December 7, 2016 10:51 AM

                Did you ever finish the free dlc? It's really hard and good.

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                  December 7, 2016 11:44 AM

                  I have not! I think I missed that they even released more. Guess I should make sure it is updated.

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                    December 7, 2016 1:13 PM

                    Yup, it's separate from the main game and warns you to finish it first as it's considerably harder. Some require rather precise timing to pull off.

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                      December 7, 2016 1:26 PM

                      Well we'll see how excited I am after exploding for an hour straight, but I'll check it out! Thanks for mentioning it.

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              December 7, 2016 11:42 AM

              Man it's so good.

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      December 7, 2016 8:31 AM

      omgggggggggg

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      December 7, 2016 9:18 AM

      Holy Crap!
      ROGUE LEADER
      VIEWTIFUL JOE
      BEACH SPIKERS
      SKIES OF ARCADIA
      PAPER MARIO: TTYD
      F-ZERO GX
      WAVE RACE: BLUE STORM


      GIVE THEM ALL TO MEEEEEeeeee!!!!!11

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        December 7, 2016 9:34 AM

        A re-release of Skies of Arcadia on GCN Virtual Console would make me so happy.

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          December 7, 2016 10:16 AM

          have you tried to play that sort of recently? i think i popped it in back in 2010 and oh man it did not age well. so many encounters and they are all so long.

          it sucks because i remember digging it back in 2003 or w/e, but i don't think it aged well

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            December 7, 2016 10:38 AM

            I agree with the horrendous encounter rate. It made the Dreamcast version almost unplayable and even though the GCN version lowered it, it's still rough. It's honestly the kind of game I'd probably just Action Replay through these days.

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              December 7, 2016 10:50 AM

              Pretty much, the whole level and item drop rate needs to be remade.

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              December 7, 2016 1:10 PM

              outfitting your ship for ship-to-ship combat was so awesome though. it felt special, which is rare

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        December 7, 2016 2:35 PM

        Melee is the big one. Its one of the biggest viewed esports around and Nintendo knows it. Its in their interest to have a platform it can continue on, CRTs and Gamecubes aren't going to last forever.

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          December 7, 2016 4:20 PM

          Actually, gamecubes and backwards compatible Wii's will be around for a lot longer than us.

          But it'll still be nice to get it ported.

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            December 7, 2016 4:37 PM

            They'll still require CRTs for the best experience. Unless they screw up input lag with the emulator this should be a good path going forward.

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              December 7, 2016 4:57 PM

              Not with this little dude:

              http://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?p=1066714#p1066714

              No frame buffer, just a line buffer, puts out 480 or 960 lines on the fly. This will be virtually indistinguishable from CRT, input delay-wise, if you have a fast monitor.

              And I'm a CRT guy through and through. Still use one for PC, and still use a PVM for my old consoles. But I know playing SNES on a OLED via the OSSC will be a pretty awesome experience.

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                December 7, 2016 5:03 PM

                So this is better than an xRGB, yeah?

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                  December 7, 2016 5:05 PM

                  Totally. I've yet to see anyone mention a downside compared to the XRGB.

                  Though the XRGB is compatible with S-video and compositve video, which is good for people who don't want to mod their NES's and N64's.

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                    December 7, 2016 5:08 PM

                    Just checked out some reviews, seems cool! Maybe if I sold my XRGB I could justify buying one. I only use component or SCART so I'd be covered with this.

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                      December 7, 2016 5:34 PM

                      I wouldn't sell the XRGB yet. The OSSC is on backorder for a long time. I'm not sure if it's still just one guy making it, but it's taking them a long time to get out in the wild.

                      It's also still in very active development. I'm not even sure the hardware is totally finalized. Firmware is upgradeable though.

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                        December 7, 2016 6:15 PM

                        Oh yeah, that's a big "if" I buy one. No point having both is what I'm trying to say

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          December 7, 2016 5:36 PM

          Yeah long as it doesn't introduce any input lag smash VC could be a big deal.

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            December 7, 2016 10:42 PM

            Input lag is going to make or break tournament Melee on this thing. Two frames of lag and forget it, tournaments will use CRTs until the last one dies out

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      December 7, 2016 1:12 PM

      What about straight up backwards compatibility if you have the physical versions?

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        December 7, 2016 1:20 PM

        There is no disc drive on the Switch, so no. Plus, if you still have the physical version then you should have also kept your old Gamecube as well unless you are a crazy person.

        This thread makes me want to hook mine back up again and play some Beach Spikers, secretly one of the best games on that system.

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          December 7, 2016 1:24 PM

          Not sure I would ditch my Cube but the Wii has almost full backwards compatibility with the GameCube. Can't use the cartridge loader add-on and it fails to emulate/translate the GC add-on network adapter, but otherwise I think it is full.

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      December 7, 2016 1:22 PM

      Sold!

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      December 7, 2016 3:25 PM

      Will someone explain this to me. Shouldn't a generation of a console be able to run every preceding generation of games? Why is Nintendo just now able to get to the GameCube.

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        December 7, 2016 3:31 PM

        Because hardware.

        You can port a game to a new platform, but new hardware means extensive rewrites in most cases.

        You can emulate a game instead, but that requires hardware on the new platform to be fast enough to emulate the old console semi accurately.

        Porting should be more probable going forward as companies plan on selling a game for more than one generation. It's the old stuff that's difficult to port because of proprietary hardware.

        Armchair developer commentary. I only assume these are the reasons.

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        December 7, 2016 3:48 PM

        That's not how it works. Proper emulation either requires actual legacy hardware in the machine or hardware that's powerful enough to emulate the older machine. The initial PS3 hardware had a PS2 SoC in it (later models had the GPU in there but emulated the CPU), the DS had GBA hardware in it until the DSi, the 3DS has DS hardware in it, the Wii was built upon a GCN foundation, the Wii U had a Wii inside of it, etc etc.

        PS3 emulation isn't happening with the PS4 unless they physically put a Cell processor in there, its just not powerful enough to emulate it via software. This happens way more often than not.

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          December 7, 2016 4:36 PM

          Its also worth noting that only the 60GB and 20GB launch PS3s were backwards compatible with PS2 discs. Following "fat" PS3s as well as the slim and super slim versions aren't because they don't have the necessary hardware.

          Specific PlayStation 2 Classics for download had custom emulation and optimization done per title.

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        December 7, 2016 4:45 PM

        Wii had official gamecube support. Wii U could have - still had the hardware - they just never did.

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          December 7, 2016 5:55 PM

          The CPU's were essentially the same, yes, but the GPU and memory layout was completely different.

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      December 7, 2016 4:48 PM

      Just give smash bros melee 16:9 support and we are golden.

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      December 7, 2016 5:13 PM

      Starfox adventures! Luigi's Mansion! SUPER MARIO SUNSHINE!

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      December 7, 2016 5:57 PM

      Good for folks like playing old games again. Good for them.

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      December 8, 2016 12:39 AM

      bomberman generation is fantastic.