Nintendo Adds Retro Game Boy Games To Switch Online But Not Everyone Is Happy

nintendo switch online gameboy on main screen
Nintendo released its latest "Nintendo Direct" full of announcements and releases on February 8th. While fans were excited about the newest trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, there were some mixed feelings when Nintendo announced the availability of classic portable titles for Nintendo Switch Online and Nintendo Switch Online Plus Expansion Pack.

The announcement seems exciting, so why would there be negativity? Well, in the past, Nintendo used to sell individual licenses of titles on its platforms, such as the now defunct Wii U and Nintendo 3DS stores. This method would allow customers perpetual access to classic titles, at least until the hardware fails or a shutdown of required internet services. With this change, players must pay a subscription fee to maintain access.
The company has managed to work in online multiplayer for games that can use it. Some ongoing fees to maintain that online multiplayer service makes sense, though some titles with absolutely no online play needs, such as The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, would not need this. We can hope Nintendo will make such single-player games available as standalone purchases in the future.

While there is apprehension, the catalog provided by Nintendo allowing players to bask in classic handheld glory is pretty impressive. The titles range from the Game Boy's launch title, Tetris, to Gameboy Advance's Mario Kart: Super Circuit, with a lot more in between. Some titles do not upscale well to the larger display, though. Players do get the option to emulate the display of their favorite classic handheld screens. Those screen filters are Game Boy, Game Boy Pocket, and Game Boy Color. It is important to note that Game Boy Advance games are only available with the Nintendo Switch Online Plus Expansion Pack.

Nintendo Switch Online Game Boy & Game Boy Advance Announcement

We're not sure how Nintendo will respond to the backlash that has happened. If past behavior is any indication, we won't see any kind of statement from Nintendo. After all, the company has always heavily lobbied against after-market sales, so why wouldn't it try to squeeze every last penny out of consumers though a subscription model?