Since E3, a rumor that Nintendo is planning a large announcement regarding the Virtual Console has steadily been building momentum.
During the week of E3 we received word from a trusted source that Nintendo were set to blow the lid off the Virtual Console with a full-blown subscription based service. We were told that the announcement was expected to take place during E3 and our source was so sure that we even made the news post draft, so it was ready for publish as soon as it was confirmed. Our source’s information was backed up when it was revealed that several third party Virtual Console announcements would be made by the likes of Capcom and Namco.
Sadly the announcement never came but even when speaking off the record with numerous developers we have heard that it still expected in the not so distant future. Over the last few hours several other sources have come forward pointing to the same conclusion. The Nintendo 3DS recently received an update which changed the firmware version to an 8.0 build. The only confirmed benefit to this update is stability, which would generally just see a small decimal increase in the version number. It is widely believed that the jump to 8.0 has added some as of yet unannounced functionality. There has also been a lot of extended maintenance on all of Nintendo’s online services over the past few days.
Lending credit to this theory we have none other than Emily Rogers who has made her name by keeping her ear to the ground with regards to the latest Nintendo rumblings. When asked straight out if the firmware update added more than basic stability, she replied with “the only thing I can tell you is that you’re right :)”.
@steve3389 For now, the only thing I can tell you is that you’re right.
— Emily Rogers (@Emi1yRogers) July 8, 2014
Further to this, a Tweet from 4 Corner Games’ Syrenne McNulty which has since been deleted also said “I can’t say what, but there’s absolutely something more in there. It’s readying for something.”
Another alternate theory for what Nintendo could be working on could simply be an expanded cross-buy feature. Last week, for the first time in Nintendo history cross-buy was made available for consumers buying games both on the Wii U and 3DS eShops with the launch of indie title Squids Odyssey on the 3DS. The Game Bakers revealed that when gamers bought the 3DS version of Squids Odyssey, the previously released Wii U version could be downloaded for free. When asked if the same would work in reverse the developer explained that Nintendo’s data structure could not yet allow this, but they are working on it.
— The Game Bakers (@TheGameBakers) June 30, 2014
Which would you prefer? A fully fledged Virtual Console subscription service or an expanded cros-buy service allowing you to buy one game and play it on both 3DS and Wii U? Tell us in the comments below!