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Retro Pokemon is Coming to the Nintendo Switch in 2023!
At this point I think it’s no longer a possibility but a foregone conclusion. It would be highly unlikely, and quite frankly, stupid, for Nintendo to not put any of the Gen I - Gen III games on the NSO Game Boy and Game Boy Advance virtual consoles. It would make zero sense just from a financial standpoint let alone a fanbase one.
From the moment GB and GBA was announced at the last Nintendo Direct, I don’t think there was one person (even those who couldn't care less about Pokemon) who didn’t automatically think to themselves, “oh, Pokemon retro games are finally coming to the Switch.” That’s just what happened. Then for a brief moment we wondered why it wasn’t mentioned till we all took a pause and realized Pokemon Day is coming. They’ll surely mention it there.
Mark my words. Nintendo and TPC, if you don’t say anything about how you intend on putting the Gen I - Gen III games on the Switch I don’t know how you dig yourself out? Perhaps a new Let’s Go or Legends or Gen X reveal? Something to distract the masses who will be coming for you with pitchforks basically.
But we aren’t going to think about those possibilities. Instead, let’s continue our thoughts on the inevitable. Not the if but the when of it all.
Personally, as much as I would probably faint (pun intended) and need to be taken to the nearest Pokemon Center should they unveil all of the Gen I - Gen III games coming “later today.” I would be A-OK should they trickle them out similar to MK8 cups. In waves. I already am up to my eyeballs in playing the Pokemon games just on the Switch and in an ideal world I’d like some time in between playing the retro games.
Which calls into question how exactly are Nintendo and TPC going to work together to make this as seamless for us, the consumer, as possible? The way I see it there are just two scenarios:
Version I - Nintendo Switch Online (+ Expansion Pass)
Nintendo could release the Game Boy games to the standard NSO subscribers and the GBA games to the NSOEP subscribers. Seems simple enough. How that would integrate with the Home app I would think the same way SwSh or BDSP or Bank does. The Home app would recognize a save file for the retro games, connect to it, and in just a few clicks the Pokemon can be moved over. Using the same rule that we need to at least have ventured far enough into the game that we have acquired the Pokedex.
Version II - Dedicated Pokemon App
This would be slightly different and think it would complicate things if done this way. But, there could be a stand-alone Pokemon App that acts much like the Pokemon TV App. It will make all of the Pokemon Games available and either we purchase them individually OR in packs based on console. So for one price we can get all of the GB games and for another price we get all of the GBA games.
The reason I think Version II makes the least amount of sense is because why then would Nintendo bother to release the two retro consoles before Pokemon Day? They could’ve held their cards on these two consoles until closer to the reveal of the Switch 2. No, I believe they had to release the two consoles now because Pokemon had always wanted/intended to make the retro games available via NSO, hence why they are shutting down the 3DS and Wii U e-shop literally one week after Pokemon Day.
My only issue is that everything is lining up a little too perfectly, if you know what I mean? Usually there are too many other factors to consider that we didn’t even realize or just some wrench is thrown in. But for whatever reason, kicking it off with this awesome Nintendo Direct, things are just working out pretty well for us Nintendo fans.
Now take all of this with a grain of salt, of course. We could all be mortified and greatly disappointed when Pokemon Day comes and goes and no mention of a retro game from anyone. If that happens…I’m not even going to consider it. No. Pokemon and Nintendo wouldn’t do that to us, their most loyal of fans. We will get what we’ve always wanted. And till February 27th rolls around, I will keep watching this video evidence from AustinJohnPlays that gives that glimmer of hope: