Here's an interesting little discovery that could have big implications! According to Source Gaming, a bunch of nerds who are tinkering with the Nintendo Switch have discovered some interesting code within the Switch firmware. A future log was discovered that seems to indicate that an NES emulator is already present on the system. Check out the screenshot right here:
According to modders who are working on the Switch right now, there is a NES Emulator embedded in the firmware codenamed "flog". pic.twitter.com/HCUbiDGnG6— Source Gaming (@AllSourceGaming) July 6, 2017
There's an obvious conclusion here and a not-so-obvious conclusion that's actually way more exciting. First the obvious thing: the Virtual Console, or something like it, is definitely on the way to the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo has been totally silent about the Virtual Console since the Switch launched in March, which is pretty strange considering how popular it remains on the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. This is the only way for years that we've been able to legally download and play retro NES, SNES, N64, Game Boy, GBA, and Sega Genesis games on our modern Nintendo consoles. Now we know that we'll eventually be able to do that on the Nintendo Switch as well.
The not so obvious surprise? You may not know it, but when you downloaded NES games to the Wii U virtual console, for example, you were actually downloading a little emulator for each specific game. If you take a look at the file sizes, you may notice that they're quite a bit bigger than the average NES ROM. This would be why. Now that we know that an NES emulator is reportedly present in the Nintendo Switch natively, the size of individual game downloads should be considerably smaller going forward. Considering the Switch's limited internal memory, this is really good news.
The only question now is when we'll finally see some retro Nintendo games get revived on the Nintendo Switch. We're hoping that the impending launch on the Super NES Classic Edition in September doesn't persuade Nintendo to hold off on launching the Virtual Console (as if they'd have trouble selling the SNES Classic anyway). If that's the case, it could be the holiday season or even 2018 before we see the Virtual Console return.
If we discover any more emulators hidden inside of your Nintendo Switch, or hear any more about an official Virtual Console launch, we'll let you know straight away.