Nintendo’s original handheld system, the Game Boy, recently celebrated its 30th birthday. Because of this, the gaming community began reminiscing about the legacy that the Game Boy left on the industry. The sheer number of games that were introduced on the system alone justified its success. With that said, surely Nintendo would want to capitalize on the nostalgia in some way, right? While we haven’t seen any news regarding some kind of Game Boy revival yet, it just seems logical to do something involving this amazing device.
Of course, the first idea to come to mind likely involves Nintendo Switch Online. As of now, the service only offers free NES games to play at any time. This seems rather lackluster considering Nintendo’s enormous library of hits from other consoles. Adding Game Boy games to the membership now would give the company a good boost in sales, so why not just do it? While it is likely that Nintendo will skip over the inclusion of Game Boy games, doing so would truly become a missed opportunity.
Game Boy How You Want It
Possibly the biggest appeal of Game Boy games for Nintendo Switch Online involves the ability of playing them both on a TV and on the go. This feature may be brought up for every potential game on the Switch, but that just shows how appealing it is. Playing a game like Pokemon Red and Blue or Kirby’s Dream Land docked at one moment, then in your hands the next just gives you the best of both worlds. Would some tweaking have to be done regarding aspect ratios and display settings? Likely so, but it’s nothing Nintendo hasn’t done in the past. If they really wanted to be efficient, they could simply port the Virtual Console versions of some Game Boy games to the service. Not only does this give players the ability to play Game Boy games how they want it, but it comes with little effort from Nintendo themselves.
Banking On That Nostalgia
If Nintendo has proven anything in the past, it’s that they can masterfully use their fan base’s love for the past to their advantage. Cue the NES Classic and SNES Classic. Both systems used the love of their original counterparts to bring in droves of customers. Though the ethics of this type of business tactic may falter between the lines, there’s no denying that it works. Both the NES and SNES classic performed massively well on the market, considering they were simply compilations of games from years ago. On paper, this shouldn’t work, but it does. Therefore, the same should apply for the Gameboy. While Nintendo could easily create a Game Boy Classic, creating a collection on their online service seems more reasonable and cost-efficient. This would definitely draw players to the online service and increase sales of memberships. Nostalgia truly is a force to be reckoned with.
Do you think Nintendo should add Game Boy games to Nintendo Switch Online? Let us know in the comments below! For more content, check out our articles on Video Games That Gave Me Power: How Gaming Shaped My Life and Nintendo and Their Not-So-Family-Friendly History. Otherwise, keep it on Culture of Gaming for all things gaming!
Oscar is a writer for Culture of Gaming. He is an aspiring video game journalist that follows anything and everything Nintendo. His favorite franchises consist of Pokemon and Kingdom Hearts.