2023 hasn’t been around very long, but it has already delivered some pleasant surprises for nintendo switch online subscribers. During the first Nintendo Direct of the year, Nintendo revealed that the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance catalogs would be added to the subscription level of the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack. These classic handhelds were previously rumored for Switch, but few predicted that they would be revealed and released on the day of the Direct. Now that they’re available, many gamers are once again immersing themselves in their beloved titles on the go.
Now that Game Boy and GBA games are on Switch, it’s essential that Nintendo keep up the momentum with new additions. A frequent complaint about the classic catalogs on Nintendo Switch Online is that Nintendo is often slow to add major titles. Perhaps the best example of this is how the N64 catalog is still missing games like Super Smash Bros. more than a year after its presentation on Switch. If Nintendo is going to attract more gamers to Nintendo Switch Online and do justice to the legacy of its most iconic handheld devices, it needs to keep its foot on the gas with frequent and substantial updates to each catalogue.
The Game Boy and GBA libraries are huge
Nintendo revolutionized gaming when it released the Game Boy in 1989, giving gamers a portable experience like no other. The Game Boy remains one of Nintendo’s biggest success stories since it began making video games, and the company supported the handheld through various revisions until 2003. After the tremendous success of iterations like the Game Boy Color, the Game Boy Advance it was introduced in 2001 and served as a complete hardware upgrade, opening the door to a gigantic library of games between first-party and third-party developers.
In total, the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance were supported for over twenty years when Nintendo stopped selling the GBA system in 2010. This rich history translates into an even richer collection of games, games that could make the Game Boy and GBA catalogs on Switch dwarf every other classic catalog. Of Pokemon spin-offs of beloved third-party titles, the only thing stopping Nintendo from bloating the Game Boy and GBA libraries on Switch is its own ambition. Both consoles really had something for everyone to enjoy, and not taking advantage of that would be a missed opportunity.
Nintendo could start to rival PS Plus and Xbox Game Pass with enough Game Boy and GBA games
Throughout the history of Nintendo Switch Online, its classic catalogs have largely seemed like a novelty rather than a game-changing feature. However, if Nintendo taps into the massive Game Boy and GBA libraries, it could provide an experience that mimics that of PS Plus and Xbox Game Pass. Both subscription services provide a virtually unbeatable number of titles for gamers to enjoy, providing excellent value and no shortage of things to do. If Nintendo ever wants to compete and make NSO feel more legit, it’s going to have to go all in on the myriad of diverse Game Boy and GBA games.
In the few weeks that Game Boy and GBA games have been available on the Switch, Nintendo has shown some promise that it intends to update them regularly. Metroid Fusion was added to Switch’s GBA library after being promised in the service’s reveal trailer, and other essential titles like Golden Sun they were teased for being on the road as well. If Nintendo is really going to make these classic libraries stand out, it just has to keep that momentum going and give players a reason to stay subscribed to the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack for years to come.
MORE: Nintendo Switch Online Needs To Dive In With An Underrated Mario Spinoff