When Nintendo announced back in May that Virtual Console, their platform/brand for redistributing retro games, would not be available on the Switch, fans weren’t too happy about the news. Since the Switch was successfully hacked at the beginning of the year, hardcore Nintendo fans began taking their own measures to enable the device to play retro games. It seems they’ve finally achieved the ultimate level of success as there’s just been a huge breakthrough in the homebrew scene allowing those with a hacked machine to pretty much play ALL retro games through the Switch.
If you’re into emulation, you’ve undoubtedly heard of “Retroarch,” a sort of emulator platform program through which you can install various emulators of different consoles and gain access to their respective library of games. According to Kotaku, the latest version of this powerful emulation software is compatible with hacked Switch devices, allowing fans to finally play all classic Nintendo games as well as the games of other developers such as Sony, Sega, and even Atari.
The team behind Retroarch has included a full list of the 44 available “cores” (their way of referring to emulators) on their official blog update for this version. Rather then go through all 44, here’s a few of the big ones that are sure to pique your interest:
- Gearsystem – Sega Genesis emulator
- MAME 2003 – Arcade emulator
- mGBA – Gameboy Advance emulator
- PCSX ReARMED – PlayStation emulator
- SNES9x – SNES emulator
Honestly, the possibilities are endless with Retroarch. As soon as new cores get added to the system, you could play pretty much any game on any platform that has a working emulator (that the Switch hardware is strong enough to emulate).
The big downside to this is that it requires your Switch to be hacked, a process that may get your Nintendo account banned. There’s actually been enough people banned for hacking their Switch that a group of hardcore fans are even trying to even figure out the process through which Nintendo uses to ban people.
While the homebrew scene was more or less inevitable, the interest in hacking the device probably wouldn’t be even half the level it’s at now if Nintendo decided to keep Virtual Console going with the Switch. Guess we can file this decision as another one of the company’s extremely bizarre business moves.
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