Nintendo is reportedly set to bring Game Boy and Game Boy Color games to Switch Online.
If you’ve got a favorite game or two from the Game Boy or Game Boy Color era, there’s a good chance you might be seeing some of those titles in the Nintendo Switch Online catalog soon. Multiple reports have been shared online this week, suggesting that Nintendo will indeed be adding these Game Boy and Game Boy Color games to the online platform, though specifics on which games will be added haven’t been shared yet.
Game Boy Era will be Online.
Nintendo may be finally ready to bring its storied handheld gaming library to the Nintendo Switch — Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles will soon join the 100-plus NES and SNES games that it offers via its Switch Online subscription service, according to rumors from the “Nate the Hate” podcast, corroborated by Nintendo Life on Tuesday and now again on Friday by Eurogamer. But, of course, it’s not every day we see a Nintendo rumor that strong.
There’s no word on which titles might arrive, and I wouldn’t necessarily expect your favorites to be among them, particularly to start. Nintendo has curated its NES and SNES libraries for Switch very slowly. Some of them are pretty deep cuts, and many titles like Earthbound, Chrono Trigger, and Super Mario RPG are still MIA two years later.
But it makes a lot of sense that Nintendo would ramp up more classic content, particularly now that the Switch is well into its life and Nintendo is watching its competitors capitalize on remakes, remasters, and next-gen patches that make older games look better and give their new consoles some extra life.
For a while, we were wondering if Nintendo would continue going down the NES Classic and SNES Classic route, releasing cute limited-edition miniature USB versions of its Game Boy or Nintendo 64 with preloaded games on board, too. But the Game Boy’s 30th anniversary came and went without a miniature Game Boy, and now we’re in the midst of a global chip shortage. I’d love to see more opportunities to let new gamers in on old classics, and not just in terms of remakes like Link’s Awakening(originally on Game Boy, Game Boy Color).
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Here’s hoping for Game Boy Advance, too, because folks playing the new Metroid Dread deserve to play its amazing prequel Metroid Fusion, and some of the best Fire Emblem games ever made came out there. Oh, and Golden Sun. Eurogamer does say other consoles beyond Game Boy and Game Boy Color may be “on the cards.”
The Bottom Line
Whispers about the addition of Game Boy games started swirling earlier this week on an episode of the Nate the Hate podcast. On Tuesday, Nintendo Life, citing its own sources, corroborated the podcast’s report. And then, this morning, Eurogamer corroborated Nintendo Life’s corroboration of the report. So, yeah, it seems pretty likely we’ll be playing some original Game Boy games via the Switch as soon as this month.
Adding original Game Boy games to the Switch Online catalog is a natural next step for the service. Originally, it started with just a handful of NES games. Over the years, it added more games from that platform, and then, in 2019, added a bunch from the SNES. The service turns three years old on September 18.
It all stems from a data mine dating back to 2019 – which revealed four emulators inside Nintendo’s NES app. While the purpose of the remaining emulators still hasn’t been revealed, both Nate and his co-host ‘MVG’ believe the third one, ‘Hiyoko,’ is likely for “Game Boy and Game Boy Color” titles.
Nintendo Life has also confirmed with its own sources that Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles are likely coming to the Switch Online service “really soon.”
The same insider is far less optimistic about Game Boy Advance titles arriving on the paid online service shortly – noting how several companies are currently working on re-releases, including Nintendo, who has the Advance Wars remaster coming out this December. We’ve also not heard anything about Game Boy Advance titles being included in this update.
So, by my math, if Nintendo continues to go down the line of its hardware chronologically, it’ll only be…76 more years until I can play Kirby Air Ride on my Switch. Hey, who knows! By then, maybe I’ll be playing it on the 4K Switch.