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Game Theory

Nintendo leak hints at a wild Switch Online reveal

Is it time to get retro?

SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

A series of leaks ahead of a Nintendo Direct event on Thursday, September 23 could allude to some big changes coming to Switch Online.

Nintendo of Japan representatives recently filed paperwork with the FCC for a new controller, prompting online speculation from Nintendo watchers that Game Boy/Game Boy Advance, GameCube, or Nintendo 64 games could come to the company’s Switch Online retro game subscription service.‌‌

Nintendo leaker Samus Hunter points out this controller filing isn’t for a new Joy-Con or Pro Controller, as it lacks the NFC support common in wireless controllers. Nor is it a new accessory for Mario Kart Live Tour, since it doesn’t have Wi-Fi. So what could this thing be? And what does is existence mean?

In 2019, Nintendo released a wireless SNES controller for the Switch. This coincided with the launch of SNES games on Nintendo Switch Online. That means it’s possible the upcoming controller could line up with the addition of even more retro classics on the handheld hybrid. Here are a few retro consoles Nintendo could be bringing to Switch Online.

3. Nintendo 64

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  • CaptionBanjo-Kazooie is a fan-favorite N64 game.‌

The new device could very well be a wireless Nintendo 64 controller, taking us all back to the ‘90s — without having to make a trip to Blockbuster!

Nintendo 64 games are highly regarded, with many of them bringing back fond memories of the past. The platform radiates nostalgia, and would be right at home on Nintendo Switch. Certain games like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, its sequel Majora’s Mask, along with Star Fox 64, Paper Mario, GoldenEye 007, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, and Banjo-Kazooie are all beloved classics we’d love to see on Switch.

One of the cool things about Nintendo Switch Online is the way it handles multiplayer functionality with classic games. Many SNES titles like Super Mario World and Super Mario Kart have been updated to include online functionality on Nintendo Switch, so why not implement that with N64 games, as well? It would be a blast to relive the sleepless nights of battling it out in GoldenEye 007 or Perfect Dark.

If Nintendo is planning on bringing N64 games to Switch, what better way to kick things off than with a brand new controller to match?

2. Game Boy and Game Boy Advance

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  • AltMetroid Fusion
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  • CaptionThere is no easy way to play Metroid Fusion on modern hardware. But that could be about to change.‌

What if the new piece of hardware is modeled after the Game Boy or Game Boy Advance? This would certainly put us in the mood to enjoy some of the company’s most beloved games.

Timing a Game Boy Advance themed controller around the launch of GBA games on Switch would only make sense, right? It’s a missed opportunity we can’t play these classics on Switch, especially since most of them are difficult to acquire these days.

Aside from the exorbitant cost to get your hands on some of the best Game Boy titles like Pokémon Red and Blue, Link’s Awakening, and others, most of these games are simply not playable on modern hardware. That’s why players resorted to hooking up a Wii U to get their hands on games like Metroid Fusion, which isn’t available on a current gaming device (at least not legally).

Having a wireless Game Boy or Game Boy Advance controller to use on Switch would be a way to celebrate Nintendo’s best games.

1. GameCube

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  • AltMetal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
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  • CaptionMetal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes is stranded on the GameCube.‌

A less likely, but equally as desirable announcement could be centered around the GameCube and a controller to match. Nintendo knows how beloved the GameCube is, as evidenced by the re-release of that system’s controllers alongside Super Smash Bros. for Wii U in 2014. The GameCube controller is fondly remembered, so it would certainly make sense to see it return — possibly in wireless format — for Switch. Maybe even a WaveBird?

Can you imagine being able to play that system’s best games with a GameCube controller on Switch? It would be a dream come true for some, especially since much of its library is also hard to get ahold of in 2021.

The Metroid Prime games would be fantastic editions to the Nintendo Switch Online catalog, along with Mario Kart: Double Dash, Pikmin, and Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. These are just some of the examples of GameCube titles we’d love to see on Nintendo Switch, which could be in the pipeline if this supposed controller is any indication.

We’ll find out during the September 23 Nintendo Direct at 6 p.m. Eastern.

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