Nintendo is known for going after emulators and fan games based on its intellectual property. But for those that want to play Game Boy Advance games, it can be difficult to find a legitimate platform. If you don’t still have one of the portables (and don’t want to get involved in the pricey second-hand market), then you can only buy digital versions of Game Boy Advance games for the Wii U as part of the Virtual Console, the part of Nintendo’s digital store that sells classic games. The Wii U was so unpopular that Nintendo killed it in favor of the Switch. The Wii U’s eShop is still open, but the Wii’s version recently closed. The Wii U’s digital store will some day suffer the same fate.
And the Switch does not have a Virtual Console. It is getting classic games as part of its online subscription service, but that isn’t coming until September. And Nintendo has only confirmed Nintendo Entertainment System titles for it so far. The 3DS only ever gave out Game Boy Advance games as part of its Ambassador Program, which was an apology to early adopters of that console after the portable dropped its price shortly after launch.
Nintendo has the greatest back catalog of games in the world. The Game Boy Advance includes many of the company’s best games. People are going to want to play those titles. Nintendo has to make it easier for people to do so in a way that will profit the company.
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