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Don't sell that NES Classic: Nintendo Switch won't support Virtual Console at launch

Why it matters to you

If you were waiting to play Earthbound on your Switch on March 3, you're going to have to wait a little longer.

The Nintendo Switch will support a library of classic games through the Virtual Console, giving players the opportunity to play titles from the NES, SNES, and possibly even the GameCube, but the feature is apparently not going to be ready on March 3.

Nintendo made the announcement in a press release this morning, saying that Virtual Console games “will not be available on Nintendo Switch at launch” and that it would offer more specifics on the system later.

Nintendo has been remarkably silent regarding the Virtual Console system thus far. It’s still unclear if players will have to pay an upgrade fee in order to access previously purchased games on the Switch, or if they’ll be forced to purchase them again entirely. We do know that purchases will now be tied to users’ Nintendo Accounts rather than their Switch consoles, which should make the transferring process less painful. Any funds users previously had in their Nintendo Accounts’ wallets will also be accessible on the Switch right away, provided that they have linked their Nintendo Account and Nintendo Network ID.

More: Report: Nintendo Switch to support GameCube through Virtual Console

Much like the systems used by Xbox and PlayStation, Switch owners won’t have to purchase eShop games directly on the console in order to play them. Games can now be ordered via Nintendo’s website so they can automatically download to the Switch, provided there is a Wi-Fi connection.

In addition to the AAA releases launching alongside the Switch like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and 1-2 Switch, we now also know that three indie eShop games will be available on March 3. Racing game FAST RMX as well as Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment and the compilation Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove — which bundles Specter of Torment with all previous content — will be available to purchase on launch day. More information on the Switch’s lineup of independent games will be revealed during a special “Nindies Showcase” on February 28 at noon ET.

The Nintendo Switch launches on March 3.