Nintendo 3DS

Pokémon Snap Could Lead To Gen 1 & 2 Games For Switch Online

Pokémon Snap is coming to Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack as the last of the announced Nintendo 64 games, and its presence on the service is an indicator that Pokémon RedBlue, and Yellow, as well as Pokémon GoldSilver, and Crystal could also arrive in the future. There is a lot of speculation surrounding Game Boy games coming to Nintendo Switch Online, as there have been numerous rumors regarding the addition of more systems to the service, and the handheld systems make the most sense for inclusion. It certainly seems more likely that Game Boy or Game Boy Advance games would arrive than GameCube games.


Nintendo Switch Online is the successor to the Virtual Console on the Wii, 3DS, and Wii U. Those who subscribe to the service will receive access to NES and SNES games, with the added bonuses of save states and online multiplayer in compatible games. The vast majority of the games on these apps are first-party titles or are lesser-known third-party titles Luckily, Nintendo has a jacked first-party roster of titles, which include some of the best games of the 8-bit and 16-bit eras.

Related: Legends: Arceus Gets New Lore-Friendly Poké Ball For Pokémon Home

If Nintendo brings Game Boy games to Nintendo Switch Online, then it needs to include some of the mainline Pokémon games, as they would add a ton of value to the service. Pokémon Red and Blue were the second biggest titles on the system (after Tetris) and they helped create the biggest multimedia franchise in the world. There is at least one Pokémon game confirmed for the Expansion Pack and it could lead to more Pokémon games arriving in the future.

The Myth Of Nintendo Owning Pokémon/Why It Would Prevent Games From Appearing On NSO

Every Classic Game Boy Pokemon Game Ranked Pokemon Yellow

Nintendo has added a ton of first-party games to Nintendo Switch Online, as it has full ownership over them, including games from the Super Mario Bros.MetroidF-Zero, and The Legend of Zelda franchises. It’s a surprisingly common belief that Nintendo owns the Pokémon franchise, but that’s not strictly true. The Pokémon franchise is owned by The Pokémon Company, which is an entity consisting of Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures. The fact that all of the mainline Pokémon games have appeared on Nintendo systems is what led to this belief, to the point where Nintendo’s stock increased during the early days of Pokémon Go, and it soon plummeted after Nintendo clarified its ownership status in a public statement.

The complicated ownership of the Pokémon franchise could lead to problems with the Pokémon games coming to Nintendo Switch Online in the future. Nintendo can’t just throw the games on the service in the same it can with the Super Mario Bros. games, and there’s a good reason to think this won’t be the case. The Pokémon Company as a whole would see more value in releasing the Gen 1 and Gen 2 Pokémon games as paid releases, as it did when Pokémon Red and Blue came to Nintendo 3DS on the Virtual Console. A paid Gen 1 or Gen 2 bundle with Pokémon Home compatibility and the ability to play/trade with others would sell a lot on the eShop and would have more value than throwing them on Nintendo Switch Online.

Pokémon Snap Is The First Confirmed Pokémon Game For NSO

Cover art of Pokémon snap featuring photo real and Gyarados, Pidgey, Pysduck, Pikachu, and more

The Nintendo Switch Online service has added games from the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo, while the Expansion Pack has added games from the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and Nintendo 64. This means there hasn’t been much of a litmus test for Pokémon content on the service, as the only Pokémon content on the Super Nintendo was a Japan-exclusive Picross title. The Nintendo 64 app will be receiving one Pokémon game, as Pokémon Snap was among the original titles announced for the service.

Related: Why Pokémon Legends Arceus Throws Out The Classic IV & EV Stat System

Pokémon Snap is a photography game, where the player travels around in an on-rails vehicle, as they attempt to take photos of wild Pokémon. There were five Pokémon games released for the Nintendo 64 and Pokémon Snap seems like the only one that’s worthwhile adding to the service, as Pokémon Puzzle League is just Panel de PonHey You, Pikachu! required a microphone peripheral, and the two Pokémon Stadium games were meant to be used in collaboration with the Game Boy games, even if they did have rental Pokémon and their own minigames. The fact that Pokémon Snap is coming to the service is a good sign that more Pokémon games could arrive in the future, but it’s not set in stone, as a game like Pokémon Snap wouldn’t hold the same value as a remaster/port of the Game Boy titles.

Pokémon Snap Will Give Way To A Game Boy Announcement

Nintendo has announced that Kirby 64 comes to Switch Online’s Expansion Pack in May, which leaves only Pokémon Snap as the last of the announced Expansion Pack games to arrive on the service. Nintendo has added one game a month to the service, which means that Pokémon Snap should arrive in June. This would dovetail nicely into the next Nintendo Direct, which will likely happen in June, assuming the company is joining the other companies in providing events over the Summer, even with the demise of E3. There has been a datamine of the Nintendo 64 app in the past, which confirmed that there are more games planned for the service in the future, so it’s highly unlikely that Pokémon Snap will be the final Nintendo 64 game added to the Expansion Pack.

Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa has said that Nintendo Switch Online will receive more updates in the future, giving fans hope that Game Boy and Game Boy Advance titles will be added to the service. There have also been rumors that code relating to the Nintendo 64 Transfer Pak has been found, and the main reason to include such a feature would be the Game Boy Pokémon games, and the Nintendo 64 Pokémon Stadium games. This is still speculation for the time being, as the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance leaks have yet to be verified, but it makes sense to add the Pokémon games to Nintendo Switch Online, even if it’s on the more expensive Expansion Pack, as it would be a huge draw for gamers to resubscribe to the service once their annual sub runs out.

Next: Pokémon GO Glitch Seemingly Spawns Dialga & Its Child

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