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Why doesn't Nintendo release SNES- and N64-games for the virtual console of the 3DS?

Sep 3, 2006
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I love the possibility to download and play old favorites from the Gameboy on my 3DS, yet I don't understand why Nintendo as of now chooses to not release SNES- and N64-games via the Virtual Console.
What Nintendo currently offers isn't quite impressive, in my opinion.

The N3DS could certainly handle SNES-games and probably N64-games, too. The latest addition of the C-stick on the New3DS would make N64-games playable with a similar control like on the N64.
With the big success of rereleases like Ocarina of Time or Majora's Mask it has shown that lots of people are willing to buy these games and I wonder why Nintendo doesn't concentrate more on the option of the Virtual Console.

Imagine releases of Super Mario World, Yoshi's Island, Chrono Trigger, F-Zero etc. for SNES and Wave Race, 1080 Snowboarding, Turok and others.

This would be a gold mine for Nintendo.
 
Jan 18, 2013
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N64 is probably a stretch, but there is no reason for the lack of SNES games other than Nintendo doesn't want to.

This is the same company who won't sell us GBA games on 3DS either, so logic is out the window.
 

CertifiedFP

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Mar 25, 2013
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The 3DS supposedly can't handle doing Virtual Console of the GBA, what makes you think that SNES and N64 emulation is something it can handle if it can't do something as easy to emulate as the GBA?
 

Conor_Fool

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Nov 27, 2012
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Because that would just be too awesome. Sigh, it would be so incredible playing Earthbound on my 3DS. Or to get really crazy, if they made games like Snowboard Kids and Mario Kart 64 able to use at least local multiplayer.
 

TheMoon

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Jul 1, 2014
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This again.

Because the 3DS can't pull of N64 emulation. And proper support for SNES emulation also seems tricky at least for how they'd like to do it, otherwise I bet they would have done it long ago. I'm not gonna dig up comments from beril now where he talked a bit about this from the last time this was brought up.

Some games running doesn't mean all games would run.
 

lord_of_flood

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Sep 26, 2014
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It can't handle those. The 3DS can't actually emulate GBA games (it simulates a GBA in order to play the Ambassador games), so it'd be a huge stretch to think it could emulate the SNES or N64 (especially the N64).
 

Lyte Edge

All I got for the Vernal Equinox was this stupid tag
Jun 7, 2004
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The 3DS supposedly can't handle doing Virtual Console of the GBA, what makes you think that SNES and N64 emulation is something it can handle if it can't do something as easy to emulate as the GBA?
There are already GBA games on 3DS for ambassadors. Is the SNES more powerful than the GBA? I thought it was the other way around.

And wouldn't the N3DS be able to handle everything better?
 
Sep 26, 2013
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this will go against popular opinion but i would rather play my retro home console games on the newest home console and my retro handheld games on the newest handheld
 

NormalFish

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Aug 14, 2014
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There are already GBA games on 3DS for ambassadors. Is the SNES more powerful than the GBA? I thought it was the other way around.

And wouldn't the N3DS be able to handle everything better?
ambassador games essentially force the system in to DS mode and disable a bunch of features, IIRC.
 

James Scott

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May 24, 2014
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It likely can't handle N64, and making an N64 emulator for the New 3DS VC after how long it took to make a good one for the Wii U is probably not a great idea.
 

bennywhatever

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Feb 15, 2014
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SNES and N64 games would need actual "ports" to work on the 3DS. The architecture is just too different to emulate console games properly (outside of NES).
 

massoluk

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Dec 19, 2011
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but right now retro Nintendo games on 3DS aren't exactly rom dump on emulator, but rather remakes of the games for 3DS.
 

bigkrev

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Mar 12, 2009
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Considering the quality of emulation on the Club Nintendo games, they probably don't think they could get away with actually selling the games at the quality 3DS can do them at
 

Regiruler

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Jun 4, 2013
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but right now retro Nintendo games on 3DS aren't exactly rom dump on emulator, but rather remakes of the games for a 3DS.
Sort of. To my understanding it's literally playing a digital copy of the game, as if the DS was able to download gba games.
 

Mr-Joker

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Mar 7, 2013
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Why does Nintendo sell GBA games for Wii U but not for 3DS? Nintendo makes no sense.
Because they are going to continue with the Wii U architecture for both the home console and handheld so it makes little sense to waste time writing an emulation software for the 3DS if they are going to dump it.
 

Sephzilla

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Feb 13, 2013
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Because Nintendo makes a ton of really questionable decisions with everything that isn't making new first party games.

It is not strong enough for n64.
It can run a 3D remaster of Ocarina of Time but not the original Ocarina of Time?

I know there are other factors, i just wanted to say this because it sounded funny
 

Kawika

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Jun 20, 2014
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Because they're Nintendo.
I wish everyone would just read this whenever they ask a question about why Nintendo does what they do. One can't use logic to determine behavior you just have to think. "because they are Nintendo."

That said, OP. I wish GBA/SNES games were on the 3DS VC.
 

jholmes

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Jan 15, 2014
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I'm going to agree with the popular opinion that the N3DS probably can't quite do the N64.

As for the SNES, I personally think it's a real possibility, but it took Nintendo a long time to get the N64 on the Wii U so it might just be a matter of time. Getting Unity on the 3DS is likely the priority. Virtual Console sales on the 3DS also probably haven't set the world on fire, given how few NES games are on the system and how nothing has been released on the service on 3DS in months.

Seriously guys Nintendo wants you to buy a Wii U. It's not that they don't want your money, it's that they want you to spend it elsewhere. It's a good system, just go get it.
 

FLAguy954

Junior Member
Jan 27, 2012
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I truly believe that the main reason Nintendo has release most of their virtual console titles on the Wii U is to diversify it's library vs the 3DS.

I really don't agree with this (it is a dumb-ass business decision tbh) as the 3DS is obviously the bread-winner for Nintendo and there is more money to be had in focusing on the 3DS' digital library instead ala how Sony is focusing on their money maker (the PS4) vs the PS Vita.

Also this.
 

Boem

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Jun 16, 2012
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I'd pay good money to be able to play Super Metroid on my 3DS, but eh. Not gonna buy a WiiU though.
 

James Scott

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May 24, 2014
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Because Nintendo makes a ton of really questionable decisions with everything that isn't making new first party games.



It can run a 3D remaster of Ocarina of Time but not the original Ocarina of Time?

I know there are other factors, i just wanted to say this because it sounded funny
OoT 3D is a remake made for the 3DS an emulator allowing little work to re-release games (which is what the VC is) requires more power to do it correctly
 

Astral/H3X

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Aug 17, 2012
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Okay, here we go:

Virtual Console is emulation. IE, there is a software interpreter that does the running of the games. This is incredibly taxing on the hardware and resources. I think estimates that I've heard once, was that to get anywhere near "good" emulation, it's about 5x the resources.

The GBA isn't being emulated. The 3DS hardware natively is able to execute and run GBA binaries. There is no emulation. It takes advantage of the second processor in the system to be able to provide you with return to home menu functionality. In fact, if it WEREN'T for taht second processor, you'd have to shut the system totally down just to get back to Home.

The 3DS (dunno about New 3DS, but that's another story) cannot emulate the GBA quickly or accurately. Could it run a game? Sure. Would it be glitchy and run at less than fullspeed without a fuckton of hacks that ruin features in a lot of games? Definitely. I'm sure you can see how this is far from ideal.

The SNES is even more powerful than the GBA. Better sound chip, better GFX chip, better CPU, everything is basically just straight up better, particularly when it comes down to raw specs. Now, the GBA's CPU might be more modern, allowing it to do more things with a single clock etc, but that's doesn't mean jack shit when you're trying to emulate, since you pretty much have to emulate what the other machine did, ie, what it did in 3 clocks, you have to emulate those 3 clocks. So if the 3DS can't EMULATE the GBA, what makes you think it can emulate a beefier system?

The New 3DS MIGHT have the juice to emulate GBA games, but that's a moot point. Releasing them only for new 3DS would ruin goodwill, and fuck that.

EDIT: If you can't tell the difference in a straight up port from SNES to 3DS, from emulating it, you're fucking retarded.
 

Teggy

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Jul 2, 2007
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Playing GBA games on the Wii U gamepad is probably my favorite way to play a GBA game. So comfortable.

But it is odd that the DS could play GBA cartridges, and the 3DS can play DS cartridges, but the 3DS can't play GBA ROMs.
 

Somnid

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Aug 9, 2006
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Because it happens every thread:

There is a cost benefit ratio invisible to the average person that dictates what Nintendo does and does not do but just because we don't have access to it doesn't mean it doesn't exist or doesn't make a lot of sense.

Both are likely possible in some sense (I don't think perfectionism is really the right path to argue) but I'd imagine Nintendo's VC developers are tied up with Wii U at the moment because it's a boat that needs more help floating. And just as they came to Wii U they will probably wind down once a new priority arises.
 

Grief.exe

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Jul 11, 2012
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Playing GBA games on the Wii U gamepad is probably my favorite way to play a GBA game. So comfortable.

But it is odd that the DS could play GBA cartridges, and the 3DS can play DS cartridges, but the 3DS can't play GBA ROMs?
The Ambassador GBA games were running on the DS mode's GBA hardware emulation.
 

Rich!

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Dec 16, 2009
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Playing GBA games on the Wii U gamepad is probably my favorite way to play a GBA game. So comfortable.

But it is odd that the DS could play GBA cartridges, and the 3DS can play DS cartridges, but the 3DS can't play GBA ROMs?
The 3DS can play GBA roms using native hardware under GBA_FIRM. ROM injection exists for the VC ambassador games.
 
Feb 2, 2015
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Emulation takes a lot of processing power, especially when you want it to perform accurately or wish to implement particular features. The CPU in the 3DS is based on a mobile processor from 2001. It simply cannot handle emulation to the extent Nintendo wants.

As other posters have noted, the GBA games for the ambassador program are ports working off the inbuilt processing arcitecture; none of the 3DS features are enabled during this mode (e.g. Miiverse).

All I can say is, I'm sure Nintendo would like to port their classical games to the 3DS. However, until Nintendo is no longer held back by its implemented hardware (such as a new console comes out), we will not see any emulated / virtual console games for this system.