13
Mar
2018

Sega Genesis Classics heading to consoles — but not the Switch

Sega Genesis Classics will bring more than 50 of the best known Sega Genesis games to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on May 29, Sega announced. But Nintendo Switch is distressingly excluded from that lineup, as many Sega fans are pointing out on the company’s Twitter. While demands for a Switch version of, uh, pretty much any game ever run rampant, it hurts that Sega Genesis Classics won’t hit the Nintendo system — especially with the Wii Shop Channel winding down and no Switch Virtual Console in sight.

The full list includes titles like Altered Beast, Phantasy Star 2,Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Streets of Rage and Toejam & Earl: all stone-cold classics, according to Polygon’s most hardcore Genesis nerds. (There are many more in the currently available PC version of Sega Genesis Classics, which will receive an upgrade on May 29 as well; that update will bring Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole to the set at no added cost to existing owners.)

The game will also include online and offline multiplayer for several games, as well as “graphic enhancement filters.” A horizontal flip mode will allow players to give any Sega Genesis classic a more challenging mirror mode.

Many of the most familiar of these games have been re-released time and again over the years, including in a handful of similar Sega compilations. But those have typically skipped Nintendo platforms for whatever reason; the 48 game-deep Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection from 2009 only launched on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, for example. That left many Nintendo console owners to seek out other ways to replay Sega gems. Thankfully, they got some help from Nintendo itself, courtesy of the Virtual Console.

A total of 73 Sega Genesis games are available on the North American Wii Shop Channel, which remains the only one of Nintendo’s digital marketplaces to sell titles from that console. Although individually buying the best games included in Sega’s own Genesis compilations was definitely pricier, it’s nice to know that Nintendo Wii and Wii U owners had their own option to rediscover the Genesis.

That’s about to change. Nintendo will stop selling Wii Points at the end of March, so customers will no longer be able to add funds to their accounts. Without any money — and Points are the only currency that matters on the Wii Shop — you can’t buy any games; no surprise there.

It’d be at least a little less of a bummer that there’s no Sega Genesis Classics on Switch if the Wii Shop weren’t about to push buyers away … or if, y’know, Nintendo had released a Virtual Console for Switch by now. But more than a year into the console’s lifespan, it seems less and less likely that Nintendo will bring back the beloved feature. Even if a Switch Virtual Console did arrive, who’s to say that Sega would even re-release Genesis games on the eShop?

All things considered, it’s easy to forgive modern Sega fans and Switch owners for port-begging.

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