May 22, 2022

Could Game Boy Advance games be coming to the Nintendo Switch?

A new data leak has some intersting news on the state of Nintendo emulation. Could Game Boy Advance games be coming to the Nintendo Switch?

Just after we put our favourite emulators online, a new leak suggests Game Boy Advance games be coming to the Nintendo Switch online service. As always, take this with a pinch of salt, but a leak on 4Chan has provided code taken from the Switch of a Game Boy Advance emulator called Sloop and a Game Boy emulator called Hiyoko. Modders were able to get them working on modded consoles suggesting they may be near release ready.

We were recently lamenting the lack of steady emulation support from Nintendo with their closure of the Eshop on 3DS and Wii U which had some really great emulators for a lot of past Nintendo systems. Nintendo have now ‘switched’ to offering NES, SNES, N64 and Megadrive games via their yearly Switch Online membership. Though the last two systems need a separate subscription to play.

The emulators seem to have been developed by Nintendo of Europe’s NERD team. This handy acronym stands for Nintendo European Research & Development. This is the same team that did the emulation for the Classic Mini consoles and Super Mario 3D All-Stars.

Good emulation or bad emulation?

We’d say they hit it out of the park with the NES and SNES mini consoles but we aren’t as keen on the current N64 emulation on Switch. There is a lot analysis that suggests performance is below that of many free emulators already out there. To be fair to Nintendo, it seems they have since patched the emulators to work better. We’d also suspect that any new emulator would fall into the additional subscription as the N64 did.

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We aren’t going to knock any official method to play some wonderful games and we’d love to play a bit of Metroid Fusion on the Nintendo Switch. That said, we’d be lying if we didn’t find the Switch online initiative a let-down after the previous Virtual Console. Yes there are more than 100 titles available but that is still a drop in the ocean when it comes to those system’s libraries.

Could Game Boy Advance games be coming to the Nintendo Switch?

Anyway, we’ll file this under a big wait and see but so far, this seems like a legit find. We’ll update you all if and when the official nod drops!

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