The Switch is basically a Game Boy Classic
By now you’ve most probably finished reliving the magic of Link’s Awakening. Bloody good wasn’t it? If you’re still yet to pick it up then let me assure you you’re in for a nostalgic treat. Nintendo may even get round to patching it one of these days so it runs properly.
The Switch feels like it has been targeted from day one at bringing back lapsed Nintendo fans with the promise of the games they enjoyed as a child now reinvented and on a platform designed to fit in to their busy lives.
Taking a broader view, the NES and SNES Classic Minis were designed to appeal to this same demographic. What 30-something can resist the charms of having a miniature box that encapsulates so many happy memories from their childhood sat under the TV or on a shelf, a comforting reminder of simpler times? Look, Nintendo know exactly what they’re doing is my point.
When the NES mini was swiftly followed up by the SNES mini, most of us assumed more mini consoles would follow. Would an N64 follow with its batshit crazy controller and blurry graphics we all remember as much being much better than they really were? (Seriously go back and play them now, they are almost comically ugly. Doesn’t mean they’re not great games still though.)
So how about a Game Boy Classic? A re-release with the cream of the library built in, a decent battery and backlit screen? Well the point of this article is to deliver some bad news… I think there’s no chance we’ll ever see such a device. But hear me out; it’s probably a good thing.
Creating a device with a screen and battery requires much more effort than the simple NES and SNES would have done. More importantly though, I think Nintendo have looked at the library and concluded that the Game Boy’s games just wouldn’t have enough mass-appeal these days. These were simple games even back then.
Instead, Nintendo has taken a different and in my opinion far better approach of remaking the best of the Game Boy’s library. Think about it, we already have remakes of Link’s Awakening, Tetris and Pokémon Red and Blue, officially the Game Boy’s best games (don’t @ me).
Remaking these games gives players a far more modern way to play them, whilst still scratching all those nostalgic itches we all have. Every year or so, Nintendo can revisit the archive and pull out a new game for the same treatment. So we don’t need a Game Boy Classic as the Switch already does the job better than it ever could.
Don’t get me wrong, a Game Boy Classic would be a wonderful thing to behold. But it would be a novelty device. Instead, Link’s Awakening on Switch is one of Nintendo’s biggest games of the year (probably only to be beaten by Pokémon Sword and Shield, another pair of Game Boy descendents).
Basically what I’m saying is; look forward to the remake of Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins next year.