While there are many debates on whether or not people should play emulated games there is one thing that is widely agreed upon: emulators do not support the creators of the game.
(What I Saw 2.0 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Recently Nintendo decided to stop support for eshop on the Wii U and 3DS platforms. This action made the games on the eshop unable to be purchased and re-downloaded, even if a player had already bought a particular game. The Video Game History Foundation, a non-profit aiming to protect the lifespan of video games, had much to say on Nintendo’s decision. Although they understand the business perspective from Nintendo in stoping the eshop from further purchases they stated, “preventing institutional work to preserve these titles on top of that is actively destructive to video game history.”
Nintendo’s comments on the removal of the eshop for the WiiU and 3DS platforms was simple, “This is part of the natural lifecycle for any product line as it becomes less used by consumers over time.” While the company noted that the Nintendo Switch Online Membership shows much promise in allowing for many players access to retro games, there is still a much bigger problem with Nintendo’s decision.
Since the release of the Nintendo Switch, many players have opted to utilize the Switch’s eshop to purchase digital copies of their favorite games and have moved away from physical copies of games. While physical copies of games have started to decline in popularity due to copies being easily accessed through online shops, Nintendo’s move in eliminating older e-shops may show a rise in physical copy ownership. Many have also noted the inability to sell back a digital copy of a game after playing as you can do with a physical copy, and not having to worry about packaging and cartridges, yet having to pay the same price.
For more information on the work being done to preserve the history of video games, head to The Video Game History Foundation. To read more about Nintendo’s move to eliminate the e-shop for the Wii U and 3DS, head to Nintendo Announces Closure of Wii U and 3DS eShop.