Nintendo Switch Online may sometimes leave something to be desired with its online connectivity, but its library of nostalgic games from early Nintendo consoles really sweeten the deal. NES and SNES games can be hard to play nowadays, short of emulation, so Nintendo Switch Online offering a convenient way to play some of these consoles' top games on a Nintendo console is great. It seems like Nintendo sees further value in the idea too, considering the paid N64 and Sega Genesis expansion that it released for NSO in 2021. There's a lot of other consoles that could get similar expansions in the future, and Nintendo stands to gain a lot from any of them.
A Wii expansion for Nintendo Switch Online seems particularly lucrative, though, because the Switch and the Wii have a couple important things in common. Both of them are wildly popular in a way that few other Nintendo consoles have managed to achieve, and both of them experiment with motion controls in their own ways. Those special similarities make NSO the perfect platform for Wii games. While not every game from the Wii is easy to put on another console, there's plenty of classics from that era that would be valuable additions to NSO.
The Switch and the Wii's Similarities
Though Nintendo has plenty of consoles worth honoring on the Switch, from the GameCube to the Game Boy, the Wii is particularly worthy of acknowledgement. To date, the Wii is Nintendo's best-selling home console with over 100 million units sold, which also makes it one of the best-selling home consoles in the game industry. Nintendo's consoles are generally successful, but few even get close to 100 million sales. Nevertheless, the Switch has nearly managed it, and may do so before Nintendo retires it. Considering that inheritance of the Wii's massive sales, it'd be great to see Wii games on the Switch as a celebration of their mutually overwhelming success.
On the more practical side, Wii games deserve to join NSO simply because it may be hard to port Wii games to future consoles. The Wii was defined by its motion controls, and many games relied on player movement. For the most part, the game industry has moved away from motion controls on home consoles, leaving that technology to VR, but the Switch still has motion components in its Joy-Cons. Wii ports on future consoles without gyroscopes and motion detection would lose a lot of their unique mechanics, but the Switch can still emulate a lot of the special control schemes that defined Wii titles.
Bringing Wii Hits to the Switch
The Wii has more than enough successful titles that could make their way to Switch. Super Mario Galaxy seems like a logical game to revive in the wake of Super Mario Galaxy's appearance in Super Mario 3D All-Stars. Similarly, it'd be great to get The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on NSO now that Nintendo has successfully made a Switch version of Skyward Sword. Even the Wii Sports family of games like Wii Sports Resort could get a second life on the Switch since Nintendo has preserved Miis as its player avatar system. These games, alongside Mario Party 8, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Kirby's Epic Yarn, and tons of other Wii hits all seem like shoe-ins for a potential NSO expansion.
Admittedly, Wii games will probably be harder to port than N64 or SNES titles, simply by virtue of being more recent and therefore more complicated, but the work would be worth it in the end. There's a lot of nostalgia for the Wii out there, meaning fans would flock to a new Nintendo Switch Online expansion that focuses on Nintendo's revolutionary motion-based console. Because of the console's core concept, Wii games may only get harder to port in the future, so this former Nintendo star deserves priority in joining Nintendo Switch Online.
Nintendo will eventually have to make a console to succeed the Switch, but should it be modular too, or take a more traditional form?