Playing SEGA Mega Drive Games On Your Nintendo Console Still Feels Super Weird

The 'SEGA Mega Drive Classics' collection that previously released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, collecting over 50 titles from the 16-bit console's library of games, is out today for Nintendo Switch. And almost everything about that sentence still feels super weird to me.

SEGA versus Nintendo, Mega Drive versus Super Nintendo, was the gaming showdown of the 1990s - the decade where I really laid down my roots as a person who enjoys these flashing jumping pixel things on my tellybox. Such was the rivalry between the companies, and their mega-selling 16-bit systems, that they came to define the 'Console Wars', leading to a book and, soon, a TV series documenting the highs and lows of the competing brands.

I've gotten used to seeing SEGA games on Nintendo platforms, of course. Several Sonic titles have appeared on Wii, Wii U and Switch, as well as handhelds, and M2's amazing versions of Out Run and Streets of Rage 2 will be on my 3DS forever. Seriously, if you're not on those, get on those.

And now to have this many Mega Drive games, playable on the move, is brilliant, obviously... but also kind of baffling. The Switch will be two years old in March 2019, and while it's now home to a glittering treasure trove of 16-bit SEGA titles, where the heck are the SNES games?

To date, the Nintendo Switch Online service - which enables players to compete over the internet on titles like Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - has only featured NES-era games as bonuses for subscribers. Wario's Woods, Adventures of Lolo and Ninja Gaiden are the next offerings to be added, on 12 December.

A part of me had hoped that the 21 games that featured on the SNES Classic mini-console, which came out just over a year ago, would move over to the Switch eShop - both individually, and as a bundle retailing for a fraction of the Classic's cost (between £60 and £80 these days, depending on where you shop). But alas, no dice.

Previous Nintendo systems benefitted from a Virtual Console service, which supported games from the eras of the NES, SNES, Game Boy and more. It's how I've previously enjoyed SNES classics like Super Metroid and A Link to the Past on my commutes. But Nintendo has made its position on Virtual Console for Switch pretty darn clear: there isn't going to be one.

Or, is there? I mean, probably not. But Nintendo have told people to keep their eyes on The Game Awards (which take place tonight, 6 December, in Los Angeles) for new announcements. It could be that they're confirming Metroid Prime: Trilogy for Switch. That seems likely, given the current rumours flying about the place, and the small matter of Metroid Prime 4 being in development.

But... could Nintendo's mini-console successes have convinced them to do right by the SNES and finally bring all that 16-bit joy to the Switch? I would absolutely play the life out of Secret of Mana all over again, in handheld-mode bedtime sessions. And Earthbound. And Yoshi's Island. And Final Fantasy VI. And... you get the idea.

I'm not holding my breath. But it'd be a lot less weird to have a whole bunch of SNES games on the Switch, than it is a host of SEGA ones - which are great, by the way, obvs (I am over the moon to have so many childhood favourites on my current console of choice). Or maybe I'm too stuck in the past? What was that Principal Skinner meme, again? That. That.

Skinner Meme
Skinner Meme

Featured Image Credit: SEGA

Mike Diver

Head of Content at GAMINGbible.

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