EDIT: Looks like this is in filter code that is shared between all systems, and has likely been this way since the launch of the Switch.
Making the rounds on YouTube today is the discovery of a JSON file and references to “vcs” and “vc,” with “nes,” “snes,” “gb,” “gbc,” “n64,” “gba,” “ds,” and “other” referenced inside of it. A lot of it is people talking about Virtual Console possibly making a comeback. This was both exciting and worrying to me – excited that maybe the Virtual Console is coming, but very worrying that it is misleading, because ALL signs point to Nintendo not even remotely interested in the Virtual Console.
So I had to take a look myself; I went to the tweet and found a follow up tweet that contained the file location. With that, I downloaded the file and reformatted it in Visual Studio. Also thanks to Visual Studio, I can collapse sections and look at the structure.
The result is that I have some bad news for people wanting this to be the Virtual Console: Sorry, it isn’t.
When I collapse everything, it looks like this:
The reference to “vcs” is in the “filter” section, in line 186. Here is the section itself:
Here are the sections surrounding the “vcs” section:
While it is unlikely that this is confirmation of any sort of Virtual Console, this could be Nintendo preparing to roll out new filters for their e-shop, including the ability for third party publishers to mark their games as formerly on the Virtual Console of Nintendo’s previous systems. (see edit at top of article)
But for anybody expecting a Virtual Console: Sorry – that’s not likely. Nintendo has said they have no plans, and the existence of a Virtual Console would immediately call into question why they even bothered to release the NES games on the Switch as a part of their online service right before putting them into a Virtual Console. It just doesn’t make sense.