Nintendo’s approach to getting NES and SNES classics on their Switch has been agonizingly slow to say the least. Ever since the Wii, Nintendo has had their 8 and 16 bit classics availble for purchase via the Virtual Console. They took their sweet time drip-feeding the games out, but most of the essentials eventually made their way to both Wii and Wii U.
Most assumed the Switch would launch with Virtual Console support, with the big question being if Nintendo would force a re-purchase of previously bought Virtual Console games, ask for a smaller ‘transfer’ fee, or perhaps go the Netflix route and offer a subscription fee to play their golden back catalogue.
Instead of a concrete Virtual Console plan, Nintendo was frustratingly silent on a timeline for playable classics. The NES Classic mini-console with built-in ROMS emerged as a slightly shady reason why Nintendo had no interest in you migrating the NES/SNES/N64 games you already purchased twice for the Wii and Wii U to the Switch. They’d rather have the market’s full attention on the gimmicky mini-console with hardware shortages that may or not have been planned.
Nintendo apparently won’t be selling you NES games for your Switch anytime soon, but based on investigation by Switchbrew.org, it appears the console is already setup with a working NES emulator, and at least one game: Golf (1985).
Knowledge of the working NES emulator has been out since this Summer, but it was originally considered to be a multi-NES-game emulator, rather than a specific program to only run Golf. The Golf-running emulator is called ‘Flog’ (‘Golf’ backwards).
Running a few kilobyte ROM from the ’80s on a Switch is hardly interesting, even if Nintendo hiding it can be perceived as anti-consumer. The interesting part however, is that Golf has several Switch feature built-in. Motion-controls appear to be included, as well as the ability to play two-players, each using a joy-con.
Although Golf/Flog has been uncovered using data-mining, no one has cracked the code to be able to actually run the program on a Switch. We’re assuming Nintendo VIP are able to have a local-multiplayer Golf party on their Switches, but – for now at least – the regular Switch owner will have to look elsewhere for NES ROMS and golf games for their hybrid portable.