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Nintendo Is Already Coming After The Steam Deck

The Steam Deck has officially launched, receiving high praise from critics and influencers for its mobility and performance. It has also been praised as an excellent emulation machine, letting people run games from older systems with ease. While fans who missed out on pre-orders might have to wait a bit before getting one, the people who do have one seem to be enjoying it. People have been sharing images and videos of emulation online, praising their newfound access to older titles. This has drawn the ire of one video game company, notorious for being extremely anti-emulation.

That company is, of course, Nintendo. User dex2108 on ResetEra shared that a video made by Phawx on YouTube showing how to get Nintendo Switch emulation running on Switch was taken down due to a copyright claim. Later in the thread, someone showed that Phawx's video showing how to emulate the Nintendo GameCube was also taken down. While it is understandable that Nintendo wouldn't want people emulating its current console on what could be viewed as a competing device, taking down videos related to GameCube emulation shows Nintendo's continued shadiness when it comes to emulation. Here's why fans think this behavior is a problem.

Nintendo refuses to promote game preservation

Nintendo recently announced that it would be shutting down the online stores for the Nintendo 3DS and WiiU. While this is a normal thing to do for older consoles' online stores, many of the virtual console offerings available through those stores aren't available on Switch, and Nintendo said it has no plans to offer them for sale. Instead of offering them, Nintendo is drip feeding titles to its Nintendo Switch Online Service, so fans have no say over which games they get and can't own the games themselves, which fans aren't happy about. If Nintendo chose to take a game off the service, people simply wouldn't be able to access it.

One Redditor explained that Nintendo's choice to discontinue some of its online storefronts could mean that many games are lost to the proverbial sands of time, with no way for future players to enjoy them. In this case, emulation becomes an issue of game preservation, and Nintendo has not yet provided a way for gamers to adequately preserve most titles. Emulation is technically legal, but where people usually get into trouble is that instead of emulating copies of games they already own (which is legal to do,) they end up downloading ROMs of these titles off the internet, which is when it becomes piracy. So while taking down videos showing Nintendo Switch emulation is understandable, Nintendo should be okay with people emulating older systems like the GameCube. There are very few GameCube games available on the Nintendo Switch and one of the only ones Nintendo themselves published, "Super Mario Sunshine," was only available as part of a limited-time package. As someone in the ResetEra thread pointed out, Nintendo is one of the most proactive video game companies when it comes to taking down emulators and ROMS.