The battle of who could care less (about a Game Boy Virtual Console)

So it seems that all of the rumors about Nintendo’s multimedia DS were true, and we now have the opportunity to buy yet another Nintendo handheld SKU. I simply can’t wait to fork over another $180 or so for one of these things.

So what’s new? Apparently we’re trading the GBA slot for a low-res camera, thus further ceding the handheld market to Japanese high school girls. But as compensation, Nintendo has finally given us an onboard memory solution via an SD memory card slot. Now we can transfer “DS Ware” (and hopefully Virtual Console) games to our DS. Sounds neat. People also seem to be taking this as virtual confirmed that we’re going to get a Game Boy channel for the Virtual Console now.

Cool. Bring it on, right?

Well, it seemed like a great idea for about an hour or so following the announcements. Then I realized that I still have two GBAs and about a dozen games lying around the house. Yeah, I’m probably in the minority, but I’m also pretty sure that there are more people who still have old GBA games than there are people with say, working Famicoms.

And therein lies the problem. Part of the appeal of the Virtual Console is getting the chance to discover long lost games for the Neo-Geo, TurboGrafx or, hey, the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. But the GBA is comparatively young, so there aren’t very many long lost GBA games around. Sure, there are a few isolated gems like Ninja Five-O, but the rest are either SNES ports or games that were done better on the Nintendo DS. About the only thing that the GBA has over the Nintendo DS right now is Metroid.

So then what about the original Game Boy and the Game Boy Color? Well, apart from a few games like Link’s Awakening, Battletoads, Wario Land and Tetris, the old Game Boy has aged really poorly. Most of those games were just barely passable back in the day, but we put up with them because, damnit, they were portable! Now they’re practically unplayable. Most of the time they were NES ports that you were better off playing on the home console anyway. Can’t say that I’m really aching for the chance to play Donkey Kong Land or anything

The new DSWare has the potential to host some good games, but it mostly seems to be Nintendo’s way of laying the groundwork for the next generation of the Nintendo DS, ala Xbox Live on the first Xbox. I’ll be keeping one eye on the releases, but something tells me that we won’t be seeing anything really interesting until we get a new Nintendo DS with onboard memory as a standard.

So I guess that the DSi isn’t as interesting as I even thought when I started writing this post. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to make do with playing my GBA games the old-fashioned way. Call me when Nintendo announces the DS-2.

18 thoughts on “The battle of who could care less (about a Game Boy Virtual Console)

  1. I know it’s cool to be so bored. But I’m looking forward to it, anyway. I’m a DS Phat owner, never bothered to get the Lite, so I’ll probably hold off and get the DSi.

    Whatever! And ever. Amen.

  2. The GBA had Drill Dozer and the original WarioWare, Inc.

    The Gameboy version of Donkey Kong is one of the finest puzzle pltformers to this day, so it would be nice if more people got to try that out.

  3. Well, okay, even if you are cool enough not to care about downloading handheld classics, there’s some appeal about brand new downloadable tiny games on the DS, right?

  4. Props for the Ben folds 5 title.

    I have to totally disagree with the post though. The gameboy and GBC had a great library of games and I cover lots of the best ones on Video Game Take-Out.

    You may not be excited about Donkey Kong Land, But Donkey Kong 94 is well worth your time. Don’t write the old gameboys off so quickly. There’s lots of fun to be had if you look.

  5. Hey! There are still some original game boy games that are still playable today! I still dust off my SP and play Megaman 4 and 5 from time to time.

  6. A perfect world would have a DSi VC with Wonderswan and Game Gear along for the ride. I actually thought the DSi was meant to rival the PSP with the added dongles.

  7. If there was a survey for this post, I’d have to check “Disagree Strongly.” Sure, the Game Boy had a huge library of awful, but there were quite a few gems. Mario Land 2: Legend of the Six Coins is, to this date, the best portable Mario game made… DS included. And I will argue with you to the death about that! But yea, there is one issue: most of the best Game Boy games were licensed titles.

    Also, Doraemon 2 on the GB was an amazing RPG-platformer.

  8. This is selling the device a tad short. Donkey Kong for the Gameboy is one of the best game Nintendo ever made, and it has Super Gameboy support. Other games like Mole Mania, all the great Mario sport portible titles, Golden Sun, etc are on the Gameboy brand. Those games shouldn’t be allowed to die without a fight.

  9. IMPOSTER. Ben1842 never ends a post without a lol.
    djSyndrome – 02 10 08 – 15:13

    Yeah that’s a bad habit of mine.

  10. More like, you put up with them because they were affordable and the Gameboy had decent battery life. Thing had barely been out a year when the Turboexpress popped it’s head out the door with a larger library of significantly better games. In color, compatible with your home console.

    Just crazy expensive.

    The Lynx was out the same year, just didn’t have any games, and the Game Gear was the following year as well. Honestly I can’t figure out why Game Boy worked.

  11. No, it’s mine! *Mine!*

    And anyway, are you really telling me that you would rather play Pokemon Red rather than… I dunno… Diamond or Platinum? :P

  12. @ Josh D: why on earth would you play Megaman 4 and 5 on a gameboy, when they weren’t even good on the NES to begin with?! ;)

    I’m not crazy about it either Kat, call me when someone calls you about the DS-2.
    I’m a Phat boy myself… and the only exciting thing about the DSi, you ask? The chance that it might make the DS Lite cheap enough for me to upgrade to a brighter screen… Yay! Meh.

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