On March 27th, the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS eShops will be decommissioned, officially bringing a close to the previous era of Big N's platforms.Sure, the Switch may have become a mainstream success for the fans of the brand and the company, and while the Wii U was a comercial failure due to poor marketing and lack third party support, it's rather callous that the entirety of its digital storefront will go up in smoke. Unless you've bought everything you wanted, all of these first and third party games, and independent games released by small studios, will cease to exist. This adds up to over a thousand video games that will go up in smoke, never to be seen again.
Enter YouTube personality Jirard Khalil, known as Jirard the Completionist, a content creator who, as his name infers, completes video games to the fullest extent. With digital game preservation hanging in the balance since the announcement was made a year ago from Nintendo, Jirard and his staff took an entire year to gather supplies and resources to purchase the entire digital libraries for both the 3DS and the Wii U eshops, which includes all 866 Wii U games, all 1547 3DS games, as well as DSiWare, Virtual Console, and all the DLC.
Jirard makes it clear that his intent is to preserve these titles through emulation, so they can be enjoyed beyond their original means to access them. The process, as cataloged by Jirard and crew, proved to be time-consuming, expensive, and very stressful, namely for the cumbersome 3DS, which has an archaic search feature when looking for DLC for any given game.
While the Nintendo Switch Online Service provides moderate access for game streaming, and it's gotten better over the years, for a library as rich as the 3DS to simply disappear with no official effort from Nintendo themselves to backlog any of these games for consumers says a lot about how the state of game preservation is far off the radar for the major developers. Even though Game Pass is the best structured deal from a top publisher, games come and go on the service, so even that isn't a certainty. In over 40 years of electronic gaming, only a fraction of it has been captured for public access.
Video game emulation remains the purest means for fans of any era to have access to titles that will fade into obscurity with the passage of time. To learn more about video game preservation, visit the Video Game History Foundation.
SOURCE: Jirard The Completionist
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