A recent article by Eurogamer.net has been making the rounds lately. The article tells the story of how Nintendo potentially downloaded a ROM from the web and used it for the Super Mario Bros. game on the Wii Virtual Console. But while this is a possibility, Nintendo could possibly have done this, it’s rather unlikely. Nintendo, after all, has stored all of their games in their large data banks and there is no reason to download a game they have emulated on almost every console that exists. By all means, Nintendo is simply using the same technology shared by ROMs and hence the similarities in the file data.
Eurogamer explains when you utilize the “homebrew” program you can download the file onto a computer which can then be used to explore the data for the game. This is because Nintendo formats their data on a regular Wii in such a manner that unless you utilize “homebrew”, you won’t be able to do so normally. Once inside the file, you can find similarities from other ROMs inside, and especially one made for the iNes emulator from Marat Fayzullin. It’s easy to assume at this point that Nintendo stole the data from this file and used it for their purposes. Yet, if this were the case, what’s stopping them from doing it to other games and consoles? If Nintendo could easily download ROMs from the web, why is it that the Virtual Console gets such a low amount of games?
Some will think that it’s because Nintendo likes their trickle down method of releasing a few games per week, but I believe it’s because Nintendo has to rebuild these files in order to run on the current consoles themselves. If I was Nintendo and I knew this could be done, I’d be releasing games on a daily basis. After all, there are plenty of emulators available on the web. Hell, by this point, they could have released some GameCube games, which fans have been clamoring about for years. But Nintendo can’t even do that properly and we’re left with empty promises. It took this long (2017) to release Pokémon Snap and that game has had an emulator available for years.
All of this leaves us with a few possibilities. Either Nintendo did not care about that particular game (they did, though, since they could port it to a toaster and it would sell), or they are truly that inept. Emulator technology is going to be similar across the board as the article explains, it has to do so in order to trick the file into running as if it were on its original console. It’s true that gamers are starting to turn against Nintendo lately for their constant disconnect with the fanbase, but we have got to give them a break. They’re disconnected because that is how Nintendo normally operates. Nintendo will go off the walls trying new things until something sticks, but they’re terrible at changing their methodology. Yet, being a thief is not something Nintendo has been known for, and while re-selling the same games on each console can be considered highway robbery. It doesn’t qualify them as data thieves, at least not yet it doesn’t.