Nintendo's retro Switch Online changes could be controversial

Earlier this week, the latest Nintendo Direct premiered, and within its 40-minute runtime was a surprise announcement: Nintendo revealed that it was bringing Super Nintendo games to Switch Online. The first batch of games went live yesterday and includes such classics as Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Super Mario Kart. Unfortunately, it appears that we won't see SNES games released with the same frequency as NES games.

From launch, Nintendo has offered a collection of NES games to Switch Online subscribers at no extra cost. After the initial group of those NES games went live, Nintendo then released new ones on a monthly basis – typically two or three per month. With Super Nintendo games, Nintendo is switching it up a little bit, deciding to drop the monthly release schedule.

Nintendo revealed this in a statement to Business Insider. "More Super NES games will be added after launch, but those releases will not adhere to a regular schedule," a Nintendo representative said. This applies to NES games too – while Nintendo has plans to release more NES games as time goes on, we won't necessarily see monthly releases anymore.

It isn't really a surprise to see Nintendo change up its release schedule for the retro games included with Switch Online. Following that monthly release schedule meant that it burned through most notable NES games pretty quickly, which is something that likely sparked the decision to launch SNES games. The company is probably trying to avoid moving through the SNES library too quickly as well.

On the other hand, Nintendo only said that it won't stick to a regular schedule – it didn't specifically say anything about releasing these retro games slower. With that in mind, it's possible we could see some SNES and NES games launch within weeks of each other, but that seems unlikely. We'll see how quickly Nintendo manages to pad out the SNES library, but it sounds like it'll take its time in doing so.