Arcade Donkey Kong re-released for first time on Nintendo SwitchJune 15, 2018
The arcade version of Donkey Kong is a pretty big deal in retro gaming circles, as seen in the classic documentary King of Kong. Until today, though, it was impossible to legally acquire or sell an arcade-perfect version of the game without tracking down an actual arcade cabinet, reportedly due to complex legal issues over authorship of the code. Now those issues appear to have been resolved: Nintendo just put out Donkey Kong on the Switch for $7.99 through its Arcade Archives series.
This Donkey Kong release actually contains three versions of the game: the Japanese original, the more common updated Japanese version with bug fixes, and the international version. You can rotate the Switch 90 degrees to play with a vertical screen layout, mirroring the arcade cabinet.
Donkey Kong’s cut-down NES version has been released for various platforms, of course, and Rare went as far as to rebuild the arcade version from entirely new code so that it could be included in Donkey Kong 64 without legal trouble. But you weren’t really playing the original Donkey Kong — the game that introduced Mario to the world — and now you can.
Nintendo also announced that it’ll be releasing an Arcade Archives version of the long-lost Sky Skipper next month. Sky Skipper never saw a formal arcade release beyond some scattered location testing in 1981, and Nintendo had to extract the ROM from the only known original arcade cabinet still in existence.