News Article

Virtual Console Passes 10m Downloads Milestone

Posted by Damien McFerran

Nintendo has confirmed that its Virtual Console service has successfully recorded 10 million downloads in its opening year.

Nintendo Supremo Satoru Iwata revealed:

Virtual Console saw over ten million downloads by the end of last December. That's the total number of titles people paid to download. I think that selling over ten million classic games in that price range stands as proof that there are great possibilities with the download model.

Iwata was quick to point out that this didn’t mean that physical games were a thing of the past, although he was willing to admit that the future of videogames may ultimately rest with digital distribution:

Packaged games have a number of advantages. From the guarantee of a certain amount of sales volume to the firmly established buying habits and infrastructure that I think should be preserved in the future. But packaged games aren't a complete solution anymore. The cost of materials and distribution margins mean that there isn't much price flexibility, and there's always a risk with inventory. Plus the majority of a product's life span ends within a very short period after its release in the current market, such that titles can no longer compete for shelf space a month after their release.

Source: MVC.

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User Comments (45)



ChocoDK said:

Wow I wouldn't want to see packaged games go that would just suck. Anyways, thats amazing how much they sold the VC is really doing an excellent job.




If nintendo realizes we are buying so many vc games, you would figure they would also realize our wiis are running out of space. We need a solution and fast, Nintendo!



Waxxy said:

@gottheanswer: That's not a solution, in my opinion. If I want to kick back and play some Mario Bros just for kicks, I don't want to have to wait for it to download again before doing so. It'd be much nicer if I could just turn on my Wii and be playing it within a few seconds. I've gone ahead and bought a 2GB SD card so at least I don't have to download, but the transfer speed to and from it isn't much better. It's frankly ridiculous that I can't play my downloaded games directly off it. Hopefully Nintendo will do something about it sooner rather than later.



Damo said:

I honestly think that the success of the VC has caught Nintendo by surprise.

The small internal memory was obviously a cost-cutting measure and has allowed Nintendo to sell the Wii at a lower price than its rivals, but if the company could do it all over again I would be willing to bet that it would have given the Wii at least 1GB of internal storage, if not a small internal HDD.

With WiiWare on the horizon Nintendo will have to do something about this, and soon.



Grant said:

if nintendo does anything i think they will just make a simple external hdd that takes advantage of the 2 usb ports that hardly get used except to charge my ipod some times



AchubaNanoia said:

About packaged games... though myself I LOVE having a brand new game in a box, the truth is that gaming today is quite expensive... a new release here in Brazil costs around US$110,00... which means that I buy an average of 1 game every two months, and instead buy some used Wii games, or better yet, Gamecube games, which I can find for around US$ 9,99. The VC downloads though, aren't victim of my country's crazy tax system yet, which means it's actually pretty cheap!
That said, if they could make a way to download a full Wii game, like Mario Galaxy or Fifa 08 or something like that, not only would it be a lot cheaper for me, but would considerably reduce piracy around here... at least until they find a way to tax downloads .



Sharecrow said:

I can only focus on so many games at a time. I don't save downloads forever unless I am expecting to play it in the near future. I don't think I would ever have as many games going at once that I would run out of memory. That's just me, though....



ReZon said:

I know we can just delete the games, or move them to an SD card, though I think that is kind of annoying.

I would gladly pay for a external hard drive, or even if they let us just plug and play from the SD card or a flash drive would work.

By the way, if you delete the game, does it delete your save data? Can your save data only be copied to an SD card?



saturnkid said:

It is worrying that not a thing has been heard about extra storage space, although this is Nintendo so anything could appear at anytime, anywhere. VC persuaded me to buy a Wii more than the actual controllers "gimmick". Soon be VC update day!



I_T_I_R_I said:

Does anyone have any idea what the Xbox LIVE Arcade sales figures are, compared to the Virtual Consoles?



Stuffgamer1 said:

ReZon: Your save data should be saved separately from your channel data. Just check your Wii's memory. The save data should be listed along with you Wii disc-based game saves while the games themselves are under channels as normal. This is actually a small space-saving tip for those who don't know about it. If you delete a game you don't plan to play for a long time and you don't need to keep a file for it, check your save data and delete what you don't need. It's normally about 1-4 blocks per save data for VC games, but if you buy a lot of games, that memory can really add up! I hope this helps at least a little if some of you didn't know that.



whalleywhat said:

It seems like a memory solution is becoming more and more inevitable. Thank god. Don't worry fanboys, Nintendo will tell you what to think now and you'll forget all about the "fridge" analogy.



Toffeek said:

I've never seen it mentioned in a forum before but at some point at the end of the console (current generation) life, the shop channel will no longer be available, so the option to delete and re-download will not be available. So the need for some other form of storage is really a requirement rather than an option for all those that do not wish to lose a whole load of downloads and cash. The download/delete/download pattern is unworkable in the long term. Wazzy is right, playing directly of the sd card would be the easiest way to sort the problem - surely this could be achieved by some kind of software update?



SuperMichael64 said:

I doubt physical packaged video games will be a thing of the past, because we are limited to storage when it comes to downloaded games. But with real games it all depends on shelf room. And personally, I like to show of my collection of games. And p.s. I am 13 of those 10,000 downloads XD



Bass_X0 said:

Toffeek, I'm sure Nintendo will keep using the Shop with all their future consoles now. You could probably somehow send your downloaded games to the next console.



Kawaiipikachu said:

I bought 23 Virtual console games myself & storage is Pretty akward for mee .
I got an sd card for my Wii .
I even put some jpegs & acc's for use on my photo channel .



JaredJ said:

I would hate to see packaged games go. What if I wanted to take the game to a friends house to play? That would mean I would have to take the whole system. But, I guess that's what we have to do if we want to play our downloaded vc games at a friends house .



Nadroc516 said:

this is good news, im really glad virtual console is as popular as it is. its my favorite part about the wii



Edwin said:

This should be a hint to Nintendo that they should be releasing more than 1-2 games per week. It's a win-win situation: we get more games, they get more money.



Clayfrd said:

I think it is a long time before packaged games go off the market, particularly for the Wii. Way too many people don't have internet access.



konkerdoodle said:

Hey, this is awesome. I also have to say that maybe this landmark will cause Nintendo to start giving the Virtual Console better support. I personally don't mind the fact that they're scaling back the game output per week, but lately it's just been ridiculous.



jeractor said:

Congratulations to the success of Nintendo’s VC.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but in the US we have 199 games. This means that Monday will mark the 200th game released. It will most likely be another one-game day, but we should expect something worth downloading. I’m predicting “Kirby‘s Dream Land 3,” “Megaman,” or “Harvest Moon”.

Sadly, we are in desperate need of more storage space in our Wiis. With there being 200 games on the VC and considering how well it’s doing, Nintendo must be taking into consideration some solutions to this issue.



Kelvin said:

Ten million downloads is good, but I'd imagine things will slow down now we're down to one game a week!



slangman said:

Not much of a suprise since there are loads of great games like A link to the Past, Super Mario 64, Sonic 1,2,3 Streets of Rage, the list goes on. Heck i have about 20 games downloaded and i am struggling to download all those great games



E-dawg said:

I'm surprised Nintendo don't advertise the VC more often, it might make them some extra cash, plus a major reason I bought the Wii was for the VC.



Herandar said:

9 million Wiis, and 10 million VC games sold.

You can get a 1 TB HDD today for a couple hundred bucks. I don't see any reason Nintendo can't realease a smaller HDD for a reasonable price. Though based on the above numbers, I think the people that buy numerous VC games are a minority among all Wii owners.



Dan said:

they should invent a spicial memory card that plugs into the usb ports on your wii.that costs around £25 and holds enouth memory



Hangover said:

Oki.. Nintendo goes on 2 gig SD cards today.. And.. You can get a "SDHC" (Same card as SD) card today with 32 gigabyte!!

Ok.. If only Nintendo makes it possible (a firmware upgrade or something) to read a SDHC card... That should not be sooo hard to do.. =) Or??

And... Make it possible to play the games on the SD cards... 32 gigabyte.. Mmmmmmm.... Damo!! I'm Counting on You!!



Hexxen7 said:

you guys realize there not going to let you copy your game to a memory card and be able to play off it..for the simple fact that you could go to your friends house and copy the game to their system..would be easy to pirate vc games...unless they find a way to make it not possible to copy to another system I dont see that option becoming availble...external HD, possibly



Hangover said:

The games is already attached to your serial number on the console.. It dos not work if you take the memory card to a friend to play.. I don't want an External Hard drive lie around the console.. sooo clumsy.. Cheap memory but.. No.. I'll stay to the memory card.. And if they make it possible to play the games on the SD card and with the SD"HC" or also known as "SD 2.0 format" and 32 gigabyte memory.. I'll be satisfied.. =) If they don't release xbox or Sega Saturn games on the wii..

I wonder.. If my console don't start no more, and i buy a new one.. How do i get my games on the new one.. Or if nintendo comes out with a new console.. Humm..



strenny said:

I read a review on amazon saying that someone had a broken wii console which has been send in to nintendo. Ultimately, this person got a brandnew console directly from nintendo and voila: all his vc games + save stats were on it



Rapadash6 said:

Hmm, the Virtual Console is a huge success so in response Nintendo decides to release LESS games each week... what the hell kind of business sense is that?



PrizePig said:

I have put MORE money in VC downloads than the price I paid for my Wii!!! ($350 on eBay)



Link_O_Fett said:

Hopefully this popularity will help us get Dreamcast and maybe Playstation titles on the upcoming WiiWare and maybe a couple of new VC systems.



donx998 said:

i wish they would make a worldwide virtual wii storage system that had lots of storage so you could store all your wii stuff on there and of course it will cost money because if it doesnt there will be less room



donx998 said:

@ttfp lol seriously what are they on sony already has there own vc its called playstation network same this as vc but only playstation titels

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