News Article

Talking Point: The Wii U Virtual Console Has Started, But Not With a Bang

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Oh for the days of that Revolution reveal

The Wii U Virtual Console is well and truly up and running, which its greatest supporters will say is a more-than-welcome boost of old-school goodies to fill out the Wii U lineup, and the greatest cynics may say it's another example of Nintendo mastering the art of selling very old rope. Based on the service's launch, there's probably merit to both sides of the argument, but we feel confident in saying one thing for certain — it certainly hasn't enjoyed the same buzz that we saw with the Wii Virtual Console.

Back when the Wii was still called the Revolution — which some still wish had been the actual name of the system — the promise of the Virtual Console was a genuinely exciting new idea. Prior to the announcement games from the good old days had become a preserve mainly of collectors, and would be played by those still happily hooking up these old systems to whatever spare TVs were handy. There'd be the odd remake, and there was always the potentially iffy practice of downloading ROMS — which can prompt never-ending debates — but generally there weren't fully authorised, convenient solutions.

The Wii Virtual Console changed that, and not only introduced a new audience to past generation classics but served as a useful new source for retro enthusiasts to build a new download collection. While pricing has been a regular source of contention, the service has provided an official and licensed way to gather these ROMS, with hardware specific features and controller support. It's also delivered key titles from old rival systems including the SEGA Mega Drive / Genesis and even others such as the Commodore 64; Hanabi releases also brought titles to the West that were previously Japan-only, which at just 100 extra Nintendo Points served as treats to those that hadn't been living the life as importers in the '90s.

Largely, then, the Wii Virtual Console has delivered as a fairly substantial, attractive collection of retro titles, and laid the groundwork that prompted us to recently write about the importance of the Virtual Console moving forward, on 3DS and particularly on the Wii U. The 3DS service has given us portable NES games for the first time, while delivering a modest range of Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles, while the Wii U service has arrived to give current owners some new content to enjoy with system extras such as off-TV play and Miiverse integration.

Those two features are nice, and go some way to make the latest VC's launch a fun and, yes, exciting occasion for many — check out the Super Mario World Miiverse community to see just how much Nintendo gamers love revisiting that classic on their new hardware. And yet, our contention is that the Wii U Virtual Console launch, despite the obvious excitement it brought on the back of the recent system update, has been modest — it wanted to be a brash fireworks display, with sizzle reels released by Nintendo to herald its arrival, but the show has fizzled out because of light rain and cloud cover.

There are two primary reasons, we feel, that explain why this Wii U VC launch doesn't have the buzz of its Wii equivalent: it's now the third Virtual Console so the concept is relatively old hat, but there's also a lack of fresh games. We appreciate that talking about fresh VC games is an oxymoron, but our point is that of the launch lineup, we've seen them all before. Heck, in the case of Mega Man our review tagline was as follows — "Fight, Mega Man, for everlasting re-release!". After all, we'd sampled its delights on Wii, then 3DS, and now Wii U. Even for those that haven't had the triple treatment, all of the games we've seen so far — from NES and SNES — have graced the original Virtual Console.

We've little doubt this will be resolved during 2013 and, hopefully, it won't be too late in the year before the promised Game Boy Advance titles arrive alongside Wii VC veterans from the Nintendo 64. The Game Boy Advance choice as a fresh platform is an interesting one, as 3DS ambassadors have already enjoyed ten GBA titles on the portable, so quite why the handheld isn't being revived on that system at the moment is for Nintendo to answer. There are question marks over other platforms, however, and we wonder whether Wii VC mainstays like Neo Geo and TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine will make the move to the new platform.

The biggest question mark hangs over the GameCube, of course. The Wii offered GameCube backward compatibility with the VC going up to the N64, so logically the Wii U's ability to play Wii games will be accompanied by GameCube titles on the eShop service. After encouraging noises and hints before the system launched, however, all has been quiet on that front. It may come with time — not all of the original services' platforms were there at launch, or even in the first year — but its absence may be a source of lingering disappointment for some.

It should be noted that Virtual Console games don't just happen — they're not ROMS casually dumped onto a server. For each release legwork is required, in areas such as producing digital manuals, integrating the code into the Wii U infrastructure and applying compatibility with the GamePad, other controllers and Miiverse. In that sense the slow and steady drip-feed of well-worn releases is to be expected, and we're also yet to see whether third parties are as enthusiastic about doing the work as they arguably were on the Wii; Capcom has thankfully stepped in to promise some SNES goodies. Despite all of this, the absence of any new titles in the launch lineup seems like a pity, at least from a veteran Nintendo gamer's perspective; we suspect most that currently own a Wii U — there are less than four million in the wild at this stage — fall into that 'veteran' category. The unique selling point right now is all about the GamePad and Miiverse, while Earthbound is one of the few — maybe the only — juicy new VC experience that we definitively know about so far.

There's one other minor complaint to highlight, as we're taking a look at the Wii U VC's early days — the implementation of the "upgrade" pricing. Unfortunately the Wii U eShop doesn't simply look at your Club Nintendo account (which is linked) to determine whether you bought a game on Wii, but checks for data that you've transferred from the old system. That means if you've still got your Wii rigged up to a TV and haven't committed to wiping it clean to transfer to Wii U, you can't claim the discounted rate. In theory this prevents a risk of someone flogging a Wii packed with games and claiming cheaper VC downloads on Wii U, but that's a paranoid perspective that penalises — or at least inconveniences — a number of gamers to stop a minority that would try and make a quick buck. In an era of data and user information being "in the cloud" and easy to move around on other devices, that seems a little archaic.

Overall, we suspect many are happy that the Wii U Virtual Console is finally here and giving a slight twist on the experience, while Europeans may simply be giddy at having 60Hz versions at long last. Perhaps it's lacked a buzz that something truly new can deliver, however. The Wii version was the first of its kind from Nintendo, and the 3DS brought us Game Boy classics — the first offerings on Wii U have, in comparison, simply been more of the same.

What have you thought of the Wii U Virtual Console launch? Has it been an exciting new feature for you, or has over-familiarity with the games offered been a disappointment? Sound off, as always, in the comments section.

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User Comments (152)



TomJ said:

As long as we get NEW titles along with EarthBound on the eshop, I'm a happy camper.



Captain_Balko said:

I generally agree with everything said here. I still do not understand, however, why Nintendo would release GBA games on the Wii U instead of the 3DS. I mean, why not release Gamecube games instead? GBA games seem a proper fit for a handheld like the 3DS, as their graphics will be less stretched and they were usually meant to be a handheld experience, not a console one.



Geonjaha said:

At the moment the Wii U VC seems like it will just be a slow stream of games mostly already available on the Wii VC. Also GBA games which make more sense on the 3DS VC, where they're not being sold or planned on being sold. Not exactly something to get excited about.



ikki5 said:

it could be that Nintendo is trying to draw more people to the Wii U, the 3DS already has a great amount of support and it doing fantastic well off and a library that is simply amazing that is yet to come. The Wii U isn't doing that great so they may be trying to draw more people to the Wii U and be releasing GBA games on the Wii U to help boost interest and sales.



bunnyking said:

At this point anything that is coming out on the Wii U is good news. I think Nintendo has always been a different company, during the Wii release everyone dissed it and it was the best selling gaming console.

I think the price point is different this generation, but as soon as it becomes cheap, the Wii U will start doing better. I do think the released their console WAY TOO EARLY, I mean all this support should have been out of the box.



UgliestSoup said:

Its pathetic really. They have said since January that the VC would be established in April with many games. We don't even have 15 games. Its distgusting.



millarrp said:

I was hoping for a little more selection at the VC launch, but I guess it does take time to convert the titles to be Wii U compatable...hopefully it will have a brisk release schedule



DarkEdi said:

I hope simultaneus launched new games like Earthbound arriving at the same time in Wii and Wii U.
Another example could be Capcom games, if Megaman 6 (or X3) appears in Wii then it needs to appear at the same time on Wii U too.
Like last few weeks we got Sengoku or Shock Troopers it could be appeared at Wii U too at the same day.
Did you see my point? It is like we see a DSiware launch game on DSi service but it appears a year later available on 3DS eshop the same exact game.



nik1470 said:

The article hit the nail on the head. I do feel like the games are bit random after a long wait I expected more popular titles. They should have hit us with Super Mario World 2. Now that I think about it have any super FX games been released in the vc considering the snes was just a power supply for the cart?



Dreamcaster-X said:

Yeah it all seems like a bad dream lately. How could something so easy be so screwed up? Yes I know they can't just dump the ROMS and call it a day but there's no way it takes several months to bring a single title to market. It's absurd and frankly insulting & don't even get me started on the pricing. You can just look at the Miiverse community numbers and see not everyone is jumping over to the Wii U VC updated releases. I said this was gonna probably happen & I was hoping that Nintendo would prove me wrong but with the Virtual Console aspect of their business Nintendo continues to be predictable.



Ryno said:

It would be a terrible business decision to "dump" a bunch of VC games at once.



Dreamcaster-X said:

@Ryno I don't feel the majority of people want them to dump a bunch of ROM's at once but did you see the Japanese launch lineup compared to Europe & N. America's?? Then to add insult to injury they follow it up with stuff like Pacman, Xevious, Solomon's Key etc...not exactly the games that make everyones favorite lists.



bezerker99 said:

I had so many complaints about the Wii VC that I'm not even going to tackle the failure that is thus far the Wii U VC.



Dreamcaster-X said:

Nintendo sits on one of the most vaunted game catalogs in the history of gaming & the way it is treated is terribly, terribly sad.



HeatBombastic said:

3DS owners whining about Wii U owners getting GBA games first? That's new. I wonder if Ninty will confirm GBA games for non-ambassadors in the next Nintendo Direct to surprise everyone like they did with Eathbound.



CountEkkiM said:

few games for release date. and nintendo though those games make "big boom"? well 15th in may we get super metroid!!!



HouseofBees said:

@BlackSpy Agreed. Things are looking a bit rubbish, though, and it's not going to help matters. Along with Earthbound, maybe Starfox/Yoshi's Island could get a run this time around. Either way, something mildly unpredictable would help.



Dreamcaster-X said:

The whole GBA issue is very strange. You would think it would have been one of the first things they would have tapped into for the 3DS's VC library but then it was given as a prize for the Ambassador Program of which I was highly grateful but then nothing else of those games was mentioned about coming to the 3DS eshop but instead to Wii U's VC. Strange indeed!!



SuperCharlie78 said:

I own Vagrant Story from the PS Store.
I downloaded it on the PS3, and now I have the game installed on both PSP and PSVita, along with the PS3 of course.
Enough said.



Dreamcaster-X said:

@HeatBombastic = ) you could be right!! It's sad, there's soooooo many SNES/Super Famicom games that never made it to the U.S. that have perfectly working english ROM's available online. Such a missed opportunity for them.



UnseatingKDawg said:

Well, on one hand, it could be much worse - we could have no Wii U VC at all. On the other, since Nintendo announced this back in January, they should've been more prepared with more than 8 titles at the release. But hey, whaddaya gonna do?

As for the GBA, I do question why they just don't release that system on the 3DS. But, as ikki5 put it, it's most likely because the Wii U is struggling, and that would help. That does make sense to me in that aspect.

What I can't understand is how Nintendo of Japan and Nintendo of Europe can release more than 2 VC titles per week, yet Nintendo of America has the inability to do so. NOA is obviously missing something in that department (possibly a work ethic when it comes to VC), and they oughta take a few notes from the other regions.



Prof_Elvin_Gadd said:

It's pretty obvious to me that if they want to compete with their main competitor they need to add Gamecube games on the VC for $9.99 - $14.99 a pop, just as PS2 games are priced on the PSN. I know my beloved Nintendo would tell you that they don't care about competing with Sony, but they are just saying that. They know. Deep down, they know.

Edited to rightly reflect the pricing of PS2 games. PS1 games are usually $9.99. My mistake. I'm, unfortunately, human.



Dreamcaster-X said:

@SuperCharlie78 Same here Super!! That's how it should have been handled from the beginning. Buy one title and play it on your 3DS or Wii U with cross saves. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate proves it can be done!



Dreamcaster-X said:

@Prof_Elvin_Gadd $9.99 for GC games LOL!!! YEAH RIGHT!! I agree with you that they should be priced reasonably but seeing as how they charge $7.99 for SNES games, something tells me that GC titles will be $14.99 or higher!!



Prof_Elvin_Gadd said:

@Dreamcaster-X There is a difference between what they do and what they should do. If people buy them for higher prices why sell them for cheaper? That's business. This is all hypothetical and just my beliefs, seeing how GC games have not even been announced yet.



Burning_Spear said:

If the Wii U VC had launched with the same number of games but Yoshi's Island and F-Zero GX in place of two of the NES titles, people would have been ecstatic. How much more work would that have required? Really? They couldn't have had one guy working on those two games? So we're going to sit through two or three years of watching them rebuild the same exact VC you can access in Wii mode?



Dreamcaster-X said:

@Prof_Elvin_Gadd The problem is there's not alot of people buying the SNES titles at $7.99. The Miiverse community for that game shows that people are resisting that price point. Sure there are die-hard fans that will buy anything they drop at whatever price Nintendo names but I have a feeling there's gonna be more pushback this go around.



Lalivero said:

@SuperCharlie78 Hopefully they are working on getting that realized soon enough, after they are done re-releasing titles for the hundredth time to those desperate people.

I've really limited my VC purchases in waits for that.



Gameday said:

Like i stated before drop some never released titles such as earthbound and stop throwing out titles that youve already had since wii's debut out this eshop as new VC... Im tired of seeing same games get re -released lol cmon



Silvervisiona said:

No one who knows the excellence of the GBA titles would want them again on their Wii U over their 3DS. Anyone who doesn't know the excellence of GBA titles at all will not get them for their Wii U. That's just a sad situation .



RedYoshi999 said:

The drip-feeding of 2 re-releases a week is what annoys the hell out of me. After waiting 6 years for titles to never arrive on Wii VC, am I expected to wait another 6 years in the hope these titles might get released? If there were 2 quality releases each week from the SNES/N64, it would be a much better situation than re-releasing NES titles seen recently on the 3DS and much less popular titles like Solomon's Key. Honestly, I'm glad to see other systems from the Wii VC haven't been announced as it means more SNES/N64 games can be released in a shorter space of time, without endless years of re-releasing the same garbagey titles that I've never heard of. As for GameCube titles, I'd love to see it happen, but IF it ever does, I'm not expecting it for a few years. In fact, I'd have preferred Nintendo to delay the VC further and launch it with a proper set of titles and proper support each week, rather than a situation even worse than the Wii.



Prof_Elvin_Gadd said:

@SuperCharlie78 I'm not sure how else to reach them with this message, but every time I fill out a Club Nintendo survey I tell them that they should adopt the PSN account method. Who knows if Nintendo will ever move in this direction, but I certainly hope they do. I'd love to be able to buy a game on the eShop and play it on both the Wii U and 3DS VC. That would make the higher price points more reasonable.



Midnight3DS said:

I think I've thrown in the towel on VC. Neither are what they could or should be. Some strange decisions by Nintendo. The glow around Earthbound is fascinating. An old game that diehards are looking forward to, yet it should be something of an 'oh, cool', just another good old game on VC. It's just not a Wii-U showcase, or system mover by any stretch.



FernandoMachado said:

Nintendo's portables should have a VC consisted of Nintendo's portables.
Nintendo's home consoles should have a VC consisted of Nintendo's home consoles.

I don't get the whole NES on 3DS idea. Or, even worse, GBA on Wii U.



CliffordB said:

I truly think all these NES/SNES games have just been seen to many times now, we all know they are classics, but to re-release all the same Wii VC games all over again and at a snail's pace on the Wii U is quite pathetic "IMO"

With so many reports every day about the Wii U continuing to struggle Nintendo should have really gone all out with the Wii U VC, I'm convinced if they'd come right out the door with GameCube titles on the VC it would have been such a good/clever move, but instead we get ancient NES/SNES games, I did not buy a Wii U to play ancient games.

I mean come on, they could of at least come out with a few N64 games from the off, sometimes I just don't understand what on earth Nintendo are playing at.



LunaticPandora said:

I'm glad i just buy all the old games i want to play off ebay. Look nice on my shelf, and i'll get them 10x quicker than i'll ever get them on this joke of a service. VC (in general) is absolutely pathetic.



Cheaptrick said:

The Wii U Virtual Console is nothing close of revolutionary. It might have been if it comes before the era of mobile gaming. You can get the same type or even better games on smartphones/tablets for free. The only people getting so excited of it are those people who doesn't own smartphones/tablets & still stucked playing mobile games on portable consoles like 3DS.



bizcuthammer said:

I'd like to see gamecube games on the VC at some point. But first i wanna see games on older consoles that werent released on the wii... Like Mega Man X3, Donkey Kong 64, EarthBound, Super Mario World 2, Mario Party, Mario Party 3, Mega Man 6 and 7, Star Wars Rogue Squadron, and more. There are a plethora of N64 games especially that were simply ignored on the Wii VC. I know a lot are Rare games that cant be on the VC since M$ bought them, but there are a few of those that nintendo holds the rights to (DK64) that simply got skipped over.

The GBA games will be cool. Looking forward to using off-TV play for golden sun, minish cap and (hopefully someday) mother 3. I never got to play some GBA games like fire emblem and wario land 4, so i may pick those up too and see what i missed.



bbliksteen8 said:

They would have been smart to launch Wii U VC with Luigi's Mansion to
1. Generate excitement from gamecube games
2. Further accentuate the "Year of Luigi"

A slow constant release of GC and GBA games would create a level of excitement. Add to that the small surprises of NES, SNES, Master Sys, etc that were not on the Wii and you have a base to get people continually excited



UnseatingKDawg said:

@Cheaptrick: Didja ever stop and think that maybe SOME people don't really care for tablet computers or smart phones? I mean, I don't know too many people personally, but I really don't care for a smart phone, nor a tablet. I mean, if I had them, fine. If not, fine again; I wouldn't personally go and buy one. I have a 3DS because I prefer it as my mobile games platform; not because I'm "stuck" with it. And you say that you can find games of the same type or better on said devices for free? I have some games on my iPod touch, which are good once in a while, but they don't amount to anything, even Virtual Console-wise, on my 3DS. They aren't really shovelware, either - I'd rather play classics like Sonic 1 or Sonic 2 on my 3DS instead.



blackknight77 said:

They should have ported the entire Wii VC library to the Wii U and focus on releasing new VC games like Earthbound, Star Fox and more Genesis, Master System, Neo Geo, Turbo Grafx and Commodore games. What happened to Impossible Mission and IK +? Could it be that hard to release it for the Wii and Wii U. Also if you buy an NES game on Wii U it should be an automatic download for 3DS



SonataAndante said:

@Burning_Spear "So we're going to sit through two or three years of watching them rebuild the same exact VC you can access in Wii mode?" THAT is exactly my issue with the Wii U VC. It's completely and utter uninteresting so far except for the upcoming release of Earthbound. It's hard to tell what will happen down the road but so far it's the same old song and dance we had on the Wii, just with a better emulator.



UnseatingKDawg said:

@ToxorAxiom: OK, since you were the most recent person to post it (at least on my computer - I have laggy Internet), I have to ask: what is up with this Earthbound? Is it some kind of RPG? Sorry for being ignorant - I only know a little, and that's just from Smash Bros. Brawl.



Rapadash6 said:

In the beginning, the Virtual Console had so much promise. It was something I wanted to see Nintendo do ever sinse I realized the limited video connection options available on their older hardware (being limited to composite and s-video bugged the heck out of me once my eye became more trained). Even the first year of the service was well done, in my opinion; 3 games every week, spanning 5 systems, but then to see it drop to 2 games, then 1, and finally to being lucky to see any at all, I've become really disillusioned with the service.

Other than my ambassador games on 3DS, I refuse to rebuy any games I've already purchased on Wii, out of principle, because there really isn't any reason we shouldn't be able to buy one copy for all our different Nintendo systems. Even on Wii U I find it hard to do so, even at the heavilly discounted rates. Naturally the HDMI video quality gives it some value for me, but I'm still miffed that I have to wait for all these games again.

Nintendo turned a golden idea into nothing but heartbreak for retro enthusiasts such as myself. They need to standardize this service by making it future proof and transferable, for free, between their hardware. They also need to try harder at obtaining as many games as possible to put up, and do so at a faster rate than in the past. It should be for Nintendo what iTunes is for Apple, and offer an archive of older games to a modern audience. Right now, it's just a leaky faucet of mostly rusty water drops, with clean ones intermittantly strewn between.



ecco6t9 said:

As strange as it sounds since the Wii Virtual Console is not fully compatible with the Wii U the only option is to add more consoles to the Wii U Virtual Console.

If Nintendo is going to trickle drop releases then there is more of a chance of receiving 1 or 2 new games a week if they add in the other consoles from the Wii Virtual Console.

Secondly the 3DS should have GBA,Neo Geo Pocket, and Wonderswan games.



baba_944 said:

Wouldn't it be smarter to release pokemon on the Virtual Console since it sells systems? If it was on the 3DS Virtual Console on June 7th, 2011 it would've sold like crazy. So that means they would push back Super Mario 3D land and Mario Kart 7 release date a bit. Now since the "Game Boy Advance" games coming onto Wii U would it wise to Pokemon Ruby and Emerald as one of the "Game boy Advance" launch titles? If so then it could push pack Super Mario 3D U and Mario Kart U back a bit.



Dreamcaster-X said:

@baba_944 The problem with that is those games are still selling by the thousands believe it or not. NL just posted an article about that actually this weekend.



Gate_Shikimuri said:

You wanna know what I think?

I think that they should start putting out at least five VC titles a week.



UnseatingKDawg said:

@ChaosAngel: I've BEEN thinking that. Where have you been?

All joking aside, you're right; there should be 5 at the least per week, both on 3DS and Wii U. I'm sure it could be done - they just need to put a little more effort into it, that's all.



Ootfan98 said:

I would like to see Wii U VC and 3DS VC be combined, set up to user account so I don't have to buy a game twice if I want to play on both systems



UnseatingKDawg said:

@baba_944: I can agree with that. I just don't think it requires a lot of effort for just two games on one system in a week. I'd say it require quite a bit of effort if they put out, say, 10 games each on 3DS and Wii U. Five games per system per week, well, now that I think of it, that would require a little more effort too. But five games on a single system per week? I don't think that's asking for much. Either that, or they could start releasing games more than once per week - like two or three games on a Monday, and then two or three on a Thursday.



ToxorAxiom said:

@UnseatingKDawg Oh, yeah... and a wonderful RPG at that. It's one of several of its era (including Final Fantasy VI, Tactics Ogre and Chrono Trigger) that is still infinitely playable today. Memorable characters & scenarios, hilarious dialogue, and home to a classic soundtrack that'll bring you warm fuzzies later in your years. (Winters theme, anyone?) Yet this one has got a wild sense of humor... and towards the end, horror. Y'know, the kind of strange, quirky sh*t that could only come out of Japan, lol.

In other words, if you're the eccentric type, then this game has had your name written all over it since it released; you only just found out now. =)



LunaticPandora said:

@kereke12 And you're surprised? Wii U VC only got EIGHT games at launch, Wii managed to launch with more than that, spanning across 3-4 systems no less. Wii U can barely manage 1. Its absolutely pathetic, we should've gotten at least 20 titles if not more, considering the amount of titles already on Wii VC. So this not only means nothing to buy, but also nothing to upgrade for people who already have games on there. I'm almost embarrassed to own a Wii U right now, I can't believe what a sloppy performance nintendo has shown us thus far.



UnseatingKDawg said:

@ToxorAxiom: I guess some could call me eccentric... in any case, I think I have a new VC title to check out later this year. Thanks for the recommendation.



Electricmastro said:

The 2006 Wii launch line-up in retrospect isn't too much much to brag about either. I know it's ultimately about quality over quantity, but as hyped as Wii U VC was, you'd think that its line-up would be somewhat close to that. :/



Chomposaur said:

"The Wii U Virtual Console Has Started, But Not With a Bang"

Well no S**t ... Consumers and long time Nintendo fans are sick of buying the same games over and over,how many more times can Nintendo release "super mario bros" for the NES. Why have Nintendo chosen to release games that consumers have already bought time and time again, and years ago ? I.E 2007-20XX.

Problems i have with the Wii U VC is .The emulation is Garbage, the prices are too high, off TV play really a necessity ?when the quality on the gamepad sucks

my brother is currently playing Chrono trigger on the original wii and the quality is garbage .. awful .. it was the first thing i said about it as soon as i saw it. The Wii virtual console games are in HD or upscalled so buying VC games on the wii u is a complete waist of time .. Nintendo has left a really bad taste in my mouth with the Wii u ..



tsm7 said:

Their release schedule is pathetic. They should be bombarding us with titles when the system is going through such a drought. The 3ds took two years to just have 30 or so Game Boy games and far less GBC games. The support is really disheartening.

And who wants to bet those GBA ambassador games are the one's going up on the Wii U?



Neram said:

"For each release legwork is required, in areas such producing digital manuals, integrating the code into the Wii U infrastructure and applying compatibility with the GamePad, other controllers and Miiverse. In that sense the slow and steady drip-feed of well-worn releases is to be expected,"

Somehow I doubt it takes that much work to release a Virtual Console game. Sure, digital manuals have to be made, but the emulator (which I believe is made by M2) is already complete, and GamePad functionality is sort of inherent to the system.

i still stand my ground in thinking they could have had the entire Wii Virtual Console library available at the launch of the Wii U, much like they had the DSiWare library available on the 3DS at launch. All they would've needed to do was integrate the catalog from the Wii Shop Channel into the Nintendo eShop on Wii U, update the digital manuals (but use the same information from the Wii ones) and pair the ROM's with the new emulator. i'm sure it would take time to make Miiverse communities for each game, so that part I understand, but it's not a good enough reason to trickle feed re-release the games, and expect us to pay an upgrade price for the hundreds of games we already bought.



MetalKingShield said:

Simplest thing would have been to make sure the GameCube was part of the plan from Day 1, and that the Wii U had a controller that could play its games. And yes, GBA should be on 3DS!



Dreamcaster-X said:

@JogurtTheYogurt The Wii U emulation is actually pretty good but what sucks is the lack of graphic options which can be found on any other SNES emulator and I agree with you that the prices are just way too high for 20 year old games.



UnseatingKDawg said:

@tsm7: That's probably without a doubt. I can see them releasing all 10 Ambassador titles as the first GBA games on the Wii U VC. But, knowing them, they won't release all 10 at once - maybe one or two to start.



Gamer83 said:

The VC in general has been putrid outside of Japan for years now. Honestly if it's not going to be done right Nintendo should just drop it and pick games to get 3D and HD remakes instead.



Midnight3DS said:

If the Wii-U gets the ambassador GBA games, and GBA doesn't come to 3DS, I will never buy another Nintendo product again.



bonesy91 said:

Honestly the WiiU VC Is awful. And Nintendo needs to realize this.

-nothing the wii hasn't offered
-no GameCube or gba games at launch
-even slower release of said vc games than the wii

Nintendo lost their chance at really taking advantage of the Wii U's VC by not letting loose some huge eye catching titles. But they missed the chance and sadly will not get it back.




I think it will be around xmas time before we really see many "new" vc titles, and maybe next year before Gamecube games become available(which I'm convinced they will at some point) But I'm really excited about the possibility of GBA releases.



Wilford111 said:

@Neram The thing is, with the DSiWare being on the 3DS eshop, it's running on the DS emulator packed in with the 3DS. In Wii U's case, you have to go into the Wii's menu in order to launch Virtual Console, which I guess is inconvenient for people. Plus, it has no off-TV play.



ogo79 said:

i dont know any other language to say this in, but here it is again, earthbound wont be coming for wii AND wii u, what kind of business man would YOU be?



MeddlingIdiot said:

I think you'll be able to buy GBA games on the Wii U and transfer them to your 3DS. It's been hinted at recently and makes sense as it forces people to purchase a Wii U (and 3DS) if they want GBA games they can play portably.



gojiguy said:

The best part of the Wii VC was NEO GEO. That's not here on Wii U.

Also, there aren't enough features to get excited about. Add online to multiplayer titles and I'm interested...



Dpullam said:

@Prof_Elvin_Gadd I actually like your suggestion of using a PSN style account service. My only concern is security issues but I haven't heard any problems with PSN accounts thus far so my concerns could be nonexistent.

I have already been playing a few of the GBA ambassador games so I am not as eager as others to see more GBA games on the eshop. Still, I would really like to play the Golden Sun series on my 3DS!



fluggy said:

Meh. Nes games should not be over £0.50. (Current, "brand new" android apps set u back a reasonable £0.69!) SNES ... Maybe £2 is bout right. They should not be charging extra for the "effort" to transfer it to gamepad.!!! My Nexus 7 (or my modded Wii/Wii U) can emulate SNES/genesis/GBA perfectly while using Wii classic controller .... WITHOUT having to be 5m away! There's no competition! I'm not one to champion piracy but Nintendo seriously need to rethink the pricing strategy. Paying £5 for a 20 yr old game simply isn't value in the current economical climate!



WoodyC said:

I highly doubt it will ever happen, certainly not for a long while, but Nintendo need to bring Gamecube titles to the Virtual Console.
I've yet to purchase anything thus far, but if the likes of Mario Kart: Double Dash, Super Mario: Sunshine, Pikmin, etc. were up for grabs, I'd be willing to part with my hard-earned cash.
Hell, isn't it supposed to be "The Year of Luigi"? Live up to that statement and bring us Luigi's Mansion for the VC



GraveLordXD said:

I would also like to see some game cube games make it too the wii u I wouldn't mind playing through eternal darkness again
Also need star tropics 1&2 haven't play those in a while either



UnseatingKDawg said:

@WoodyC: Sounds like a plan. I have Luigi's Mansion (which is one of the reasons I kept my Wii), but I wouldn't mind booting it via a download... that and I really like the Off-TV play. I also wouldn't mind Sonic Adventure 2 Battle, even though I have that for a few other platforms... Don't judge; I love that game.



Gregor said:

@ToxorAxiom you say it could only come out of Japan but that's where your wrong. Has anyone ever stopped to think that Itoi might be slightly unstable? Btw love Mother Series. Looking forward to M3. I also want a M2 1/2



OGGamer said:

It's imperative that nintendo release games that are not currently available on the original wii VC . There isn't anything eyecatching on the wii u VC right now . Good games yes , but released about hundred times already . At least it seems that way .
The wiiu VC can be great . Release arcade games that couldn't be released on wii because of hardware limitations . How about sega saturn games , Dreamcast , gamecube (this should be a given , hurry up with this) . Super mario world is great now how about super mario sunshine . Come on nintendo let that wiiu VC shine already stop holding back .



UnseatingKDawg said:

@fluggy: Excuse some of us for wanting to get our games the honest way. Guess what? I can use my Classic Controller for my PC games via a cable I got off of Amazon. Whoopdy crap! If you don't like the prices, then don't buy. Yeesh.



ToxieDogg said:

'The 3DS service has given us portable NES games for the first time'

Nope, the Game Boy Advance did that first with the NES Classics series, and the unlockable version of the original Metroid in Metroid: Zero Mission



biglittlejake said:

My only question is why there isn't better games if they want it to succeed. It has been 2 weeks there is now 10 games and only one is worth downloading, besides Kirby it is Super Mario World.



Dreamcaster-X said:

@dragon_rider Why do people always use that argument when defending the high prices of the VC? I have several used discs that are scratched & play perfectly fine & I can always turn around & sell the game if I like to make money back. It has tangible value, a digital copy doesn't & shouldn't cost as much!!



Pikachupwnage said:

They NEED to allow the transfer of Single games. Most my VC is not on Wii U yet and I rely on GC controllers to play most of them...



Spectator said:

Looks like from a business standpoint Nintendo is maximizing the games they currently have, but its unfortunate that they are rehashing the consumer base to death. It would be nice to see some highlighted virtual console games at the beginning of the life cycle of the wii u .....not the end.



I-U said:

I'll invest in the Wii U's VC when it gets Super Metroid later this month.



T1m1 said:

Well, i think things will get better over the service i think its a little stupid that has been out for only a week or two and people are already complaining about the line up while i can see where some people are coming from, it just sounds like complaining for the sake of complaining i think nintendo is gonna be focusing on retail first party games(the problem is nothing except Pikmin 3 has a release date or release window) more than the Wii U Virtual Console, im just glad we got the service period and Glad were getting Earthboud even though i never played it.



Squiggle55 said:

Yeah it would have been really nice to figure out a way to give us the discount rate without going through the transfer and wiping our wiis clean. I just don't know if I'm gonna do that.



kevkeepsplaying said:

The Miiverse integration makes such a difference, I've noticed since F-Zero, BUT I feel they are going the wrong direction by releasing only NES games right now, and so scarcely, too. We need more SNES, and we need NES in bigger quantity. We already have NES on the 3DS; trust me, Nintendo, most of us don't care about it on the Wii U.

It was amazing to play Super Mario World on this. Miiverse really removes the feeling of "I'm playing through this old game by myself", switching to Miiverse to talk about your playthrough, and getting feedback? It's delightful. It doesn't add to the game per say, more the experience as a whole. If they can dish out more yummy SNES goodness in the next few months, I'll be happy.



Peppy_Hare said:

I have 46 VC games on my Wii. No way I'm transferring them to WiiU, because the process of transferring them is .



Urbanhispanic said:

I agree with the article. If Nintendo can speed up the re-releases of games that were up during the days of the Wii AND continue to bring out new classic titles like Earthbound, then the Wii U VC will be just as successful and profitable when it first arrived a few years ago.



Marioman64 said:

@CrabGats if i do the transfer, all the wiiware and wii games that I use gamecube controllers on will be rendered useless (bomberman blast, smash brothers brawl, certain VC games), lost winds won't work anymore, and my Wii will be wiped clean of whatever could not transfer over (pictures and whatnot). no thank you



Tornado said:

Nintendo's approach looks awfully antiquated in the age of app stores. Let me buy the Super Metroid app once, and then port that across my Wii, Wii U, 3DS, whatever future product Nintendo decides to release. This purchase-linked-to-device approach makes Nintendo not only look old-fashioned indeed, but money-grubbing.

Frankly, this is one of the major barriers to me buying a Wii U. I have loads of old games on my Wii--that was one of the major attractions for me buying the Wii in the first place. Yes, I know I can transfer them over (albeit with loss of access to the Gamecube controller, which is consequential in some games). For now, I'm quite content sticking with the Wii VC, but if Nintendo got their act together I'd be more tempted to switch.



Oscarsome said:

I'm waiting for all these mistakes Nintendo keeps making to actually be a part of their master plan to bring back sales on the Wii U, but, alas, it isn't so. Everything they keep doing just digs the Wii U further and further into its grave. Nintendo wants to make money, but I don't see them actually attempting to sell Wii U hardware and software.



Einherjar said:

@Tornado Emulation that comes so close to the original hardware is not the easiest thing, so i understand that it takes some time to compile every game for every platform and that this process needs to be funded somehow. So, paying full price once and then a small amount for other devices is fair in my book. But with the competence and amount of recources Nintendo has, the amount of games they put out is embarassing. There could and should be a steady stream of of new (old) games, at least from nintendo itself on all platforms and not just 1 or 2 every other month. Like i said, i dont mind paying a buck for every platform seperatly, but since they can run on all current systems, they should be available to all. There are rumors floating around about game sharing among nintendo consoles. Kets see how far that goes.



SCAR said:

VC = Very Cool
I'm willing to wait. It's not like these games haven't come out before. I think more systems will show up on the VC in due time.
The VC games are now in HD! Basically everyone that has had a Wii U since January has at least 4 VC games that costed $1.25 at most.
I'm sure once the console gets the ball rolling, it will be hard to stop. 3DS is there, too.



Kirk said:

Not with a bang but a whimper.

Tiny selection of games, that are going to continue to trickle out over an extremely extended period of time. NES games where the colors all look dull and lack the vibrancy of the original games. Prices that are far too expensive for what these games are; digital copies of 20-30 year old games that have already made back their development costs for the developers multiple times over...

It's all great ideas, Nintendo, but executed badly in many ways and it's certainly not up to the exceptionally high Nintendo quality of execution and delivery I remember from the company as a child.

It's just not good enough.

Edit: Also, why didn't Nintendo just integrate all the Wii VC stuff directly into the Wii U eShop, in fact all Wii stuff should be integrated directly into the Wii U Mode, so we could have one nice clean simple system, without having to go into Wii Mode or use the Wii Shop Channel to buy and play games for that system. Or so we could use the Wii U GamePad on our older Wii VC games etc. It's all just a bit of a half-*ssed convoluted mess imo to be honest.



tinman said:

Get those prices down. Start sales, a "Thank you for buying Wii U!" campaign. Say: Games drought? Well, make it a retro Spring / retro Summer with some of gaming's biggest classics for less money. Most of us have bought many of them numerous times. We've paid more than enough for them in the past to justify lower prices today.



JohnG said:

Like many others, I don't understand the logic of GBA games on Wii U VC.
They need to be on 3DS VC seeing as they were originally designed to be handheld games.



-KwB- said:

@tinman You have lower prices -_- 1 EURO/$ for NES and 1,50 EURO/$ if you have bought them .. what is the problem ? You don't need to buy them again ..



-KwB- said:

@Kirk Maybe that's business ? Integrating ALL Wii VC games is
B: Already having 300 games from day one is just plain dumb ... marketing on eShop would only focus to a couple of them ..
C: IF you don't want them, DON'T buy them, nobody forces you -_- Nintendo will know when VC games are not bought ..



NintyMan said:

As far as I'm concerned, the Wii U VC doesn't appeal to me much right now. I already own most of the games it offers or will offer later this week on either the Wii VC, 3DS VC, or the original carts. Earthbound is the only one I'm truly interested in, and that won't come until later this year.

It seems like Nintendo's only focusing on bringing over the Wii VC to the Wii U VC right now, and at the rate it's going right now, it'll be a very long process. But Nintendo could seriously give it a boost if they adapt Gamecube games to the Wii U as they appeared to be interested in before. Playing Luigi's Mansion or Super Mario Sunshine on the GamePad would be appealing, right?



LavaTwilight said:

Is everyone really surprised by this? I think modern day gamers are too demanding. I don't think anything Nintendo have done is in any way whatsoever unreasonable. The article makes the good point of the work that goes into transferring a game to the WiiU, even from the Wii. I've not been expecting a 'new' title to the WiiU vc until 2014 and to be honest, the promise of Earthbound is amazing for us in UK/US. Any 'new' titles this side of the holiday-period 2013 will be incredible! Be glad for what you get!



XCWarrior said:

Amen. We need NEW OLD games.

If Nintendo wants things to sell, can't keep giving us the same games over and over.



Kirk said:


No offense but..

A and B. Wrong - You clearly lack the technical understanding to know any better and you obviously lack the ability to creatively problem solve. There's a few ways this could be done and certainly done much better than it's being done right now.
C. Misguided - It's kinda bad business if you're always addressing problems after the fact, like trying to address dropping sales due to overpricing for example, as opposed to avoiding them in the first - You're clearly not very business minded.



Tornado said:

@Einherjar I can see how Nintendo would think it "fair" to charge a dollar for every device a game is on. But that standard of "fair" is thinking like the company, not like the consumer. Nintendo needs to become better at thinking like the consumer. Consumers today are used to downloading an MP3/movie/ebook/app once, paying for it once, and using it across multiple devices. Nintendo would serve themselves by meeting that expectation rather than fighting it, IMHO.

What I wish N would move toward is a more Netflix-type model. The back catalog of games is more than the sum of its parts. I'd pay $20 a month to play whatever game I want in that back catalog--and if I did that, in a single year I'd pay about as much to the eshop as I have in my last 7 years of Wii gaming.



Smug43 said:

They need to cut the prices in half to start.. 7.99 for a SNES game is so out of line I'm not sure what Nintendo is thinking.. I have to call it like it is.. get with the times Nintendo!



UnseatingKDawg said:

Another thing I just realized; they had quite a few games in their "teaser" trailer before the VC launched. If Nintendo could do that, how come all of those games weren't available at launch?



Cheaptrick said:

@UnseatingKDawg Fortunately those Sonic games you like to play you can also get on your iPad. They've been there for a long time. I seem to wonder why you don't know about this when you said you have an iPad which also runs on iOS. Did you ever care typing the word "Sonic" on your iPod's App Store app search section?



Cheaptrick said:

@millarrp It didn't take long for somebody to port Virtual Console games on IOS. I even got games from the Old Nintendo Game & Watch on my iPhone. Even the game Mappy (part of the Namco Museum 50th Anniversary that I was so addicted on playing on my old Nintendo game console way back in the late 80s when I was in college) was long been on Apple's game inventory.



retro_player_22 said:

Two things that bothers me about VC games whether Wii, Wii U, or 3DS.

1 - They don't offered any new or advance features other then just a simple rom. A few 3DS VC had save states as were some Wii VC titles too but there should be more options likes the option to remap buttons, filter visuals, online play, etc.

2 - Some games were priced unreasonably high compare to their used physical copy. Games like Donkey Kong Jr. Math and Urban Champion shouldn't cost $5, they should be at around $0.50 - $1.50 at the most.



UnseatingKDawg said:

@Cheaptrick: Somebody can't read right. I don't have an iPAD. I have an iPOD, which I only got last year because I actually have to work for most of my expensive stuff - I can't just ask my parents to buy it on a whim, unlike some people. And obviously, I did type the word "Sonic" into the search section, because otherwise I wouldn't have Sonic 1, Sonic 2, or Sonic Spinball downloaded onto my iPod. I prefer those games on the Virtual Console because they're more pure ports - you know, with the original menus and cheat codes, for example. That, and the sound quality on the iPod versions are poor, and the controls are also poor. Oh, and you also wonder why I apparently didn't know about this - guess what? I'm a Sonic the Hedgehog fan! You think I wouldn't know a thing or two about one of my favorite game series?



Cheaptrick said:

iPad/iPad both run on iOS. It doesn't matter which one you got if you really have then you know that those Sonic games you like you can get on it.



odd69 said:

No we shouldn't have to be patient, Nintendo should have all this already ready at launch just like the Wii, so I just hear excuses. To me this launch year has been nintendy's worst.

Guys its not even a bang, its a misfire



SparkOfSpirit said:

And still for absolutely no reason Japan gets more releases more frequently. NOA is the biggest problem here.



NodesforNoids said:

Funny, the suggestion by some commenters that these games are ROMs being emulated.
Not true.
Each game is a seperate, independent file. It's to limit or prevent piracy.
A year and 8 months later, and Nintendo's biggest issue is the same: limited system selection and lack of cross-buy.
DSi, GB, GBC, Game Gear and NES on the 3DS (lacking GBA and SNES).
NES, SNES and GBA on the Wii U (missing all the 3rd party platforms from the Wii VC, N64 and Gamecube).
Nintendo has been floundering, particularly NoA.
Europe has actually been a bit better, but when there aren't many indie / retail releases coming, Nintendo needs to be hitting with 2-4 VC games.
The PS4 gets more games in a week than Nintendo systems get in a month and that's just pathetic.

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