One of the primary ways we do this is by checking game content ratings on the ESRB website. Basically if a game doesn’t get rated there then it won’t be coming out in North America. It has been a great help to us in the past and has continued to be so, after all we can look forward to EarthBound and Kirby's Dream Land 3 because of the ESRB ratings given in advance of the game being rereleased on the Virtual Console.

Those happy days may be coming to an end now as publishers put increased pressure on the ESRB to keep this information shielded from the public. It would seem that from this time publishers can now opt to hide their game from public viewing until a specific date is reached. It is a no-brainer to guess what our pals at the big N will choose to do in this regard.

Here’s part of the statement which the ESRB made on the subject:

Unless there are specific concerns regarding premature disclosure of a title, we expect this field to be left blank. …While we recognize some publishers have concerns regarding earlier-than-desired ‘announcements’ of product on our website, the ESRB system will not work for consumers if publishers arbitrarily select dates bearing no reasonable relationship to consumer interest in the product.

In the absence of Nintendo themselves publishing some sort of release schedule, we may be completely in the dark as to what upcoming Virtual Console games will be heading our way! What spoilsports!

As always have your say on this news below.