When the Wii launched it had plenty of exciting ideas that contributed to its extraordinary success. One service that appealed to older gamers and / or dedicated fans was the Virtual Console - while relatively niche services had offered older games for download in the past, this was a game changer for Nintendo. The company with the largest and most lucrative back-catalogue utilised downloads to offer an extraordinary range of options - we had obvious candidates like NES and SNES, but also quirky inclusions such as TurboGrafx-16/TurboGrafx-CD and Commodore 64.
It was a bit of a gold rush, with hundreds of titles eventually available, and plenty of publishers / rights holders seemingly desperate to be involved. It was a fresh idea, and a neat alternative to downloaded ROMS on PCs.
Technology, consumer habits and expectations change, though, and we think it's justifiable to say that the Virtual Console on Wii U and 3DS is at a bit of a tipping point. After exciting early days the portable's retro offerings have largely dried up, or regurgitate NES games we've had before, while the Wii U is introducing new platforms, but quirky options. Courtesy of the GamePad, in particular, Nintendo's opted to bring retro portables to its home console, first with Game Boy Advance and - gradually - the DS. The Nintendo 64 has also recently joined NES and SNES, but these are games we could already access - admittedly with inferior PAL versions in some cases for the region - through the Wii mode on the system. As for Wii downloads, they're more an extension of backward compatibility on the Wii U as opposed to being part of a 'Virtual Console'.
Yet perhaps the Virtual Console is in its final stages. Not only is content being regurgitated or arriving in a slightly peculiar form, but first- and third-party enthusiasm is also seemingly on the wane. Nintendo apparently does much of the work even for third-parties, the overall variety is well down on the Wii equivalents, and we recently had Natsume state that Nintendo's backing away from the SNES. Some trademarks for 'Virtual Console' seem to be expiring, too, though with multiple entries for the name that could, ultimately, mean little.
But perhaps change is needed. Though Virtual Console games do often lead the Wii U eShop charts, we wonder whether Nintendo is plotting changes to its model - after all, is the appetite for $5 NES ROMS well past its peak in 2015, over eight years after the original service began? Is a $10 Nintendo 64 download on the Wii U really the best way forward for Nintendo and its rich back-catalogue?
We'll be tackling these questions in an editorial, but as is becoming a weekend tradition here on Nintendo Life we want your thoughts first. For example, should Nintendo aggressively bundle retro games together in enticing deals? Should there be a monthly or annual subscription service for regular download content? Should the priority be more Remix games, or a far better version of amiibo Tap? Or is there no need for change? Is the current setup and pricing good enough?
As a spoiler for our editorial later this weekend, we think Nintendo can make bold changes - perhaps as part of its membership replacement for Club Nintendo - but do wonder whether that's a minority view.
So, we'd love it if you vote in the polls and chat about all things Virtual Console in the comments. What's the future of downloadable Nintendo retro gaming?
lost opportunity for the arcade games thats for sure.
I've always thought virtual console should be an app platform, so your buying games for it and not the system, so it works on every system you have the app on (Wii U, 3DS and mobile)
I still think the "backing away from the SNES" thing is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard, even by Nintendo's standards.
If they don't want people to pirate things, then they have a responsibility to keep those things legally available
I didn't know Paper Mario was on a Wii U VC. That totally passed me by. although not In Europe yet it would seem...
The concept now is perfect. The problem is they don't release any games on it.
I don't have any major qualms, although I wouldn't complain if we got a subscription service for eShop and VC.
I like the consoles they have on the Wii U VC so far, but really wished they'd stop releasing like 1 VC game at a time when they do it and up it to like 3 - 5 at a time. There's really no excuse for NIntendo not to do this unless just some games are problematic to convert over to the Wii U VC or the game publishers themselves just don't want to bother with releasing the games for the VC.
The Wii U/3DS Virtual Console pales in comparison to what the Wii had. Sure, the Wii's slowed down in the last couple of years, but they had 80% of the Nintendo-published N64 games, SNES, Genesis, Neo Geo, Commodore 64, Turbografx and more. The variety was there as far as platforms went. The Wii U/3DS Virtual Console has been a sad disappointment to the point that people are throwing parties for N64 games that the Wii has had for many years.
I get that emulation can be a timely process, but it seems like Nintendo's VC department only has two people on staff with as slow as they come out. The 3DS VC virtually hasn't been touched (outside of the Sega 3D Classics line) since Christmas. Where are the Virtual Boy games? Where are the Atari Lynx games? I get they don't have SNES games on it for various reasons, but there are many other handhelds out there that could see some VC love.
Even the vast library of Game Boy and GBC games that Nintendo has made are missing. They are really leaving a lot of money on the table on both the Wii U and 3DS VC.
Its disappointing that the VC service has been around for nearly 10 years and we are just now getting some big games. Nintendo needs to release more per week and more systems too. Where are the Sega games? Where are the SNES games on the 3DS? I have money to give Nintendo but they seem to not want it.
They'll probably introduce Cross Play for the next gen of systems but I do not seem them doing much console wise.
Now they'll be releasing games on phones though, question is will we see a Virtual Console for phones?
There are long-running inherent issues with the Virtual Console that would probably best be rectified by phasing the entire thing into a new service; since that's essentially what Nintendo's doing with their rewards system, such a move would only make sense.
The VC's biggest problem where I'm concerned has been how purchases are tied to a single console. If your system breaks down or you upgrade, chances are very high that you lose everything on your old one...and that's just plain unacceptable. Even the data transfer process from the old to the new 3DS is unnecessarily long and tedious. Purchases could EASILY be tied to user accounts so they can easily be taken across multiple systems, and given that Sony and Microsoft have had this in place for years now, there's simply no excuse for it not to be the case on Nintendo's platforms.
Pricing is another huge problem on the VC. $5 for an NES game, $7 for a SNES or Genesis title, $10 for N64 games...these prices kill interest on sight. I loved these games back in the day and yes, they're enduring classics, but they're also over two decades (in some cases THREE) old. And for games that have been repackaged countless times in one form or another. Nintendo may not like the idea, but shaving these prices down to 20 percent of what they are currently would frankly be smart if they genuinely want to move such virtual products in the current marketplace.
Selection is another sore spot. There are a lot of great games on the VC, but the Wii U is still a LONG way from ever catching up to where the Wii was in terms of offerings (again, simply having some redundancy and the ability to transfer between systems would solve this issue rather than require each new system to start from scratch). Beyond Nintendo-based games and the obligatory Genesis ones there are LOTS of titles languishing from several classic platforms which the Wii U and 3DS could easily emulate: the Saturn, the Dreamcast, the Neo Geo, the TurboGrafx 16, Arcade, and more.
Another thing that'd certainly be welcome and greatly help to sell digital games for Nintendo's service would be cross-platform support between consoles and portables. If I buy Donkey Kong country on my Wii U, the ability to also play it on the go with my 3DS (or vice versa...including save states) would be a HUGE plus. It would greatly help to send a message to me as a consumer that Nintendo wasn't just trying to make me buy the same product over and over as many times as possible (and a newsflash; that ploy hasn't been working to begin with).
Nintendo is still making the best quality and value current-gen games around (in my humble opinion), and they're why the company continues to defy repeated predictions of their demise. But the single biggest and most justified complaint from consumers continues to be their lack of online functionality, including the antiquated and unnecessarily hamstrung Virtual Console. The service needs a complete overhaul, without question.
I think the pricing should vary more. I don't mind paying a little more for quality games, but some of the NES games I wouldn't pay $5 for. Also I would love to see more platforms come to the Wii U, like the Wii had. I mean doesn't Japan already have the Turbografx 16 on the Wii U?
If a subscription model is taking place, I'm going back to emulators. There's no point on paying a monthly fee to play videogames, specially retro ones. I only pay for individual VC titles because they get a nice polishment in some cases and run better than emulators. The same can't be said about Wii U. There's absolutely no reason to put GBA and DS games on a home console. It's all wrong and simply doesn't work with the gamepad, screen resolution etcetera etcetera.
Hard to call the DS retro. Especially when the 3DS plays its games.
I wouldn't want to see them do away with individual downloads. The pricing is too high, for sure, but I like the idea of having games like Mario World and DK64 on my Wii U, permanently.
The bigger problem is the lack of continuity. The Wii shop amassed an enormous library of Virtual Console titles, but then they wiped the slate clean for the Wii U, meaning we've mostly been retreading the same ground for the past two years. Is Nintendo going to do the same thing when NX launches? How many times can you sell the same decades-old games to the same consumers before fatigue sets in?
And some of the platform distinctions between the 3DS and Wii U VCs make no sense. You can buy Game Boy/Game Boy Color games on 3DS, but not on Wii U, and GBA games on Wii U, but not on 3DS. But some 3DS owners were given some GBA games. Just because. They sell DS games on Wii U, despite the 3DS actually having a screen configuration that works for all DS games. And then you have NES games, which are sold on both. I get that there are some technical limitations involved with all of this, but wouldn't it make the most sense to put every game on both systems, unless the system technically can't handle it? Because it all just seems so arbitrary, the way it is.
I wouldn’t mind paying a bit more for VC titles if I could buy once and play anywhere (3DS, Wii U, maybe even mobile/PC).
I have quite the collection of VC titles between my 3DS & Wii U, but I worry that it will be worthless in a few years if Nintendo releases a new console with no way to migrate old purchases.
I definitely feel there needs to be an overhaul. The price of the 64/DS or whatever games is silly if not stupid. I have no interest. Even the games i"ve never played before I'd wait and find an old NES cartridge lying around. Now I know not everyone has that priviledge still but at the price for a piece of software that just kind of fills a little hole in your system I don't think it works. Personally I feel Virtual console suffers from not really being a 'platform' like it's meant to be. It's really just another set of games on the eShop, just like the indies or whatever else is on there. Tap and Play has something going for it in that it was a PLATFORM but of course we all know how it died.
Personally, and some argue against me, I think the Netflix/Hulu like strategy is the best. Such an extensive and exclusive library! I'd be so much more than willing to pay a monthly subscription for an unlimited backlog of games. Accessible for as long as I pay.
I know Nintendo is opposed to this though - they don't want to diminish the monetary value of individual games and brand names, they want each title to be its own stand alone value purchase which I think is dwindling as some have said. Three decades, it's losing its individual value (some) but as a pacakge it's still a strong sale.
I vote subscription. I really hope they do that some day.
With the last poll I wanted a "I like it like it is" option.
I actually quite like the Wii U virtual console. Sure, the release schedule is a little slow, but there's a lot of neat content. I especially love the DS titles, which are really cool looking on the Wii U.
The 3DS is a different story. Nes and Gamebay games don't really impress me. I feel like GBA or even SNES would be nice on 3ds.. Otherwise it's kind of a dissapointment.
When it comes to Virtual Console additions, I would like to see Gamecube on Wii U. Heck, bring GB and GBC to Wii U to start up crossbuy. After seeing how nice GB games look on Wii U through Smash Bros, I really want them. For now though, I'm fine with DS and N64.
I want the Mario Kart arcade games, plus other coin machine titles that never got ported like the 32-bit Golden Axe. I'd want Saturn games, but if we're sticking with Nintendo I want much more N64 games, and next console should maintain the backwards compatibility with the two Wii platforms, but if it comes after the next hand held, be able to play that library too to build on what I'd imagine will be a safer launch. Its just a shame they can't have a department able to churn them out as I'd buy heaps of games if they were plenty available at special buy more save more prices.
No subscription for me please. Just give me a lot better titles to download every week, and in 60 hz NTSC.
I would like more platforms on the Virtual Console (mainly Gamecube), and better promotions, like bundles and sales. Personally, I'd like a VC "Game of the Month" deal, in which a different game is featured each month (a weekly deal would work too), with gameplay/Let's Play videos and a low price, maybe 50-75% off.
I absolutely do not want a subscription based service.
If they released games for it, the excitement would be there... but by releasing only 1 game per week total (2 sometimes in Europe, up to 8 in Japan) it isn't hard to see why there is very little consumer interest. At some point, even the most diehard fan gets annoyed and stops caring about it.
Of course, it doesn't help that Nintendo is stupidly slow with it. The number of times publishers have had a handful of games ready for release, just for Nintendo to stop the release altogether, refuse to release the titles on the same day and delay them for weeks and even months... no surprise that third-parties don't wanna deal with Nintendo's BS in that regard.
I like that we are now seeing GBA and DS games added to the Wii U and Gameboy games on 3DS, but it is unfortunate that we don't get a lot of releases for it anymore.
I think the Virtual Console is just as fine as is but I'd love a subscription service where I could get a few downloads and definitely cheaper prices! I can't exaggerate that last part enough!
EDIT: Scratch that. I forgot subscription services usually involve paying each month or something dumb like that. Just cheaper prices for me then.
The only problem with it is not enough games, for the platforms that are there and not enough consoles.
If there were 100 more vc games on there I would probably buy at least 90 of them.
I really wish they had Gamecube games on the virtual console. Adding games from that console would really inject some life back into the virtual console.
I'd love to see a Netflix style subscription. £10 a month for unlimited access. They need to make it cheap enough so people don't unsubscribe for a few months if there's nothing to play. Marvel Unlimited, WWE Network, Netflix, all a huge success and all charge a monthly fee that's in line with buying a couple of comics a month, renting a couple of HD movies a month, or in the WWE case, buying ONE PPV. Nintendo need to avoid being greedy and thinking how about much they COULD make off individual sales, and instead think about a large user base giving them a steady stream of income every single month.
I think I'd actually be willing to pay for a subscription-type system. Also, the Wii U should bring back the Neo Geo and Arcade games it once had on the Wii's VC.
the 3ds and the Wii u has turbo grafx 16 games in japan the 3ds has 4 and the wii u has 26 also in japan 3ds game gear virtual console has 22 v. 16 for the rest of us and they have tons of game boy and game boy color and nes they have 111 games just on that
also I do not know why gba has not come over yet on the 3ds in any region even if they did it like Wii games on the Wii u and also where is the neo geo pocket and others
The thing I want most is GBA games on 3DS
ME to the power 10 want them on the 3ds I do not want to carry my gba sp and 3ds with me at the same time.
I like the system the way it is now, it just needs to be modernized a bit. If you buy a game, it should be available on all systems linked to your eShop account. If that's implemented, that justifies the current pricing and basically gets rid of every other problem I'd have (GBA games not on the 3DS???).
I hope SNES or mainly GBA vc come to the 3DS vc line. This would be amazing, the gba was a hand held and i think it should be on a handheld console. The snes had a ton of better games than Nes and using the snes will use all four buttons on the 3ds.
I mainly want GBA the way its suppose to be. If we had for example pokemon, we could trade them to the ds games like diamond and pearl.
I'd love to see on gba vc, if they made it happen;
Legend of Zelda: Minish cap / Four swords
Super Mario Advance
Spyro the dragon
All Pokemon Gba games.
Hm...some more systems to choose from would be nice , the pricing could be a bit better, and, oh yeah! RELEASE MORE GAMES ON THE SERVICE!
@nf_2 yeah id love gba games the way they are ment to be. Portable/ on a handheld. 3ds are capable or handling gba. Ive always wondered why gba arent on 3ds and why are they on the wii u.
I just don't understand why it takes soooo long to put games on the virtual console. And I also don't get why they're so expensive, when Nintendo already made a profit on most of them 15, 20, 25 years ago.
The pricing should be: NES - 2.99 | SNES - 4.99 | N64 - 6.99 (when it eventually happens), | GCN - 9.99 | GBA - 3.99 | DS - 5.99 | With 3 games per week from each console. (Ex. 3 NES, 3 DS, 3 N64...etc. each week.) The purchases would be much more impulse based, much more profit would be gained, and much more satisfaction would be achieved. WHO'S WITH ME?!
Most virtual console titles are too expensive, and the limited selection just makes no sense when compared to competitors like Sony. Every major NES, SNES, N64, and GC game should be on Wii U, and every major GB, GBC, GBA, and DS game should be on the 3DS.
Look. All we need is an import of all of the Wii VC games onto the Wii U VC. I understand it isn't a simple copy-paste, but the fact that we don't have anywhere near what the freaking Wii has/had 6 years ago is extremely underwhelming.
@DGGames Well said. You hit the nail on the head as to why many fans have been frustrated with Nintendo's handling of the virtual console service.
Subscription is never the answer.
my two complains about VC are that roms are overpriced and that they do not offer SNES/GBA/DS roms on 3DS
As well as more VC games, I'd also like to see the games not tied to a specific console, but instead to a Nintendo account. It would be great if when I buy a VC game on my 3DS, I can then play it on my Wii U, or on the next Nintendo console. Also, the price seems a bit too high at the moment.
Nintendo needs to come up with a way to make these games available on all future platforms. I feel like their VC goal should be to have every possible retro title available on as many of their platforms as possible.
Virtual console is amazing. Generally. It is the only place in the world you can still buy retro.
The major problem is the very very very limited range on formats offered and the range of titles on there.
The biggest draw of the Virtual console is to afford the consumer to get gold of the games that there is no other way of playing apart from huge prices on ebay.
N64 and Gamecube should have been added since day one, not drip feeding us NES and SNES......... AGAIN!!!!!
Work deals with third parties to get them across ikaruga and MGS twin snakes could have been added ages and in there full right to charge £20 each as opposed to hundreds of 8bit games we've had access to for the last ten years on Wii.
Bring something new!!!! Not more often same! Didn't iwata say those exact words recently? Shame they don't apply that to virtual console sooner.
I think NES REMIX has the right idea, but the whole "turn parts of the game into minigames" theme shouldn't persist throughout. Giving games a fresh tweak with integrated challenges would be a good thing (Super Mario World with stricter item distribution, Super Metroid with less hidden powerups, A Link to the Past with mixed-up bosses). Nintendo needs to ascertain what makes their classics popular, and expand the challenge and replayability factor based on those elements.
@BaffleBlend If availability was the reason people pirate, the issue would be solved easily. People pirate games simply because they don't want to pay for the games they play that way.
How about mapping buttons on the 3DS? Mario Bros does not work if A=A and B=B. I need to be able to map A to Y so I can, Idunno, run and jump at the same time? Seriously.
I want Neo Geo games on WiiU please
I'd really like the 3DS to have Super GameBoy themes and palettes for games that supported it and GameBoy Color color options for everything else. I'd really like them to release the GBA titles that were available to Ambassadors four years ago, as well as others. It wouldn't hurt to have DS games in the eShop as well. I think GBA and DS games are a pretty poor fit for the Wii U.
DS games on the Wii U needs a mode that simply displays the top and bottom screen as large as possible without the DS picture taking up room. I think the Wii U's VC is healthy overall, though it couldn't hurt to have more titles. I also miss a lot of the stuff that the Wii VC had, like arcade titles, TurboGrafx, and the Sega consoles. Alternatively, they could make the whole Wii Mode work a little better (like using the GamePad as a Classic Controller) so that I could enjoy my old purchases with some of the Wii U benefits.
Pricing is substabtially too high given the lack of cross play in my opinion. Prices for ps1 classics on psn are similar yet they're cross buy on ps3 and vita and presumably ps4 at some point in the future. I think the virtual console prices would be fine as they are if the game was tied to your account and playable on every compatible system you own. As it stands though they really seem a bit steep to justify for me!
Give me GBA games on the 3DS and I'll be happy.
They don't even have to do any flashy stuff. Just the same thing they had in the Ambassador program works great for me.
Also, put Wario Land VB on the 3DS.
This article is a game changer
The Virtual Console really needs to be universal across all their platforms. I have Mario Land now, so I should have a digital copy of it on every platform Nintendo ever release, unless there's new stuff put in the game.
and not having SNES or GBA on 3DS is unforgivable. New 3DS is more than capable - (WHY color the buttons like a SNES? Are they trolling us?!)
To be fair, I don't care if it's not 'Virtual Console', why can't they make Super Mario World 3D Classics? Sega did it with their 16 bit games. Grr, there are so many problems with the VC...
They need to bring it back to the way it was with the Wii. More releases a week, more platforms. We don't need a sub service. Bundles, sure.
They also need to avoid wiping the slate clean in the future. Maybe make a service that is open to adjustments that may need to take place with new hardware.
And, crossbuy. PSN allows for it. And it's great. You can even transfer save files. And I'd rather buy a game once then twice. I pray this is what happens with the new system set up by DeNA.
I dream of the day Nintendo merges both 3DS and Wii U Virtual Consoles.
Why we have to pay twice for the same game?
Nintendo: crossbuy, please.
My problem is not with pricing. My problem is with availability. Most of the games released for Wii U VC are re-hashes from Wii, and they add nothing that would make me want to buy them again. Game Boy Advance is nice, but I'd rather they had been put on the handheld where they belong, as I'm sure with some tweaking it could be done without issue, especially considering the efforts of homebrew have been doing it for years already.
The only thing I find interesting about Wii U VC is the DS games since it utilizes the gamepad in interesting ways, but as a fan of N64, I want to see more releases. The slow trickle is expected as every game needs to be emulated for the platform for the best performance, but 22 unique games total over Wii and Wii U for a console that released nearly 400 is just awful, and due to licensing issues, many of the best games for the platform may never materialize. (Pretty much anything Rare that isn't DK.)
If we had access to the entire library of games from console's past, or at least a decent stream of releases, I would not have a problem. I even understand not being able to download games I bought on Wii because that was pre Nintendo Network. NES games don't belong on 3DS and GBA games don't belong on Wii U. The only way this is okay is if a cross-buy system is in place for games that could work on both pieces of hardware.
After all, we are in a post Nintendo Network world where our purchases are connected to us through a unique identity that can easily carry over to future hardware and services.
I absolutely don't want a subscription service if that were to completely replace the ability to buy them individually. Even if it doesn't, they don't currently release enough titles that people really want often enough. When they do, they're things that people already own.
The change that really needs to happen is availability across platforms. The pricing would also be much more justifiable if it came with the assurance that you wouldn't ever have to buy it again. The idea that I have to buy a title twice to have it on Wii U and 3DS makes me nervous for the future when they move on to a new console. Will I have to buy those games a third time if I want to play them on that new console too?
I want to play DS games on the go, digital. Can I? No, not unless I live in Japan, and want to play just a single game, Advance Wars. So... Why not release the entire library? Are there technical limitations? No, they are ROMS which can be booted like DS cartridges! So... Nintendo are clearly just a bit stubborn, or at least that is how I see it.
More games!!!! Waiting for F-Zero X for the Wii U!!!!! GC games would be also nice.
@Moon Never thought about the snes colored buttons and no snes vc for "new" 3ds. Hilarious!
Cross buy is a must! Sega games are sorely missed! And they do fantastic jobs on their 3d classics, Nintendo should pay Sega to take control on the virtual console service... Dream cast and Saturn would be heavenly!
Price is not a issue for me if I like a game I'll buy it, but I understand price is a thing for some people so sales should take place or bundles like they recently did with the N64 games.
Why don't they tie releases in with new Wii u releases? Kinda like Europe now with the Kirby weeks!? Say for example Yoshi Wooly World, release Yoshi 64 etc
They could even ask fans what games they would like to see!
I hope I see Earthworm Jim 3d tho :/
I think they just need to bundle all the Virtual Console games into a single app. It'd be much more efficient for space, and would allow all your games and settings to be accessed from a single place.
They could build it into some kind of virtual retro game collection, with scans of the original boxes and manuals, 3D models of the carts, and other neat stuff. Maybe even add scanned copies of the old Nintendo Power magazines that people could subscribe to and receive intermittently.
Whatever it is I don't care as long as it is not a subscription. I have over 300 download games on my wii u and 3ds and I expect them to transfer to the wii u 2...or whatever(nx). I will not be paying a subscription for the right to play games. I want to collect and own great games and I'm 99.9% ok with playing these video games for the rest of my life and never getting a $ub$cription based console. I'm only missing prettier versions of the great games I already own.
I know it must be tricky to licence games, especially when ownership of them have moved from one company to another, or to their competitor like Rare. But I don't understand why staples like the Final Fantasy series have not been released outside of Japan. It's free money for Square, and Nintendo.
It's not bad as it is, though the games need to be a bit cheaper, and there needs to be more of them. They also need to set up an account system for users, because having to buy retro games multiple times is infuriating. I was hesitant to buy the N64 games because I know that, at least for the time being, those games are locked to my Wii U. Nintendo really needs to take a que from the way Sony does things and follow suit.
@Alexkidd1985 Saturn&Dreamcast would be wonderful. I'm certainly happy owning Nights,Gaurdian heroes,sonic adventure,soul calibur,mvc2, quake 3, and crazy taxi, on my 360, but there are so many other great games that could grace vc from those systems.Sega managing vc sounds like a great idea as well.
@Donutman My 360 account has expired multiple times, and I'm still able to access my purchased games. Just saying. Yeah, those other two console manufacturers systems are a complete waste of time. Absolutely nothing fun to play on them at all.
@BaffleBlend so it ur responsibility tomsupport the systems so games can be released.
@Gobelee I'd buy anything FF on vc. I wonder why we are not seeing any releases outside of Japan.
The problem is VC library is so small. Unless you are a regular NES fan you probably won't find more than a handful of the oldies you are looking for. That and no GBA on the 3DS....!!!..... Very upset about that one still.
Though the Virtual Console has disappointed me on the 3DS and Wii U, I can see why Nintendo has not pursued that area very aggressively.
The Virtual Console launched alongside the Wii in late 2006. At this point, software support for Nintendo consoles was very different. WiiWare would not be launched for another 16 or so months, and even it focused on games from big developers like Square Enix and Capcom. However, the Wii got plenty of retail games, including some that would be high-end downloads today. The Virtual Console was a good way to keep a regular supply of content flowing to the Wii without pushing its limits or the 3rd parties' tolerance of competition. After all, people are not likely to pick a $5 retro game rather than a new $50 game unless they were probably not going to get the new game anyway. Plus, the old cartridge-based games of the 80's and 90's did not take up too much of the Wii's tiny storage capacity.
Today, things are really different. The Wii U in particular relies more on 3rd party digital support than retail support. Think about 2014's lineup for example. The Wii U got a late port of Watch Dogs, Sonic Boom, and a few licensed multiplatform games. It was likely less than 20 titles total. Conversely, the eShop brought us Shovel Knight, Shantae, Tengami, Costume Quest, and Tetrobot in just the last 10 weeks of the year.
So Nintendo relies on 3rd party downloadable games for most of their outside support. The problem here is the Virtual Console. Nintendo could easily release half of their N64 library in a couple of months for $5 apiece, and those would sell to fans. But if you are a 3rd party, how are you supposed to compete with that? Why would people buy Shovel Knight for $15 when they could get Ocarina of Time, Super Mario 64, and Super Smash Bros for the same price? Making a new great game for the Wii U is much more expensive than emulating an ancient one.
So Nintendo has to hold the Virtual Console back. They lose a bit of money this way, but keep their remaining supporters on board.
My only "suggestion" for Nintendo would be to focus on the N64, DS, and GameCube. These platforms should not be too hard (except for maybe the GameCube) to emulate and can still be sold for high enough prices ($10 to $15) so as to not compete with indie developers. Plus, a lot of N64 and GameCube games have seen less widespread releases than NES and SNES games.
Otherwise, the state of the Virtual Console is an unfortunate necessity.
It's unfortunate that most third parties are not interested in releasing third party games on the virtual console.Nintendo is running out of games to release,that's why they expanded the console lineup.I wish Nintendo could do something to get more third parties on board.On topic,I don't want a subscription model like PS Plus.Don't they take away your games if you lapse your payment?
@NandN3ds Yes, ps4&xb1 downloads are not accessible if the account expires. I expect that to change at some point, as it's no longer a issue with 360 or PS3.
The same format they have now but future-proof where everything you have purchased is available on all systems made by Nintendo. Implement an account system.
Imagine metal gear yoshi!? https://www.etsy.com/listing/232018307/foxhound-style-yoshi-3d-printed-badge
Really, they need to get off their butts with the VC. This trickle drip method is just pathetic.
Implement crossbuy. That's what people are asking for. Not "an account system". Nintendo HAS as an account system. Your purchases are tied to that NNID. The NNID, however, is tied to the hardware and there is no cross buy. The NNID treats the two different versions of a game as two different games. So "Super Mario Bros" on the 3DS VC is treated as a separate game from "Super Mario Bros" on the Wii U VC.
It should just be one "Super Mario Bros" game. It needs to be where you can purchase a game once and add it to an overall collection. Not two versions for each system made into two separate games on the same account.
As a person without a credit card, the last thing I want is a subscription service.
I think the Wii U VC has come a long way. A year ago we had nothing but NES and SNES, which was more than disappointing. Now? Those two platforms are mostly filled out, we've got GBA games, N64 games, DS and Wii games. I got my Donkey Kong Country trilogy, and people got their DK64- both of which were previously number one complains.
I suspect they'll spend the next two years filling out those platforms. We may get GameCube, we may not. But if not, I would still be satisfied provided they filled out the platforms they've started.
Now, the 3DS VC is not nearly as good. It's got a fantastic NES lineup, but that's about it. Unless you're into GB and GB Color games. Granted, there are the Sega Genesis 3D Classics, which is one redeeming quality.
I think back in the Wii era they were making so much money they could afford to make VC games for every title in the universe. They didn't care- they were selling 40 million copies of Mario Kart! And it was paving new ground. Now that sales are down and they've had some previous experience to see which VC games sell and which ones don't, that's why you see them being a little more picky with what they release.
They need to change the system or atleast speed up the release dates or add more games.
Natsume shed some light on it, and its understandable for third party.
But first party games shouldn't have that problem, they should try to put all the first party games there.
After all, they already have an emulator working nice, and with the old games, is just a matter of fact to simply change the rom.
As long as they have to develop the same title twice for the Wii U and 3DS versions, I don't think we're going to see cross buy for Virtual Console games. I think that something they're looking to address next generation though. I will say though, there's something to be said for cross-generational transfer over cross buy. Cross buy only nets you the game once on a supplementary platform, while cross-generational transfer nets you the game for the coming generation and offers a discount on the new version (if applicable).
Of course, if they create an OS next generation where games can be developed just once, we'll get both.
@ikki5 They have to trickle because they are running out of first party games to release.That's why they added more Nintendo platforms.
I think they should just release more games a week, but I think it would also be nice if they offered more VC download codes in stores and also offer some Virtual Console compilation discs and/or carts.
The concept is fine. The Wii VC had a great library by the end of the Wii's lifespan, but it took a while. The 3DS VC has been hurt by their insistence on only using GB and NES games - I would love more console VC games on a handheld. At the very least, it would be good to have GBA games on the 3DS too. Pokemon would be nice. The Wii U is taking the entire lifespan of the Wii U just to get anywhere close to what was already on the Wii and that is silly. I love the Wii VC. I've been able to play a lot of classic games for a reasonable price.
I love the VC. I do hope we will see C64 games again as well as arcade games. There are so many games to pick that every one wishes they would increase their output. 1 game a week on the VC is a little underwhelming.
Ah...The Virtual Console, the unappreciated Jon Snow of Nintendo....
I love it to bits but it LACKS GAMES!! It needs way more titles!! I want more NES, SNES, Mega Drive, TG and Neo Geo games.... LOTS MORE!!! And I am willing to pay!! COME ON NINTENDO!!!
Also, GBA and DS games have no place on the Wii U. The native resolution is way to low to enjoy it on my 55" TV.
I really don't get it. EVERYBODY is complaining about the lack of games. Why isn't Nintendo doing anything?
The VC isn't bad but its behind the times. Not meaning to beat a dead horse, but not having digital content tied to an account rather than the console itself has been a glaring omission over the past several years. Not having much of any crossplay downloads is also effected by the above which is a shame because they tend to re-release the same on essentially every piece of hardware they can. Nintendo handling and dictating all VC games also causes a very limited amount of releases compared to what they would have if developers were allowed to do their own jobs. The PSN has become the gold standard for digital sales for consoles, and it takes Nintendo a couple generations of hardware to keep up with the pace. I don't mind them opting out of the whole subscription for free games stuff, but the other stuff noted above would make a major difference.
There is a vast untapped library of games that need to come over. I understand that some of them have licensing issues, like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves for NES. But that game was actually very good!
Secret of Mana needs to make it's way to the WiiU VC, as I hate having to change over to Wii mode to play it. I don't think Secret of Evermore ever made it to the Wii VC either, but it should have, even if it isn't anywhere near as good as Mana was and had lots of bugs to boot.
There are a few things I'd like to see changed with VC. One is the ability to choose the region of the game I'm playing. Games like Final Fight were censored in the West so I'd like to be able to choose to play the Japanese version. There are quite a few other examples of games being changed when they were localised where I'd like the ability to choose the rom I play.
Next up is controls. On 3DS I'd really like to be able to remap the controls as I much prefer using Y/B to B/A (this is something Nintendo should do even for their modern releases). I'd also like the option of turbo fire on the VC. I don't really want to be hammering the fire buttons on Contra so the option to have turbo fire would really help.
Finally, I wouldn't mind seeing "enhanced" games which use the second screen of the 3DS and Wii U to display extra information. For example, imagine a version of Super Metroid that displays the map on the second screen along with the ability to add notes to areas to remind you to revisit them. This could be done quite easily by reading the emulator's memory map to get the current state of the game map. Likewise you could do something similar to Zelda III by having item selection on the lower screen or splitting Super Mario Kart so the map is on the bottom screen and the racing view takes up the full space of the top screen. I think things like that could add real value and also deliver something you can't get on any other platform that has emulators.
@SupremeAllah I recently purchased Secret of Mana on iOS for eight bucks. Rpg's work pretty well with a touch screen interface.
So do as I do and only play them on the game pad. GBA games definitely have a place on Wii U, and I enjoy playing them on my game pad a whole lot more so than on my 3DS. I think its too soon to say whether DS games will be important to the Wii U. I think they should have been downloadable on 3DS instead because the Wii U screen layout for DS games is terrible for some. I imagine Yoshi's Island DS would be annoying to play on Game Pad or Game Pad and TV together. Its fine for the two games I have downloaded; Mario Kart DS and WarioWare Touched.
No... The 3DS' lack of any new games at all is what disturbs me. They need to get more Game Boy and Game Boy Color games on the 3DS before they start releasing games from currently unsupported consoles. I'm still downloading VC games on 3DS but I'm running out of choice now. I'm not happy with games costing more on 3DS than the same game on Wii U (in the U.K. at least). On Wii U, every NES game is £3.49 regardless of quality. On 3DS, they range from £3.59 to £4.49... why...?
Sure. I'd be quite happy with that.
what I don't like is that I have to buy a game again when I change consoles (i.e NES games from Wii to NES games from Wii U) even if they are discounted. I already paid for them, why should I pay again? it's absurd.
Seeing how the wii is a comercial failure, I doubt Nintendo will give the same importance that they did on the wii. Too much work and very few audiences. It's a shame.
I hope that next time it fairs better.
Nobody likes having to pay extra again, especially when NES games are the same cost on the Wii U as they are on the Wii. And yes, it is absurd. But I play more games on my Wii U now than on Wii mode so I upgrade every time a new game is released that I already own.
@Bass_X0 same here
Way back before the original Wii launched, I thought Virtual Console was a great idea. But it hasn't worked as well in practice as I had hoped.
1) The games are a bit costly. I think they should be a few dollars cheaper. NES can still be cheapest, for example, but at the $5 price point, I'm not as likely to buy one randomly as I would if it was marked at $2 or $3. Nintendo 64 games shouldn't be $10. I'd say between $5-7. If you compare the costs of these versus Steam sales or other compilation bundles (look how cheap you can get bundles of Sega games, either on Steam or on consoles!), they're pretty expensive at the prices Nintendo charges. Nintendo has always been at the premium price point (their games are very slow and/or never drop in price) but still. It's too premium.
2) The games release too slowly. Virtual Console has been around for a long time now, since the original Wii, and there's still plenty of great games that have never been released.
3) Like others said, you either shouldn't have to pay to take a game from Wii -> Wii U, or a very small (like $1 or less!) amount. Not only do people sometimes not feel like booting into Wii mode, but they may also want to use their Wii U controllers. If you already purchased the game, you shouldn't have to pay much, if anything, (preferably nothing) to be able to download the game on the Wii U side.
4) It's frustrating that some VC games were only released through the 3DS ambassador program and they're STILL not available to anyone else. It's fine that the ambassadors got them for FREE and exclusive availability for such a long time. But I think these games ought to be released for purchase for others to buy too. The Club Nintendo only Virtual Console games are really annoying for a fairly similar reason. It's not like Nintendo loses out by making these available for sale.
If they did a subscription service, it would be awesome if they did a Netflix model where you can access the whole catalog for a monthly fee. As long as you're a member, you can download and play whatever you want (though I wouldn't expect to be able to keep any games I downloaded afterwards, of course). That would encourage me to try more games. Ultimately, I'd just prefer cheaper downloads and buying what I want, but if a subscription model gets more games I want on the system, because it's more profitable, I'm ok with that - as long as it's not crazy expensive. (I'm not playing 9.99/mo. to putz around a couple hours here and there for Mario 64, for example).
@NandN3ds So... that's why we're getting just crap right?
If a yearly subscription elimates $5 NES games, I want that.
I mostly just wish they would put up more games. I remember when Wii came out we'd get 3-4 a week sometimes. Now we're lucky to get one a week. I wish I understood if it was actually a difficult process for them to put them up on VC- I mean, how much man power can that possibly take? They're basically just selling roms that run on the current nintendo systems. I'd also LOVE snes games on 3ds, but they're too busy putting ds games on wii u for some reason.
Bring Tiny Toons to VC. That would be sick!
Okay folks lets get something straight. One day Nintendo is going to stop the virtual console and the owners of the account might pass away as well one day. So just to be clear if you do purchase anything on this, please make it to purchase BRAND NEW GAMES and avoid repeats. It cost Nintendo virtually nothing to bring out the red carpet on their past products. By purchasing these these DLC you are locking your purchases to the service and not the content itself. That is my two cents.
The Wii Virtual Console is still better than the Wii U Virtual Console. Sure, the Wii U has the retro DK games and Earthbound, but they're still not enough games like the Wii Virtual Console. Let's compare:
Genesis/Mega Drive/Sega CD/Mega CD
Neo Geo/Neo Geo CD
Turbo Graphics 16
See how the Wii U Virtual Console is a huge dissapointment? It doesn't offer the same retro experience as the Wii. Really a missed opportunity.
As for the 3DS, it's the service's first time to be in a handheld, and its console relative will steal the spotlight, so at least it has an excuse. But still, I'm still waiting for GBA games on 3DS Virtual Console. (Which will never come.)
And there should be cross buy on Virtual Console games. I have a lot of Virtual Console games on my 3DS, but I don't want to buy it again just to play it on my Wii U. So for now, I'll actually pass every single Virtual Console game (expect N64) until Nintendo makes something about it.
I'd love to play the classic Megadrive Disney games on Wii U. But that's never going to happen lol
The VC is better than it was but definitely needs improvement. The biggest one being the depth of the catalog available and trickle of releases. I get that Nintendo out the ones they think will sell best out first but there are so many MIA.
I also wonder how big a problem licensing is. There are so many great Capcom NES Disney games missing for example as well as the Star Wars games for SNES & GC.
This is a bit unrelated and a bit of wishful thinking. But, I would love to see online compatible GB/GBC/GBA virtual console games. Also, I would really like to see them expand their handheld library to include Neo Geo Pocket games.
More N64 games please! Preferred them scaled to 1080p or at least offer anti-aliasing. N64 emulators make old N64 games look awesome! Why can't Nintendo do this? Also, pixel perfect scaling of NES and SNES games would be nice too. Scaling a 240p NES game to 1080p without any padding on the top or bottom gives a blur effect.
How about binding games to an account rather than your system? I lost my 3DS that had the ambassador program on it and I had to literally beg Nintendo to put it back on my replacement 3DS. I had a ton of VC, DS and 3DS game downloads that I registered with club.nintendo, but I wasn't allowed to download them on my new 3DS that I had also registered through club.nintendo. I was so desperate to have my Ambassador program that I told them I didn't care about the rest. I'd be happy to buy them again if I could just get the Ambassador Program back. I was VERY thankful when they put it on my replacement 3DS, but at the same time I thought "why does it have to be like this?".
I love how my previous comment was modded
Don't think that the younger readers amoung us get it, but I appologize moderator...my choise of words could have been a bit more appropriate indeed. Surely you mean Jon Stark?
I'm kind of on the fence (in regards to quality). There are things I like, but it's also disappointing that the process seems difficult enough that the pace is slow and (apparently) that Nintendo have to help do a lot of the work to get the games running in the first place - I see that as being quite a big issue in itself and wish they'd find a way to simplify the process (making it easier and more attractive for other devs).
i'm also disappointed that a lot of the other systems that were on Wii VC aren't focused on. I know they're "readily available" on the Wii Mode, but personally i'd prefer having these games on Wii U (and not being bound by Wii peripherals/batteries).
One final thing is that I am disappointed with the region differences. 50hz would be a nice novelty AS AN OPTION (as in M2's 360 retro "ports"), but not as the only choice! Also (most importantly) i'm not a fan of the differences in releases between Europe/US. IIRC 3 out of the 4 weeks, Europe's received nothing - we even miss out on Paper Mario (ugh and we'll probably just get the 50hz version anyway.
I hate subscription services and avoid them whenever possible. Just let me choose what I want, and I'll be glad to pay a one-time fee, but don't nickle and dime me with continuous fees where I have to worry about whether or not I'm making full use of the service or if I have upcoming charges that need to be paid.
@Pahvi PC Engine (TurboGraph 16) is available in Japan only because they actual y sell over there.
Everythings fine. More platforms would be great. You know what I mean, Sega Saturn and Dreamcast.
I would gladly pay $5.00/month for a more robust and account tied and feature rich VC service. I want access to ALL the classic games from all the 8bit-64bit systems and will pay a sub to get it.
I smell some kind of piad subscription service coming..
This is how I think it should work:
I've always loved it, but have also wanted a lot more classic arcade games.
I'll always prefer to play classic games on their original consoles, I'll only get one of the existing VC games on current platforms I own physically if I get them free (like club.nintendo used to do) or VERY cheap (like the 30 cents promotion).
The only reason for me to get a VC version of a game would be for the ones I dont own its original console, like import games and non-Nintendo consoles, but both of these categories were dropped. So the closest I'll be to get a VC game, let alone pay a monthly fee service, is with games like NES Remix or Amiibo tap.
On Wii I paid for 12 VC games from Arcade, non-Nintendo consoles and imports and on 3DS I paid for 3 VC games. Thats not a lot, but for Wii U I have paid for 0 games on VC since those categories are not supported (only got CN freebies)
There's few things I care about in terms of virtual console. I like playing the newer games.
it needs future proofing for sure but i feel like the 3rd party selection the Wii had wont come back so that's dissapointing. Wii mode, ugh.
They need to pump out Virtual Console games faster and edit them where necessary to make them function as closely as possible to the originals. For example, Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, and Crystal need to be released on Virtual Console and have the ability to trade and battle Pokémon wirelessly.
It's the drip feeding that annoys me - it's all there just make it available!
They need to do pretty much all of this:-
The lazy way it's been handled this generation is an insult to long-term fans who would support the VC if Nintendo seemed at all interested
The wii had a hugely superior virtual console to that on the WiiU or the 3DS.
They need to flood as much content in ASAP. Perhaps there are issues with complexity of having to recode every title but surely the work done to emulate for the wii largely translates across to the wiiu.
Either way, more virtual console titles nintendo. Yes they may take sales away from one another, but the wiiu library is lacking in third party, so make it up with nostalgia and reward your older faithful fans.
Whatever the hypothetical cost would be, people generally pay less per month on VC games. And just because they have access to the whole library, it doesn't mean they would play them. So someone could be paying $15 - $30 a month just to play a few same games. And companies would stop releasing games on the service because they are effectively not getting paid.
can I make a humble plea for NeoGeo Pocket Color games on 3DS VC?
There are only three things to make the VC perfect.
1: Release more games more frequently regularly
2: Make the games cross platform across generations and with the home and handhelds
3: Reduce the prices by 30%
The most intelligent comment of this article
i want a device that is basically a DS cartridge slot that connects to Wii U via USB. Would let me play my DS games on the Wii U without the need to buy them all again on VC
**opens a can of worms**
Looking at the eShop the other day, Nintendo seem to have subtly dropped the 'virtual console' branding, instead just referring to 'games from classic systems'
I think we're already heading towards that unified platform Iwata mentioned, with - yes! - crossplay! Including on NX, whatever that turns out to be
I hope the next home console will drop the blu ray drive and just use an 3SD slot - cheaper system, silent, faster, potentially bigger storage if they use micro-sd technology. The only drawback might be higher costs for developers, but Nintendo have been making millions of 3DS cards for years so there's probably an economy of scale there, I dunno.
@CTs_Lieutenant I like your recommendation! Straight forward good old common sense! Nintendo hello!
If Nintendo use Intel-based CPU for every console, then it does not need to create a new emulator every time they launch a console - the quality of the emulator on Wii U is actually worse than the emulator on PC at times. The former has very obvious slowdowns at times.
If you look at Nintendos recent DLC offerings, youll notice that people are actually interested in bundle discounts, even IF the actual content you purchased is many many months away from release.
Why not integrate that into the whole VC affair to get the "theres no demand / market" schtick out of the way.
Lets take Squares Final Fantasy series for instance.
There is the lovely GBA remake collection, some of which are the definitve version of said games. We have FF 1&2, 4, 5 and 6, so 4 games in total.
A GBA game costs 7 bucks a pop, so 28 in total.
So, why not offer a Final Fantasy classic pack. If they want to go the "Customer pleaser" route, offer it for 20, if they are out for max income, why not round it down to 25 (a single eShop cards value).
And once a game from this pack is released, you can download it instantly, maybe even a week earlier as another added perk.
Or do something similar to other subscription models. Offer a global subscription service, giving you a discount on every VC title and selected ones for "free". Again, this will get rid of the "were not sure if this will sell" attitude, as the money is already coming in.
Also, try to get VC stuff to run on the more powerfull N3DS and implement a "cross buy" system. As simple as it sounds, but "getting two games for the price of one" always sounds like a better deal, even if its the same game.
Or even connect it with the above mentioned subscription model. If youre a member, you get the cross buy perk. saving you the money in the long run.
Theyve introduced an enhanced MiiLobby, why not a premium eShop status ?
If the prices range from $2 (NES) to $5 (N64)， god knows how many more VC game I'd like to buy....
I've been at a 50/50 since the Wii days. On Wii, they were releasing a lot of NES and Super NES titles, but only a few N64 titles. It was 3-4 games released on that system (..1-2 virtual, 1-2 wii ware) per week. Wii U, it's 1 virtual per week...if we're lucky. I also think some of the prices are high for certain games. Sports on the NES are not going to get a huge download and I don't think they should be full price at $5. Also, if you bought a card on Wii, you could get at least 4 games. You buy a $20 card on Wii U, you get charged tax on the games. Why do we have to get charged tax, when Sony and Microsoft and even Nintendo in the past, never did that before?
Anyways, there is a lot of games that I wish would come out
NES: The Goonies 2, Adventures of Bayou Billy, Little Nemo
GENESIS: Castlevania Bloodline, Rocket Knight Adventures, Cool Spot
N64: Conker's Bad Fur Day, Rocket, Glover, Mystical Ninja, Bio Freaks
I do also wish that the 3DS would start getting more. Couldn't Advance games get brought over to it...especially with the New 3DS...or even super nintendo...or how about bringing more N64 remakes over to it? It seems that 3DS and Wii U are drying up already, which makes me wonder on if nintendo is already making the next systems, and this is the final year for the E-Shops until the next systems...something that they seem to do since N64 days (the last year was horrible in game releases...meaning that there was very few)
Come on, nintendo! I want to know that I can trust and believe in you like the good old days! I believe that Dr. Mario can fix all of this (just like the old pamphlet I still own about Dr. Mario fixing systems).
@EarthboundBenjy That would be a nice addition, but I think nintendo is counting on getting more money out of wallets, with the lack of the Wii U sales. Maybe in their future system, as long as it does good, we'll see something like the Super Gameboy (Super NES adaptor) or the Gameboy Player (Gamecube adaptor).
Am i the only one that wonders why the hell Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow/Gold/Silver didnt come yet to VC?
Personally, I say if you're going to release a game on a modern console, remaster it. If not, buy it on the original console. But then again, there has to be a cheaper way of being introduced to those older games. Amiibo tap and Smash Bros are cool ways of doing this, and I think Club Nintendo was interesting too, but I would much rather see an arcade service or something that allowed Nintendo players to play these old games as if they were in an arcade: just to try them out. Maybe there could be a cheap, 24-hour fee or something like that. I'm saying this mostly from the perspective of a guy who prefers to buy the original consoles and games, although I totally understand that it is super nice to be able to play these games on HD TVs on Wii U: for old consoles, you need an old CRT television (although old games look great on them )
@JLPick actually, that would be pretty awesome! That way I wouldn't have to download the games, which I'm not a very big fan of doing in the first place.
C'mon guys, the Wii U VC is a joke! 2.5 years old and this is what we have? kinda sad. most if not all the Wii VC games that can be brought back should be already here. Sure it doesn't make sense to just dump on the games on us right away, but there have been many a moment where there has been a real drought, and all Nintendo does is release 1-2 VC games, it's kind of ridiculous. I mean it took 2.5 years to bring N64 games!!!! really!! And don't get me started about not having Gamecube games.
Sure I love that they brought GBA games, but not for the right console. and the DS for Wii U, just looks hoaky, and we've seen no more Wii releases since they launched... they are clearly stretching themselves thin, but this service could be the ultimate retro catalogue, its just sad that they haven't jumped on the chance when it's staring at them right in the face!
I voted for remixes, but maybe I misunderstood what was meant by that... I would definitely prefer to keep individual sales intact, we don't need any of the subscription crap in an online digital storefront where you're supposed to keep what you're buying. Not interested in DRM-laden apps like the amiibo Tap, either. Timed bundle sales that are carefully planned might be a good idea, but only if there's a significant discount involved. (20%-80% off all titles in bundle)
Other than that, the Wii U Virtual Console has been a resounding failure thus far. It's not even remotely close to reaching the what the Wii Virtual Console offered by the same time span after it's release... And that was when Nintendo was just getting started with this! The 3DS Virtual Console has definitely fared better, though it could still use a lot of improvement. Lots of missed opportunities, all around.
I would propose my own ideas (e.g. go DRM free), but they're not going to happen.
I still like to have the original hardware around with the physical cartridges. It avoids all this waiting and you can play the original. Something like Earthbound where I don't have the cart (now $200), or when i want to play a formerly handheld game on a console is when I may make a VC purchase. Everyone doesn't like subscription, but it is the most profitable, and will eventually go that way. They may even be withholding a boat load of games for VC to counteract the negative reaction to subscription by bringing 100's of games online at the time of announcement. I will keep collecting the old carts here and there for now.
@RegalSin The original Wii can be modded to backup Virtual Console purchases, so that makes up for lack of DRM-free there. There's no such option for the Wii U, so quite frankly, I would recommend against buying anything on WIi U Virtual Console if one wants to actually keep their stuff, and not just have long term rentals. At least the 3DS Virtual Console titles have other utilities...
I think a Netflix type subscription service would work best, but with an optional stream or download choice.
Im in the BETA for PlayStation Now here in the UK and it is super impressive! And that's streaming ps3 games, so im sure NES, snes, n64 games etc could cope.
Isn't it so that if you buy a game on Wii VC, you need buy it again twice if you want to play it on 3DS and Wii U(on Gamepad, not Wii mode). They should change that first.
Nintendo needs a new format. Setting up a subscription would be the best bet , but not the only one. For 49.99 a year gets you 1 free game a month(not the ones you already own) a physical reward, other goodies and a member of the new club Nintendo. $5 EShop credit for people who buy a New game. You get the flood gate of games for a monthly rentals on recent and never before seen classics, better online service, GameCube and Dreamcast is now available for WIiU. 3DS has SNES, and GBA and all the VC games you own on the 3DS are on the WiiU for no charge. A monthly subscription of 8.99 gets you a library that would be arbitrary but have a constant flow to keep people interested. You still have the option of purchasing them like you have in the past(change is hard for some people) but at a slightly cheaper price. They need to release the flood gates and be aggressive. Ninety can do all of this maybe they should just copy Sony's format.
Why do I have to buy the same games over and over again? Sure, you can send your old games over from Wii to Wii U, but why do I have to pay twice to get Super Mario Bros. on my 3DS as well as on my Wii U? It makes no sense other than milking money. The advantage of the Nintendo accounts should be that you can keep your purchases across different platforms or even generations. Instead of using the rich back catalogue of the Wii's Virtual Console and continue to expand it, they started all over again. WHY? The weirdest part is that they didn't do it like that with DSiWare. You can still get pretty much all of the old DSi Shop's games in the new eShop on 3DS. Why not do the same with the Wii VC and the Wii U VC? Or even the 3DS VC?
However they wanna market it and sell it is fine with me I don't care!! I'm fine with the structure of the service. The problem is the lack of 3rd party systems/platforms, slow ass release schedule(1 game a week crap) and total lack of arcade classics (there are thousands) like they have on the wii with VIRTUAL CONSOLE ARCADE!! Other systems on the service which should be a no brainer should be Atari 2600/7800- Colecovision-Genesis - GameCube- master system- turbographx 16- Neo geo- game gear- dreamcast- sega cd- maybe Saturn?
Where are all the non-Nintendo virtual consoles?
I'm absolutely done with Nintendo's virtual console.
I used to be a huge Nintendo supporter. In fact, I've spent tons of money on the VC in the past both on Wii and Wii-U. But the news that they're likely ending support for the SNES was the last straw. I can grab an old phone and turn it into an EXCELLENT emulator and play every game I want to for free. (And on a screen that beats the snot out of the low-res, bad viewing angle 3DS screen.) Would I pay for that same access if I could have every title I wanted? ABSOLUTELY! But I am sick and tired of waiting and paying and dealing with Nintendo's half-baked efforts.
I don't care if emulation is 100% perfect, I'm through with Nintendo's lame approach to old consoles. If I decide I really want the experience, GameStop's decision to stock old consoles and games will take care of my needs.
@Samuel-Flutter yes they do! 32 turbographx games!! We have zip! Most of them ex Hudson soft games published by Konami!!
I think they definitely should release games more regularly, but they also need to be careful not to release games at such a fast pace that it hurts the sales of indie games. Also, a few different platforms would be welcome. I would rather see GBA games on the 3DS instead of on the Wii U (or at least in addition to), GC games should be on Wii U, and N64 games probably should have been added a lot sooner. SNES games on the 3DS would be a welcome addition. Genesis, Saturn and Dreamcast games should also be added to the Wii U's VC. For DS games that are out of print, I would rather have them on the 3DS than the Wii U. Since the 3DS can play physical DS games, I don't want them to bring DS games to the 3DS eshop that are still easily available on Amazon though, in boxed copies and a normal price. They could keep an eye on Amazon's market, and if a boxed DS game becomes hard to find or overpriced then bring it to the 3DS digital service. However, if they bother with DS games where physical copies can still be easily obtained, they might as well put it on the Wii U for the time being instead of the 3DS, for the benefit of Wii U owners that don't own a 3DS.
I'm not sure if I can agree with the person that said N64 games should be on the 3DS VC. I don't think the 3DS could emulate them properly. Doing 3D remakes of N64 games is different, because in the process they become optimized for the system. Otherwise I'm doubtful the 3DS could emulate N64 games. Maybe the New 3DS could though, I don't know.
The biggest reason I'd like the games on the Wii VC to be released again on the Wii U VC is because playing in Wii mode doesn't allow you to use to gamepad to play the game. The gamepad will display the game, but the controls don't work. I also don't see an option to store the games on the external USB unlike when you're buying games from the Wii U VC, so I don't know if you'd run out of storage space if you bought a lot of games in Wii mode. But if I could play Wii VC games on the gamepad and store the games on the USB, I would say they wouldn't have to bother. It's not like booting up Wii mode is a complicated process.
It would also be great if we got more third party VC games for the platforms that are already supported on the VC.
I hope the article makes a point of the issue that you currently have to rebuy everything on each new console. Nintendo really needs to move on from making its consumers by a digital rom of Mario Bros. over and over again if they want it on their current consoles. The club Nintendo replacement NEEDS to solve this and allow us to keep our licences of digital content as we move to need consoles (And of course tether our licences to an account rather than a console), let us feel like we actually own our games Nintendo.
The way Virtual Console should work is that each Physical Copy game should come with a free VC game. For example, if a new Metroid game comes to Wii U, it should come with a free download of Super Metroid. You should also be able to pay $9.99 per month and download any Virtual Console game you want. If you cancel the services, you cannot play any downloaded VC games like how PS + works. You should also get 10% off any VC purchase with the subscription. They should also offer bundles like the Super Mario Bros. 1/2/3 NES Bundle, the Metroid 1/II,Super Metroid bundle, and such with 20% off discounts.
You know, I came in here to joke about how they didn't call something a game changer for once. Then I found this at the start of the article.
"this was a game changer for Nintendo."
Ugh. I'm starting to think the writers on this site get paid based on how many times they call something a game changer.
Oh, and more rubbish like amiibo tap is absolutely NOT the solution. It's bad enough Nintendo is locking out game content behind plastic figures that sell out, meaning you can't get the content even if you want it. If they start denying access to entire GAMES unless you can get your hands on one of these super rare bits of plastic tat, I'm done with Nintendo.
Business is very simple, Nintendo. I want to buy a game. You sell me a game. I get a game and you get my money. Easy. Putting these idiotic plastic figures in the way is ruining the business. It means I can't get the games and you can't get my money. amiibo is the worst DLC practice the game industry has ever seen, but the idea of locking entire games behind amiibo? The author of this article should be fired and never allowed to work anywhere that doesn't involve asking "do you want fries with that?" ever again for suggesting such a downright terrible idea.
@AirElephant Your last point is absolutely not true. I've remapped the buttons on every SNES game I've bought off the Virtual Console.
@Ichiban I actually have castle of illusion starring Mickey Mouse on ps3!! Was a promo code!! Great classic
Some NES games are not worth $5 like Golf,Tennis,Urban Champion... Come on Nintendo...
@JLPick Bayou Billy had some light gun parts didn't it? Not sure how they would address that.
I think it would be cool to pay a monthly sub to have all the vc content unlocked and playable.
Do people really not like the VC these days? I still find it really useful, especially in case of a game drought like we've been having recently.
I just want Gamecube games on Wii U and DS/GBA games on 3DS...
Subscription would be the end of my VC purchases. I like owning games, period. My only complaint is lack of SNES on the 3DS and lack of games coming out for the VC in general. The way it functions is fine, they just need more people on it so more games get released.
I like the vc on both the Wii U and 3DS, but there is much room for improvement. We need a user account system for a start. Yes we would like lower prices but think most of us would be happy with more games. Come on Nintendo use these games from your back catalogue. Fill the gaps from the lack of third party releases. Make a big thing of it too. It is what makes you different from Microsoft and Sony. N64, Gamecube, more SNES, SEGA etc. How about big third party releases from those systems too.
NES - £1.99
SNES - £2.99
N64 - £3.99
GCN - £4.99
The above is how the VC pricing structure should work, with perhaps a few heavy hitters having an inflated price. Then add 50% for cross-buy.
Nintendo has every justification to be proud of its gaming heritage, but apart from the collectors, it needs to be acknowledged that current VC prices are too high to attract the general public to try out a game that loses relevance day-by-day due to age. There's just too many alternative choices for games consumers to bother giving a 20 year old game a second thought.
Nintendo should price the VC with the aim of getting every game on every system owned. That's how I'd like it. But I can see why the company would probably opt for a subscription-based account system for unlimited access(while you maintain your payments).
I can also appreciate the point made above that it might scare off 3rd parties if they're having to compete with all that VC going cheap. But if the system is popular, partly because off an attractive VC offering, I don't think it would be a problem. A game in 2015 shouldn't be seeing a game from 1990 as much competition. People would buy up the VC in droves but I suspect a large proportion would go on to be relatively unplayed.
It would be nice if Nintendo read this article, the views from N.L users / readers are very interesting, we need more titles on the VC and to have cheaper prices. All though I do like the fact that if you own a game on the Wii VC and you've transfered to it to Wii-U you can get for about £1.50 to £2.00. I think the Wii VC was a unique selling point when the Wii was released.
If we lost all the games we already had, and there was no way to transfer them (in this tentative better version), I'd be disappointed.
@fed0ra7 I enjoy the vc service, and it's helped out during droughts, but the service could be so much better than what it is.
Compare NOJ vc to NA/EU vc. Why does Japan get all that extra vc love? Why is NA&EU vc being treated like a second priority? It doesn't make me feel like a valued customer that's for sure.
It's such a relatively poor showing that it does make new wonder if the content is being held back for the launch of the new Dena membership service, when a massive library will be available.
Either that or Nintendo really does hate money.
I couldn't believe it when I got my N3DS recently and found there were no DS games on the eshop.
I think the VC is ok. The problems I have are the time it takes for these titles to arrive. We need more N64 titles. The DS titles work but more control options are needed (Controller Pro). I know the DS uses a touchscreen but most games don't need it such as Mario Kart DS where its awkward to have a large Gamepad. As for N64 and Wii VC in North America looks to be done, three titles on each, really? We just want more. Sure N64 can play in the Wii VC, but my receiver won't display the emulated Wii mode on TV so Wii U mode is the only working method for me unless I want to connect directly to my TV... or just play with the Gamepad as a monitor.
Try that on a 3DS and get back to me. That's the reason I returned my 3DS, which I primarily bought to play VC titles + Zelda.
Honestly I don't want any of the options in the poll. Primarily I'd want them to improve the quality of the conversions. If Wii U "up-ressed" it's Mario Kart DS release it would look lovely and actually be a system seller for me, but just stretching 192p resolution to my 1080p screen looks very blocky. Also, not up-ressing N64 games more on Wii U than Wii did is disappointing. DK64 supported wide screen and Dolby Surround on N64, so Wii U ideally ought to support those features. It feels like a shame it doesn't.
Wii had excellent, quality conversions for the system. Other than quality, the number of available games and the guarantee that I'll own these games going forward (cross-console account system) is most important to me.
Pretty much what everyone else has said still to date the Wii virtual console is better it had way more platforms and they should have ported the Wii Virtual console to the Wii U instead of each game.
I'm still enjoying the Neogeo and Turbo graphx games on Wii.
I'm sorely disappointed with the showing on the Wii U virtual console although the indie Eshop titles are pretty good.
I think it's about time they started to give games for free. The Playstation 4's free games every month or so are very good example, Plus the titles they choose are awesome. Binding of Isaac Rebirth for FREEE??? And look! Pokemon..Shuffle..For free..Yeah. Quality, And more retro freebies, Please. Also subscriptions and free themes and all that cool stuff...Yeah, I'll leave the ideas to you guys.
The 3DS VC is underwhelming compared to the Wii U. The Wii U has got GBA, DS, NES, SNES and N64 where as the 3DS only has NES, GB, GBC and GameGear. Honestly, there's not many games that I'd want for the GB, GBC and GameGear than the DS and GBA which should have been on the 3DS instead!
It's great that the Virtual Console is being discussed. I wouldn't like a subscription type service, I actually like downloading individual games as is. Wouldn't be interested in bundles either, it's kind of like buying an album when all you want is one particular song. The virtual console has failed to excite me this time around, like many I'd like to see more games from different consoles, there's a lot games that I would love to download that just aren't there for download and may never be. More variety is needed.
There, something like that would be nice.
I think those shouldn't be more the 2 or 3 dollars but 5 is way to much
I'm shocked at the number of people who think the VC is "pretty much great the way it is." If ever we needed evidence that too many Nintendo fans think anything Nintendo does is great, no matter what, here it is.
The VC on the Wii U and 3DS is a pale shadow of what was offered on the Wii. Most of the Wii U games are already available on the Wii, and there is still no cross-buy feature after all this time.
We're at a point where NES games should not be more than $3, but Nintendo insists on charging $5. That's how much SNES games should be at this point, same with Genesis. Oh wait, there is no Genesis anymore.
The VC is a complete disaster on the Wii U and 3DS. A pale, forgotten afterthought. Every single game on the Wii VC should have been automatically part of the Wii U eShop. There's just so much wrong with it, it would probably take a series of articles to sort it all out.
Lacking platforms, not automatically including previous-gen titles, idiotically rigid pricing structure, high prices, etc.
I think the final poll section is interesting as I would happily accept a wide range of options. A paid service like PSN+ or XBL Gold where you get one or two VC games per month--and Nintendo could even improve upon it by, say, letting fans choose which games they want. Incorporating Amiibo in some way--say netting a full download of a classic title by linking an Amiibo, or giving large discounts on character franchise games by having the Amiibo. Say, when you own the Kirby Amiibo, that nets you discounts on all classic Kirby games--first one 75% off, second one 50% off, third one you buy, 25% off. That would really bring up the value of the figures.
But the VC is like pretty much every other latter-day Nintendo concept--the Wii Remote, the GamePad, the Virtual Console, online gaming, Indie Web Framework support, Amiibos, YouTube, etc. A good idea with ridiculously shoddy implementation bordering on a gimmicky failure.
I like the idea of bundles, particularly since there are so many longstanding series. They've already been trending toward themed releases (like releasing a series all at once, or near each other). Just take that a step further, or even bundle a series into a single app (à la Mario All Stars, Metroid Prime Trilogy, and various anniversary collections). Just add in some artwork or sound tests as bonus features, and charge a reasonable amount, and series fans will eat it up. Plus, it's a great introduction for those who want to try a new series, but don't know which game in the series to start with.
When I first joined NintendoLife, my account's password was a protest against the lack of GBA titles for the 3DS eShop. And I haven't changed my mind ever since.
Just as Linkara (in case anyone gets the Atop The Fourth Wall reference) once swore to buy every single Spider-Man book after One More Day once the deal with the devil within that story is undone, I swear I will buy on WiiU any GBA game released on 3DS, because progress is giving portability to a home console game (see the NES library on 3DS for example), not the other way around.
Actually put things on sale like Steam!
I adore the VC. It is one of the best examples of keeping the games of our past alive and well today. But they need to start getting more games out. At the very least, if it was available on Wii VC, there should already be a Wii U upgrade for those games. Second, take a page from Sony and offer cross buy. If you buy the game for Wii U, you get the 3DS version free or visa versa. We need more platforms opened up. Glad to see DS and Wii games joining the VC market. But how about GameCube? How about Sega Dreamcast? And lastly, they are pretty good to run promotional pricing on eShop indie games, but we need to see more sale promos for VC games.
I think you meant to say that you like the idea of the VC, but the actual VC is a disaster. No crossbuy, no GameCube or Dreamcast. Almost no Sega at all anymore, except for Game Gear.
Echoing others on here, VC is a great idea and in many ways a far better concept that anything on other platforms by a country mile.
What has been continually disappointing is the slow release of some classic games and platforms. Some of them we still haven't seen. Allowing owners of 3DS/Wii U to access and buy the vast and wonderful library of Nintendo games of old was such a missed opportunity. Its always felt, especially since the Wii, that VC was a half hearted attempt. There are some great games/platforms that need to be on there. It should have been as good as the Wii offering straight away and its not and that feels like a step backwards.
I'm still a bit confused with the predilection of releasing GBA games on the Wii U. Maybe its just me but I'm not that keen on playing handheld games on the big screen.
Subscription service is the way to go. Why pay for each game individually on every console? Have a subscription service which gives you access to the whole library, but perhaps limit the number of titles that can be access simultaneously, after all, it is all OLD content.
My biggest gripe is no GB or GBA games on 3DS Virtual Console.
I didn't understand this decision when it was announced and still don't understand it now!
There is no excuse for it to not be as good as it was on the Wii but better.
Nintendo telling Natsume, for example, to not release any more SNES games is just plain silly. "No, Natsume, we don't want the money people will pay for Pocky & Rocky! Instead we'll have another week where we release NOTHING AT ALL."
How does that make sense?
The VC could be the best retro game service out there, but Nintendo is purposely gimping it and I have no idea why.
Gamecube, Saturn and Dreamcast VC is all that I need. Some Arcade classics wouldn't go amiss. I also wish C64 and Amiga were available. Amiga is in danger of being the best forgotten gaming platform.
A subscription service? Now that would be very something! Just imagine, a Netflix-like service with monthly/annual but unlimited access to a library full of NES game-
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