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Virtual Console comes to the Wii U

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Yesterday, Nintendo held a special, Wii U-centric edition of its Nintendo direct video series, detailing some of the additions we Wii U owners will be treated to in the coming months – and one of those is the Virtual Console.

Of course, previous Nintendo platforms – the Wii and the 3DS –  have already been privy to the virtual console, which allows players to download and play games from older systems from Nintendo’s own rich history, as well as other platforms like the Neo-Geo,  Turbo-Grafx and SEGA systems.

It’s now coming to the Wii U – though in a somewhat limited capacity at first. When it launches in the Southern Hemisphere’s Autumn, it’ll contain a selection of NES and SNES games – which you’ll be able to play on your Wii U, or off-screen on the gamepad. there’s more to come though, and Nintendo president Satoru Iwata says to expect Game Boy Advance games soon.

This is great for South African gamers, who largely missed out on the SNES, probably one of the greatest gaming consoles ever released. The lack of genuine South African Nintendo distributorship in the early 90’s – imposed by Anti-Apartheid sanctions is one  of the primary reasons, I believe, that there’s a distinct lack of love for Nintendo and its revered franchises in the country.

Anyway, the Wii U Virtual Console will include a host of control options, as well as the restore points we saw in the 3DS iteration – so you can finally save in your NES games. Those who already own the games, purchased through the original Wii’s shop will have to fork out an extra dollar to make use of the new features. It’s got a lot of people up in arms, but it’s really not a huge deal.

To celebrate the Wii U’s virtual console – as well as the 30th anniversary of the NES (and, I suppose, its knockoff, the Golden China) Nintendo will be selling,nay, practically GIVING AWAY a NES or SNES game every month until July. Each of the games on special will be available for just 30 cents. that’s right – even though the Wii U’s Virtual console has yet to actually release, you can go and download Balloon fight from the eShop right now for just 30 cents. It’ll be available for that price for 30 days – after which it’ll revert to standard pricing.

Here’s a list of the game’s that’ll be on the 30 for 30 special, in the US at least.


Here’s the announcement in Nintendo President Satoru Iwata’s own words.

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Last Updated: January 24, 2013

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