So, as it turns out, Nintendo did announce the Virtual Console for the Wii U during their Nintendo Direct presentation today. NES, SNES, and even GBA titles were discussed. One key item the Wii U VC needed was off tv play on the Gamepad and, thankfully, Nintendo confirmed that this will be available. Unfortunately, this was just about the only thing Nintendo did right with the Wii U VC. Click below for more.
So, NES and SNES will be available from the launch of the VC on Wii U. That’s great and I’m sure everyone expected that. Where are the other systems, though? The Wii VC had NES, SNES, Genesis, TG16, N64, and even Arcade games. Why only NES and SNES at launch? This single announcement makes me think Wii U owners will be just as frustrated with their VC as Wii owners were with theirs. Weeks of no new games appear to be in our future. GBA games are a cool addition, but would make more sense to be on the 3DS VC to me. The home run announcement would have been Gamecube games with Gamepad only, off tv play. This just seems to be a bunt single to me. Perhaps their saving the big guns for E3.
The biggest disappointment has to be with Wii owners who have already purchased Virtual Console games. Yes, you can transfer those to Wii U now, but with no Gamepad play option. If you want that (and since you upgraded to Wii U, I’m guessing you do), you must purchase those VC games again. Ok, so Nintendo does sympathize a bit here by offering you those games at a discounted price. If you want the “upgraded” Wii U versions of NES and SNES games, you will have to pay $1 and $1.50 for each game. Here’s the rub. The Wii U versions are the same price as Wii VC games. So, if you never bought these on Wii, you will only pay $4.99 – $5.99 for NES, and $7.99 – $8.99 for SNES games. If you did buy those old versions, you’ll be penalized another $1 or $1.50 to unlock the Gamepad play option. Why not just a straight transfer here, Nintendo? You are hurting your most loyal customers here! They already paid the same amount for these games, why make them pay more, but not the new buyers? I do not understand this logic.
The best announcement concerning the Wii U Virtual Console was the 30 year Famicom Anniversary sale. Nintendo will offer one NES or SNES game a month for a whopping $.30 cents. Six games total, starting today with The NES game, Balloon Fight. Here is the complete release schedule for these bargain priced classics:
January: Balloon Fight (NES)
February: F-Zero (SNES)
March: Punch-Out!! (NES, the Mr. Dream version, obviously)
April: Kirby’s Adventure (NES)
May: Super Metroid (SNES)
June: Yoshi (NES)
July: Donkey Kong (NES)
This is full of win here. 30 cents for Super Metroid? Yeah, I can get behind that. Punch-Out! maybe the only other one I really want, but for 30 pennies, I’ll probably buy all of them. I don’t think anyone will complain about 30 cent games (not too loudly, anyway). What do you think readers? Am I too harsh on the punishment of Wii VC fans? Is this enough to satisfy you until some of these high profile Wii U games launch? Let us know in the comments below.