In 2006, Nintendo introduced the Virtual Console as a way for Wii owners to experience older Nintendo titles from the NES, SNES, and Nintendo 64 eras. The service is now coming to Wii U with numerous improvements and changes, alongside new OS updates that will help improve system load times.
This spring, Nintendo will launch the Virtual Console service on Wii U. Games available on the Wii U Virtual Console will support off-TV play via the GamePad, save states, fully customizable button schemes, and Miiverse integration. While the initial library of games available will be much smaller than that of the Wii Virtual Console, with only select NES and SNES games available at first, games from other systems will be added over time, such as the Game Boy Advance. In addition, those who transfer Wii Virtual Console games to their Wii U will be eligible for discounts when re-purchasing the same titles from the Wii U eShop; the prices can be viewed below.
- NES games: $4.99-$5.99 (Discounts at $1.00)
- SNES games: $7.99-$8.99 (Discounts at $1.50)
- GBA games: TBA
Before the official start of the Wii U Virtual Console service, Nintendo will release several classic NES and SNES titles on the Wii U Virtual Console over the course of seven months as part of a “Virtual Console Trial Campaign,” with one title released each month. For thirty days, each title will be sold at a discounted price of $0.30; after the thirty days, the titles will be sold at a basic price. The titles, their original platforms, and their release months are listed below.
- Balloon Fight (NES, January)
- F-Zero (SNES, February)
- Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream (NES, March)
- Kirby’s Adventure (NES, April)
- Super Metroid (SNES, May)
- Yoshi (NES, June)
- Donkey Kong (NES, July)
Prior the Virtual Console service’s launch, however, Nintendo is planning on sending a new operating system update to Wii U owners which will address complaints regarding the system’s load times when launching software and returning to the Wii U Menu. Another update, which will also improve load times, will be released sometime in the summer.
It’s taken a few months, but classic titles are finally coming to Wii U, as is a fix for the operating system’s slow loading times.
Source: 1/23/13 Nintendo Direct