Earthbound coming to Wii U Virtual Console today

Nintendo to release digital version of 1995 SNES role-playing game for $10 through virtual marketplace today.

1995 SNES role-playing game Earthbound will be released through the Wii U Virtual Console today for $10, Nintendo announced today.

Nintendo originally announced the Virtual Console version of Earthbound during an April Nintendo Direct video briefing.

Earthbound for the Wii U will release in North America and Europe.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

261 comments
Dimanagul
Dimanagul

Hopefully this does well enough for Nintendo to green-light Mother 3 on VC too.  I love Earthbound and all, but Mother 3 going mainstream would definitely show nay-sayers what Nintendo can do when they don't pull punches.

Meteora
Meteora

I cried when I finished this game a few summers back

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

Do your Wii VC games apply to the Wii U VC? I never seen any info on that. Are you forced to repurchase the VC games you already paid for on the Wii?

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

$10 spent on this and a Wii U better than the money spent on MS who makes a tablet/laptop nobody wanted and lost huge $ on recently plus them coming out with a console with Kinect nobody wants to be forced to use and spy mechanisms built into the crappy thing and on and on.  ****off Microsoft !

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

Earthbound 2 coming to Wii U in the future ?  Go Nintendo !

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

hahhahahha MS fan boys mad cuz now they know the Wii U just may pick up sales from this and maybe more consoles come off the shelves for Nintendo ....

U mad ?

XbonedMS ... hope their new console destroys them

Prats1993
Prats1993

Why the fuck would you pay $10 for an 18 yr old game? Just get the rom for free and play it on a SNES emulator. Its absolutely disgusting to see how Nintendo will profit entirely from this, and the original dev will get nothing.

edinko
edinko

This is an unbelievable exploitative price for a nearly 20 year old game. 10 bucks? should be 1.99 at MAX.

Nintendo is exactly as anticonsumer and greedy like the other guys they are just better at hiding it

ravenkiller
ravenkiller

the actual game is running on ebay for around $350

KitschKat
KitschKat

So here's how I see it: Nintendo messes up big by not having any noteworthy games after years, so they start trying to rectify the problem by announcing several promising new titles. Unfortunately, making new games take TIME, so in the meanwhile they announce a port of a game many fans have been begging for YEARS to keep current Wii U owners happy and maybe draw in some new customers.
I don't have a Wii U yet and I was really forward to finally playing this and having a reason to get the console (I'd already decided I was going to get Wii U eventually, I'll have to wait awhile because I just got a PS3 and I have a backlog of games I've already bought) and now people are bitching that $10 is too much and just download it illegally for free?! Again, HUGE demand. They could've put this on a cartridge or disk and charged $30+ if they wanted. But it's not really about the price now, is it?

premier024
premier024

Have these wii u people not heard of a emulator

Dieknochenblume
Dieknochenblume

I remember this game was damn difficult. Can't seem to recall whether I finished the game or not, lol.

Ljag87
Ljag87

I've never played this game but being a fan of RPGs and a wii u owner (also a 360 and ps3 owner) I can't wait to try this game, I think 10$ is not alot of money and the people complaining either just want to rag on wii u, or have parents who won't buy it for them, too many people using Roms etc trying to justify it saying they own a 100$ + game "in storage" so they can download a rom I just don't believe you and u downloading the rom is probably a reason more great classic games aren't coming quicker to the virtual console. I also think people who just think its an "old" game must be very young as to think the main purpose of a good game is purely for its graphical content. Ps3 owners who think this try downloading a game from the store called braid . And see how it's not just about a game being 3 dimensional. End of the day Roms are illegal support your console and if you don't intend to buy a wii u leave the wii u thread.

cd3taxi
cd3taxi

WTF did I just watch! lol

kingotnw
kingotnw

This is one of the more ridiculous threads i have read on here, and thats really saying something. People beg for an official release of this game.... They get it, and now are complaining about the manner in which it is being delivered to them. seriously guys, wow.

flazzle
flazzle

$10 is a great price. Just because it's old doesn't mean its worth any less. Look at music and movies: Beatles, The Who, Queen, any classic...the music isn't cheaper because it's older. Its because it's what people are willing to pay.

I'd gladly pay $10 to play something I don't have to worry about a cartridge getting dirty, battery dying, an inferior hookup to a TV, etc.

At least thats how I see it

EVOchamp2015
EVOchamp2015

For people bitching about the $10 price, I own 2 in box Earthbounds would you like to buy one for $500?

abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

Putting this out might lower the price over time on the actual snes game since now people can play it without the actual game. Its pretty over priced on snes right now

Although its a very good unique game so maybe it deserves it?

Moonco
Moonco

I hope this comes out for the Wii Virtual Console

Furwings
Furwings

Went home on my lunch break and bought it today! Can't wait to play it again after all these years. I must admit I didn't give the game a fair chance and only rented it a couple times back in the day. Since then, partially due to the crazy popularity of the Smash games with EarthBound characters, the game has reached cult-level status. I'm not interested in paying a premium just to own the cartridge so $10 for a properly-emulated game that I can play on my TV or off-screen on the GamePad, along with a digital version of the Nintendo Power Player's Guide (which was like $30 by itself) is actually a pretty good deal IMO.

soulless4now
soulless4now

Guess I'll never play this game since it's for Wii U. ;(

SlimeSwayze
SlimeSwayze

The cost of the original cartridge should have no effect on the price of the digital version.  This is classic Nintendo, milking every last bit from their fans as they can.  Their regular pricing for SNES games is already pretty out of touch with today's digital market, but to exceed that price for this game should be taken as an insult to anyone who considers themselves loyal to the brand. 

csuram2001
csuram2001

@bunchanumbers Both - you still pay for the Wii U version, but at a much discounted price (I think it's $1, maybe $2 for SNES titles).

dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@Prats1993 

More disgusting is that you are willing to STEAL the game WITHOUT paying for it when the holder of the rights gets nothing. Considering the original cartridges can bring up to $1000 on eBay, $10 is a steal. 

dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@edinko 

How is it anti-consumer that they bring back a highly requested game BY THE FANS that is now rare and expensive and ONLY charge $10 for it when they could have easily gotten more if they wanted. And the age of the game is no reflection on the quality.

csuram2001
csuram2001

@premier024 Sure have.  But I prefer to support the developer to ensure they continue to be around long enough to keep making great games.  Nintendo is entitled to collect a profit on their intellectual property.  If we were all like you, there wouldn't be any more games. 

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

@Ljag87 If you liked any of the RPG games from the SNES/Genesis Era, it's worth $10.

OuroborosChoked
OuroborosChoked

@kingotnw Yeah, I mean it's almost like paying $360 for a console just to play a 20 year old game is ridiculous or something...

They couldn't release it on the 3DS or Wii... why exactly?

Oh right... they're desperate to move Wii U's...

Painmaster212
Painmaster212

@EVOchamp2015  $500 is a steal atm for this if its complete in its original big box with guide included but id hurry and try to sell it because the value is gonna drop by a good amount due to the eshop release.

racerxgundam
racerxgundam

@SlimeSwayze listen while i do agree on some level that 10 is a bit steep for this game as a DL, it should have been available DAY 1 once NOA made an online store. 

i do not blame peeps at all that went the emulator route waiting for NOA to get off their asses and put something in the store that the gaming community has wanted since forever. Having it available alot earlier may have helped them, now....most peeps that wanted to play this game already have. 

AND HOW can you not put in the full series when FREE TRANSLATION PATCHES are floating around....

and before any of u wii u fanboys scream that i am being biased...SONY has done a bad job too. Offering sukoden but not suikoden 2 is just ASININE. but NOA deserves more heat cuz they put shit out like 10 yard fight and think its all good. 

> wii u

DrAmazinDood
DrAmazinDood

@dlCHIEF58 @Prats1993 Some ppl still feel entitled to free stuff just because it's old, unfortunately some ppl didn't get the chance to play this, like me since I live in Europe, and seeing has I'd have to fork over well over 200£ for an used copy I actually prefer to give them 10$, hopefully that way Nintendo will translate and release the rest of the series worldwide

edinko
edinko

@dlCHIEF58 @edinko There is absolutely nothing rare in todays digital age gaming . We are not living in the cartridge world anymore mate. The game is out there in unlimited supply exactly like all the others.

The age of the game may not be the reflection of quality but it should reflect the price. And 10 bucks is a pretty exploitative price point for a VERY old game. You could buy 2-3 AAA titles on steam sale for that price.

They didn't brick back anything. the game was playable as abandonware since forever on pretty much all devices.

They are just selling thin air as is modern for an unreasonable price.

Its free money for next to nothing. Its not like they made some HD version.

I find it funny that you say the game is RARE when its since forever like 2 clicks away on pretty much all mobile devices.

They are just successful with brainwashing people that's about it. There is not a nanometer of rarity to it.

metroidhunterx
metroidhunterx

@OuroborosChoked @kingotnw Shame on Nintendo for cutting support on their last gen console!  Also, with the exception of NES games, every VC game on the 3DS was originally for handheld systems.  It's almost like there's some sort of weird theme!  Wowie kazowie!!

Forefront-049
Forefront-049

@racerxgundam Completely agree with you. I guess Nintendo's just trying to cash-in on the good-will of some of their customers. But honestly, if I can get better results playing this game on an emulator, why even bother with the Virtual Console release?

POkemonfreak101
POkemonfreak101

@csuram2001 @bunchanumbers  It wasn't, but I think bunchanumbers's question was just in general as opposed to specifically about Earthbound, to which you answered him in your first reply =]

edinko
edinko

@csuram2001 @edinko That's the attitude problem mate. YOu shouldn't support it at that specific price point cause you are saying that its ok to overcharge in such way. Its no about th 10 dollars. Its a matter of principle

csuram2001
csuram2001

@edinko Hey buddy - don't like it?  Don't buy it.  Vote with your wallet.  The rest of us will gladly support the developers and enjoy our game.

edinko
edinko

@dlCHIEF58 @edinko You have some points but it is people like you justifying exploitation and unfair practices for publishers for nothing that help the ruining of the gaming scene in general.

I never said I want ot for free. But 10 bucks that's poetic stealing from them from consumers not the other way around. I know they can set the price how they want but I see it as exploitation cause its not much more.

Sorry but that you can open a digital manual is as lame as it sounds and they didn't do any work on the game. There is nothing to justify a price that is much higher than several months old AAA releases in some cases for a 20 years old game.

People like you are of this kind that I cant understand. Being happy that you are being abused by a company and being thankful for it

dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@edinko 

Are you really giving that tired argument that about "selling thin air" that nearly every pirate uses as justification for STEALING someone else's work? And while you may have a point in that the actual ROM code is not rare, LEGAL COPIES ARE (or were until the release of this). And the game IS rare in its original cartridge format which is preferable to any collector. 

And this game is not abandonware or public domain - the re-release is proof that Nintendo still retains an active copyright. Any ROMS floating on the internet, while easily accessible, are still ILLEGAL COPIES. 

While the game may not have been upgraded with HD graphics (thank god it wasn't), it wasn't like they did nothing to get it ported to the Wii U. Add in the fact they also have the manual/hint book included digitally which can be viewed on the Wii U tablet. It isn't "free money" as there was work to put it on the Wii U, making the manual, and securing the rights for any pop references in the game which had expired.

You are the one who has been brainwashed with your sense of entitlement. I on the other hand live in reality, understand basic business aspects of supply and demand, and the legal aspects of copyright laws - all of which you seem to conveniently ignore since you seem to feel you are owed this just because it is "old" or does not come on a physical format ("thin air" argument). It is really pathetic. 

edinko
edinko

@dlCHIEF58 @edinko @DrAmazinDood That's bollocks in this case. A lame justification for an exploitative business practice. Whats next? 60 dollars ZX spectrum games?

edinko
edinko

@DrAmazinDood @edinko Are you joking? a "standard" price for a 20 year old game is 10 dollars when lets say deus ex human revolution is 2.99 on sale?

OuroborosChoked
OuroborosChoked

@metroidhunterx @OuroborosChoked @kingotnw Yeah, and there haven't ever been SNES games re-released for handheld systems before, right?  Like Yoshi's Island, SMW, FFVI, BoF, DKC series, Chrono Trigger, LoZ:LttP, and on and on?

Nope... completely unprecedented!

And before you come back with "Well, how would Nintendo know it would sell if they re-released it as a hard copy game?  They were burned before!"

Ignoring the numerous petitions, all they have to do is look at the current market price for ANY copy of Earthbound - mint or barely functional - to know that it would sell like hotcakes made of orgasms.  The short of it is this: they had plenty of options for re-releasing Earthbound, but they chose the one that would guarantee the least sales.  Nintendo deserves a sarcastic slow clap...