Virtual Console up and running

The Wii's downloadable game service has gone live with a dozen titles and a few surprises.

345 Comments

While the Nintendo Wii doesn't go on sale in the US for a few more hours, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime confirmed for GameSpot today that the first owners of the system will be able to get online and download classic games right out of the box.

Just in time for the Wii launch, here comes the Virtual Console.
Just in time for the Wii launch, here comes the Virtual Console.

Already on the Virtual Console, users can purchase Wii Points and download games from older systems. NES games cost 500 Wii Points ($5), Super NES and Sega Genesis games are 800 Wii Points ($8), and Nintendo 64 games are 1,000 Wii Points ($10). There weren't any TurboGrafx-16 games on the service at press time, but Nintendo has said pricing for those will start at 600 Wii Points ($6).

While the games are expected to be faithful re-creations of the originals instead of the type of revamped or rearranged arcade classics that have been sold on the Xbox 360's Marketplace, GameSpot editors found at least one new trick had been added. After quitting a session of Sonic the Hedgehog back to the Wii channel menu, and then loading the game back up, the editors found that the Wii had automatically saved the editors' place in the game and resumed play right where it had left off. Also, while downloading games, users are shown a Mario-themed progress bar that shows the mascot plumber or his brother Luigi running across the screen, hitting coin blocks and collecting coins off the ground.

Mario serves as the download progress bar.
Mario serves as the download progress bar.

Nintendo announced last month that the following titles would be available on the Virtual Console by the end of the year. Games already confirmed to be up on the service today are italicized.

NES
Mario Bros.
The Legend of Zelda
Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong Jr.
Ice Hockey
Pinball
Soccer
Tennis
Urban Champion
Wario's Woods
Baseball
Solomon's Key

A dozen titles dating back to the '80s are already available.
A dozen titles dating back to the '80s are already available.

SNES
F-Zero
SimCity

Nintendo 64
Super Mario 64

Sega Genesis
Sonic the Hedgehog
Altered Beast
Golden Axe
Columns
Ecco the Dolphin
Gunstar Heroes
Space Harrier II
Toe Jam & Earl
Ristar
Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine

TurboGrafx-16
Bonk's Adventure
Super Star Soldier
Victory Run
Bomberman '93
Dungeon Explorer

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ImSwordMan

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got the wii now all i need is wii points and the classic controller =/

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bigcrusha

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Nice...

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kyle_toker

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ugh i cant wait to get my wii... got screwed out of getting a launch wii :-(

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Generic_Dude

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Hey GrimBee... this IS emulation, so dismount your high horse, please.

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maverickexe

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Ahhhhh.... The good ol' days are back! Thanks nintendo, and you better keep them coming!

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ibanezdropd

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omg. gunstar heroes is the best game ever!

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GrimBee

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"SDog624 these games seem a little over priced considering emulation is so easy and free " Emulation isn't "free". You need to own a nice pc to be able to run all the stuff the wii runs.. at LEAST A 2.5ghz pc with a capable graphics card to run the n64 stuff... you also need space to store the games onto.. you also need a pad which is compatible with those games... you also cant really plug your pc ideally into a tv... or take it to a friends house for a retro get-together. If you did use emulation, then you would need the original game for it to be legal. If streets of rage 3 (and other rare games come out) you could be talkig up to anything between £20 and £60 a game, depending on the rarity. I play loads of emulation, because I simply own all of the games right here which i have roms of. This is fine to do in the Uk, at least. However, I can only get this perfectly (as it runs on my original consoles) because my pc is very beefy, and the emulators are the most recent versions. Even then, if you want retro DONT do emulation! because some soundcores arent exactly as you remember, and other little bugs can go amiss.. meaning you arent getting RETRO, its immitation. I like busting out metal slug on my pc and gp2x, I own the neogeo version, the neogeo cd version, the sega saturn version, the neogeo mvs version.. and more.. and its great for me to be able to play this on my pc without having to hook up the arcade machine (again) or route my neogeo to a vga monitor (it doesnt look right). But there IS a difference between the genuine article and the imitation. The virtual console at least does a more perfect job of emulating these games. Which is what counts. With the wii, it saves you the hassle of finding the old retro game, waiting for it to arrive off eBay. It also prevents you having to "blow the invisible dust" which prevents alot of games from not working.. ALSO, you have the ability of running the old games through composite cables, which you cant really do with the older consoles! And to have all the virtual console games in one place is very awesome. The price of each virtual console game is extremely reasonable, imo. You dont even need to get off of your butt either! Not only that, one virtual console game would cost me as much as to pay for postage for ONE of my retro games that I bought (and boy do I have a lot!). It's perfect for those people who don't wish to rely on old consoles living through well past their time, and its especially good for those people not wanting to have it LOOK like they are a nerd.. having all these consoles in the livingroom... ;) People who use emulation are just people who actively know about emulation... which is rather a small percentage of gamers.

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kamicolo

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good to hear nintendo...GO Reggie

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SDog624

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these games seem a little over priced considering emulation is so easy and free

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jimmy_bean

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omg i want to play......i wasnt able to get a Wii yesterday. *cries*

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Crombian

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Final Fantasy III (VI). Chrono Trigger. Super Metroid.

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silverfang6

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how the hell can I get a PS3 but I can't get a Wii what is the world comming to

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deactivated-57fce817a4cf5

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Patience my child. Look about 2 years into the future. Imagine what the catalogue of Virtual Console titles will look like and start drooling.

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plankton88

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The prices are just right, if you want the game. Just hope they release some good games and not a bunch of boring nes games like tennis.... woo hoo that is fun for about 10 minutes. Good 64 and Genesis games are hard to find anymore, and if you do find them they are like $20-$50. I still have my N64 and my Sega Genesis hooked up and play them all the time. If they release the games I can't find for my collection like Streets of Rage 3, and a few 64 games, I will be all over this system.

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Chadius

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Lovin' me some Wario's Woods right now. Mmm...good stuff.

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GrimBee

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PerpetualBliss I would love to have the virtual console on my computer, but this old thing only makes this "beeping" sound every 108 minutes, its fun for a while... but you know... I wonder what happens when I just leave the timer run to ZERO.. maybe this place will emplode and I wont find out what happened really until next february.. heh heh. As for virtual console games, if they can get some BAD games on there.. i would love that. I mean, there is nothing quite like a terrible retro game. Last Battle for the genesis... the list goes on and on. But it simply won't be retro without the crappy games! I wonder how Nintendos virtual console selection will turn out, I certainly hope that we can go online and VOTE for which games to come out each month, that would be sweet. Or at least just be able to contact Nintendo so they know someone is interested in such game (like last battle). :)

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Miracle_Air

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Meh, I'm holding out for Bomberman '93 and Ristar. Until they have Super Mario World, a Kirby game or an 64 game I wanted but never played, most of my titles will not be from nintendo consoles... Also, Nintendo needs to think about where they're going with this. Releasing console exclusives might be good, but don't release ones we already have like Resident Evil 64 or some crap like that. And don't be afraid to release less popular titles like Quest 64 or that Chameleon game I can't remember the name for. XD Oh, I also would LOVE to see the first two Banjo Kazooie games as well. :D

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Orthrand

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Four issues, First there are a lot of people who never had a 64 and want a proper Zelda OOT experience also Majoras mask as not many actuallly got the game as i understand. 2nd on Ign it says you can use the wimote + nunchuck to controll although they seemed a little unsure. 3rd get used to overpriced online, at least it seems more value for money than xbox live arcade as theyre actually proper games, most of the live arcade ones arent worth it. (I dont know why no company has picked up on the fact that prices tend to be twice as much as an impulse buy) Finally you gotta hope they release some North american games never released in Europe mainly Chrono Trigger. (as i really want to play it legally)

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eggsiboss

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got or played all these games! Which is a shame but also a blessing as I wont have to pay for them! LOL! Cant wait for zelda Yee ha!

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WolfSkill5544

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Nice to hear that it's up and running.

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PerpetualBliss

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lol, very funny GrimBee, but I don't think you're on LOST.

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GrimBee

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I went online and got the code 4 8 15 16 23 42... is that bad? ;)

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ciphfer

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Beware! If you get this error code: 110213 You will need to get a replacement system. I tried to get online and this is the code I received. I just got of the phone with Nintendo and they are sending me a new system in the mail. Not fun.

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jaredgood1

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Never had a Sega (except for Dreamcast), so this is very nice for me. Already got Altered Beast and will get Golden Axe as soon as it's available.

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aashkii

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Hopefully there will be more N64 games down the line (my favorite console of all time)

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chrisdojo

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turbografix.... heh. i remember when that first came out. i wanted one so bad! glad i didn't get one.

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The_Weekend

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Not bad! Golden Axe and Simcity? wow ... this is cool ... way cool

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Soulglove

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Illegal, whats illegal...if you cannot get something anymore by ANY other means. We all can't spend years out of our lives looking for something that is rare because its not made anymore but available on the internet. I don't need to because well, that was so 10 years ago. Plus, most of those titles are available in Gametap anyway, and cheaper overall. If you go back and play old games you'll notice them being a lot easier and shorter and you're going to kick yourself for paying more than what it would have cost to rent it years ago.

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shawnd0517

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The N64 lineup is rather slim, one game, but at least they picked Super Mario 64 to be that one. I would recommend getting Ocarina of Time up there ASAP! I still think Nintendo-made games should be free, as originally promised! But I'll still purchase some (PLEASE give us Earthbound!) of the games, but I'll be picky.

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linkyshinks

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Cool , luv Bonks adventure (PCKid) that is definitely a classic, still would like to know whether the frame rate is beefed up on MARIO 64 before i choose to get it, the other good uns as far as i am concerned are: Bomberman93, Gunstar ,F Zero, oh what a shock ,you guys in the U.S wont be getting Donkey Kong Country (snes),Wii in the U.K will on launch, sure you will get it soon though. Linkyshinks:)

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reya10276

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Damn I might just have to get a Wii they got Bonk's Adventure one of the best platform games. 360 don't have that.

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shizwill03

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Cool. I have my Wii (OMFG I LOVE IT!!!) and I was checking that, but did not download anything. The Wii is a winner people.

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LucasAW

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LMAO! Kamiboy thinks that Wii points are expensive?? and you've been suckered into buying an inexpensive PS3. Dude, we all know that we can download emulators on PC's - I have all sonic games and Streets of Rage. I could easily download more without a PS3.. waste of you're money if u ask me (R:FOM looks fun, buts thats about it). But I just might buy some Wii points, it'd be cool to have a save system on Sonic - I wouldn't have to complete it in one sitting :D Now there's a thought... STREETS OF RAGE FOR THE WII PLEASE!!!

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kamiboy

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With those prices I am more likely to insall Linux on my PS3 and download and run roms on it via emulators... in fact, I think I will get on that right now. Too bad, if they hadn't been so greedy with the pricing I would have just bought them.

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philby00

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how do you pay for the "points"? are any of the games free when you get the console? i still remember when the sega master system came out, you got a free built in game and TWO controllers. those were the days :(

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kenesu96

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if all 4 million Wii sell by the end of the year, and every Wii owner buys just ONE virtual console game, (which I believe everyone will, at least one out of curiosity) Nintendo will make AT LEAST $20 million, on a system that already turns a profit. Think of that!

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minty_cbo

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all i got to say is..ristar on genesis...fvckin woot sauce!!!!!!!!!!!!

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rikardo10

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OMG suuper mario 64!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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togo2828

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SWEET

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mnitemare8

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Oh yeah , i'm loving this...and i too think the pricing is a few dollars high..i was thinking 2 or 3 dollars and not 5 and i agree the N64 prices are pretty decent though...but i also have a feeling they will drop a bit once they recoup...i know that putting a game on the virtual console is like debugging an entirely new game so it costs a little bit...i just think that after this first round we will see a wider variety of price ranges...but i love the fact that i'll be able to play these games on a new , reliable system (in particular the NES games... you know , so i don't have to blow the game and bang my NES).... Anybody know what the actual system sales are so far?

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omegamustard

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this is the sweetest feature.

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RaiKageRyu

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How on earth did this board turn into a talk about who uses roms?

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shokama

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Where are the Commodore 64 games!?

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hidealice

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Super Mario 64...it recalls a lot...

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meimnobody

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"there isnt a reasonable way to purchase a piece of software then it is NOT illegal, the DMCA says so, all the roms that nintendo now offers or have plans to offer are illegal but the rest are free to download" Funny how those that argue that are the ones that have to spend several years in jail or a 250,000 fine each ROM. Software is copyrighted for 75 years. The software that Nintendo offers isn't illegal you stupid piece of **** since they are the copyright owners or they are licensed to distrubute the software by the copyright owners. If someone is not available for sale it is still illegal to engage in violations of it's copyrights. ROMs are still illegal even though the game is no longer sold. Software pirates are just like tax dodgers even though the fracking crap arguments keep winding them in jail they still use them.

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Elyoshi

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"ROMS are illegal period. You do not own the games. You just own a physical or virtual copy with the vc. You do not have rights to transfer, copy etc of the game. Only the game copyright owners have that" Hush! I said *cough*! It means what I said is BS! Quiet or you'll spoil all the fun!

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diablobasher

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Elyoshi: It is LEGAL, ONLY if you CURRENTLY OWN an original cartridge, be it in workig or non working condition. Oh and don't get too relient, Nintendo and Sony will be hitting rom sites HARD soon, i guarantee it.

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meimnobody

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"yourself a favor and google RockNES. Its not stealing if you owned the games at one point.............*cough*" ROMS are illegal period. You do not own the games. You just own a physical or virtual copy with the vc. You do not have rights to transfer, copy etc of the game. Only the game copyright owners have that.

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gwds

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It sucks that you've got to be an extremist just to get ahold of one of these...

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gamboy131

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Great line up for the first the first month! I just wish that the Legend of Zelda the Orcarina of Time was available.

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