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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daiferg

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I wonder if we will see the NES originals like Metal Gear, Ninja Gaiden or will companies like Konami and Tecmo playa-hate on the nostalgia can we get some TECMO BOWL HERE ?!?!?!

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jumpman14

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nice

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King_Dodongo

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Reggie will offer a small, white pill and a huge, black pill to decide to enter the new world of Wiitrix, or stay in the actual world and get bored playing with a sixaxixaxixaxis

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DoubleDragon1

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I know it's still new but a meatier list would be nice. I hope Nintendo is able to get some good 3rd party titles like Contra for example. Good start though.

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Pewbert

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Imagine the "Streets Of Rage" trilogy being made available ....*drool*

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mrblah00

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Havent you people heard of things called used game stores? They have hundreds of NES/SNES/GENESIS games. You dont need to "steal" roms (by the way, if 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), you can go to a used game store and pick up an old console and dozens of games for less than 20 bucks (I dont mean EB or Best Buy). When you buy an old console at the local used game store here they give you a handful of free games (depending on the games you pick and the guys mood you can easily walk away with 15 free games), then the games you buy are practically free to begin with. Nintendo should be pricing these games much differently. If iTunes can get the RIAA to sell an Eminem single for 99 cents then why the hell cant Nintendo sell their own 20 year old 15kb games for 99 cents? $10 for a 64 game isnt that bad but 5 bucks for SMB is completely ridiculous. If anything, Nintendo should only be charging money for 3rd party games with the exception of 64 games. With Nintendo copying pretty much everything Apple does youd think theyd atleast copy the iTune pricing model. (Goldeneye and Perfect Dark are not owned by rare, they were developed by Rare and published by Nintendo. They both have rights to the game but Im willing to bet that Nintendo has the selling rights to the old games and can do whatever they want. The publisher usually has more rights over selling the game than the developer, especially if that publisher is financing the developer.)

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Omega3210

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great..great! more than great!

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mjwickstrom1

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There's a lot of great looking VC games out from what I've seen. The setup is cool too. I can't wait to get a Wii!

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CSpark99

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I want mike tyson's punchout best 80s game EVER !!!!!!!

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Maquis_UK

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Rimsa_Laded I wish they had good games instead of the ones you find everywhere for like 99 cents. there's no denying that those Mario and Zelda are familiar to most.. doesn't mean they're not good though. they are classics and have stood the test of decades. but if you can show me where i can get NES Zelda or SNES F-Zero for "like 99" cents, then please point me in that direction.

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GrimBee

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"I wish they had good games instead of the ones you find everywhere for like 99 cents. " Me too! I mean, paper mario for the n64 is a real rare one, so is streets of rage 3 for the genesis... and the list goes on. Once those titles are out for the virtual console, it will be practically cheaper to get the wii! lol I want loads of games on here, not stuff sega already have on their collections. Its almost as if they have got the stuff they have liscences for already. Well, as soon as the MILLIONS of wii users are there, this means that Nintendo (etc) will have more money to open out the liscences to those franchises. For example, for RocketKnight adventures and QUACKSHOT!!! (love that game, and world of illusion!) would have to have konami's and disnets permition. So will the castlevania games... etc... But I think once the wii becomes mainstream, companies will be at the feet of nintendo waiting to sell them those liscences. Remember, each wii virtual console game sold also goes to the liscence holder, which is why Sega are so pumped about it. This way they can make more money selling old licences, instead of repackaging them for a compilation for other consoles (which wouldnt sell very well). The virtual console is THE way to get retro into the mainstream, if the great games cant get on there, and if nintendo doesnt take any hints from our demands.. then the virtual console will fail.

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Rimsa_Laded

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I wish they had good games instead of the ones you find everywhere for like 99 cents.

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Mr_Saturn26

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heres a list of games we need downloadable soon 1. river city ransom 2.double dragon,1,2 3. crono trigger 4,secret of mana 5.secret of evermore 6. illusion of gaia 7. the FF games 8. zombie ate my neighbors 9 the battle toad, and ninja turtles games 10. street fighters 11. ooT, Majoras mask, 12. crono trigger 13. the mother games, example: earthbound known to the US (mother 1) thats all i can think of so far.

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deactivated-5b50f9586c2f9

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My choice for the Virtual Console are: NES Donkey Kong Tennis SNES F-Zero SimCity Nintendo 64 Dunno yet... I hope Pilotwings 64, Blast corps and Perfect Dark make it (despite the latter 2 being owned by Rare and Microsoft) Sega Genesis Gunstar Heroes!! (so happy they included this :) ) TurboGrafx-16 Bonk's Adventure

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ocdog45

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NES, and SNES are the only good games here.

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Xenothaulus

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I require River City Ransom.

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princeofgames90

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If these pionts can be gained by playing cool idea else noway

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frobut

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I need to know, to play the Virtual Console games do I need the classic controller or can I use the Wii remote or a GameCube controller?

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peterles

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they could totally realase the arcade version of altered beast for the xbox live service. someday....someday....

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diablobasher

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What about Dreamcast Games? Sure, i know they are absolutely MASSIVE and you wouldnt fit one on the Wii's internal memory, but i so want to play Record of Lodoss war again :D

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trackmanep233

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virtual console is a sweet idea!

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cspiffo

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Dear Sega, Please release warsong and shining force series. Thank you. sincerely, Me

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skaven

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lithus. You're right, you can emulate those for free... but that's **STEALING!** That's why $5-10 is a good idea. room234 has a good point about the compilations selling pretty well, give people the classics they want and then they don't have to rip apart their entertainment center or steal to play. It's not like the 'micro-transaction' trend that has been popping up unfortunately. The things offered that way are items (I believe) should have been in the game in the first place. Where as for as little as $10 dollars I can download and play my classic games that I don't have immediate access to anymore.

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MasterAsh42

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lithus, have you paid attention to the ROM scene in the last, well. . .EVER? Nintendo has systematically had their intellectual properties removed from most major emulation sites. For those who never downloaded ROMs for any of the above NIntendo-published titles, they'll be in for a shock when browsing for them. Also, as room234 pointed out, a market for nostalgia certainly exists, and has so for several years now, proven not just in the game industry by the titles mentioned by room234, but by its very prevalence in current pop-culture. One final note, by the by, but I consider a product a rip-off when I personally want it, but feel it doesn't deliver in some way. Since you, lithus, obviously have no intention or desire to pay any amount of money for these titles, I wouldn't say these products are a rip-off. . .they're just not for you.

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VFM2181

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Final Fantasy VIII VC, work it out Nintendo, please.

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ignautius

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Dude... if that's the case, then why are Square and Nintendo making a killing remaking games on the GBA? I mean, they're portable, but they cost you a whopping $30... way more than the $5-$10 you're moaning about here. And why are collections like Mega Man Anniversary selling so well? They know their market. Just watch, people will buy them.

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lithus

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$5-$10 to play old outdated games that the majority of us already brought and paid for back in the 80's and 90's?! Hello, Nintendo!...You can play these with an emulater using your PC, for FREE! My trade-in's are cheaper! Rip off!

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diablobasher

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I beleive Microsoft now own the PD rights, which were always owned by Rare, despite being published by Nintendo. Goldeneye however, i think is fair game, Rare can do nothing to stop Nintendo putting it on VC, EA however...

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grave_rob

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neoand12....lame dude. real lame.

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NeoXPG

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Were not the games you mentioned from Rare published by Nintendo? If they were then Nintendo would still have rights to re-release them on the VC.

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neoand12

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Wii is better than the 360

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i_like_evil

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GrimBee makes a fabulous point. Just because Microsoft own Rare, doesn't mean that it's all over. That Perfect Dark and Goldeneye (which I have a real urge to play after seeing Casino Royale today.. great film indeed) will never be re-released ever again. GrimBee also said pratically everything I personally thought about the issue myself as well. Microsoft and Nintendo get along somewhat healthily (especially compared to Sony) and that can only get better for notable reasons.. and yeah... Nintendo would have to buy the licensing for those games. It CAN happen people. And don't write the possibility off yet..

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Kegeto

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oh snap you can play old games with the wii that so cool i want this system

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GrimBee

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Yes VERY big kudos to Gunstar Heroes! The music in that game was incredible for its time, still works extremely well. Now all they need is dynamite headdy! ;) And hey, what about streetfighter 2 for the snes and the megadrive? I hope they release BOTH versions, so we can do that whole comparison thing like in the old days (both have different sounding music and punching sounds!!) There are SO many great games to be released, I hope the list will be absolutely huge (thunderforce IV!!!!) i mean, its not going to be incredibly difficult is it?!

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Irve

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Actually think about it MS could use this as leverage to include Nintendo games on Live Arcade. How cool would that be Goldeneye and Pefect dark on both Wii and 360 now shame EA has the rights to bond ... wonder if that effects the re release of goldeneye ? if EA get their greedy little mits involved it would never come off Big Kudos points for Gunstar Heroes on VC !!

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GrimBee

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"perfect dark and goldeneye are owned by Rare, which is owned by Microsoft now. So we won't get those. " This is unconfirmed. As these games would NEVER have a re-release on ANY other system as that is copyrighted by Nintendo. All Microsoft would need to do is release the liscence of those particular games to Nintendo, Microsoft would only BENEFIT from this as 1) Nintendo would probably buy that limited liscence to put the games on hte virtual console and 2) If people begin to crave Perfect Dark... it only creates positive word of mouth for Rare and Microsoft. Microsoft wont lose anything letting Nintendo put the games on there, and as a matter of fact Microsoft are not bitter with Nintendo at all, neither is Nintendo bitter to Microsoft. Now, if Sony were to ask for the Liscence for the games... this is another story. But considering nobody buys perfect dark 1 OR goldeneye EVER anymore, it can only create a more positive buzz for the games' creators. Infact, the virtual console could actually help re-create a market for the retro games. I believe that past game franchises will be reborn, simply because they had some recognition from people downloading them! I think games like Rocketknight adventures (the character, sparkster) will probably get his own awesome game in totally cool 3D. Because that game is freaking great! There are so many great games out for the systems featured in the virtual console. I can only hope that Sega can release more than what they usually have (i.e columns and all the other regular candidates..). As the wii can download updates, this means that anything could change, we could even see the systems list updated! possibly with the master system... possibly... I mean its not retro until you have Alex Kidd on there is it! :P I think the liscence holders of the games will actually LOVE to let them be released onto the virtual console, i mean, they would benefit from those sales right? Same with rare, because for each game sold (perfect dark and goldeneye and conker) this means that they will benefit from it, as they dont have ANY sales from these titles anymore (the older ones). I just hope that Nintendo keep the games coming, they are perfect for that "rainy day" and its ideal too, especially when it comes to gifts for someone. Someone who has a wii, if you want to buy them a gift, what better way to get them one? A wii points card of course! ;)

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deactivated-5b50f9586c2f9

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VC looks awesome! 2000 points card at launch here i come lol :D

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metalsonic6

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kinky

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GrimoireMyst

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I like this better. I never used emulators.

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Kaintae1134

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Cool. Glad they're doing it, but emulators are so convenient.

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kenesu96

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i want to see original box art and manuals with the games! does VC offer this?! i hope so!

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faizali86

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sweet stuff, looking forward to better titles in the future

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thefireflower99

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Where's Super Mario World

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oboewan9999

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Trevtenntitans is mario bros the game the platformer or the arcade one Posted Nov 19, 2006 11:23 am ET The arcade one.

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Trevtenntitans

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is mario bros the game the platformer or the arcade one

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ForsbergFan21

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Hopefully third parties will jump on board and maybe we can see some classics like secret of evermore, secret of mana, mortal kombat 1,2,3, Blackthorne etc, I can go on and on. When is Nintendo gonna put up the Donkey Country Country series?. Those have to be if not the best side scrollers ever :).

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weber182

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Spartan 4001, nintendo no longer owns Rare, and so no longer owns the rights to goldeneye or perfect dark. microsoft bought rare

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MagnuzGuerra

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Well, good selection so far. I wonder when they'll make available Super Metroid and F-Zero X...

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poncho88x

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Kool Kool they definitely should try and get the original smash bros on there

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