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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Avatar image for diablobasher
diablobasher

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mrblah: "£20 for a used NES in the UK? huh? They are like 5-8 bucks here. Either you havent checked the price in about 15 years, video games just didnt sell well back then in the UK, or youre just guessing. Used game stores usually have several dozen 8 and 16bit consoles in the back collecting dust. They practically give them away just so they can get rid of them." None of those things infact. I still have my original NES, and i recently purchased a backup as my old one is showing signs of fault. Older consoles are just harder to get in the UK, i myself have NES/SNES/Mega Drive (Genesis) Master System ect. Those are not the problem to get hold of, they are just pricey. It's the carts that are hard to get a hold of, your looking at around £8 for Metroid, £10 for Super Metroid. Some are easy sure, but people over here are greedy, they dont want to just get rid of the, they want to make a ton of money on it too. This could be an interesting subject to blog on, i will write about it in my next blog. For now, its 4am...wtf am i doing awake? Im going to sleep (Oh yeah, Street Fighter 2 Turbo on my SNES! Thats why im awake! Booyah!)

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Avatar image for wooooode
wooooode

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Yeah prices are not that bad.

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soundofspeet

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"5 bucks for a nes game?" That price is just fine. It's more expensive to buy the actual carts from local stores than to get them here. Wow, people are cheap these days...

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Avatar image for Thakingk05
Thakingk05

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I think i'LL BE BUYING A WII B4 A PS3 NOW.

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suprsolider

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Yeah, a note to all you Nintendo pirates: Playing the original Mario and Duck Hunt on the authentic NES and TV is an experience that is unrivalled by any emulator on a PC. --- Ha, I still can play Duck Hunt on my TV. My NES still works, escpecially since I replaced the 72 pin connectors. So ha. These prices are a rip off, but then again, I can play these games for FREE on my PC and my PSP. So double ha.

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batosaisilver

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yeah, it sucks about the prices, but oooooooh yeah baby! Nintendo's bringin' back that old school lovin'!

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littlehelp

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Fun. There better be more rare ones~.

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warmaster670

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so sad they decided to make them so expensive, $5 for a nes game? $8 for a snes game? maybe if they had more variety.

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Clsmoothest1

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They are gouging people on these prices. I like nintendo and these old games but 5 bucks for an old nintendo game and 10 bucks for a 64 game is way, way, overboard. They would be smarter to lower the prices and people would get more games instead of just a few high priced ones they remember.

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Valen_Ca

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Does anyone know how the Wii lists these things in the Wii Channels, by that I mean is it seperated by system or are the games just placed on the main channels? If they are placed on the main channel and you run out of channels does that mean that you have to delete a game to download another one and will you be able to re-download the game that you already purchased, but had to delete to make room for a new one, for free?

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Avatar image for s3lFc0nTr0l
s3lFc0nTr0l

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brokendemise, vigilante 8 was awesome, i loved those games

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ElvenArcher

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Nintendo wasn't as popular in Europe as the rest of the world, so they're likely to have old Master Systems laying around than NESs. But most of my old consoles are dead, usually if kids have things they don't tend to last 10 years without faults.

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Brokendemise

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I hope they get Vigilante 8 & Vigilante 8: 2nd Offense on there, then I'll really be happy.

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Boomarley

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Very impressive. A console combining both new and old, that's sure to please everyone. And for those complaining about the prices, those prices are a great value for those who have never played these games, and it beats the price of GBA remakes or playing with awkward controls on a computer emulator. I just hope we get previously Japanese-only games as well. That would make VC an even greater value.

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lextexrex

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That genesis list is what's really opening my eyes.

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_sean_05

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getting raped on abandonware: greasy or trashy? discuss

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StanAce

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Yeah, a note to all you Nintendo pirates: Playing the original Mario and Duck Hunt on the authentic NES and TV is an experience that is unrivalled by any emulator on a PC. And like diablobasher says, Nintendo's been real lenient with the whole emulation scene. Now that they're trying to put these games back on the market, try to show a little respect and buy those golden classics on the Wii. I just wished that Japanese titles would be available to American users though...

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Avatar image for chisoxrule
chisoxrule

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Where's Punch-Out?!!!

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fritzjavel

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love it..i think they are priced perfectly

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mrblah00

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£20 for a used NES in the UK? huh? They are like 5-8 bucks here. Either you havent checked the price in about 15 years, video games just didnt sell well back then in the UK, or youre just guessing. Used game stores usually have several dozen 8 and 16bit consoles in the back collecting dust. They practically give them away just so they can get rid of them. "Anyone who thinks that they're going to pick up 15 and 20 year old NES cartridges and get normal gameplay out of them are dreaming. All electronics have a certain shelf life, and the old NES games didn't exactly have 24th century Star-Trek like durability." Cartridges last longer than you think. Many people still play their NES and Atari systems. My grandma has a 70's Pong console and that damn thing still works. The systems and games last longer than the connections they used for the TV's.

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Avatar image for diablobasher
diablobasher

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Man you people are all ignorant. "Roms roms, you can getz all teh roms" For years Nintendo have let things slip by over the years because they are nice, and understand the games are no longer available, yet masses of people still want to play them. Not anymore, now that games are available, from both Nintendo, Sony and in a small way Microsoft, they are all going to start cracking down in illegal rom sitess guaranteed, and none of them will be able to fight it as their "We are preserving old games" routine doesnt stand up in court anymore.

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Avatar image for RoboticZombie
RoboticZombie

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i only have one question, are the vc games going to get upgraded in any way like the arcade games on the 360?

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Bane122

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Hey, all you people telling us to go illegally download roms... shut up.

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Avatar image for RatherOnFire
RatherOnFire

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To Soulglove: Yes, Roms are free, but they're not legal. (if they're Roms of a game still sold. I think original games are fine.)

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Avatar image for email2003
email2003

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Well the virtual console is almost a complete waste. All these games are on my computer with emulation so way bother waste on a Wii points card and some $ for it!? I'm only using the online for downloadable content and add-ons for Wii games.

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Avatar image for TheChronoMaster
TheChronoMaster

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Hey, Gunstar Heroes. I've been meaning to try that game...

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XenonHID_VQ

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The Japanese list > ours.

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Avatar image for Paradosis
Paradosis

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"Seriously, how gullible can people get? " Anyone who thinks that they're going to pick up 15 and 20 year old NES cartridges and get normal gameplay out of them are dreaming. All electronics have a certain shelf life, and the old NES games didn't exactly have 24th century Star-Trek like durability. As for the actual games, I'm glad that some (e.g., Simcity) are on there; even if I already have an emulated version on my harddrive, and even with a game controller, nonetheless there's just something about sitting in front of a TV with a console that somehow makes it cooler. Maybe it's just nostalgia, I dunno. I won't get too worked up about this until they start releasing some good multiplayer games though, like 007 Goldeneye, 007 The World Is Not Enough, and Perfect Dark.

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sniper_99

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I want Super Metroid on the SNES list

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Soulglove

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You can get a million NES, SNES, Genesis, or N64 games online, they are called Roms, and the programs to run them are called emulators. All free, always will be free, so don't be dumb please.

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BRANDON_BURK

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At least Ristar for the Genesis will be available. it's a great game. But WHERE THE HELL IS SUPER MARIO BROS. FOR THE NES?!

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supersruzz

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People are saying the some of the prices for the games are too high. Well think of it this way, some NES games (Dragon Warrior 2-4 for example) can sell for nearly $50 USD on Ebay. But there about $5 on VC. So you won't be paying extra for premium games. So you can get Paper Mario 64 without spending $30-$60 USD on Ebay.

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Avatar image for I_Stole_the_Tv
I_Stole_the_Tv

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With the Wii you can play one of the worst games of all time, Urban Champion! Everyone should know pain and download it. At least they put the best game of all time, Gunstar Heroes, in the list too.

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diablobasher

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Ok lets review. Cost of a second hand refurbished NES in the UK. £20 with a game and controller. Cost of NES games on avg when and where you can find em 10p - £5. Selection of games, almost always rubbish. Ebay, more expensive, minimum £5 for a semi decent game. Conclusion, VC = awesome.

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Avatar image for vjso2
vjso2

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Super Mario 64 is my choice

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mrblah00

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$5 for a downloadable NES game is highway robbery. You can buy the REAL game at most used game store for a few cents. People can get a real NES and a few dozen games for less that the cost or 2 or 3 overpriced NES roms. Seriously, how gullible can people get?

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rulo_rezn0r

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gunstar heroes is the game to download

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Sandlynx9

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Why is Gunstar Heroes so awesome? I love that game! Its inclusion in the VC has me excited hehe...

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acdcwroks7

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I want Ocarina of time!!!!

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NFunspoiler

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That's cool. Nintendo needs to buy Chip's Challege. I'd love that on the VC. If Nintendo bought that game, and remade it, i would love them. Just make it smoother... sigh. if only.

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bishop_909

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Seriously, $5 for a NES Rom? I love some of those games too but c'mon. They've made thier money on these games once already and with all the roms readily available on the net, all their prices should be halved.

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bababowe

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zelda ocarina of time is already going to be on the wii for download cost money of course. I'am only saying this cause someone in about the middle of the page said he wish it would be on there and its already been announced that you can download it. I have a 360, but i think i'am missing something, right a wii. I hope i will get one for christmas being 16 i'am out of money been paintballing a lot and i need to get a job. The wii looks to be a good system can't wait for the new super smash brothers.

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TheStampede

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punch out....nuff said

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cobrax80

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Nice and simple interface

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StanAce

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They definitely need to get Secret of Mana and Seiken Densetsu 3 (of the SNES) for the virtual console. When they say "faithful re-creations of the originals" I do assume the Wii hardware will fix any framerate issues on some of these classics right?

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Neoyamaneko

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Me want Super Mario RPG and Secret of Mana.

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jayteeslash

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Being able to play NES Ice Hockey will make it all worth it. Having those fat guys wind up their slap shots again will be awesome!!! Toe Jam and Earl is a great bonus too. That's the best Genesis game by a mile. Now just get more third party licences on there. (NES Bubble Bobble by Taito would be a god-send.) Price is right too. I have no problem paying those amounts for something I know was fun.

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TJ32

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I am getting the classic controller and some points for christmas. I want mario 64 and ocarina of time.

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juanfraino

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I`ll be sure to download some of these games as soon as I get the wii.

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