Wii U Virtual Console Feature Recap

By Ishaan . January 23, 2013 . 8:06am

The Wii U is getting its own Virtual Console service this Spring, of which Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, announced details this morning via a Nintendo Direct presentation. Here’s a recap of features for the Wii U Virtual Console:


  • Coming this spring.
  • Wii U Virtual Console games will be separate from Wii.
  • NES and SNES games to be available initially. GBA coming as well.
  • Play on Wii U GamePad without TV.
  • Discount prices if you already own these games on Wii.
  • Transfer Wii versions to Wii U to avail discounts.
  • NES prices: $4.99 – $5.99 | SNES prices: $7.99 – $8.99
  • Discount prices: NES prices: $1.00 | SNES prices: $1.50
  • Will allow for fully customizable button layout on Wii U.
  • Miiverse implementation for Virtual Console titles.


Additionally, a Virtual Console trial campaign is kicking off this month to celebrate the Famicom’s 30th anniversary. One new Virtual Console title will be made available each month, starting this month, and lasting until July. The following titles will be available:


  • January – Balloon Fight
  • February – F-Zero
  • March – Punch Out! Featuring Mr. Dream
  • April – Kirby’s Adventure
  • May – Super Metroid
  • June – Yoshi
  • July – Donkey Kong


Each title will be available for $0.30 for 30 days. After the campaign is over, these titles will return to their normal price. If you own these games on the Wii, you’ll still be able to buy them at a discount. The January title, Balloon Fight, is available now.


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  • *groan*. I don’t mind old classics, but that release schedule is pretty…uninspiring? Look forward to any other titles that can be potentially added. I wonder if they can make the WiiU play GameCube titles…

  • ronin4life

    I really hope that unified accounts let me play my 3ds VC games for free on wiiu and vice versa.

    Otherwise the vc is really lame… A stream of titles instead of a dump, needing to pay again… ugh…

    Hopefully, releases will be massive… like 5 or 6 titles a week… of differing consoles and genres of course.

  • Repede91

    Calling it a trial campaign makes me think these are rentals. Is this the case here, or do you infact purchase those game for 30 cents?

    • You purchase them.

      • Repede91

        Cool, thanks for the info.

  • Spirit Macardi

    Those discount prices are pretty good! I could probably transfer all my VC games to the Wii U for under $20.

    I’m hoping that the new hardware will allow for more games to pop up. Like having Sega CD games in the Genesis section and Memory Pak enabled games for the N64.

    Also someone needs to get Konami to put their Genesis games on VC this time around. Seriously, where’s Castlevania Bloodlines and Rocket Knight Adventures?!

  • Locklear93

    Sort of confused–if the VC is coming this spring, what’s with the titles available for Jan and Feb? Do you buy for 30 cents, then wait to play (buy an entitlement), or what?

    • No, you can play those now. It’s like a Virtual Console preview.

    • $36598391

      I hope Golden Sun and Golden Sun The Lost Age are some that get put on the virtual console

  • So you need to re-buy all your VC games? Even at a discount, that’s poor form Nintendo.

    • sd28

      only if you didnt transfer them over and want the upgrades

    • I feel ya. As a Wii U owner I was actually shocked to find out that Wii
      emulator on it actually has no aspect ratio settings. So all VC games
      (native aspect ratio 4:3) will be stretched to 16:9.

      Only way to remedy
      is if your TV allows you to change the ratio manually, which most do.
      But in my case, when I’m hooked up via HDMI I am not given the option,
      forcing me to use component cables to access that feature on my TV.
      Nintendo actually sent me component cables because I complained about

  • SetzerGabbiani

    So are the GBA games going to get the Gameboy Player treatment, or will they be on the 3DS?

    I want both GBA Super Robot Taisen OG games to be released as soon as they can get them out…probably unrealistic, but I can dream…

  • Balloon fight is up on the store now. Took a little while.

  • idrawrobots

    I am upset that I can’t get new features for free, but a dollar or a dollar 50 isn’t bad if I want to play from the gamepad and use miiverse

  • EdgeKun

    Hrm. Was there any word on TG16/Genesis/OtherNotNintendoConsoles? This announcement almost makes it sound like the only VC titles coming to native WiiU are NES/SNES/GBA. =

    • Krisi92

      They also said that there will be GBA games. Also, when the Wii launched, I’m almost certain that there were only NES and SNES games available for the VC. Maybe N64.

      • EdgeKun

        Edited and added GBA. I don’t see where the Wii’s launch has anything to do with this though. I can’t see them recreating all these VC titles from scratch, I’d far more expect them to simply be converting Wii apps over to WiiU. If this is the case, they have all the other consoles sitting there on the Wii to also be converted, so why only talk about the NES/SNES titles getting brought over from the WiiVC?

        • Spirit Macardi

          I imagine it’s because the NES and SNES are the only consoles that they’ve currently managed to fully emulate natively on the Wii U hardware. They’re likely working on other consoles as well, just give it some time.

          While they are the same games, it’s not the same software that’s running them any more.

  • Wait… so Nintendo can tell you’ve bought VC games to offer the upgrade discount to previous buyers… but won’t let you re-download your purchases from an old Wii without using a transfer tool? My old Wii is broken which makes that impossible and my old Wii games locked forever in a broken machine!

    • idrawrobots

      would it be worth it to you to pay for your wii to get fixed by Nintendo? I know it would be for me, I have hundreds of dollars in wiiware and virtual console games.

      • $36598391

        If someone has some games that can’t be purchased anymore like the R-type games, that then person is screwed

  • Zonic505

    30 cents for Super Metroid is a hell of a deal.

    & while it kind of sucks you have to spend money to get Wii U benefits, could’ve been worse, like having to rebuy all your games or a higher set/random price, similar to PSP to Vita transferring like Sony did.

    • Oh you mean for transferring UMD to digital? Well we were never given the option in the west to do that anyway. I have not had to re-purchase any PSP games I already owned digitally. This is a bit worse imo, these VC games are all digital. I do understand they are adding features though so I’m sort of okay with it. But I will probably stick to getting games that I don’t already have on Wii VC.

      • sd28

        at least this way you can still play the games on a new system witout rebuying them so im not understanding how this is worse

        • Oh I think I phrased that wrong lol. I’m just saying I prefer Sony’s method of digital releases and cross compatibility over Nintendo’s.

    • D H

      Or, y’know, you could just keep your PSP. A very cheap way of still being able to play those games. I get that people want to take less with them, but seriously, you’d think all PSPs are not inert or something with as much complaints as this gets. I’m sorry, but even on a long trip, I’m still not going to play fifty billion games, so I don’t need more than 1 or 2 with me, and I can stand only having one system’s games available at once.

      • Spirit Macardi

        There’s the bigger problem though that the PSP isn’t going to last forever. If the console breaks or the battery loses its ability to hold a charge, you’re pretty much screwed. Especially since the system is going to go out of print sooner than later, so no replacements either.

        Plus the simple fact that backwards compatibility with the previous generation should be a given for any new console. Nintendo has managed to do that with both their home and handheld consoles, so what’s Sony’s excuse?

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    What a Odd sells pitch. Transfer your Wii VC games for a Wii-u VC discount.

    • sd28

      no upgrade them not transfer them

  • Okay, so GBA is coming to the Wii U, but not the 3DS or am I missing something here? It’s so confusing!

  • neo_firenze

    Stop being awful at modern internet connectivity and online purchases, Nintendo.

    You can tell I’ve bought the Wii VC version but you’re still charging me again? And you’re still charging full price for 3DS VC games that I’ve already purchased once on Wii VC? Very disappointing, considering any of my PSN purchases of PS1 Classics games work on PS3, PSP, and Vita.

  • Solomon_Kano

    I’m looking forward to what they make available in the way of GBA games. I’m looking forward to playing Golden Sun/2, Mega Man Zero/2/3/4, and the Battle Network series on my TV. I would be so happy if any of those get announced. Don’t disappoint Nintendo!

    It baffles me that a GBA VC was announced for Wii U before 3DS though. They should get on that too. It’d also be nice if one VC purchase got it on all available platforms, but I suppose that’ll have to wait until the 3DS is better integrated with Nintendo Network.


    nintendo doesnt knows who exists emulators and roms for free? hahaha

  • Ricewarrior

    Nintendo comes up with some good ideas.

    But there are also those times where they come up with something that makes people go “wtf Nintendo, seriously?”

  • James Widdicombe

    They could have used this opportunity to re-release the Donkey Kong Country trilogy! I wanted those games so bad then I found out they took them off :(

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