While Xbox LIVE Arcade
and Play Station Network
decided to focus mainly on new games, Nintendo originally decided that they should put their 20-year game backlog to good use, and got former rivals Hudson
, and even former Arch-Enemy Sega
on board for it.
Essentially, the Virtual Console
was console game emulation made legal and had the backing from every major console post-Gamecube manufacturer there ever was besides Atari
, and some other failed consoles that Nintendo doesn't want to bother with. It was successful enough that it led to WiiWare
once Nintendo decided to offer original downloadable software for the Wii
One really cool benefit was the arrival of games not available in other regions
, such as Sin and Punishment
, the former of which got a sequel because
it sold so well on this service, in all the regions.
The games on the service for the Wii
came from these systems:
The games on the service for the Nintendo 3DS
came from these systems:
- Game Boy
- Game Boy Color
- Game Boy Advance note
- Sega Game Gear (featuring a different emulator than Nintendo systems, developed by Sega itself with features such as a customizable screen during a game rather than holding a button combination to do so and, as with the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Nintendo Entertainment System, restore points)
- Nintendo Entertainment System (originally exclusive to Ambassadors, and some games still are with this number having decreased slightly as of 2012, but as of the release of Super Mario Bros. to non-Ambassadors it's one of the main systems, and the release of Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream, which was not an Ambassador game, showed that the games Ambassadors received are not the only ones planned for release, with more non-Ambassador NES games having been released since then)
- TurboGrafx-16 (not yet released, but planned) note
- 3D Classics (A series of past games from the NES and Arcade games that have the ability to be seen in 3D; these are mostly based on games originally developed by Nintendo itself aside from a few games licensed from another company.)
If Nintendo's Author's Saving Throw
following their surprisingly early price cut for the Nintendo 3DSnote
is anything to go by, then the Game Boy Advance
should join these systems soon.
The Wii U
is backward compatible with Wii Virtual Console titles via operating in Wii mode. It will also have its own Virtual Console which supports Off TV Play and posting on Miiverse. Nintendo released a handful of NES and SNES games at a reduced price as part of a trial campaign over the course of six months and announced that owners of Wii VC titles would be able to upgrade to the Wii U
version for a small price.
The games on the service for the Wii U
came (and will come) from these systems: