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The Wii U virtual console is not just a ROM dump

A look at the Wii U virtual console as it is today, why Nintendo is taking its time with releases, and what they could do to improve it.

super-ghouls-n-ghosts-07

One of biggest complaints we get here at Wii U Daily in both the comments and emails are people asking why the entirety of the Wii virtual console, as well as Gamecube games aren’t instantly available on the Wii U virtual console. Many people believe because the game is already made, it’s a simple rom dump for Nintendo to get the game functioning on the Wii U. There’s actually a detailed process that must be done in order to get a game ready for Wii U virtual console.

  • The game must run properly on the TV and GamePad simultaneously without any lag. Even PC emulators fail to run roms of SNES games at 100%.
  • Miiverse implementation for each game must be completed.
  • Community for each game must be completed.

Because of this process third party partners appear to be a bit more selective of what games are released on the virtual console at first. Many of you have been asking why Capcom won’t port some of its more popular Mega Man titles and this is likely why. While Mega Man was the first Capcom title released on the Wii U virtual console, Super Ghouls n’ Ghosts followed quickly after, most likely because of how popular the title is with hardcore retro gamers.

Another issue with the current version of the Wii U virtual console is that it takes up equal space with other offerings in the Nintendo eShop. Instead of being a separate category like it was on the Wii, Nintendo has chosen to feature these games alongside their own retail games, indie downloadable titles and demos. It’s a terrible way to present the eShop, as now virtual console titles are competing with new games.

Because of this organization scheme, Nintendo will likely continue the trickle releases we’ve seen for the past few months. They don’t want to release 20+ virtual console games and have them all fill up the Nintendo eShop front page, so two or three a week are released in order to appease the masses. If Nintendo actually separated the eShop accordingly, this would be less of a problem.

Wii-U-Virtual-Consoel

The lack of adoption for the Wii U also leads to slower virtual console releases. There is less of an audience than the Wii had, so third party virtual console supporters who maybe didn’t make much from the Wii last-gen will not be as eager to support the Wii U virtual console this generation. Nintendo itself has less incentive to release these titles any faster or with any more frequency, since the current install base is seeking the most popular Nintendo titles.

That’s why we’ve seen core releases such as Super Metroid, the original Mario trilogy on NES, F-Zero and Kirby games. They’re some of Nintendo’s strongest first party franchises from days past. That’s why Earthbound is finally coming to the Wii U virtual console, as fans spoke loudly and Nintendo finally listened, securing the licensing to re-release the game.

How can it be fixed?

Nintendo should address all of these problems before the Wii U begins to pick up pace. Their Wii U virtual console release schedule should be more robust, but it should also be divided up as the Wii virtual console was separate from WiiWare releases. New games shouldn’t have to compete with old games and vice versa, as it will lead to problems down the road.

Currently Wii U virtual console releases aren’t searchable by their release console, either. Before Gamecube games are added to the roster of Wii U virtual console titles, this is something that should be mandatory. If I feel the need to play Majora’s Mask and want to see what other Nintendo 64 titles are available, I should be presented with a clear list, very similar to how the Wii virtual console operated.

In some regards, the Wii U virtual console has been a step down from what was available on the Wii. As the Wii U is supposed to be the successor for the Wii, this feels wrong and is definitely something Nintendo should correct. Hopefully these problems will be addressed soon so that the Wii U virtual console can begin to take off and we’ll continue to see quality indie game releases on Wii U.

Around the web
  • Grulnork

    They could have designed it that the old Wii eshop fitted better into the Wii U eshop. And if it would be a problem to get remote play working properly then they could still patch (perhaps at a small fee like now) slowly game by game over time. Now the separation of Wii and Wii U mode is really horrendous.

    They deliberately chose similar hardware to make sure the old Wii games and eshop were compatible. So it surprises me that it is so hard for them to make this such a long and painful process. I am almost tempted to say that it is marketing, that they want to release products slowly. But considering they need to ship more consoles fast I guess that would be rather silly.

  • Stuart Thomas

    They should do something simple with the organization of the wii u menu as well, maybe a way to create a bloody folder! so i can stick all my vconsole purchases in there, Oh and the ability to search by tags or such, for items in the wii menu itself.

    • Jerry Garcia

      I agree. Menu’s would be dope shit!!!!!

      Also, I think that Nintendo should have done a voting system to let the Nintendo community decide which Virtual Console games should be released first. That way we’d get the ones we have wanted…

    • Norfair20X5

      I don’t think there is a single Wii U owner on the planet that does not want channel folders.

    • Siu Leung

      even on the 3DS you can make separate folders and organize it as you wish…why can’t the Wii U???

  • Gary

    Not to be an ass but typo: “Instead of being a separate category like it was on the **/Wii U/**” I’m assuming the Wii was to be mentioned there instead?

    OT: I can’t agree more it frustrates me that I can’t play the games I love from the gamecube on the Wii U but I understand that off TV play and such must take some time, at time’s I just wish for a simple button reorganization and a quick release and get onto the n64 era of games rather than the NES/SNES and such since I personally want n64 and gamecube games much much more than those on the older consoles (I know there are those that love some of the games from that era so I won’t complain much on this point).

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      Yep, you write about Wii U so much it becomes muscle memory to add that U. Thanks and fixed.

  • beerkin

    Another Wii u fail. I’m starting to lose,faith

    • Jim Wanstall

      Same

    • Madmagican

      Definitely not a fail. VC games are the top downloaded week after week and Nintendo simply needs to take their time with it or else games will start to lag a bit (like we’ve been seeing in a few games here and there)

  • Ricardo de Lima Thomaz

    All I can say is you don’t know anything about making a software! They don’t need to rewrite any game, if they do so, then they don’t know anything about software! All they need is a virtual machine/base software, which they already have (the Virtual Console itself) and everything is already done inside, the Miiverse is done, the communities are done, no need to rewrite anything for any game! In Software Engineering we call it REUSE!

    • Vazaha

      Don’t think like a programmer Ricardo! We need excuses why we can’t have more choices.

  • iceazeama

    why does nintendo suck at supporting vc and localizations????? those are two huge gripes that everyone should have. its pathetic and im pretty sure a lot of you would like to see these things improve.

  • ludist210

    Ashley, I like your articles, but a few things:

    “The game must run properly on the TV and GamePad simultaneously without any lag.”

    Punch-Out!! featuring Mr. Dream had lag, though I’m not sure if that’s the Wii U’s fault. I’m not sure if that’s input lag, but it’s off ever so slightly from the NES version.

    I’d also like your source for where the VC process was detailed.

    “Super Ghouls n’ Ghosts was Capcom’s first virtual console release for the Wii U…”

    Mega Man (NES) was Capcom’s first Virtual Console release, and was also the Virtual Console’s first third-party release on Wii U (two weeks before Super G&G launched).

    Capcom also teased more Mega Man support recently (today or yesterday) on both the Wii U and 3DS Virtual Console.

    “Currently Wii U virtual console releases aren’t searchable by their release console, either.”

    Yes they are. There’s a search function built into the eShop. Look at the fields there…two of the choices are NES and Super NES.

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      You’re right, I forgot about the original Mega Man being released shortly before SGnG. Also, are you EU or NA for Punch Out? IIRC, lots of EU Wii U owners have been complaining about 50hz releases on the virtual console.

      • ludist210

        I’m North America (although some people consider Alabama a third-world country), so it’s the 60 Hz version. It’s probably input lag, but on other forums, I’ve seen a lot of Americans notice it.

        • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

          Is this the only title you’ve played with input lag? I’m curious if you’ve noticed it in other games. When I say a game is 100% on the Wii U, I mean it runs exactly as the cartridge version of the game.

          There’s a few laggy spots in Super Ghouls n’ Ghosts Wii U VC that were just as laggy on the original SNES release.

          • ludist210

            F-Zero wasn’t perfect either (but I’ve never been good at the original game). I didn’t notice any input lag on any other VC titles (and I own sixteen of them on Wii U).

    • Ken Seymour

      The real question for me is why the didn’t fix actual game play lag period, this isn’t a Nintendo, it is way more superior hardware, I understand trying to keep games as close to the original as possible, but the option to remove lag in games like mega man 3 where too many enemies on screen makes the whole game lag would have been nice..still, awesome game :)

      • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

        This is somewhat experienced in Super Ghouls n’ Ghosts, too. In the first level shortly after the screenshot at the top of the article, if three dogs are on the screen at the same time the game gets a bit laggy, but that was 100% in the original cartridge version, too.

        • Ken Seymour

          It was in the original so I can deal with it :) Now Nintendo just needs to get some Gamecube games on the virtual console and advertise it, then systems will sell. Eagerly awaiting Gamecube Mario Party’s :-D

      • ludist210

        Agreed. I remember that Nintendo patched Star Fox 64 on the Wii VC because the first version removed the lag and made the game too difficult for veteran players (used to the lag, I guess). I preferred it without said lag, but to each their own…

  • lonewolf88

    uh they probably will do some eshop updates in a system update.

  • JB

    Makes sense. Though I think the Virtual Console segregation will arrive over time… Just like how they did the Miiverse (even though that still needs some fine tuning) There’s not that many games in the Wii U VC, so there was really no incentive to give it it’s own section… but hopefully it comes sooner than later, being that there’s like what? almost twenty some-odd games on the VC now? (I could be off so feel free to correct me)

    What I want more than anything else are some damn folders for the VC games for the Wii U menu, I have nearly every game and it’s really starting to eat up all my blocks, making things cluttered and disorganized… It driving me nuts! LOL

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      You’d think they would have had folders out of the box, considering how many people begged for it for the 3DS and it was finally added. Wii U organization is the exact same as the 3DS.

      • JB

        Right, and if not out the box, then surely in the day one or even the spring update. It truly baffles me.

  • Philson

    also Wii U vconsole games are higher res than Wii versions

    • Norfair20X5

      Indeed good sir!

    • NintendoFanBI

      That’s not possible. Textures are the same.

      • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

        The resolution is interpolated or basically enhanced to fit todays modern TVs. You have to remember back when NES, SNES and even N64 was around most TVs displayed in 480i resolution max meaning they only displayed ever other line. So if you put an old game using the original console on a modern TV it looks like crap because every other line is missing unless you use a converter or enhancer of some sort.

        • Hairee Pothead

          NES, SNES and 4MB RAM N64 games were all 240P like the 3DS. 480i did not come until the 8MB N64 Memory Expansion Pack and GameCube.

  • Sidney Majurie

    Unfortunately Ash, this article will fall mostly on deaf ears as the masses of whiny babies will try to rebut your logical arguments full of precise reasoning with:

    “WAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH! I don’t care! I want what I want, when I want it and I know more about business and software engineering than Nintendo does. I don’t care that I can already play and still buy all VC games on my Wii U right now via Wii mode! WAAAAAAAAAH!

    Now change my diaper Nintendo!”

    • Agent721

      What a joke of a response. We should all be happy Nintendo doesnt have games ready for us? You are the illogical fanboy in this case. Nintendos Wii U is currently failing and this will simply continue this trend. Therd no logical or appropriate excuse for any business to make its customers wait. This equals lost sales, lost customers and lost profits for Nintendo. Only in videogame lalaland do people make fun of customers for expecting a good product.

      • Silent

        Use Logic please, If you dont find what you want in a product, why buy it? No one is forcing you to buy a Wii U. If you dont want to wait for the games, go to the PC or something else, it will be one less whiney person for us.

        • Agent721

          I can tell you as a business proffesional, you both sounds like ubber fan boys ready for an excuse to defend N. I love the Wii U, but a business is a business and no one but the fan boys think like you guys. Go to business school…this is not how you run a successful business or launch a new product. And let me be clear…I love Nintendo, but I am not so blind to make weak & childish excuses over blind love for a product.

          • Norfair20X5

            I think you mean uber and not ubber… Also, I didn’t really detect much fanboyism in those posts. You’d think a “business professional” would be able to read and understand text accurately.

          • Agent721

            Im writing on a cell phone. The reason they are like fanboys is because theyre not thinking as a consumer, but as a huge fan of N. Arguing that not having a full back catalogue of games available for downlaod is somehow not negative is asine, at the very best. Bigger selection of goods & services offered to customers is a good thing, and arguing against this is moronic. I feel like im talking to grade school kids who cant think or see past the tip of their noses at this point. So keep calling me caca this & that, throw in a few lols, but the fact reamains that more is better.

          • Norfair20X5

            Thanks for clarifying. I feel like these days I am bordering on Nintendo fanboy because I am so tired of drab shooters where you shoot dudes. Nostalgia has quite a bit to do with it. People just need to keep themselves in check with this stuff. The article that makes all of this a little easier to swallow is that one from yesterday about Iwata admitting they did a poor job selling the system. I like that. I agree with you though that they should have more available.
            Shit, if it were possible at this point in their run as console developers to put more muscle behind their back catalog.and be THAT developer that offers more backwards comparability that any of their competitors combined. I mean, put a team to task to take at least a decent chunk of the 700+ SNES games on the VC. That isn’t too off base is it, Agent?

          • Agent721

            Thanks for a reply worth reading. For me, I’d just like a stroll down memory lane as a kid. I already own many of the games I want on the Wii, and on their original consoles, but I happen to love the Wii U tablet and want to game on that. While perhaps its true that many people don’t care about older games, I can tell you that if they had their whole catalogue out, they’d be making a mint off me solely. I cannot be the only one!
            I beleive the Wii U’s current struggles will turnaround because 1) they have the best and most valuable assets in gaming 2) the tablet is impressive and 3) Nintendo’s been around for a long time and should have the experience necessary to turn it around. Its quite simple…MORE GAMES!
            So yeah, you get my point totally. If they had their entire catalogue out, imagine the marketing for that! They could show an itunes type catalogue with tons of games as a strong selling point. This would be an immense positive Wii U only advantage and would certailny contribute to the systems’ success.
            I own the ROMS on the computer and it is not the same as gaming on a Nintendo platform, with a cool tablet to boot. To sum it up, I beleive these asset are vastly under utilized and vastly under monetized by Nintendo and its a big mistake.
            But with limited engineers at N, I guess its wise to focus on new games, but man…it it too much to ask for both? Should consumers settle for less and still be happy? I’d say no…I expect more from Nintendo and I expect they will deliver down the road.
            Cheers!

          • Silent

            Its not an excuse, Its a fact. You have the right of choosing therefore No business can force you to buy a product. He is stating his views as if Nintendo is forcing him. Fanboyishness is not the same as patience. I like Nintendo and I wait for the games to come out. Meanwhile, I try to do something else to pass the time.

      • Sidney Majurie

        LOL. Wii U isn’t “failing” because you can’t play all the VC games you want. No one is sitting around thinking, “Man I want to buy a Wii U, but there just aren’t enough N64 games to play on it.” It needs great 1st party Wii U GAMES, and that is and SHOULD BE their focus. It’s PRETTY OBVIOUS they don’t want to drown out 3rd Party and Indie releases on the eShop with Virtual Console games. That’s being a good business to your partners.

        People cry about VC on 3DS too. “WAAAAAAAAH! Where are all the Gameboy Advance games for my 3DS?!?! WAAAAAAAH!!!!” But the 3DS is doing fine because there are great 3DS GAMES to play on it.

        Nintendo isn’t sitting on $12 Billion dollars in SPENDING cash because they DON’T know what they are doing. Seems like someone went “cah cah in their diapees.” :D

        • Agent721

          You are truly an amateur. Cah cah in their diapers?? Good luck, son.

  • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

    Those of us with common sense already know this. I know some like to come here (will not mention any names) and think that just because it is a ROM they just dump it in and it works. PC based emulators are nice but they are far from glitches and even with early console games like NES and SNES there are video and audio glitches outside of just lag.

    Also like you said they just cannot release 100 games all at once as it would be a lot of overhead to take into account and I am sure there isn’t a huge team working on VC games being made to work with the Wii U seeing as Nintendo wants to release new games which is the primary focus of this console.

    That being said I love the virtual console service and have repurchased many games from my childhood and enjoy them to this day.

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      I am extremely pleased with how quickly Nintendo released my favorite games from the SNES era. Super Ghouls n’ Ghosts is definitely the top SNES game for me. Still waiting for Mario 3, though.

      I just wanted to address some of the issues people have with, “Well why can’t they do this?” It’s not as simple as people make it out to be and hopefully people will understand that now.

      • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

        I hope so too. Being an IT professional I understand (or at least try to) that with new technology sometimes it takes time to get everything implemented the way it is supposed to be.

        I have Mario 3 on VC for the Wii and I also have it on the Super Mario All Stars disc which has all games with SNES graphics. I think that will do me fine for now but since I already paid for it on Wii VC before I got All Stars I will drop the $1.00 to get it on the Wii U since that is my wife’s favorite Super Mario game.

      • Norfair20X5

        Super Mario All-Stars would be rad, too. I know there was that overpriced Wii version but your comment about Mario 3 just reminded me how gorgeous the 16-bit version was and is.

        • val berger

          AllStars had this odd graphic style. I’d prefer playing the original games over that compilation.

      • brian murphy

        all i want is full screen support or to be able to resize the game to fit the screen weather it be on tv or the game pad

        • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

          As in stretch it to fit a wide screen TV?? Then it would be distorted.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Fresnokila Saul Fresnokila Rivera

            I would love that option too…even if it looks distorted at first you get used to it quickly

          • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

            I think you may be in the minority on that option… Does your TV have any options to stretch the image. I know mine does in the settings to stretch to fit but it looks horrible in my opinion but to each is own.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Fresnokila Saul Fresnokila Rivera

            Remember it’s just an extra option they could add…so that way everyone ends up happy haha…it’s like when I go to Wii mode..it’s smaller on the screen….yet I still have my old Wii with component cables and it’s takes advantage of the whole tv..instead of having this black bars everywhere..
            But true..I could check my tv options to stretch it myself…

      • LopsidedPasta

        I’m just amazed that the two Nintendo Grand-Daddy games haven’t been released yet. Super Mario Bros, and Donkey Kong (And I know that one will be released in about a month)

    • Sidney Majurie

      There is just waaaay to much logic in this comment :)

    • Agent721

      Youre all wrong. The average consumer could give a rats ass about development time and just cares about having games to play. If you all think that having N vast catalogue of game assets be not unavailable to download is NOT a negative, I hope none of you ever run a business. Yes, new Wii U games would be optimal, but having the entire library of older games to download WOULD ALSO BE A POSITIVE THING. Trying desperatly to spin this as not a big deal or unimportant is not different than any one else spinning obvious negatives into positive. If you cant be honest, youre a fan boy, end of story.

  • Agent721

    The fact that its not organized like itunes is a sham. Why do I need to wait to replay Dragon Warrior??? In days like these, where new Wii U games are few & far between, this would certainly help fill the void. I honestly dont care how long it takes them to do it, it shouldve been done out the gate.

    • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

      You like the organization in iTunes?

      Also this is the attitude Ashley is talking about. Will you have the same attitude if you pick up a PS4 or XB One and their new console is not filled with digital games out of the gate?? I suspect not. Heck no one is even sure if the games people enjoyed on their 360 or PS3 from the digital shops will ever come to the new console and I can almost guarantee you that there will not be any low cost incentive to repurchase them on the new console based on if you had that exact title on your old console.

      As it stands now if you had a Wii and had virtual console or Wii Ware games on it you had the ability to transfer them to the new console for FREE and play them under the Wii Menu. Do you get that?? FOR FRIGGEN FREE!! Nothing is stopping you from playing those games and when the updated version that works from the Wii U dashboard is released you can upgrade for a smaller cost if you want the features that the Wii U offers such as Mii Verse, better controller support, etc.. Of course you have the option to never upgrade them and still play them as they are from the Wii menu.

      I really do not get why you are so upset.

      • ludist210

        I don’t like iTunes’ organization either, but it’s better than the Wii U eShop. On the front page, there should be maybe six buttons aside from featured games: New Releases, Retail, Indie, Virtual Console, Demos, and Coming Soon.

        Don’t get me wrong, the eShop isn’t bad, but it could learn a thing or two. Sub-pages would be really, really helpful.

        • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

          I agree that it could use a little tidying up and separation of the types of games. A dedicated Virtual Console section with sub-sections based on the platform the game was originally released on would be nice.

          Then separate sections for DLC on existing games and a section for Indie games, and then a section for Wii U Apps.

          All with searching capability.

  • Jim Wanstall

    I don’t mean to sound anti Nintendo , because I have been a fan since day one, but this virtual console is a complete joke, I mean seriously mega man, not one but hey why not have half a dozen mega man games .

    I to am starting to think can’t wait for the ps4 , then maybe I will have something to play , I want more than snes games , i want N64 games , not over priced snes games ever week .
    I never thought I’d say this, but I’m slowly losing patients with the wii u ,and the lack of DLC support in 3rd party games , and the only thing I looked forward to is the VC every week , and that has been a complete farce

    sorry

    • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

      Translation: I don’t like the mega man series and since the old Nintendo Game I want to play is not released yet I am going to be upset.

      Does that sum it up for you??

      Secondly it is patience not patients. You are not a doctor or if you are then that is scary

      Thirdly the lack of DLC and game features in third party is on the third party. I do not like it as much as you but take that up with them as I have. They use the excuse that their previous game that they released on Nintendo months after the other consoles didn’t sell as well so they do not want to invest in making the extra content. It is a damn domino effect which causes consumers to just buy the game for the other console. If there was equal treatment of 3rd party games on all consoles and platforms including releasing the games at the same time then there would be less of an issue. That is not Nintendo’s fault.

      • Chris Heskin

        Bob is killin’ it today.

  • Keli Just

    You mention that “the original Mario trilogy on NES” is part of the Wii U VC relaeses to date. I have only encountered SMBS2 on the Wii U VC in Canada. Have SMBS1 &3 been released in other regions?

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      The first Mario was released this week. We’re still waiting on Mario 3.

    • Fred

      No

  • everyone

    They have an icon that says “Classic”. That’s how I filter for VC. Still a specific “Virtual Console” icon would help.

  • $41809923

    need to fix it soon

  • Vinicius

    Maybe it’s only me, but I think charging a NES/SNES game for 5 dollars it’s damn too high.

  • Chris Hamilton

    I hate to say it, but this article is a bit of a joke.First off the games are just rom dumps (this is why ,if there is lag in the original game it will be present in the VC release as well).Any code required for the game to run on two screens is already done and present in the VC itself (Any changes will be done through a update to the VC not in the ROM itself).And as far as Miiverse is concerned ,its pretty much just a web based forum(not hard to add a new community at all).
    Look at Sony and the psp with their psx emulator ,hackers had near 100% compatibility day 1 as the games are just straight up dumps, and you can bet if the wii u gets hacked they will also have near 100% compatibility as well.

    • Chris Heskin

      step 1. Firmly grasp head. step 2. Remove from ass.

      • Chris Hamilton

        ohhh fanboys uniting to downvote and make personal attacks on a nintendo based blog , wait for it…………..shocker lol

    • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

      Oh so you are a programmer? You have technical knowledge to make that claim. Sure Nintendo uses the original ROM for a starting point hence why the lag is still there if it was in the original game. But the point Ashley (and anyone with a logical brain) is that to make the game interact with the Wii U system and features takes some programming that is often done on each individual game.

      If you think Nintendo is just taking a ROM and dumping it into the eshop with some universal emulator then you are nuts. If that was the case the file sizes would not be 5+ MB per NES/SNES game released so far. Original ROMS were so small that you could fit several on a 1.44MB floppy disc.

      • Chris Hamilton

        I’m not a programmer, but I do have some programming knowledge in basic and limited knowledge in c#, and while I admit I may be wrong (nobodies perfect) I’m willing to bet the extra size of the games is due to licence and icon files and possibly a extra load screen and language files (idk because I haven’t downloaded any of the games, so I’ll have to take your word on the size) btw the super metroid rom is 3mb, that’s bigger than a 1.44mb floppy disc itself so good luck fitting several on 1 disc.
        also nintendo can’t touch the source code of any game that’s not made by nintendo themselves and any extra files they do code (such as settings files to get the game to run smoothly) should not take months to code.
        p.s. I know it takes extra work to get these games ready (they don’t just plop a ROM in the eshop) but I stand by my statment that if/when the wii u gets hacked the hackers will have near 100% compatibility by doing just that

        • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

          SNES ROMs were much bigger than NES but I know many NES Games were only 100′s of Kilobytes in size. True some the size could be of what you said. As far as the source code goes I think doing all of that would be considerable work and may even mean having to rewrite the whole game. In some cases that may be beneficial but mostly a waste of time IMO.

          If the Wii U gets hacked like the Wii they may have near 100% compatibility but the key word is near. I found those ROMs on a hacked Wii to be plagued with the same issues in running a ROM on a PC emulator.

          • Chris Hamilton

            you don’t get it, by law nintendo is not allowed to touch source code that does not belong to them.
            from a business stand point it makes so much more sense to just create a good emulator (aka VC) then it would be to go through the legal and time hassles of touching someone else’s source code
            of course nintendos emulator/VC is better than some PC emulator. Its made from nintendos own source code by proper devs who are getting paid good money.And if the wii u gets hacked the hackers will use nintendos VC, so they will have the same performance as legally bought VC games, only with nearly 100% of nintendos library

    • Ricardo de Lima Thomaz

      You are right Chris Hamilton, I’m a programmer myself (actually an engineer), and they have it all done on the VC, they don’t touch the original game code, if they do they are just translating it, which can be done automatically! They are pretty stupid if they port each game for the Wii U, it is a waste of money since they can just create a Virtual Console (which they have done) and make any mod. need just on the VC! Guess what? They have done that! It is way more cheaper to do so! And Ashley just wrote a BIG BUNCH OF BS! She does not know what she is talking about, there is no need to recreate any resources, they reuse EVERYTHING!

      • Chris Heskin

        Ya know what? Ashley never said a word about them touching the source code so to keep bringing that point up over and over is beyond going full retard.

        • Ricardo de Lima Thomaz

          If she said it is not just a DUMP then she is saying they touch the code! Don’t you agree? Then you are the one going full retard!

  • QuizmasterBos

    I find it a bit sad that most Nintendo Wii U VC releases (especially the old ones for the PAL region) are in every way inferior to emulated versions. Of course, adding tools to the games would be a bit much, but in an emulator you can play pretty much every game, improve the quality (on some emulators) and play any region version you want.

    Nintendo isn’t really making the VC games worth getting, you have to wait really long to get a certain game, sometimes a game doesn’t even GET a VC release and if you’re in the Pal region, you have to play a 12% slower game.

    • Chris Heskin

      You forgot to mention that you are ripping off nintendo with your emulators and roms there.

      • QuizmasterBos

        That’s very narrow-minded. If I already bought the game and then make a copy of it to play on an emulator, then I didn’t rip Nintendo off. I already gave them money.

        If I pirate the game without giving any money, that’s a different thing.

        The truth of the matter is that Nintendo isn’t really doing anything to make your VC purchase worthwhile. Especially because they stated that if you already bought a game on the Wii VC, then you could get the Wii U version at a REDUCED price. Why not free? I’m now paying again for a game I already have, just to get Miiverse integration. Which isn’t exactly a selling point, I think.
        I feel more ripped off by Nintendo in that way than that I rip off Nintendo by getting a superior version elsewhere. Come on Nintendo, make us want VC games!

        • Chris Heskin

          Yes, i’m so sure you own ALL those games that you run on your emulator…

          • QuizmasterBos

            Some games you cannot get, as they were Japanese only releases. Some are even fan-translated.

            Take Mother 3 for example. If you want to play that game, but you cannot understand Japanese, then you got a problem. What are we supposed to do? Asking Nintendo doesn’t help, we did so many times.

  • DemonRoach

    Basically, stay with the emulator as you will get better graphics in the end.

  • kinghenroc187

    i want gamecube games in hd 1080p not no ports playstation did all there games hd remasterd take your time nintendo fuck the critics go suck on some balls

  • TheOneWhoKnocks

    This actually makes sense to me from a business stand point as well. If Nintendo uploaded 100 VC titles at a time, the average user could get easily overwhelmed and not know where to begin looking. If they release games in small chunks, you could easily evaluate each title and decide if you’d be interested in it. I believe that, in the long run, this leads to higher VC sales.

    • blindtiger

      it definitely leads to more sales… ive bought several mediocre games for top dollar because thats all thats available

  • Nintendofreak

    true i believe if i remember correctly that it was until last year that they succesfully emulated nes/snes 100%

  • Mochlum

    I understand, but Nintendo still needs to start working on porting more popular games to Virtual Console. We still haven’t gotten Link to the Past, Yoshi’s Island, Donkey Kong, Earthbound, etc. Those games releasing soon would be very convienient and would even help raise sales. (who DOESN’T want to play LTTP while crapping?)
    Not to mention we were promised GBA and 64 games, and we don’t have any word on those yet. (dare I even mention Gamecube?)

  • Elem187

    Come on, the trickle is not because its competing with retail/indie or its too difficult, etc.
    The trickle is strictly business. By trickling out titles a few at a time, Nintendo increases the likely hood games that are not so popular will have a higher chance of being purchased.
    if Nintendo dropped the entire NES/SNES library at once, people would only buy the most popular VC titles or ones they remembered as a kid… by trickling it out, people frustrated and wanting something to play may drop $5 on a whim on something that would normally not sell at all.

  • Norfair20X5

    Great article, Ashley.

  • Apocryphos

    I am completely satisfied with the current Wii u e shop but what needs to be stressed above all is that over time Nintendo will get better because they learn from their experiences both in gaming and in business. To constantly demand, badger, poke, and beguile Nintendo into instantly or with a short time give you what you want is insanity that only leads to more problems. I also believe the constantly nearly rampant complaints have reached their literal level of madness.

    You people are treating Wii U like Wal-mart treats it’s employees and trust me I know more than you ever will. So stop marking individuals as fan-boys, stop alienating Nintendo, and start acting like true adults who respect the humanity of Nintendo.

    People are entitled to their opinions and do have the right to complain but the amount of complaining on this site compared to ps4′s is ridiculous when most of their biggest titles don’t even have a specific release date nor will they be coming in 2014 so please have some true patience with Nintendo and just wait and see what they have planned for the future. Thank you for Listening.

    • Agent721

      People who are passionate about a product will respond as such. Remember that…those on here are either Nintendo lovers or haters, and hence, the passion comes out. And for me, I’ve spent thousands upon thousands of dollars in my lifetime buying their product. I have brought in dozens or more of non gamers into the Nintendo fold and made them life long fans. So when they disappoint me, I get mad, because I feel part of the team, per say. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t get mad.

  • Gabe Hoffman

    I disagree that the putting VC titles alongside regular eShop games is a bad idea. This is meant to help get titles more exposure. Also step down? I think not, how can it be a step down with all the new features that they have added. I do agree that they cannot put games out magically at the snap of a finger as they need to test each game to make sure it runs properly on Wii U with no bugs and the Wii U’s VC emulators likely use a different base code as well. Even if they do plan on putting GC games on VC it might be a while as Gamecube emulation has not yet been perfected really. This is mainly because Gamecube games use actual disc files rather than ROM files. This is also why many Gamecube games running on emulator tend to be extremely buggy

  • nappyp

    I’m late to the commnting part, but there is a way of doing both quality releases alongside the Rom dump. They can put all the games they want for download, aka Rom dump, to make people happy with the large collection of games. Then, can look at the sales/download numbers and work on those to see what they should do a propped release for. They can call simply add a “U” to the game title to indicate the optimized version. The downloaders can pay the difference in price for the updated version if they already have the pre U version…..I’d love pilotwings 64 but don’t see that happening. This may be the only way to please me.

  • raindog469

    After getting screwed by Nintendo’s VC policies on the Wii — only after buying a new Wii to replace our out-of-warranty dead one did we discover that purchases didn’t work like iTunes, Steam, XBLA or any other digital distribution platform, so we lost over $200 between VC, Wiiware and unspent points — I think I’ll play Wii U games on the Wii U and continue to switch over to my $45 Android-on-a-stick when I want to play old Nintendo games. It seems likely that we’ll see devices that are just as cheap and can even run Dolphin (or something like it) before the Wii U’s successor is unveiled, or maybe when it’s time to build our next PC we’ll make it a gaming rig so we don’t have to wait to play Sunshine in 1080p.

    I mean, yay for quality control and online features we neither need nor want, but I’ve bought 4 copies of SM64 in the last 18 years, and I’ll do what I want with it, when I want, on whichever device I want — just as I do with my favorite books, movies and CDs that I’ve bought over and over. It plays really, really nice with an Xbox 360 controller. And I don’t see us getting Banjo *ooie or Conker’s Bad Fur Day on the VC anytime soon, but they work just fine on, well, everything else. (Bought each of those twice, though I do like the Xbox version of CBFD better than running the original in an emulator.)

  • GuardiansFan

    single biggest issue = it wouldnt kill them to allow the ability to stretch the image (like they do in emulators) to use up the entire screen. I hate having black bars to the left and to the right. I know some gamers prefer the original size but in my case i would prefer a stretched image….if they provide the option then it would please all of us

  • Guest

    Haha, you said ‘dump’.

  • Amz Strange

    Things that need to change:

    1. At least a 25% price drop for all VC games.
    2. Cross-buy / merging of 3DS & Wii U eShop stores.
    3. Clearer menus / categories in eShop – similar to the old Wii version.
    4. Speed up release of new VG games. Surely the tweaked TV display and standard controller mapping is an interchangeable piece of code that *could* be dumped into any game, if that’s all the game requires – some obviously need more intricate controller emulation – which only leaves getting a smooth emulation running, which wouldn’t usually take long at all. 8 months and still no Mario Bros 3 or Mario 64?
    5. Have a *no lag / slowdown* option for all games! If games came with this option I’d be happy with the current speed of releases.

  • Ice Climbers

    They should have a team dedicated to Virtual Console titles. Also, why not include VC titles as preorder bonuses for new Wii U games? “Preorder Super Mario 3D World now and get a free download code for Super Mario 64″ or something like that.

  • Smurfman256

    When you say that it’s difficult to get the game running on both the TV and Gamepad simultaneously, it shows that you have no real idea on how the Gamepad streaming works. When the GPU finishes rendering a frame, before it’s sent to the framebuffer, it takes a copy of that frame, compresses it, and it’s sent to the Gamepad at the same time as the TV. It’s not rendering the same picture twice (and that’s pretty easy to tell just by looking at how compressed the image actually is), so it has very little impact on the hardware.

  • Hairee Pothead

    There are no GameCube games coming to Virtual Console as those are getting HD remakes starting with Wind Waker and reprogrammed controls cause Wii U has no Analog triggers.

  • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

    Thanks for admitting to being a pirate… I hope Nintendo and FBI find you out and you get fined

  • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

    Well forgive me for assuming that you downloaded all the ROMs from the internet as it is highly unlikely that you purchased Nintendo’s whole Library and made all the ROMs yourself.

    So unless you did just that then you are doing it illegally. Like I mentioned before I made game dumps from my own GameCube discs and run them in an emulator. I do not have the necessary equipment to make a ROM from a cartridge despite I still have my N64 and SNES and a whole bunch of games. So those I repurchase through Virtual Console.

    Oh and the asshole comment was unnecessary… If you actually own every game made for all Nintendo’s systems and made all those ROMs and game dumps yourself then Kudos to you.