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Wii Virtual Console, Launch Titles Finalized 159

For gamers anticipating the 19th of this month, you have a lot to look forward to. The virtual console launch titles and Wii launch window games have been finalized. A full 32 Wii games will be available within five weeks of the console's launch, and fans will be able to buy 30 classic Nintendo, Genesis, and TurboGrafx titles by the end of the year. Even with a disappointing showing for classic SNES titles (no Link to the Past outside of Japan) the virtual console list should make every gamer, Wii fan or no, smile. From the list: "NES Games (500 Wii Points) - 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." I haven't owned a NES in quite a while, so I'm really happy to see the likes of Ice Hockey making a comeback. Wow ... got in so many fights with my brother over that game.
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Wii Virtual Console, Launch Titles Finalized

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  • ... BAD! Well, except that they're almost certainly holding it back to give everyone time to finish Twilight Princess. They'll sell more that way.

    Of the launch titles: OK, I call Twilight Princess, maybe Excitetruck, Wii Play (mainly for Duck Hunt 2 and the extra wiimote), Budokai Tenkaichi 2, Red Steel. Actually, cancel that. Just Twilight Princess. I'll look into buying another game some time around, oh... probably April.

    • Where do you see a game called Wii Play with Duck Hunt an extra wiimote? Do you mean Wii Sports? That's the only game on the list with the word "Wii" in it, but it doesn't come with Duck Hunt, and it comes with the console, not a controller. Well, I guess the controller's included to, but not an extra one.
      • Australians (and Japanese also, IIRC) get a title called Wii Play that you can get "free" when you buy an additional Wii Remote. Wii Play has a series of simple Wii Remote played games similar to Wii Sports, but are not necessarily sports games. One of the mini games is a game VERY *VERY* MUCH like Duck Hunt.

        Weather or not this title is available at launch or with a Wii Remote in the US or Europe is unknown (especially to me!).
        • Wii Play is out in Europe at launch, December 8th.

          And just to clarify, it's the remote that comes with the game, not the other way around. Otherwise people buying 3 more controllers would get 3 copies of the game.
      • by ProppaT ( 557551 )
        Nope, Wii Play will be out next year. It's a collection of shooting / mini games. Personally, I think it would have been a much better pack in than Wii Sports (seeing that the only game on Wii Sports that is appealing to me is bowling), but I'll take what I can get.
    • It's not like we are entirely being deprived of Zelda 3. Just pick it up from a Best Buy for the GBA at $19.99. All of Nintendos classics are being priced like that except for a few.
    • Yeah, I'd figure they're waiting on Zelda 3. Or maybe they think that if you really loved Zelda, you'd buy a GBA and Zelda 3. Me, I'll just plug in my still-working SNES and enjoy it the way it was meant to be enjoyed: Drunk. I mean with the SNES controller.

      That for me is the problem with the virtual console lineup here. My SNES and NES still work, and almost all the games I'd want to play I already have -- including Solomon's Key, which I am surprised to see, but glad that a new generation will get to
    • As Nintendo did back when they released "Zelda: Collector's Edition", GameCube remains and will remain even with the Wii virtual console the only system to be able to play every notable Zelda title (which means on CDI games, thank god...). Unfortionitely, the virtual console will not support GB[C/A] games, which means no Link's Awakening [DX], Oracle of Ages, Oracle of Seasons, Four Swords, or Minish Cap. This will remain true until Phantom Hourglass gets released for DS sometime in late 2007 or in 2008, or
  • It looks like Nintendo is taking a page right from Microsoft in their online approach, and due to their huge history of games on their past consoles they are likely to have an even higher revenue stream from 'classic' game sales.

    FTFA: "Nintendo reportedly plans to make ten new games available every month, so retro fans may want to set aside a budget -- if future releases can uphold this level of quality, all those Wii games may become almost a secondary consideration."

    10 Every month?? That's pretty aggressi
    • by meringuoid ( 568297 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @08:37AM (#16671333)
      10 Every month?? That's pretty aggressive - but then again how many games have they produced for NES, SNES, 64, etc? A few thousand im sure.

      Remember, it needn't be only Nintendo games either. Go to third parties and say to them 'how would you like some free money?' They'll put their back catalogues up for download, no problem, because it costs them nothing to do it and they stand to get some money.

      At a rate of ten a month, Nintendo will probably run out of NES, SNES and N64 ROMs some time around, oh... 2060. Assuming they only put up games that were actually worth playing, there'll still be enough to last the reasonable lifetime of the Wii.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mwvdlee ( 775178 )
        Remember, it needn't be only Nintendo games either.

        In fact, I think a few of the Genesis launch titles aren't by Nintendo ;)
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by meringuoid ( 568297 )
          I only got to see the Virtual Console list after I'd posted; page wasn't loading for a while there. Original Megadrive games on the new Nintendo machine. Wow. If you'd told me back in 1992 that someday I'd sit down to play Sonic The Hedgehog on the new Nintendo console, I'd have laughed in your face...
          • Of course those of us with a GameCube have already been able to play the original Sonic games for quite some time. I got it out of the $18 bin at walmart (came with 6? sonic games). I Want to know how much these games will actually cost in dollars? how many points do I get for $1?
            • In the US, 1 point = 1 cent. Price necessarily varies in other regions due to currency differences.
              • I live in Canada, So I have to assume it will be the same. They couldn't have 2 cents per point, because that would be too expensive. They wouldn't do 1.2 cents or something like that, because it would be too confusing to the people. iTunes cost 99 cents in Canada, so i imagine that Nintendo would do the same thing to avoid confusion.
              • In Japan 1 Point = 1 Yen. 1 Yen != 1 US Cent. Exchange rates are probably a *factor*, but certainly not the final say on how much a Wii Points card would cost (I wouldn't be surprised if a Canadian 2000 point card costs around $24-$25 CAD).
                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by CastrTroy ( 595695 )
                  I'm pretty sure that in Canada that 1 point will be 1 cent then. According to, 1 Yen = 0.00856575 $US. 1 Canadian penny is worth 0.00885100 $US. Those numbers are both pretty much the same. About .8 cents. I don't think they want to have people dealing with fractions of a penny, just as they won't want people dealing with fractions of a Yen. Also, as i've mentioned, iTunes sell for 99 cents in canada, same price as they are in the states. It's not a question of cost at this point, but rather w
                  • (To GP: You're right, I worded that poorly.) Anyway, I'm pretty sure that I saw that Canadian points will be $24 for a 2000 point card, or 1.2 cents per point. Fractions of a penny aren't an issue, since I doubt you'll be able to buy a single point - the lowest denomination of cards that I've heard anything about is 2000. All of the Virtual Console game prices are multiples of 100. If you can buy points with a credit card directly through the console, I wouldn't be surprised if you have to buy them by t
                • 2000 point cards will be sold for $20 in the US. This implies that US points and Japanese points do not have the same value.
      • Assuming they only put up games that were actually worth playing

        I've got Tennis and Baseball for free via Animal Crossing. Maybe they're worth playing for free for a few minutes now and then, but I can't say I'd pay $5 each for them. In fact, I can emphatically say that I wouldn't. Especially with Wii Sports right there.

        Yeah, yeah, nostalgia - but there are games on that list that are actually worth playing through in addition to reminding you of your childhood (aside from the obvious ones, I also have

        • I've got Tennis and Baseball for free via Animal Crossing. Maybe they're worth playing for free for a few minutes now and then, but I can't say I'd pay $5 each for them. In fact, I can emphatically say that I wouldn't. Especially with Wii Sports right there.

          Someone will buy them, even if it's not you. Since it will cost them so little to sell them, it's worth it for them if only 10 people buy them. Also, saying they have 30 games available sounds better than having 5, even if it's the best 5 games ever ma

      • Go to third parties and say to them 'how would you like some free money?' They'll put their back catalogues up for download, no problem, because it costs them nothing to do it and they stand to get some money.

        Unless it's LJN/Acclaim or Ultra Games/Konami, which made a lot of movie/TV license games. I doubt that Mirage Studios would agree to license the classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games in a new edition for nothing. Likewise with Fox and The Simpsons. But then, I wouldn't even want to play Robocop

        • I'm not sure that they'd have to relicense anything for those games. They already have a license to sell that game, and since they are selling the exact same game, I don't think there would be anything to worry about. Also I think a lot of these studios would love to have their old games put out the games again if they received a little something in return. There's a new TMNT movie coming out, they could create a lot of hype by telling people to go download the old games for their Wii. Although I hated
          • by iocat ( 572367 )
            Many licenses have time limits. So even if it's the exact same game; they still time out. (See AD&D for Intellivision as an example -- same ROM as the good old days, but the IntellivisionLives guys can't release it.) A lot of time the time limits in the original contracts were super long for the time -- 10 years or more -- but uh... yeah... turned out not to be long enough! I say this working for a company that does a lot of Xbox Live Arcade work, so I have some familiarity with the issue.
    • Microsoft really had an amazing strategy with their online classic game downloads, but it looks like Nintendo is going to take it to the next level - and I for one will happily shell out a wii amount of cash for their golden oldies.

      Will it be possible to download an old game for free if you already have the physical cartridge?
      • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
        No, it will not.
      • Will it be possible to download an old game for free if you already have the physical cartridge?

        No. Too easy to fake. Unless there was a system where you traded in your cartridge for the equivalent in Wii points - which wouldn't work, since there's no profit in it for Nintendo, and if anyone wants my gold NES Legend Of Zelda cartridge the phrase 'cold dead hands' will become significant to them.

        I'm wondering how long it is before this is hacked, myself. Many, many people have gigabytes of roms from the

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Hitto ( 913085 )
          While the philosophical "because I can" approach might be interesting, why bother? I'm getting a Wii, but I already have a controller-to-usb adapter so I can play roms on my PC.

          I bought Mario and Zelda for the GBA when the whole NES classics line was released - even though it was easier to just use a flashcart, just out of respect, but Nintendo hadn't even thought of adding anything new in them, which, for Mario, was a HUGE disappointment - They'd already released a deluxe edition for the Gameboy Color that
          • by Scoth ( 879800 )
            My guess is the rom hack community is a teeny fraction of even the emulation community. Even my fiancee was playing Sonics and Marios with an emulator when I met her, but she'd never heard of rom hacks. I recently got Mario Adventure working (Awesomest hack ever, see Here [] for it. Total conversion of SMB3.).

            That said, Nintendo could probably make a killing if they contracted and/or somehow got the best of the rom hacks onto the Virtual Console. Imagine being able to not only advertise classic games, but new
          • Moreso, have you seen the zillions of nes rom hacks? How will the Virtual Console rival with that?

            Why would it want to? I don't think there's all that many gamers out there clamoring to play rom hack masterpieces like "SUPER NAKED BROS." or "MEGAFAG II".
  • That's great, I'll be able to play Mario bros with my friends, and deal some Rampage love in the neighborhood. All these games were available on Mame, but the form factor of the Wii really makes it great for casual gamers.
    • by DingerX ( 847589 )
      Bah? No Military Madness/Nectaris? Screw it Nintendo, you just lost yourself a customer!
      • Who said there wouldn't be any Military Madness? At 10 games per month, I think that leaves plenty of room for Military Madness.
  • by hal2814 ( 725639 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @09:29AM (#16671749)
    I really expected the first few titles to all be super-popular titles everyone has played. Then I saw Solomon's Key. Sometimes I've wondered if I'm the only person who has ever played that game. It isn't fantastic but it's very good. I'm glad it will have the chance to get a little more much-deserved exposure. And when I saw Mario Bros I was preparing to lambaste the article post on not differentiating between Mario Bros and Super Mario Bros but the article got it right. It IS Mario Bros. That is so cool. I've always been a fan of it and its derivatives (especially Mario Clash on the Virtual Boy).

    It is a shame that they're almost certainly using the NES version of Donkey Kong without all the levels and that Super Mario World and Zelda Link to the Past aren't available at launch but I'm sure they won't be far behind.
    • by nickos ( 91443 )
      Then I saw Solomon's Key. Sometimes I've wondered if I'm the only person who has ever played that game. It isn't fantastic but it's very good. I'm glad it will have the chance to get a little more much-deserved exposure.

      Don't worry, you're not the only one - I used to love that game back on my rubber keyed Spectrum! Classic! :)
    • Like the previous reply you got... I, also, have played this many times, in actual cartridge form on an NES and on an emulator.... many of my friends have also. It's a great game and a decent choice for the VC.
    • Mario Bros. despite it's classic appeal isn't much fun as far as I'm concerned. There's a lot of games that would draw a lot more sales. It definitely isn't worth the same price as The Legend Of Zelda. I think they need to rethink their pricing on the virtual console. It seems to me like all games from the same console will be the same price. This is the iTunes approach that I don't like. There's many games on Nintendo that aren't worth the same as the must have titles, but that I'd still buy if I co
      • by hal2814 ( 725639 )
        "There's a lot of games that would draw a lot more sales."

        That is the point I'm trying to make. Nintendo isn't just going down a list of top prospective sellers. They're putting in some games that may not appeal to everyone. They're actually going trotting out some games with niche-only appeal. I'm sorry you don't think Mario Brothers is fun but I rather enjoy it and am glad it will be coming to the Wii.

        I do agree that it way not be worth the same price as Legend of Zelda though but I imagine Nintendo w
      • by Jerf ( 17166 )
        Mario Brothers has a fun two-player mode. One player mode by modern standards is "meh", which actually still constitutes holding up pretty well as most games from that era are "crap", but still not something I'd go out of my way for.

        The Nintendo's hardware is pretty simplistic and IMHO few games for it really hold up very well on nostalgia alone. However, when you add "playing against a human" back into the mix, that changes. Another example is Dr. Mario, which my wife enjoys because it's the only game she
  • Not a single lightgun game (I have no idea if they can do lightgun emulation with that fancy Wii controler or not)
    Not a single Super Mario title (with the exception of Mario 64 which happens to be the most expensive title on the entire service)
    Only one N64 game (although maybe thats because thats the only N64 game that actually WORKS right now...)
    Only 2 SNES games

    I expect some of the omissions (metroid, smash bros, mario kart, zelda III) are omitted because Nintendo have sequals to those coming early in the
    • by jonwil ( 467024 )
      Also, another thing to think about with the list is that they may not want to release games that compete directly with stuff they already have on the Gameboy Advance or Nintendo DS...
    • (I have no idea if they can do lightgun emulation with that fancy Wii controler or not)

      The pictures of a sawed-off shotgun shell for the Wiimote that I've seen around the net somewhere--assuming they aren't 'shopped--would seem to indicate that this is possible. If there's a problem, it's probably that Nintendo won't want to spend a lot of time trying to get each individual lightgun game translated to the Wiimote's tip-tilt sensors (or accelerometers, or whatever it's using).

      (they probobly dont want
    • I'm not sure if people will not buy the new titles because they're buying old stuff. It really depends on the price. I'm not sure how much 500 points cost, but I'd probably rather play a new Zelda game than play the original Zelda again. Although the original Zelda is fun, I've played it too much, and it's too easy to beat (even the second quest). I wonder if they will ever put out another Zelda game with a second quest...
  • by nickos ( 91443 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @09:51AM (#16671951)
    I'm really looking forward to playing Bonk's Adventure and Super Star Soldier again, but why are they launching Bomberman '93 instead of Bomberman '94!!!
    • by Cutriss ( 262920 )
      They're launching both. It's just that the US isn't good enough for Bomberman '94 (yet).
      • by nickos ( 91443 )
        I live in Europe and used to have an imported Japanese PC Engine with Japanese versions of both Bomberman '93 and Bomberman '94. I'm wondering if Hudson Soft only made an English version of Bomberman '93 - that would explain why they would release that instead of Bomberman '94 in the US...
  • NES was about 48 KB per cartridge, TurboGrafx 2.5 MB, SNES & Genesis 4 MB, N64 64 MB. I know many are less, and bank switching lets it go higher, so I just used the standard max size.

    Looks like I should be able to put a lot of games on a 1 GB memory module. But we're going to have problems if they start releasing CD titles for those systems that had that option.
    • Speaking of limits for SNES/MegaDrive/T16 ROMs.... those are the TOP limits of size. Many MegaDrive and SNES ROMs came in easily under 2MB (even 1MB or 512K). I'm sure (not 100%) the T16 HuCards have similar lower-end size proportions.
      • Actually, there were at least two 6MB games for SNES: Tales of Phantasia and Star Ocean. Theoretically, you could make a 8MB SNES cartridge, although I do not believe any were ever made (and a lot (around 0.5MB, I think) of the last 2MB would overlap with memory allocations for various subsystems).
      • by Quila ( 201335 )
        those are the TOP limits of size.

        I gave the regular listed max. Many are less, but some are bank-switched to allow several times that amount. The NES could address 32KB of ROM at a time, making that the actual maximum using simple addressing, but one game actually had a 1 MB ROM.
    • by Maul ( 83993 )
      I don't think we'll have much of a problem even if they start releasing the CD titles. There are actually only a handful of GOOD games for the 16-bit era CD systems. Many of them were never released in North America, and I'm not holding my breath for a localized Dracula X appearing on the virtual console, though that would kick ass if it happened.
    • They don't have emulation for the CD titles.... yet

      But if they do then they can always release bigger memory modules.
      • The Wii's memory modules are just plain SD cards, so Nintendo doesn't have to release them, although I think they will sell branded SD cards. Also, older games probably had awful compression compared to today's standards. It would take some extra work, but CD games (and maybe N64, too) could probably be cut down in size with a bit a reworking.
    • I don't know, all those REALLY early games from like 1985/1986 might be 48KB, but most of the NES games i actually play are 256KB, 384KB, or 512KB. Mega Man 2 was 256, 3 was 384, and 4-5-6 were 512KB. SMB3 was 384, Castlevania 2 was 256, 3 was 512. Even Metroid, Zelda, and Contra were 128KB and these games have relatively simple graphics. I'd call the average more like 256 based on the fact that about half of the roms I have are 256, and theres definitely plenty of 512KB games to make up for the ones that
  • I think they could do wonders if they had promotions where, for example, if you buy Metroid Prime 3, you'd get Super Metroid and the original Metroid free (or at least at a discount).

    They could always figure "Super Metroid will be purchased anyways, we'll just charge full price." But if they want to reach those casual gamers who have never played a 2D game before, it might be a nice offer.

  • ... luckily, the Genesis/MegaDrive and T16 offerings are GOLD.
    • by trdrstv ( 986999 )
      Agreed. I understand why they are promoting NES titles over the rest, but why aren't there any light gun games?
      • Dunno, I, personally, never cared for most of the light gun games on the NES. However, I am quite sure there are a ton of folks who were.
      • Maybe the "drivers" for using the Wiimote as a light gun haven't been given priority. Or maybe they do not want to use it as a light gun because light guns apparently have problems with non-CRT TVs. It would take extra reworking of the games to use a pointer instead of a light gun.
        • by trdrstv ( 986999 )
          Traditional light guns have problems with non CRT's (rear projection in particular) but that's why the sensor bar was added. you are actuaaly interfacing with that and not the TV for aiming / shooting. Also Rayman has minigames using the wii-mote as a gun, Red Steel (among others) also. So I'm inclined to believe this function works.

          I understand the old games worked differently, but I find it difficult to believe they couldn't fix this given the complexity of the Wii-mote.

          • Exactly, they would have to rewrite the games to determine if the Wiimote was pointing at an object instead of simply being able to check if the light gun senses light when that object is lit up. It is not a simple drop-in fix. Their devs are busy with getting new games done for launch, and the other VC games they just have to drop the ROM file in. Anyway, you will notice a lot of classics missing from the initial VC line-up. Nintendo doesn't want to be selling VC games at launch.
  • Oh, Conker's Bad Fur Day, where are you?
    • by grumbel ( 592662 )
      Oh, Conker's Bad Fur Day, where are you?

      Conker got a remake on XBox, and since Rare belongs to Microsoft now don't except him to set a foot on Nintendo territory anytime soon again.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by thebosz ( 748870 )
      Over on the Xbox. Since Conker is a Rare-owned property and Microsoft owns Rare, it's quite unlikely we'll see any Rare games on the VC, which is quite sad. Note though, that only includes entirely Rare-owned properties. Stuff that Nintendo owned, but Rare developed (like Donkey Kong Country) should appear sometime in the future.

      Yes, this means that the likely hood of Perfect Dark is absolutely nil, buy there's a small chance of Goldeneye on there (but that's a whole slew of licensing issues right there).

  • Come on, did we honestly expect them to release every A-list title immediately upon launch? How in the world would they sustain the service? The bunch they've got there seems fine to me, and the Sega selection is especially strong.

    What I'm miffed at is the delay for the new Smash Bros. It was SUPPOSED to be a launch title; and the one I was most looking forward to. I'm sure I'll still get a Wii, but it's kind of irritating.

  • With 20+ years of games under its belt(and then some), I was hoping for a much larger virtual console launch list. Sure, 90% of the NES games are side-scrolling run & jump games, but it would have been nice to have them there. I understand there was licensing issues and such for 3rd party titles, but still. Why no Sega Master System games? heck, offer them for $1.00 for people to get a taste of the fun of virtual console.

    Heck, hire a MAME developer, and license some arcade titles over too.

    Sure, these "l
  • Guess I'll just have to stick to my e-Reader for that one (didn't make the GBA NES Classics series in the US either...)
  • Wii:
    - Metroid Prime 3 (comes out in 2007, I know)

    Virtual Console:
    - Contra (NES/Famicom)
    - Dragon Warrior / Dragon Quest (NES/Famicom)
    - R-Type (TurboGrafx-16/PC-Engine)
    - Shining Force (SEGA Genesis/Megadrive)
  • Am I the only one who feels disappointed with the initial Virtual Console offerings? Looking at the list, at least half of these titles have already been re-released and re-re-released, mainly those from Sega and Nintendo.

    Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of the VC, but I can't see any game on the list right now that greatly interest me. Hopefully the next ten that come out are some of the more popular or better games, and that Nintendo can get other companies to jump on board.

    "Hey, do you guys want to wo

In English, every word can be verbed. Would that it were so in our programming languages.