Wii Where? The curse of Wii U’s Wii Mode.

To play Wii software on Wii U we’ll be using Wii mode, a Wii U app that’s accessed from the Wii U home menu. It’s a nifty way of doing things, taking true backwards compatibility to the next level in that it literally offers a Wii inside our Wii Us – next to everWiithing (ahem) is there, right down to the Wii Shop Channel.

But this does have one particular caveat.

Compare this to how Nintendo handled backwards compatibility with 3DS – legacy software became a part of the main 3DS experience to the point of even seeping into our ever bulging activity logs and appearing on the 3DS home menu.

As a result, DSiWare’s, er, ‘Wares helped bolster the eShop’s day one lineup when it launched in June 2011, and the eShop’s massively improved interface allowed us to discover those DSiWare gems that we missed out on due to the DSi Shop (hello Sujin Taisen!) and that slow interface.

And therein lies the issue – because Wii U’s Wii Mode essentially hides away all Wii-related content in a self contained application which powers down all extra Wii U functionality, Wii downloads will continue to be hidden away in the Wii Shop Channel.

We’re pretty disappointed by this outcome – America’s Wii U eShop is WiIWare-less – because we saw Wii U as a second wind for WiiWare.

There are plenty of quality, overlooked WiiWare releases that were missed by many due to numerous reasons, the Wii Shop Channel’s clunky and slow to load shopping front being a primary offender. Neves Plus, Tomena Sanner, the Art Style series, LIT, Bonsai Barber and Bomberman Blast – that’s but a small sample of the casualty list. Wii U’s integrated and speedy eShop could ave given titles the (far better) showing they deserve to Wii U owners, just as 3DS’s eShop did for DSiWare. ow it won’t.

We’d love Nintendo to fix this – hand us the option to purchase Wii download software off the eShop and we’ll be truly satisfied. After all, it’ll be criminal to have Retro City Rampage finally launch, only to be shoved inside the Wii Shop Channel’s murky depths inside Wii Mode…