Wii U Virtual Console gives GameBoy Advance, takes mickey

Another however long it is between them, another Nintendo Direct. And what a Nintendo Direct it was! Wind Waker HD, updates on Bayonetta 2, a new game by Monolith Soft, Wind Waker HD, a Shin Megami Tensei/Fire Emblem crossover, Wind Waker HD…

But the one thing people were really looking for in the show was Virtual Console news. And Virtual Console news people got- the first big news from Mr. Iwata was that they will be adding “Other Platforms” to the services, starting with the Game Boy Advance, which bizarrely is launching on Wii U and ostensibly bypassing 3DS.

The second, however, is that if you want to re-download the games you bought on Wii, you will have to pay again- a charge of 99p for NES games and £1.49 for SNES games, which is a tiny bit cheeky.

It is good to see that Nintendo have put  enough thought into the idea of seeing what titles people have bought on Wii and not making people pay full whack, but really we shouldn’t be paying at all.

For those who owned titles on cartridge and are paying again for download, then at least that can be considered a ‘cover charge’ for converting your game from one totally incompatible format to another, across two outlets who wouldn’t have communicated. However, when it’s effectively the same file from the same source on what alleges to be a backwards-compatible system, it does leave a nasty taste in the mouth.

Parallels could be drawn here between those titles and Wind Waker HD, of course- but that would be (in theory) a full makeover, and not simply emulation like Virtual Console, where the game has been modified, and not just the wrapper it sits in.


Virtual Console launches shortly after the next firmware update, in the spring.