Wii U Gets Its Own Virtual Console This Year

The Wii U will get its own version of the Virtual Console in the second quarter of this year — you'll be able to purchase and download Nintendo and Super Nintendo games to play on the Wii U and separately on your GamePad.

We already knew that a Virtual Console was coming to Wii U, but Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata announced further details — and a Q2 2013 (March-May) release window — during a Nintendo Direct this morning.

The service will start off with a limited selection of Nintendo and Super Nintendo games, with more to come, including games from the Game Boy Advance. There will be "special pricing" if you already own Wii versions of each Virtual Console game: $US1 for NES games; $US1.50 for SNES games. (You'll have to transfer those Wii VC games over to the Wii U in order to get the discount.)

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Nintendo Entertainment System, there will also be a discounted program that starts today: you can download Balloon Fight for NES as soon as the Nintendo Direct is over. You can buy it right now for 30 cents.

Here's what the rest of the lineup looks like for Wii U owners in the US:

Japanese Wii U owners will be able to get Mother 2. No word on whether US Wii U owners will get their hands on the North American version, Earthbound.


    It's kind of crap that you have to re-buy games you have already bought, even if it is at a discount

      That's because the Wii U versions will come with new features for the Wii U which means a team somewhere is working on it which means they need paying, so of course they won't hand them out for free.

        I assumed they'd be a cheap and nasty transfers but it might be worth it for Miiverse integration

      yeah 30 cents per game is harsh

        It's $1.30 to 'upgrade' a NES game and $1.95 for a Snes one in Australia

          $2 for a snes game sounds awesome. What do you mean by 'upgrade' though? I don't have any of my old SNES games hanging around still, havent for years. So unless nintendo want me to produce proof of ownership of original snes cartridges (which i highly doubt) what you are saying is $2 for a game.
          Again thats pretty awesome.

            The 'upgrade' is for when you had bought the game on the original Wii VC and want to rebuy it on the WiiU VC.

            If you don't have the game on the original Wii VC then you have to pay full price, so $6.50 for NES and $10.40 for SNES (unless it's one of those games on sale for 30c)

              ok that is a bit less awesome. $10.40 for games that came out like 12 years ago is a bit pricey.

    Bought Balloon Fight. All games on VC should be 30 cents... only had about 2 VC games on the Wii because they were so expensive!

    I'm not impressed by the line up. Where's Axelay? Probotector? Super Donkey Kong Country?

    Only releasing one a month... i want more! And [email protected]!

      This is just like a trial offer, it's temporary. They'll release more games later in the year when the service is fully functional.

        I know but I want games now!!!!!*#*#

        I started with the SNES so pretty pumped to be able to play the old classics on the wii u. This is my first nintendo since the snes so I've been out of the loop.

    You can still play the wii version on wii u without paying. You only pay if you want wii u version - which has off screen - gamepad play and miiverse functionality added.

      Yeah, I'm actually very happy with the discounted prices. I was really thinking Ninty might do one of those brain-dead moves and make you pay full price for the titles again - so glad that's not the case.

      Windwaker HD and a proper Wii U Virtual Console... bring out a 3d Mario and this console will have earned all the love I've already prematurely shown it!

      Oh and patch in a proper industry standard surround sound compressed audio please Nintendo - all my equipment is set up to take Dolby, and ZombiU is not the same in stereo.

        They did announce a 3D Mario!! Im with you was half expecting to pay full price. Not sure what everyone is complaining about!

    I wonder if we'll ever be able to buy the Donkey Kong Country games again, since they stopped selling them on the Wii's Virtual Console a while back...

      I'm glad I downloaded all 3 of them as soon as they were available, anyone who missed out will pretty much have to ebay a snes and DK cart, or emulate it now. Suffer.


        I still have the original on my snes. But the snes, she ain't running too good these days. You have to jiggle the cartridges a lot to get it going.

    Drip feeding again? They need to port over the Wii VC library in it's entirety. I guess it's to cover the fact that few real games are being released.

      They need to add miiverse and off screen to EVERY title! That's why!

    Will we got c64 games this time around. Europe had them on the wii

    Why not offer an upgrade service? upgrade your current Wii Purchases to a Wii U Version for a one off price, and then when they are launched you can download them for free (kinda like a Wii U upgrade pack). That way you are only paying for the difference.

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