Virtual Console

The Virtual Console ( VC short, japバーチャル コンソールBācharu Konsōru ) is an online marketplace for Nintendo's Wii game console, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS and offers select older classic games to download. For a fee, various video games like Super Mario Bros. or Donkey Kong can be purchased as a memory dump and are played on an emulator of the Virtual Console.

  • 7.1 pricing
  • 7.2 Persons Bound right of use
  • 9.1 Notes and references


The selection includes games for the following consoles:


In the Wii Shop Channel acquired games are loaded as files via the Internet on the Wii console and stored there in the internal 512 MB ​​memory or on an attached SD card. The graphical user interface ( Wii Menu ) represents a newly downloaded game than other Wii channel; also there since patch 4.0, a separate user interface that presents to choose the channels that are stored on the inserted SD card. If you start a VC game of this so-called SD card menu, the performance data are loaded into the Wii buffer and then started. In addition to the game and a game manual is included in each electronic form that can be accessed from the Home menu, while the game has already started. Saved Scores are stored in the Wii system memory and often can not be copied or move. What data is stored in a score, depends entirely on the individual titles or in addition to the emulated platform: Play with a small RAM memory dump can be "frozen " and resume at the same point; otherwise the usual storage method in the form about individual Scores are virtually supported. This can have the consequence that the two storage methods are also supported ( for example, in Super Metroid ). Game files and scores in the internal memory or SD memory card can be managed via the system menu Wii Options.

In addition, each Virtual Console user has an account on the Wii Shop Channel at Nintendo. Can be taken over the menu item account transactions therein insight.

The Settings menu item allows the link to the Club Nintendo account, which manages the knowledge acquired by the users of the Nintendo star bonus program. Buyer of Virtual Console titles star there shall be credited as a bonus.

However, the game titles are available exclusively on the console, with which they were downloaded, which is enforced by technological protection measures by Nintendo. However, it is possible to download already purchased games again at no additional cost from the Wii Shop Channel on the same console. Updated games where, for example, bug fixes, can also be recharged free of charge.

Should the console be defective, so they must be replaced with a new console, Nintendo will offer a way to make already purchased games for the new device available. Except for this case, there are no option to post games on another console, so that a resale of purchased games is not possible.

Input Devices

Sega Mega Drive controller ( 1988)

SNES Controller ( 1990)

The emulated consoles each had specific game controllers. The differences between these input devices are in some cases considerably. Only the invented by Gunpei Yokoi digital directional pad (D - pad) for the left thumb is standard. However, the number of buttons and additional control is fundamentally different: for example, owns the Mega -Drive controller a central start button and three buttons (with newer controllers six buttons ) on the right, however, the Nintendo 64 controller has an analog stick, a fire button for the left hand, a middle button, right six buttons and two shoulder buttons.

GameCube Controller ( 2001)

Wii Classic Controller to Wii Remote (2006)

Wii U GamePad (2012 )

The Wii Remote can be used for NES, PC Engine, NEOGEO and Mega Drive games, where they are held with both hands at the ends, so that the left thumb on the D-pad and the right thumb 1 - and uses 2 buttons in the role of a- and b- button. Comfortable is the price offered by Nintendo Classic Controller, which is connected to the Wii Remote as an extension.

In addition, associated controller of the Nintendo GameCube - except for a part of the Sega Mega Drive and Turbografx games - can be used for all games.

With the help of a NES -to- GameCube and SNES to GameCube adapter eventually leave also NES or SNES controller to the Wii to play the Virtual Console games use that are playable with a GameCube controller.

Support by other publishers

So far, 21 publishers have announced plans to support the Virtual Console. Problematic are game titles that are associated with high license costs, such as Tetris. Interestingly, the situation at the games by Rare is: Some of the most successful games for SNES and Nintendo 64 come from this developer. Nintendo held a number of years up to 49% of the company shares at Rare. After the company's founders sold their majority stake in its competitor Microsoft, Nintendo also decided to sell its shares and there remained only the rights to a part of the characters at Nintendo. It remains to be seen whether in view of pure Rare titles, such as Banjo -Kazooie (Nintendo 64) will be posted on the Virtual Console. Such games by Rare, which relies on the nintendo own characters, such as Donkey Kong Country, may be published or are already downloadable in part.

New translations

Many game titles have never made ​​the leap from Japan to foreign countries, because it was feared that the cost of translation and localization, as well as for the distribution could not be restored.

Since the cost of distributing a publication on the Virtual Console are significantly lower than in the traditional sales on trade, it is now for some of these cases but now become economically viable to publish it outside of Japan.

Technical Limitations

The Virtual Console emulates the old game titles faithfully. This can, however, also lead to problems:

No 60-Hz PAL mode and poor adaptation

Developed for the American and Japanese market games based on the television there common form of NTSC, which operates at a frame rate of 60 Hz and a different number of rows. If such a program scaled down to the 50 -Hz standard without further optimization, the gameplay is about 17 % slower and the image size is reduced (indicated by the black bars top and bottom ) compressed to do. In part, this unoptimized downsampling even has the consequence that music and sound effects are slower than the original. At the 50 - Hz mode is optimally adapted games usually have no, or only minimally reduced image size; the game speed is less noticeable slower than the 60 -Hz original version.

Some games offer on the VC the optimal 50 - Hz mode described above (so far about all Nintendo 64 emulators and a few games, which at that time already existed with optimal 50 Hz version, such as the Donkey Kong Country games ). In most games, the Virtual Console, however, lacks the optimal adjustment described - that these run much slower and with a smaller image section ( for example, offer so far all Mega Drive emulations only unadjusted 50 Hz, which is reflected even on the sound). Others have been "corrected" only by a faster flow games (eg Super Mario Bros. ), or at least slowing down the sound was, inter alia, with most other Nintendo emulators removed and the image size is less drastically reduced. Finally, in some supported platforms or titles has been completely dispensed with any form of 50 - Hz mode, and only the original 60 - Hz mode offered. This includes all Turbografx games and most of the titles that are marketed in the Virtual Console as an " import " title (for example, Sin and Punishment ).

Corrupt image via component cable

Some modern displays, especially LCD and plasma televisions and projectors, can when connected via YPbPr component cable some Virtual Console games, including Donkey Kong (NES ) and Super Castlevania IV (SNES ), do not display correctly, z. B. remains the shade dark or is it just to see flickering. It is currently unclear how many of the current televisions are affected.

Technical reason is that these games generate a low-resolution LDTV image signal, namely 240p (see LDTV, engl. ), And the televisions but probably minimal an SDTV (480i ) and EDTV image signal expected via YPbPr component video cable ( 480p).

This error for different games can be corrected with the update of 13 April 2007.

Aufgepixelte graphics

Classic game consoles gave mostly from only one resolution, which is well below the normal PAL TV standard resolution. Now on the Wii regardless of the currently emulated game, the usual television resolution is transmitted, the image is aufgepixelt, as the discrepancy between the two resolutions ( standard Wii - resolution (high) and emulated game ( low) ) must be bridged. In some games this circumstance is less to not conspicuous, since the resolution of the game was either raised is used (eg in Lylat Wars or Super Mario 64) or a filter to blur the contours (especially TurboGrafx emulations ).

Lack of support from N64 controller extensions

Many titles for the Nintendo 64 offered a so-called rumble effect which gave by the optional Rumble Pak vibrates the N64 gamepad in certain game situations. Although at least the Gamecube controller is equipped with a similar function, it is not used. In games such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, in which was made ​​by the rumble effect attention to secrets, this feature affects a minor effect on the gameplay.

The same applies to the " Controller Pak ", which was used in some titles for storing game data. So far, no game on the Virtual Console was released, which is mandatory for the 64 Vorhandenensein this extension on the Nintendo. Smaller Controller Pak functions in previously published on the Virtual Console Nintendo 64 games ( including storing so-called ghost data in Mario Kart 64) remain also currently unused. A virtual account of the controller Pak storage process by the Wii internal memory is used for this data has not yet been realized.

Control variants

Although the Virtual Console supports a variety of input devices and versions, missing a free Tastenbelegbarkeit for these devices, as not every game internally offers a key configuration. This has the consequence that the key assignment starting from the original input device (and not the individual game ) always the same " mapped ", so that the operation of some games with some of the supported input devices is very difficult. Furthermore, so far the touch of your remote nunchuk combination was never allows for a VC game, although this input method would provide most of the titles available an adequate amount of at the same time and easily accessible buttons.

Sales and Licenses


The cost of the games are between 5 and 12 euros. Payment is based on something ahead of the console 's credit account, that can be charged via a credit card or online by credit card in the Wii Shop Channel. Furthermore, acquired by registering Nintendo products can be collected and points against Wii Points, the internal currency for VC games, exchanged. Nintendo coupled in this way from the possibility for online purchases on the possession of its own credit card and abstracts at the same time the cost of possible extensions of the Wii functionality.

Persons Bound right of use

The games can be started and played only on the console on which the license rights were acquired. It is also not possible to copy games to an SD card and then load onto another Wii.

Of course, eliminating the possibility to resell purchased games, unless they are equal to the entire console on. However, this is expressly forbidden by Nintendo, because the right to use a purchased game is personal bound to the shoppers.

Nintendo obligation in these Terms of Use to delete personal data and downloads such as games before passing on the console.