Frustrations with Nintendo’s virtual consoles

By: John Michael Bennett


Nintendo first revealed its virtual console in 2006 with the launch of the Wii. The virtual console is a way for new gamers to download old games (Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis, and more) onto newer consoles for a low price. The concept was great in theory, but is getting its butt kicked in terms of compatibility.

Since 2006, virtual console titles have become available on the Nintendo 3DS and WiiU as well. However, these systems are not consistent across all consoles. Each console operates on its own virtual console. For instance, you can currently get Super Mario Bros 3 on Nintendo 3DS, Wii, and WiiU. However, you have to pay for it separately each time, despite WiiU and Nintendo 3DS having shared accounts.

But what is even more frustrating is that you can’t get all games on each virtual console, despite the system being able to handle such games. For example, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is a SNES game with 16 bit graphics. It is unavailable on the 3DS, yet is available on home consoles. While Nintendo may be saving its release, and other such games, for a special occasion, it’s frustrating that the systems are not consistent.

Take Sony Playstation’s Network, for instance. With all its PSOne Classics, they are all available for both Playstation Vita and Playstation 3. Meaning you have the ability to choose whether you want the accessibility of portable, or the grandeur of home console gaming. Furthermore, when you purchase the game, it is available on your account for both systems—no need for double purchases.

This lack of accessibility is another example of Nintendo being behind in the times. While I am a huge Nintendo fan, I can admit when the company lacks and this is an example of that. Nintendo should form a system similar to Sony’s, in which many games can be accessed on both the portable and home consoles, such as the cross availability with the PS3 and Vita.

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