Contrary to popular anticipation, the Wii U Virtual Console was not released yesterday after several hours of online maintenance on Monday. Satoru Iwata announced via Nintendo Direct last week that the Spring System Update would be coming this week, just a day before the launch of the Wii U Virtual Console. According to Emily Rogers, the system update is certainly coming by the end of the week. Now Nintendo World Report claims that their “source close to the eShop” says that the system update is most likely coming on Thursday, April 25th, which would mean the Wii U Virtual Console is making its way to our homes this Friday.
Furthermore, Nintendo has announced the entire launch lineup for the Wii U eShop.
- Balloon Fight
- Kirby’s Adventure
- Donkey Kong Jr.
- Ice Climber
- Super Mario World
Now, this is certainly an exciting list of games, and as a fan, I’m happy to have them on the Wii U. But applying a critical eye, it seems that though Nintendo is making an effort to improve their Virtual Console offerings, it’s not quite enough to convince me that this is going to go anywhere special. Three of these games were already released during the 30-30-30 promotion, and half of those games—which have already been built on Wii U—aren’t even on the Virtual Console launch lineup, which indicates to me that Nintendo isn’t placing enough emphasis on their own digital content.
It shouldn’t be too hard to port all the Virtual Console games from the Wii Shop Channel over to Wii U, so why on Earth is that taking so long? All things considered, I’m elated that we’re getting the Virtual Console so soon, and I can’t wait to keep up with the 30-30-30 promotion, to keep up with these new releases, and to see EarthBound back in the limelight. But as excited as this time is, it doesn’t look like Nintendo is promising that they’re ever going to embrace this service full-throttle again like they did with the Wii.
But hey, time will tell. For now, let’s celebrate the coming release of the Virtual Console!