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
  • Punch-Out!!
  • Kirby’s Adventure
  • Excitebike
  • Donkey Kong Jr.
  • Ice Climber
  • F-Zero
  • 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!

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Our Verdict

Colin McIsaac
I first played Donkey Kong Country before even turning three years old, and have since grown into an avid gamer and passionate Nintendo fan. I started working at Zelda Informer in August 2012, and helped found Gamnesia, which launched on February 1, 2013. Outside of the journalism game, I'm an invested musician who loves arranging music from video games and other media. If you care to follow my endeavors, you can check out my channel here: http://youtube.com/user/pokemoneinstein I was rummaging through some things a while back and found my first grade report card. My teacher said, "Oddly enough, Colin doesn't like to write unless it's about computers or computer-type games. In his journal he likes to write about what level he is on in 'Mario Land,' but he doesn't often write about much else." I was pretty amused, given where I am today. Also I have a dog, and he's a pretty cool guy. I don't care for elephants much. I suppose they're okay. You've read plenty now; carry on.

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