3DS

A Frightening Virtual Console Realization

by Neal Ronaghan - March 28, 2012, 9:03 am PDT
Total comments: 26

In which I stomp my feet and demand Wario Land and Kirby's Block Ball.

We're nearing the end of the first quarter of 2012, and while it seems like original titles on Nintendo's eShop are coming with regularity and quality, the Virtual Console has started to get cast aside.

Since the start of 2012, the 3DS has gotten two Game Boy titles, three NES titles, and three Game Gear titles. Last year, following the eShop launch in June, there were an average of four Virtual Console games released a month. Right now, we're getting less than three, and it gets even worse if you take into consideration that two of the NES games were part of the September batch of Ambassador games, and the Game Gear titles all came in one week.

Meanwhile, the Wii has gotten three Virtual Console titles this year, which is earth-shattering after the nearly six-month drought. But Wii's Virtual Console decline during the system's life makes this early stumble by the service on 3DS worrisome, especially as Japan and Europe are both surging ahead with more Game Boy games.

Currently, Europe only has had two more Virtual Console releases than North America (Europe is also getting the Game Gear games two weeks later, so it'll be five more soon enough), but Europe is getting Virtual Console games on a regular basis, with at least two Game Boy games a month in addition to an occasional NES or Game Boy Color game. Japan currently has 25 more games available, with new games added nearly every week.

Even worse are the games that North America is missing out on right now. Europe and Japan both have Wario Land, Trip World, Kirby's Block Ball, and Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters, the latter of which didn't even originally come out in Japan!

I hope this is just an anomaly, precipitated by letting the original titles on eShop take center stage. Perhaps we're on the cusp of a Virtual Console spring awakening. Unfortunately, I'll believe it when I see it, especially with the Wii's Virtual Console deterioration in recent memory.

Note: You could replace "Virtual Console" with "3DS original games" and make the same complaints for Europe, since they're still waiting for VVVVVV, Mutant Mudds, Sakura Samurai, and more. Either way, each region has something to complain about, and that sucks.

Talkback

TrueNerdMarch 28, 2012

Agreed 100%. We should be living in the land of milk and honey, so to speak, with more Virtual Console games than we know what to do with. The prime of Virtual Console releases on Wii, we were getting multiple games a week, sometimes multiple classics a week. We have hardly ever gotten more than one Virtual Console game on 3DS in one week. Even if Nintendo holds to not selling GBA games on the service, there is a solid 12 years of Game Boy and Game Boy Color classics that can be mined that Nintendo is currently barely taking advantage of.

I feel like I say this a lot, but why won't Nintendo let me give them my money?

ejamerMarch 28, 2012

I wonder if Nintendo just wants to avoid competition. Big retail game coming out that week? Don't expect much on the digital front. Quality Virtual Console game getting pushed out?  Don't expect original eShop content at the same time (or at least not quality content), and vice versa.


Maybe this is due to limited resources handling the digital releases, or maybe they just don't want to flood the marketplace... but I really believe that Nintendo needs to separate the different types of releases and aim to provide regular releases across all three platforms.  Yes, that's right.  I consider original 3DS eShop content a different platform than the portable Virtual Console, and I'm not alone in doing so.


This is just speculation and I don't really have anything to back it up outside of an oft-faulty memory and a gut feeling.  But the end result is the same: there is very limited communication, no release dates set in advance, and a totally erratic release schedule for digital downloads on the 3DS. While I appreciate it when good games are released, I absolutely don't count on anything because more often than not that leads to disappointment.

It seems we're moving towards a "know what games are coming out this week earlier than three hours before they come out" future. It's still only two-three weeks before, but it's happening. We knew the Game Gear games, Zombie Slayer Diox and Arc Style Soccer's release date at the beginning of March. We know that Colors 3D is hitting on April 5, and that Ketzal's Corridors is April 12.

I just wish I didn't look at the next three weeks and grimly think "well, that's all we're getting." I'm just wired to do that because more often than not, that's all we get. I'd love to see 2-3 3DS-specific games each week for download. We're getting closer to that, but it's so frustrating because all they have to do is throw in a GB VC game every week and we're there.

Kytim89March 28, 2012

I am still waiting for Castlevania: Bloodlines and Contra Hard Corps. Actually, the Virtual Console is on track to start losing more games than it is taking in right now. I just hope that Wii U Virtual Console is not as dreadful as the one we have now, but if the 3DS is indicative of what we might get then I am not hopeful.

Pixelated PixiesMarch 28, 2012

Yeah, I suppose there have been some pretty good virtual console games coming out in Europe recently. We're also getting Mega Man 5 tomorrow and Monster World IV has just received a PEGI rating. Having said that, I'd really like to play Mutant Mudds and VVVVVV.

KDR_11kMarch 28, 2012

SELECT  SELECT  SELECT  SELECT  SELECT  SELECT  SELECT  SELECT  SELECT  SELECT  SELECT  SELECT  SELECT  SELECT  SELECT  SELECT 

FZeroBoyoMarch 28, 2012

So if we don't get any Game Boy games tomorrow, we probably won't see any until April 19 at the earliest. It's a shame that NoA has that "one game a week" thing, but maybe as ejamer said, it's a marketing strategy. They don't want digital sales to cut into physical sales, but still... it's not like every 3DS owner wants to play just a download game or a retail game.

Spak-SpangMarch 28, 2012

You know I wonder if this has anything to do with these games being in black and whlte...I am sure Nintendo is seeing less sells because the games just look and feel dated.


Nintendo should be hiring a small team to recolor all the sprites and release these games with no changes, except for newly colored sprites. 


Wait...they are doing that.  Maybe we would wait and see if these classics will come out that way.

Ian SaneMarch 28, 2012

Quote from: Kytim89

I am still waiting for Castlevania: Bloodlines and Contra Hard Corps. Actually, the Virtual Console is on track to start losing more games than it is taking in right now. I just hope that Wii U Virtual Console is not as dreadful as the one we have now, but if the 3DS is indicative of what we might get then I am not hopeful.


There shouldn't be a Wii U Virtual Console, it should just be a Virtual Console that is shared between the Wii and Wii U.  Nintendo will probably just start over and want us to buy all those VC games over again and the Wii service will eventually disappear entirely and if you're old Wii goes kaput, too bad, you can't get those games back.  But it shouldn't be that way.

Kytim89March 28, 2012

Quote from: Ian

Quote from: Kytim89

I am still waiting for Castlevania: Bloodlines and Contra Hard Corps. Actually, the Virtual Console is on track to start losing more games than it is taking in right now. I just hope that Wii U Virtual Console is not as dreadful as the one we have now, but if the 3DS is indicative of what we might get then I am not hopeful.


There shouldn't be a Wii U Virtual Console, it should just be a Virtual Console that is shared between the Wii and Wii U.  Nintendo will probably just start over and want us to buy all those VC games over again and the Wii service will eventually disappear entirely and if you're old Wii goes kaput, too bad, you can't get those games back.  But it shouldn't be that way.


If Nintendo were to raise their middle finger to all the people who payed in the hundreds of dollars for VC and Wiiware games when it is time for them to transfer their stuff over to the Wii U then Nintendo will face a shit storm so sever that they will never be able to breath again and will die of suffocation due to the smell. There is no way they are going to prevent people from transferring their stuff to the Wii U. The blow back from such a thing would be too tremendous for even Nintendo to handle.

How much does licensing issues play into the Virtual Console? I ask because it seems as thogh nintey percent of the issues with Virtual Console pertain to licensing problems. Look at what happened to TMNT. We always knew that licensing issues would one day rear its ugly head, but it seems to me that there are far too many retro games out there that could easily be ported to the Virtual Console.

Nintendo's business practices is what the issues really boils down to. Nintendo puts so much rules and regulations on third parties that they are decentivized to put quality titles on the service. I would not expect any quality titles on the service until the Wii U launches. 

Spak-SpangMarch 29, 2012

True, but they will probably require your Club Nintendo account to have your Wii with old VC games still attached connected to your Club Nintendo account.


This is reasonable, but unfortunately very bad for gamers like me...who sold my Wii, but disconnected my VC and Wii Ware games from the account before selling it...so that the Wii would have a clean start.  Now, I want to buy a Wii U and reactivate them...but all those hundreds of dollars are probably lost.


Yeah, it is in the user agreement but it sucks. 


This is actually a major deciding factor on if I will buy a Wii U.


So yeah, it should just be Virtual Console, and they should probably just keep that name even for new Wii U ware titles.  Then let gamers pick what console they are browsing, Wii U, NES, SNES, ect...

StrawHousePigMarch 29, 2012

I'm not impressed with the "Virtual Console" service as a whole. What it should be (and would be if Iwata-san would just do what I say already :p ) is a set of emulators with a snazzy virtual console and library UI. Then just sell bareassed ROMs that could be authenticated for play on all your devices. The 3DS is fully capable of emulating up to the SNES. Why can't I take the "virtual console" copy of Super Ghouls & Ghosts I bought on the Wii and run it in my "virtual console" on the 3DS and eventually the Wii U?

Booo!

That would add buku value to the whole virtual console concept and make it an actual virtual console. If an actual virtual thing can even exist without tearing the fabric of the universe...

MorcantMarch 29, 2012

Does anyone know of any potential liscensing issues when it comes to the Final Fantasy Legend games? I've always wanted to play those.

ejamerMarch 29, 2012

Quote from: NWR_Neal

It seems we're moving towards a "know what games are coming out this week earlier than three hours before they come out" future. It's still only two-three weeks before, but it's happening. We knew the Game Gear games, Zombie Slayer Diox and Arc Style Soccer's release date at the beginning of March. We know that Colors 3D is hitting on April 5, and that Ketzal's Corridors is April 12.

I just wish I didn't look at the next three weeks and grimly think "well, that's all we're getting." I'm just wired to do that because more often than not, that's all we get. I'd love to see 2-3 3DS-specific games each week for download. We're getting closer to that, but it's so frustrating because all they have to do is throw in a GB VC game every week and we're there.

So communication is improving, but the ability to manage eShop releases in a way that customers want and seems logical is still missing?  Well... I guess that's something.

Ian SaneMarch 29, 2012

Quote:

If Nintendo were to raise their middle finger to all the people who payed in the hundreds of dollars for VC and Wiiware games when it is time for them to transfer their stuff over to the Wii U then Nintendo will face a **** storm so sever that they will never be able to breath again and will die of suffocation due to the smell. There is no way they are going to prevent people from transferring their stuff to the Wii U. The blow back from such a thing would be too tremendous for even Nintendo to handle.


Logically that makes sense but most of the world isn't logical.  We live in a world where people rebuy games they already own all the time.  Tons of people on this forum do it and they're well-informed videogame fanatics.  Doesn't matter.  Also a large chunk of potential Wii U customers probably don't care about the VC either so it would be a complete non-factor in their purchase decision.  For most people if something does not directly affect them, they don't care.  And how many times to we hear "well this sucks but I'll buy it anyway".  Would this sort of VC BS turn a hardcore Nintendo fan off of buying a Wii U for a new Mario game?  Probably not.  It takes some serious determination to truly make a company like Nintendo pay for this sort of thing.  Most people won't think that denying themselves a Wii U is worth it just for the VC and that is the only way Nintendo would really care.

Kytim89March 29, 2012

Quote from: Ian

Quote:

If Nintendo were to raise their middle finger to all the people who payed in the hundreds of dollars for VC and Wiiware games when it is time for them to transfer their stuff over to the Wii U then Nintendo will face a **** storm so sever that they will never be able to breath again and will die of suffocation due to the smell. There is no way they are going to prevent people from transferring their stuff to the Wii U. The blow back from such a thing would be too tremendous for even Nintendo to handle.


Logically that makes sense but most of the world isn't logical.  We live in a world where people rebuy games they already own all the time.  Tons of people on this forum do it and they're well-informed videogame fanatics.  Doesn't matter.  Also a large chunk of potential Wii U customers probably don't care about the VC either so it would be a complete non-factor in their purchase decision.  For most people if something does not directly affect them, they don't care.  And how many times to we hear "well this sucks but I'll buy it anyway".  Would this sort of VC BS turn a hardcore Nintendo fan off of buying a Wii U for a new Mario game?  Probably not.  It takes some serious determination to truly make a company like Nintendo pay for this sort of thing.  Most people won't think that denying themselves a Wii U is worth it just for the VC and that is the only way Nintendo would really care.


True, but I refuse to buy that stuff again unless it is cheaper and of better quality.

It would be interesting if Nintendo went the UltraViolet route and let people who already own the old games bring them to a store and pay a nominal fee to add access on a universal Virtual Console.

TrueNerdMarch 29, 2012

Hey did everyone enjoy the NOTHING that came out on Virtual Console today? It was probably because they had to make room for all the other NOTHING they put up on the eShop.

ShayminMarch 29, 2012

Quote from: Morcant

Does anyone know of any potential liscensing issues when it comes to the Final Fantasy Legend games? I've always wanted to play those.

Developed and published by Square, so they've got a decent shot. Eventually.

Quote from: TrueNerd

Hey did everyone enjoy the NOTHING that came out on Virtual Console today? It was probably because they had to make room for all the other NOTHING they put up on the eShop.

Well, to be fair, there was something. It just was unappealing (DSiWare bullshit, awful soccer game) or a demo of a game every person in North America should have already bought.

RachtMarch 30, 2012

Quote from: NWR_Neal

Quote from: TrueNerd

Hey did everyone enjoy the NOTHING that came out on Virtual Console today? It was probably because they had to make room for all the other NOTHING they put up on the eShop.

Well, to be fair, there was something. It just was unappealing (DSiWare bullshit, awful soccer game) or a demo of a game every person in North America should have already bought.

I gotta go against you on this one, Neal.

Downloaded Mutant Mudds demo, played a fair bit of it, decided it was too bland and boring, put it away, and won't ever play it again.

You'll probably say, "Your loss," but it's just not that enjoyable of a game for me. Didn't like it at all. So, as TrueNerd said above, there was absolutely NOTHING worth playing/enjoying today on both the eShop or Wii VC.

Hey, Nintendo... WHERE'S TERRANIGMA?

There was still something, regardless of if you enjoyed it or not. It's not like there just wasn't an update today.

RachtMarch 30, 2012

Well, true. I just don't understand why Nintendo is holding back.

ejamerMarch 30, 2012

Quote from: Rachtman

...

I gotta go against you on this one, Neal.

Downloaded Mutant Mudds demo, played a fair bit of it, decided it was too bland and boring, put it away, and won't ever play it again.

You'll probably say, "Your loss," but it's just not that enjoyable of a game for me. Didn't like it at all. So, as TrueNerd said above, there was absolutely NOTHING worth playing/enjoying today on both the eShop or Wii VC.

Hey, Nintendo... WHERE'S TERRANIGMA?

Hmm... Even though you didn't enjoy it, the Mutant Mudds demo seems worth playing since it affected (or cemented) your decision about that game.  $9 saved for something else!


I was quite happy to see that game getting a demo because it's one I'd like to try before buying.  $9 isn't expensive, but a lot of full DS games can be had for between $5-15 so being able to get a good idea of how much I'll enjoy the game matters to me.  Hoping to get the chance to try playing sometime this week.

RachtMarch 30, 2012

Oh, don't get me wrong. I was incredibly happy to see the game get a demo as I wanted to try it out based on all of the hype it received - primarily from this site.

In the end, I just thought the game/demo stunk. But you're right, it was definitely worth playing as it decided whether or not I should pursue the game.

Mop it upMarch 31, 2012

I didn't care for the Mutant Mudds demo either, though to be fair I'm no fan of retro-style games.

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