Nintendo's Virtual Console Choices Sure Are Strange

Illustration for article titled Nintendos Virtual Console Choices Sure Are Strange

Today, Nintendo released the fifth downloadable Wii game for Wii U in North America. It’s not what you might expect—the new release isn’t Mario, nor is it Zelda. It’s Pandora’s Tower, a niche action game published by XSEED and released here for the Wii in 2013, way toward the end of the console’s lifespan.

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Now, there’s anything wrong with Pandora’s Tower—by most accounts it’s a great action game—but man, Nintendo’s Virtual Console strategy continues to be baffling.

In January, Nintendo declared during a Nintendo Direct that they’d be releasing Wii games for download with native support on Wii U, starting with Super Mario Galaxy 2, the Metroid Prime trilogy, and Punch-Out. This was great news! Then nothing happened for six months.

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A couple of weeks ago, Nintendo finally released a fourth Wii game, Kirby’s Return To Dream Land, and now, today, we get Pandora’s Tower, making for a total list of five Wii games you can buy digitally on the Wii U and play using the newer console’s features, like GamePad support. There’s still no Zelda: Skyward Sword, Zack & Wiki, Donkey Kong Country Returns, or many of the other classic Wii games we saw over the past decade.

Combine that with the paltry list of software for other consoles, the baffling lack of GameCube games, and the fact that there’s still no unified account system, and we’ve got a service that continues to be inadequate. Meanwhile, look at all the N64 games you can play on Xbox One!

Still, enjoy Pandora’s Tower. I haven’t played much of it, but I hear it’s fun.

You can reach the author of this post at jason@kotaku.com or on Twitter at @jasonschreier.

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DISCUSSION

I just recently got a 3DS and I have to say, the eshop blows. This may just be on the handheld side of things but going by other things I’ve seen people talking about in regards to the eshop, virtual console, the classic downloads, etc. I continue to see similar complaints to mine.