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Virtual Console

Virtual Console is a section of the Nintendo eShop that sells retro games. It is accessible on the Revolution, Game Boy 3DS, and Stream in various forms.

History Edit

The Virtual Console was first announced at E3 2006, when it was announced that Nintendo, including the newly acquired Hudson Soft, was working to bring their best classic games to the Revolution.

Super Mario 64

The first N64 game on the service.

The Virtual Console was the original component of the Nintendo eShop, launching with the Revolution in late 2006. It featured NES, SNES, TurboGrafx, and Nintendo 64 games. These four platforms would be the mainstay of the Virtual Console, each contributing dozens of titles, with arcade games only arriving in early 2009, and only appearing scarcely afterwards.

Early on, the Virtual Console received many titles, with over 100 from various systems being available by the end of 2007. However, the flow of titles slowed drastically afterwards, with a mere four games being released in 2012. This was arguably due to a large portion of Nintendo's library being released at an early date, with 20 games being released during the last few weeks of 2006 alone. However, some critics say that the company had done a poor job recruiting smaller companies to re-release their games.

Super Mario Land

The Game Boy 3DS launched with a Virtual Console in March 2012. Although it would also come to feature NES games, the focus was put on Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles, with the original Game Boy launch lineup being available on launch day in some territories. The 3DS's emulator is more advanced than the Revolution's, featuring functions such as save states and a reset option.

The Stream's Virtual Console is functionally very similar to that of the Revolution, being fully backwards compatible. Nintendo announced that they would be "optimizing" certain games before the system's launch in 2012, but has yet to describe what this would entail. In July 2013, Nintendo announced that they would be changing the price structure of Virtual Console game on the Stream, with games generally being made cheaper. However, the new pricing scheme was more fluid, meaning certain games would keep their relatively high prices.

Later in 2013, Nintendo announced that Game Boy Advance games were headed to both the Game Boy 3DS and the Stream. During a press release in early 2014, Nintendo announced that they would be selling Game Boy Advance games based on account, rather than consoles. This meant that a single purchased Game Boy Advance title could be played on a single Stream system and a Game Boy 3DS system. Games would be priced from $6 to $10, with the first cross-platform releases coming in April.

Pricing Edit

Revolution and Early Stream Edit

The Virtual Console had fairly consistent pricing until mid-2013, usually based on a game's platform of origin.

  • $5 to $10 for arcade games
  • $8 for SNES games
  • $8 for TurboGrafx-16 games
  • $10 for N64 games

Note that up to $2 might be added due to a game's localization costs or other factors. Prices are similar in other countries.

Game Boy 3DS Edit

The Game Boy 3DS Virtual Console uses more advanced emulators than its Revolution counterpart. For this reason, prices of these games did not fall like they did on the Stream.

  • $3 or $4 for Game Boy games
  • $5 for NES games
  • $6 for Game Boy Color games

Recent Stream Price Model Edit

The following prices are based on Nintendo's recent releases and price changes in North America. Note that some games may be more expensive.

Note that games are technically "re-released" for the Stream, thus lowering their effective price. Revolution Virtual Console games are playable on the Stream, but are not optimized for the system.

  • $3 for NES games
  • $6 for SNES games
  • $7 for TurboGrafx-16 games
  • $10 for N64 games
  • $15 for GameCube games

List of Companies with Virtual Console Games Edit

See Also Edit

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