Nintendo and the Virtual Console (2)

Posted: October 2, 2013 in Current Gaming
Tags: , , , ,

Virtual Console

Okay, okay, I pick on Nintendo a lot. I realize that. But it’s out of love, I swear! In past posts I’ve said I pull for them the way you pull for a sports team. And, just like with sports teams (go Braves!), I become critical when I think they’re making missteps (BJ Upton, really?). It’s because I follow them more closely than other companY and am therefore more aware of their movements. On this very blog, I’ve already been critical of their handling with the VC on WiiU, the lack of games, the drip, drip, drip pace of releases, etc… This post is in the same vein as that one, but was spurred on by the most recent WiiU update.

One major element that was in this last update, made live Monday night, was the ability to stream Wii games to the gamepad for play. True, you still need to use the Wii remote or classic controller, but all in all, this is a very positive development, and I’m quite happy about it. It shows some innovative and forward thinking from Nintendo. It’s a move to further utilize the gamepad and bring more worth to the WiiU, which it desperately needs. There is no wrong with that step. The wrong I see is that I don’t feel they went far enough with this.

Games released in the e-shop for the WiiU, including VC games, have gamepad capability, but as I’ve complained before, those releases are coming in slowly at best. If they are going to allow Wii game streaming, why not go the extra step and include streaming for Wii VC games? What about the extra cost issue ($1 extra on the WiiU VC), you ask? Up game prices by $1. I’m not crazy about that idea, personally, but they’ve already stated that intention, so I’ll roll with it. Yes, I realize this would also up the pricing for Wii owners buying VC games and no, I don’t have a great solution for that. Can they differentiate someone accessing the Wii VC via the WiiU versus someone using a Wii? I honestly don’t know. I would think so, but that’s just me making an assumption (and you know what they say about those). That issue aside, not that it isn’t a big issue, this is Nintendo again missing an opportunity to create some value for the WiiU and goodwill among current WiiU owners. Heck, announce this is coming a week in advance and tell gamers that any games they’ve already purchased on the VC will work without any extra payment. Yes, they’ll lose a few dollars by people rushing to download VC games before the update, but it would be dwarfed by at least a decent spike in VC sales overall. This would also give Wii owners a decent chance to get games for the original price if Nintendo were unable to shield them from the price increase.

Like this, but with more than 10 games.

Like this, but with more than 10 games.

This isn’t a perfect plan. I identified one issue already, and I’m sure there are more I haven’t even thought of. Still, it’s worth a try, right? As I’ve said before, the VC and Nintendo’s catalog are both amazing assets that they don’t seem to want to utilize right now. Will more attention on the VC solve their WiiU sales problem? No, of course not, but it could be a step in that direction. Regardless, I can’t see a negative to doing something in this vein. It’s almost like Nintendo is failing to see the value of their past games, but I’m confident many WiiU owners or would be WiiU owners do see this value, and would respond very favorably if Nintendo were to utilize them.

  1. Nintendo just needs to full-on integrate the Wii with the Wii U, as opposed to keeping them separate. No more dollar upgrades, either; just make all previous downloads available for use with like a one time, $10 upgrade. There’s just something too cumbersome about the current setup.

    • javgbadmin says:

      I had never considered a one time fee. Think that’s a great idea and would immediately create a huge retro gaming library on the WiiU, playable on the gamepad. Again, that’s not a solution, but it would have to be a huge help.

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