Originally published on Pixelitis.net on February 2, 2014.
By now you’ve probably caught wind of the news emanating out of Nintendo’s investor meeting earlier this week that the Wii U Virtual Console would become home to digital re-releases of Nintendo DS titles.
If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering why there was no indication of this for the 3DS. After all, wouldn’t DS games be a better fit for the 3DS’ Virtual Console?
The Wii U, which recently suffered a major reduction in Nintendo’s annual sales forecast from 9 million to 2.8 million, sadly doesn’t enjoy the kind of following its handheld cousin has.
As convenient as it would be to carry DS games on an SD card, putting DS games on the Wii U feels like just another example of Nintendo trying to add another selling point to their embattled console.
Even so, the announcement seems a bit premature. Why is Nintendo promising DS Virtual Console games when we haven’t heard anything regarding Nintendo 64 and Game Boy Advance games on the service since the company announced their inclusion last year?
The only confirmation that GBA games are still coming to the Wii U came from Natsume’s community manager, who confirmed that Nintendo is still working on bringing those games to the console. It’s pretty odd that a third-party has to be the one to reassure us.
Couple that with the fact that NES and SNES releases on the Wii U are still slowly trickling out two to three games per month, and it makes me wonder if we can even really expect DS games on the Wii U any time soon.
During the aforementioned investors’ meeting, Iwata said the process of emulating dual-screen games on the Wii U has been a bit of a hurdle. I’m starting to wonder if emulating GBA and N64 games on the console are also proving to be more work than previously thought by the company – which would be strange, considering the Wii supported N64 games from day one.
It seems peculiar for the company to promise all these new features when it hasn’t even rolled out the ones they’ve already revealed. Remember when Reggie promised dual GamePad support on the Wii U at E3 2012? It’s more than a year later and the system still doesn’t have it.
If Nintendo wants to improve in 2014, it needs to ensure that it’s not over-selling new Wii U features if it can’t deliver on the ones they’ve already committed themselves to.
The rest of 2014 is going to be challenging for Nintendo. While a lot of the company’s latest ideas are forward-thinking, it needs to act on many of them. Last week I suggested that Nintendo should really step it up with a more aggressive release schedule for the Virtual Console.
If it does, then perhaps we won’t spend Jan. 2015 wondering where those DS Virtual Console games went.