Virtual Console officially launches on Wii U

After a surprisingly long delay and a couple of months of teasing with a trickle of cheap releases, Nintendo has finally launched the Virtual Console service on the Wii U.

Arguably the best thing about the Virtual Console service on the Wii U is the off-screen play ability through the Wii U gamepad. Also, European and Australian versions will be the 60Hz versions except where a game was previously optimised for PAL release.

There are a few downsides, however. One, only eight games are currently available: Balloon Fight (NES), Donkey Kong Jr. (NES), Excitebike (NES), Ice Climber (NES), Kirby’s Adventure (NES), Punch-Out!! (NES), F-Zero (SNES) and Super Mario World (SNES) in the US, while Europe and Australia switch out Kirby for the Japanese version of Super Picross and lose Balloon Fight – far fewer titles than were available on the Wii Virtual Console launch. Two, you’ll have to pay for games you bought on the Wii – you will get a discounted price on the conversion to make up for it. Finally, it looks like Nintendo is still planning to drip feed releases – no plans have been revealed for the previously announced Game Boy Advance support, or the rumoured GameCube support.