Nintendo President Satoru Iwata announced today that plans to deploy the Virtual Console service to Wii-U console owners later this year are set in stone. Those who own (or, owned) a Generation One Wii console may already know that Virtual Console (as its name implies) allows one to download and play games originally written for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo 64, GameCube and some third-party consoles (such as the Sega Master System, for example) and play them using Wii hardware and accessories.
According to Wii-U Daily, Virtual Console for Wii-U will be integrated into the Wii-U eShop, and will house "many" of the titles currently available on the Virtual Console Channel for Wii. Pricing for games will vary based on the console they were written for– for example, titles developed for older consoles (such as the NES) will sting your wallet less than those released for the Nintendo GameCube.
For those of you who may be thinking "Wait! I’m a Wii Console owner, and have a huge collection of Nintendo 64 games that I purchased for Virtual Console– can I transfer said purchases to my shiny, new Wii-U?"
The short answer is yes. But, at a cost.
Destructoid reports that, if you ever want to pick up where you left off on The Legend of Zelda, for example, you’ll need to pay for it– a second time. However, you’ll be spending much less than expected, as the titles you already own on your Wii console can be ported to your Wii-U at "a discounted price". What’s more, all your old favourites have been re-designed for play on the Wii-U GamePad. All things considered, it’s a pretty sweet deal.
Although Iwata confessed that the entire VC library will not be available upon its launch, it will certainly be updated over time. In any case, it’s something to look forward to as the library of titles for Nintendo’s latest offering begins to increase in size.