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Nintendo's Approach to Virtual Console Continues to Baffle Me

Posted on Friday, February 14 @ 15:00:00 PST by Alex_Osborn

Last night, Nintendo held a Direct presentation in which it shared some of its plans for Wii U and 3DS in 2014. Sure, we got trailers for Mario Kart 8, Monolith Soft's X, and Bayonetta 2, but what struck me most was Nintendo's announcement that GBA titles will be making their way to the Wii U Virtual Console in April.

You see, just a few weeks prior, the Big N revealed that DS games would be coming to Wii U as well, which I find to be an incredibly odd move, especially when considering Nintendo has yet to bring last-gen handheld games to 3DS. Why is Nintendo spending resources bringing GBA and DS games to Wii U when they have a portable system that is far better suited to playing these games?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not upset that Wii U is getting support in this capacity—after all, more content is never a bad thing—but I'd much rather see Nintendo 64, GameCube, and even Wii games come to the console's eShop. Oh yeah, and where are the rest of the Super Nintendo games? Having to go back to Wii mode is absolutely inexcusable at this point in the console's life cycle.

In the end, Nintendo's handling of Virtual Console makes one thing clear: the company needs to create a unified Virtual Console platform that brings together its handheld and console marketplaces. There should be a single eShop, a single Virtual Console that can be accessed via one's Nintendo Network ID that grants them access to all of their digital games, regardless of whether they're on 3DS or Wii U.

Fortunately, Nintendo has made it clear they're hoping to achieve this sometime in the future—likely with its next batch of gaming hardware—but in the meantime, it'd be nice to see the company takes steps toward making this a reality. At the very least Nintendo gamers should get a Cross-Buy equivalent and have a richer library to purchase from.

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