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Virtual Console Offers 100 Games, 4.7 Million Sold

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the that's-quite-a-bit-of-mario dept.

Wii 125

GameDaily reports on new numbers from Nintendo, discussing their ongoing success with the Wii's Virtual Console offering. According to the piece, there are now over 100 games available on the service, and some 4.7 Million downloads have been transacted since the system's launch late last year. "Nintendo has been updating the Wii Shop with new Virtual Console games every Monday. The top five downloads worldwide to date have been Super Mario Bros. (NES), Super Mario 64 (N64), Mario Kart 64 (N64), Super Mario World (SNES), and The Legend of Zelda (NES). 'With an Internet connection rate reaching 40 percent, Wii owners have more options than ever to find the kinds of games they love to play,' says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. 'Beyond the Wii Shop Channel, all types of people are getting connected and checking out the information and entertainment options available on the Wii Menu. Whether voting, creating a Mii or just checking the weather, everyone has a favorite channel.'"

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Success? (1, Insightful)

magicsquid (85985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19353543)

This sounds more like success for Nintendo in general rather than success for the Virtual Console. Sure, as Nintendo did with the N64, they have the ability to basically support the VC on their own, but in order to make it a true breakout success, they need the support of third parties. The only way they're going to get more of that is if the third party games actually sell. Maybe third parties don't care as much because of the extremely low development costs. That's possible. I can't imagine a company feeling too good about itself when it sees that it sold 7 copies of a game though.

Re:Success? (0, Troll)

Hitto (913085) | more than 7 years ago | (#19353603)

It could also mean that third parties sell poop on Nintendo platforms because they know the competition is serious.
I'm not really inclined to buy more third-party games for my wii after having seen the first batch. If Ninty can pump out quality titles, why can't the other lazy bums?

Re:Success? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19353795)

in order to make it a true breakout success, they need the support of third parties
Define "breakout success". I don't see any way this can't be seen as a breakout success.

The only way they're going to get more of that is if the third party games actually sell.
What? From wikipoedia:

Banpresto, Capcom, Chunsoft, D4 Enterprise, Enterbrain, Irem, Jaleco, KEMCO, Koei, Midway Games, NCS Masaya, Netfarm, Paon, Rocket Company, Konami, Square Enix, Sunsoft, SNK Playmore, Taito, Tecmo, Takara, and TOMY are confirmed supporters
Their games are selling -- some of the games at VC release were Sega games. Do you mean newly deveoped games?

Re:Success? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361047)

Define "breakout success". I don't see any way this can't be seen as a breakout success.
Only Atari can make it a breakout [wikipedia.org] success.

Do you mean newly deveoped games?
Yes. When will games start showing up in Wii Ware?

Re:Success? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19353869)

The only way they're going to get more of that is if the third party games actually sell.

What are you talking about? Some of the biggest VC sellers are for the Sega Genesis and the TurboGrafx. Are you seriously suggesting that Nintendo produced those titles?

Re:Success? (1)

Maxwell (13985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354091)

FTA the top five are all Nintendo games. I bet the top ten are as well. So all those 3rd party companies, all 20 or so of them listed in GP, are fighting for spots 11 and higher. aka Scraps. When 3rd party titles dominate the top 5, THEN we can say they have good 3rd party support.

JON

Re:Success? (1)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354217)

Explain how 3rd party support requires 3rd party popularity.

Are you suggesting that the 3rd party games are restricted/hindered compared to the 1st party games?

Should Nintendo go back in time and make crappy games so that 3rd party games will "dominate the top 5" in their classic game store?

WTF?

Re:Success? (4, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354479)

FTA the top five are all Nintendo games.

This is because the Nintendo titles have greater mass appeal than the Genesis/TurboGrafx titles. That does NOT mean that the Genesis/TurboGrafx titles are doing poorly. In fact, Hudson originally announced only 5 TG-16 titles destined for the Virtual Console. Since then they've expanded the list to some of the best titles ever made for the system. This includes: Bomberman '93, R-Type, Military Madness, Bonk's Adventure, Bonk's Revenge, and Blazing Lazers.

While Nintendo and their partners have been keeping hush-hush on a lot of the VC sales data, Hudson's strong support [vc-pce.com] for the VC certainly suggests that they've been having good success with the service. Sega seems to be becoming similarly infatuated [sega.com] with the service.

It's also interesting to note that there hasn't been a strong Nintendo title released for the VC since Starfox 64.

I bet the top ten are as well.

I'm not sure I would be so quick to say that. Nintendo's games will always dominate simply because they dominated back in the day. (e.g. 3 of my 6 VC games are Nintendo titles.) But that doesn't mean that the third parties aren't doing exceptionally well. Sonic, for example, was exceptionally popular back in the day. I would be surprised if it wasn't on a top 10 list.

When 3rd party titles dominate the top 5, THEN we can say they have good 3rd party support.

That, I'm afraid, will never happen. The customers are Nintendo players downloading titles on a Nintendo system, and have fond memories of playing Nintendo games. Combined with the timeless reputation of some of their games, Nintendo's classics library cannot be beat. As I said, though, this does not mean that third parties aren't seeing wonderful sales through the VC.

Anecdotally, I have heard a lot of excitement from friends/acquaintances over TG16 and Genesis titles. (Though the 600 points for TMNT got a big 'WTF?') The only catch is that there's more of a spread between which titles they're interested in. Some like shooters, some like beat'em'ups, and some like platformers. Nintendo's appeal tends to be more universal.

Explaining Turtles... one more hand in the pie... (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356909)

Though the 600 points for TMNT got a big 'WTF?'

Though I'm not sure what arrangement was made for XBLA to get the Turtles Arcade game on it for $5, but I suspect that the costs were such on the VC that they charged a premium to the customer to pay Ubisoft (Who currently hold the license to the Turtles property). Both games were Konami games, but Ubisoft has the exclusive Turtles license currently, so without an agreement between both neither game could have been published. Perhaps Nintendo charges rates as 'publisher' on the VC than MS does for XBLA... I dunno.

Whatever it was I'm sure it's because Konami no longer has the Turtles license and there were more cooks in the kitchen that needed to get paid.

Re:Success? (1)

miro f (944325) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361077)

now if only we could download some of those titles here in Australia.

I am sick of getting shafted for no reason by Nintendo

Re:Success? (4, Insightful)

Maul (83993) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354559)

I've purchased TG16 and Genesis virtual console titles. In addition, I've purchased SNES titles that were 3rd. party produced, such as Castlevania 4 (Konami) and Street Fighter 2 (Capcom). The 3rd. party titles are there to purchase.

In my opinion, there reasons Nintendo titles dominate the top five are:

1. Purchasers of the Wii might have a bias towards Nintendo titles.
2. Many of the first party NES and SNES titles have withstood the test of time better than 3rd. party titles, in my opinion.
3. A lot of the popular 3rd. party titles can't make it to the VC due to licensing issues, or the fact that they've been rereleased on the GBA. (The reason you likely won't see FF4-6 on the VC is due to the GBA rereleases).

What were the most popular SNES games of all times? You probably can't track this info down anymore, but I would wager that if you asked a bunch of gamers who played during that era, they're answer is going to be a first party title or a Square game.

Re:Success? (1)

grogdamighty (884570) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355749)

http://vgchartz.com/worldtotals.php?name=&console= SNES&publisher=&sort=Total [vgchartz.com]

That link shows all of the 1+ million sellers on the SNES. The top 10 has 8 Nintendo games and 2 Capcom games (Street Fighter 2 and Street Fighter 2 Turbo). #11-15 adds another 3 Nintendo games and Final Fantasy VI and Dragon Quest VI. #16-20 adds 2 Nintendo games, Final Fantasy V and Dragon Quest V and Chrono Trigger.

So you weren't far off... Nintendo games and Square/Enix are right behind.

Re:Success? (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355961)

(The reason you likely won't see FF4-6 on the VC is due to the GBA rereleases).

Plus, given that the translations for the re-releases were generally better (to their credit, they kept the "Spoony Bard!" line), it's probably just as well. The FFVI Advance release also fixed many of the bugs in the original game. (Evasion does something now! Shields have uses! Relm no longer crashes the game, making her simply useless instead of downright dangerous!)

About the only issue with the GBA FFVI re-release is that whatever they're using to emulate the original SNES sound doesn't quite get it right, and apparently the GBA isn't quite as good at Mode 7 as the SNES was, making the airship somewhat slower.

I wonder if we can convince Square-Enix to release Terranigma in the US for the Virtual Console?

Re:Success? (1)

Egdiroh (1086111) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356295)

why can't games with GBA releases get released for the VC? And doesn't Super Mario World contradict that?

Re:Success? (1)

SuperMog2002 (702837) | more than 7 years ago | (#19359967)

It's not that they can't, it's that it would be silly for SE to sell FF4-6 on the VC when the GBA ports are just over a year old. They make a lot more money per copy sold on the GBA than on the VC, so it would be silly of them to undercut GBA sales with VC sales. Meanwhile, Super Mario World came out for GBA ages ago and has more or less run its course. Releasing it on VC isn't likely to significantly affect GBA sales at all.

I buy VC games despite owning the carts/consoles (2, Insightful)

Vandil X (636030) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356363)

Despite having access to the original consoles and carts (in boxes stored somewhere in the house) and emulators/roms, I still picked up quite a few VC games: Super Mario Bros. (NES), Legend of Zelda (NES), Castlevania (NES), Elevator Action (NES), F-Zero (SNES), Super Castlevania IV (SNES), Super Mario World (SNES), Sonic The Hedgehog (Genesis), Kid Chameleon (Genesis), and Splatterhouse (TG-16), so far.

I like VC games because I can play them when I am already in the mood to play a console game, and they save right where I pressed the Home button (in many of these games, there was no save feature and you had to play through the entire game in one sitting!).

I no longer have to dig up the old console, probably having to clean the cart before trying to boot it, or messing with the questionable legality of emulators/roms for computers.

It's worth the few bucks to me.

Re:Success? (1)

BumBiscuit (744070) | more than 7 years ago | (#19358571)

I would add a fourth reason, which is that the most of these titles are being downloaded by nostalgic older gamers who lived through the NES/SNES era. As such, they're probably first buying games that they already owned on previous systems; an act that, by virtue of the relative number of Nintendo games available vs. third parties, heavily favors Nintendo.

Later, they might branch out and try something new. But older gamers are all too aware that the vast majority of third party titles in those days were utter crap. There were notable exceptions, of course, and also a few first-party klunkers, but by and large, the Nintendo name on a cartridge was reason to believe the game was at least halfway playable. I know that I'd sooner pick up a first party title like Kid Icarus than take a chance on Legend of Kage or Mighty Bomb Jack.

SMB1 for GBA and for Wii (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361065)

A lot of the popular 3rd. party titles can't make it to the VC due to licensing issues, or the fact that they've been rereleased on the GBA. (The reason you likely won't see FF4-6 on the VC is due to the GBA rereleases).
Then why has Super Mario Bros. showed up in both Classic NES Series (GBA) and Virtual Console (Wii)?

Re:Success? (1)

Wdomburg (141264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357879)

Considering they have 9 of the top 10 best selling games (of all time, on any platform) and 14 of the top 20, they'd have to actively sabotage themselves to not dominate the top five list.

Re:Success? (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354241)

"The only way they're going to get more of that is if the third party games actually sell. Maybe third parties don't care as much because of the extremely low development costs."

But we already have at least one third-party that doesn't want their old games competing with their frequent and pricey re-releases.

Re:Success? (2, Insightful)

NiK0laI (1012851) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354557)

I'd say that the VC has been successful for Nintendo, I mean they are selling games for $5 minimum a pop, it's not like they spend any significant amount of time developing the games. At $5 a piece thats $23.5 million dollars they made doing practically nothing.

Residuals (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361075)

I mean they are selling games for $5 minimum a pop, it's not like they spend any significant amount of time developing the games.

Does this include the cost of making sure an emulator is dead-on accurate? Or will you claim that Nintendo already incurred this cost as part of the development of Animal Crossing Population Growing for Nintendo GameCube?

And who gets residuals?

Third parties? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19354977)

Why would Nintendo need third party support to be successful? Every single platform Nintendo has released (well, aside from Virtual Boy) has been a financial success... meaning Nintendo is making money (Nim$).

Nintendo does not need third party support to be successful: they have been successful for decades without NEEDING it.

What they would need third party support for is, maybe, to be the number one system. But having yearly crappy sports releases is not required to succeed. Just remember: console makers generate the bulk of their profits from first party titles. And Nintendo's biggest draw has ALWAYS been it's first party titles.

Another facet: half of ALL games sold in Japan in recent months were DS titles. So the DS is, right now, far and away the most popular modern system on the market... and it's portable.

Yeah... no matter how you slice it, the third parties are likely going to need Nintendo more than Nintendo needs them. But seeing as how the bulk of third party games are going to be trash anyway... their games aren't going to be needed very much. Especially on the Wii.

Blame me. (4, Interesting)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#19353595)

I'm one of those morons who ditched their old consoles with the advent of each new one. Now, Nintendo, Sega and the rest get to sell me nostalgia at top dollar.

I've purchased 4 NES games, 2 SNES, 2 Sega Genesis and 3 N64 games thus far. It's not an average, but assuming it is we divide 4.7 million by 11 and get 427,000ish people like me in the world.

Scary, eh?

Re:Blame me. (2, Informative)

AdamWeeden (678591) | more than 7 years ago | (#19353911)

Well you are actually an anomaly. I've only bought 2 VC titles so far, and going by the sale totals [wikipedia.org] it looks like 7.4 million Wiis sold compared to 4.7 million VC downloads which actually mean that on average there are about 2 VC downloads for 3 Wiis.

Re:Blame me. (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355171)

It'd be interesting to see how many people even have their wii hooked up to the internet. It wouldn't surprise me if it was less than 50%.

Re:Blame me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19355531)

But not interesting enough to read the brief article which tells you?

Re:Blame me. (3, Informative)

Tofystedeth (1076755) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355581)

The summary said connection was approaching 40%

Re:Blame me. (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355689)

Yeah, um, oops. I wonder what the first comment I responded too said?

Re:Blame me. (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355973)

Fortunately, all you have to do is look in the article summary at the top where it says "almost 40%" :)

Re:Blame me. (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355779)

Per the preview, about 40% of Wii consoles are online at the time, or have been connected. So that's 2.96 million consoles. That's actually 3 VC downloads to every two Wii's that are connected. I'm sure that will be attributed to about half the on line Wii owners trying out a title or two, with the GP poster and a small percentage of his buddies purchasing five or more. (Look, ma! I'm a statistician! Just like a real one!)

Re:Blame me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19353967)

You could argue that truly nostalgic people would have never tossed out their old consoles in the first place. I still keep every game I have ever owned, thus I have no need for the virtual console. Still, I have purchased a couple of old NES and SNES games on the VC that I never owned and wanted to play.

Re:Blame me. (4, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354127)

I'm one of those morons who ditched their old consoles with the advent of each new one. Now, Nintendo, Sega and the rest get to sell me nostalgia at top dollar.

I have 8 to 10 classic game consoles at home, and yet I have purchased about 6 games from the Virtual Console. There are a variety of reasons for this:
  • Convenience - It's a lot easier to boot the Wii and play a quick NES title than it is to pull out the classic console (which you lovingly repaired the pins), snake the cables behind the furniture, and hook it up to the television.
  • Availability - I never had a Sega Genesis, nor have I ever felt the need to own one. The system didn't have much in the way of lasting appeal, but it did have Sonic. Now that I can purchase Sonic from the Virtual Console, I have even less reason to own a Genesis.
  • Price - Believe it or not, TurboGrafix systems and games are not that cheap in the wild. $8 a pop is a pretty good deal for many of these games. Especially uncommon cult classics like Military Madness and Blazing Lasers. If the rumors of Nintendo adding Neo-Geo games turn out to be true, the value of the Virtual Console games will go through the roof! (Neo-Geo carts still cost upwards of $30 used.)
  • Storage - I try to keep my games and systems neatly organized. Playing games on the VC allows me to do less to disturb that order, and can even save me storage space for titles that I don't necessarily want to invest in physical copies of.
  • Authenticity - Playing games on the Virtual Console feels much closer to playing them on the original system than playing them on an emulator does. Nintendo seems to make an effort to replicate the experience as closely as possible. The NES-style controls of the Wii Remote and SuperNES/Playstation feel of the Classic Controller help heighten that sense of authenticity.

Nintendo may not have the most original idea with their VC service, but they've struck gold in terms of its implementation. :)

Re:Blame me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19354347)

I have every nintendo console except the wii (can't find one locally), DS, and Virtual Boy. I have an xbox. I also have 3 Genesis systems (two with 32x + cd) and a dreamcast. The system I play the most is the genesis. It had great sports titles, and many games were just as fun on the sega as the snes. I prefer the sega versions of mortal kombat, nba jam, and a few other crossover titles. You may not see value in sega's lineup for the genesis, but there is much more than Sonic the Hedgehog. I've got over 100 games for the genesis after a few ebay acquisitions plus what I already had.

Re:Blame me. (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354237)

Even if you have the old consoles, the VC has a lot of appeal. I still have my SNES, but some of the cartridges don't work anymore, or only work sporadically. And if you want some rare games this could be way cheaper - have they released Earthbound yet? You're lucky to find that one for $30-40 on eBay, sometimes it's as much as $80. I bought one used SNES game from gamestop.com and it came DOA - but I couldn't return it in store and it would have cost as much to mail it back as the refund I would have gotten.

Even when I get a Wii, I'll keep my SNES for nostalgia, but I might actually rebuy some games on the VC for ease of use.

How to clean Game Paks (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361083)

I still have my SNES, but some of the cartridges don't work anymore, or only work sporadically.
Have you tried soaking one end of a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol, scrubbing both sides of the gold-plated edge connector with the wet end, and then scrubbing both sides with the dry end?

Re:Blame me. (1)

pescadero (1074454) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354361)

Top dollar? The Wii Console games cost somewhere between 1/5th to 1/20th their original retail price (after adjusting for inflation), so all things considered, it's not a bad deal.

It's actually kind of a shame that someone can make a terrific game, but just because it was made 15 years ago, it should only be worth 1/10th its original price. But that's a whole different story :)

Re:Blame me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19355401)

Well, it is top dollar considering that Nintendo only has to spend money in lawyers fees and testing. They probably used open-source emulators, except N64 emulation. Plus, it's relatively easy to "obtain" ROMS for emulators - someone with thousands of games will find difficult to pay $5 when having 20 - 30 favorite games.

It's even harder to justify the price when they are slowly releasing games, they won't probably ever translate some titles, and there are too few enhancements. Does the US Castlevania III uses the enhanced japanese version music?

Re:Blame me. (1)

Tofystedeth (1076755) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355645)

They probably used open-source emulators
I wasn't aware anyone had written an open-source emulator for those consoles that runs on the Wii. It's far more likely that Nintendo simply used the emulators they already had on hand for dev/testing.

Back end and front end (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361093)

I wasn't aware anyone had written an open-source emulator for those consoles that runs on the Wii.
A well-factored emulator should have a back end that takes input streams and generates a picture stream and audio stream, and a front end that relays those streams between the emulator and the operating system. At least MAME is made this way. The back end of any BSD- or zlib-licensed emulator could be used, but I bet Nintendo just went with the NES emulator that it had already developed for Animal Crossing Population Growing for Nintendo GameCube.

Original carts (3, Interesting)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 7 years ago | (#19353645)

Too bad there's no program for someone with the original carts to enter into a program that allows them to download their games onto the Wii. Maybe someone could come up with a reader that plugs into USB for the NES, Genesis, TG16, N64, SNES, etc that allows you to use your originals. I like having all my games accessible on one system so I don't have to have them all set up, but I have a lot of games and paying for them all twice would suck, especially if the Wii's successor won't allow you to transfer them...

Re:Original carts (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19353907)

Translation: waaaa...why won't Nintendo make it easier for me to pirate games?

Re:Original carts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19354001)

Or: "Why do I have to buy the same thing twice, when I already own the game and my console stopped working?" It's not like they sell NES, Genesis, or Turbographix consoles anymore. If your consoles broke for any reason, you're pretty much screwed these days.

Re:Original carts (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354273)

It's only pirating if you sell one of the copies. Making a copy for use and keeping the original as a backup is legal.

Though personally, I'm waiting for the opposite - a way to d/l VC games onto a cartridge for use in DSes.

Re:Original carts (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354615)

Making a copy for use and keeping the original as a backup is legal.

This is not strictly true. The decision in the Atari v. JS&A [patentarcade.com] case was that cartridges were not susceptible to accidental damage in the same way that magnetic media was. As a result, there was no need for an archival copy of the software.

A modern judge might see things different given the age of many cartridges, but you should be aware that they are currently NOT covered under the "archival" clause. (Now if only Nintendo would figure out that CDs/DVDs *are* volatile media and stop printing that stupid "backups are not authorized" warning in their manuals.)

Re:Original carts (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355793)

Really? Interesting, I didn't know that cartridges were treated differently. I think they would be hard-pressed to show that someone with original NES cartridges now (or even SNES, many of mine have worn out) had no legitimate use for a backup.

Re:Original carts (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356141)

Legally, a backup is different from a space-shifted copy. A backup for "archival purposes" as defined by copyright law is to protect against media failure. In the Atari v. JS&A case, the court referred to the original report that Congress used to draft the archival exception. The report had focused on the volatility of magnetic media as a key concern, and pointed out that copying of software could be done for nearly no cost in comparison to the huge cost of developing the software. Since cartridges could not be cheaply copied, nor were they at risk of failure, the court decided that a backup was unnecessary.

The court *might* have found JS&A's cartridge copier legal if there was a substantial use for it beyond piracy. JS&A tried to publish 9 of its own carts that were free for copying, but the judge didn't buy it. The decision was that there was no fair use argument for the device.

Now copying your cartridges for emulation is a different ball of wax. Just as you can legally space shift your music into MP3s, you should be able to space shift your ROMs into images for emulators. The roots of this definition of fair use come from the Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc. case, also known as the "Betamax case". The Supreme Court later held that the betamax case applied to space shifting of MP3 players, CD burners, and other new technologies in the MGM v. Grokster case. (In applying the test, they found that Grokster was NOT a party to that standard and was intentionally trying to circumvent copyright law.)

These cases should pave the way for emulation to be legal. However, there is a catch 22. In order to space-shift your legally-owned games, you must rip the image yourself. If you download the games from a ROM site, you are in violation of copyright law. Ergo, 95%+ of people who use emulators to play games they own are actually violating the law.

And now you know... the rest of the story. Good day! </Paul-Harvey>

Re:Original carts (1)

tuffy (10202) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354717)

Though personally, I'm waiting for the opposite - a way to d/l VC games onto a cartridge for use in DSes.
Why bother with a cartridge? I'd like to use the DS' "Download Play" option to fetch VC titles directly from the Wii. There'd be little risk of piracy since they'd only be playable until the DS is turned off, and no extra hardware is needed. Nintendo would only need to write DS-based emulators and have a channel for sharing them out with.

Re:Original carts (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355761)

only be playable until the DS is turned off

See, that's a major drawback for me. I do use my DS at home, but I play it a lot on the bus and I specifically got it to keep me distracted on airplanes (it has really helped my panic attacks). I do think they're more likely to do that first, though.

I know that there would be huge piracy concerns with a cartridge-based approach. I'm sure some heavy DRM would be needed. But I still want it. I'd take it, DRM and all. Well, I mean, once I get a Wii.

PDA + emulator is a solution. (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 7 years ago | (#19359801)

Though personally, I'm waiting for the opposite - a way to d/l VC games onto a cartridge for use in DSes.


That's why I love my brother's Tapwave Zodiac [wikipedia.org] , my Palm T3 and LittleJohnPlayer [yoyofr92.free.fr] emulator on those : Genesis & GameBoy games on the move.

Zodiac was specially cool compared to other PDAs, because it had console-like button layout.

There are some homebrew oriented consoles - like the GP32 and its descendant - that feature both handheld button layout and the necessary programmability so lots of emulators are available.

The only problems with handhelds (DS included, although it has 2 processors so it may be to a lesser extent) is that they lack the horse power to emulate powerful console (8bits are usually ok. genesis may still be ok. complex chips on SNES, sprite extravaganza of NeoGeo or anything 32bits is too much). Also, nintendo's handheld tend to have catastrophic resolutions, compared to PDA (T3 & Zod : 480x320). It makes them easier to BE emulated, but they make a bad target FOR emulators (screen must be shrinked, etc).

Re:Original carts (1)

rm999 (775449) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355981)

I think at that point ROMS simply work better. Many cartridges have some sort of magnetic data loss over time - a ROM is a perfect digital copy of the game. I see no legal or moral problem with using a ROM of a game you already paid 50 dollars for 20 years ago. Now if only Nintendo had a way of allowing us to do this (e.g. somehow proving you own the game to get an encrypted ROM that works on only your console would even be fine.)

Until game companies make it easier to do stuff like this, I don't feel bad about doing it myself. The dreamcast was my favorite console of recent time because I could play all my nintendo games on it without cracking the system.

Re:Original carts (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356287)

how about a 'second edition' wii with a row of classic cartridge slots on the back?

Re:Original carts (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 7 years ago | (#19360577)

If they could only get the rights to do this, I would love it. I've got a still-working N64 sitting in my basement with 6-8 still-working games and one controller whose analog-stick's dead zone continues to grow slowly but frighteningly. Even if I lost my saved games and Controller Pak data, I'd welcome the opportunity to trade this dieing cartridges for a more permanent digital record of my legitimately-purchased games.

Oh, and I still can't find out if emulators can handle all of my games.

Speaking of... (3, Funny)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#19353689)

Where's Phantom these days?

_nowhere_ does it say 'sold'. (-1)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 7 years ago | (#19353697)

'Transacted' does not mean sold.

I've 'transacted' the opera browser and 'everyone votes' so far ... but I have never bought anything from Nintendo online.

So, when you take people like me into consideration, it might not be that great of news.

Re:_nowhere_ does it say 'sold'. (3, Insightful)

AbsoluteXyro (1048620) | more than 7 years ago | (#19353831)

Yes but the Opera Browser and Everybody Votes are not Virtual Console offerings. This article is about Virtual Console offerings alone. Otherwise, surely the Opera Browser or Everybody Votes would have made it into the top five downloads... on account of, you know, being free. But they didn't. So it is clear to see that non-Virtual Console offerings have been left out of the tally.

How about right in the article's headline? (1)

Daverd (641119) | more than 7 years ago | (#19353871)

Article Headline: Virtual Console Reaches 100th Game Milestone; 4.7 Million Sold

From Article Subheadline: "more than 4.7 million Virtual Console titles have been downloaded so far"

From Article text: "more than 4.7 million games have been downloaded by Wii owners".

So, unless you consider your web browser and Everybody Votes channels to be Virtual Console games, then yes, they have sold 4.7 million games. For money.

Re:_nowhere_ does it say 'sold'. (1)

Echnin (607099) | more than 7 years ago | (#19353905)

Except in the headline? "Virtual Console Reaches 100th Game Milestone; 4.7 Million Sold". From text: "more than 4.7 million games have been downloaded by Wii owners" (not other software: games). RTFA before commenting.

Re:_nowhere_ does it say 'sold'. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19354645)

RTFA before commenting.

You must be new here.

It could have been higher (1)

ajanp (1083247) | more than 7 years ago | (#19353731)

Now if they could just find a way to actually create the consoles to run those nifty downloaded games.

In home arcade. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19353755)

One of the great things way back when home consoles became available was the ability to play until your heart's content without paying any additional money other than buying the console and the cartridge (hey, I started out with the Atari 2600). Of course I still would occasionally go to the arcade, but now I didn't have to.

Now that consoles (not just the WII of course) connect to the internet and there are shops (and advertisements) it's only a matter of time until someone rolls out a pay to play model. Of course there already are the online communities/games which require monthly subscriptions but c'mon, these companies can milk much more money out of us. It's only a matter of time before they do and it's very, very sad.

Re:In home arcade. (1)

mpathetiq (726625) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355643)

It's not sad, it's capitalism.

Re:In home arcade. (1)

Wdomburg (141264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357983)

You do realize people can choose not to buy games they think are too expensive, right?

For now... (1)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#19353853)

Unless Nintendo is planning on creating new VC offerings (or find ballsy enough third party developers to join them), at a certain point, they'll run out of titles to put on there. How many AAA titles (that they have the rights to) are really left from NES/SNES/N64? I'd have to think that the majority of these buys are for Mario or Zelda properties, and they've put almost all of those onto the VC already.

Re:For now... (1)

Bones3D_mac (324952) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354055)

Well, if they get really desperate for new content, they do have the entire 18+ years of Gameboy titles all the way up to the GBA they can tap into. (Mario Land 2 would probably do pretty well, as would the gameboy versions of Zelda.)

Re:For now... (1)

syrinx (106469) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355455)

I would go buy Link's Awakening (the first Game Boy Zelda) right now if it were available. Original or DX (for the GBC), I don't care either way. I hope it happens eventually.

Re:For now... (2, Interesting)

p4rri11iz3r (1084543) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354265)

How many AAA titles (that they have the rights to) are really left from NES/SNES/N64? I'd have to think that the majority of these buys are for Mario or Zelda properties, and they've put almost all of those onto the VC already.
I tend to disagree, there are many games which I am still looking forward to (granted, many of them are Mario-related) such as:
  • Super Mario 2
  • Super Mario 2 (Japanese version) - Really hoping to get this... Never got to play it.
  • Super Mario 3 - Pretty much a guaranteed 1M+ sells
  • Super Mario World 2
  • Mario Party 1-3 (from N64)
  • Goldeneye 007
  • Donkey Kong 64
  • Blast Corps - Granted, this game is mostly unheard of, but that doesn't prevent it from being one of the greatest, most underrated games from the N64.
  • Tetris (NES version) - It rules over all other versions of Tetris.
  • Mega Man I-VI, X-series
  • Original Contra
  • And others
I've never been that big of a Zelda fan myself, but recognize there are legions of them. Nintendo still has "Majora's Mask" and a few others from NES/SNES to release.

IMO, Nintendo has yet to drop some of the greatest games yet, and I can't wait.

Re:For now... (1)

davermont (1001265) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354327)

I'd guess that of the five systems from which the Wii is offering games there must be close to a couple of thousand titles, all told. I'm sure Nintendo could purchase the rights to just about any game they wish for a pretty paltry price. Those companies can either sell the rights to Nintendo and make a few bucks for free, or let those games fade into oblivion. It's not like Kanomi (for example) has an alternative platfrom on which to re-release Contra, enabling them to make money on archaic software which has been sitting around collecting dust for 20 years.

Re:For now... (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354353)

I'm not sure "ballsy" is the right word - more like "small and desperate to break into the market." I don't know how much it costs to develop for the VC, but it can't be that much. It seems like the ideal place for a fledgling company to get in with some interesting 8- or 16-bit action. I know nothing about game development, so maybe I'm wrong and Nintendo makes you buy an entire Wii dev kit plus a several-thousand-dollar VC add-on, but I doubt it.

Re:For now... (1)

Frostclaw (1006995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354779)

They are already talking about indy games being added to the Virtual Console lineup, and they have a ton of systems to tap into (NES, SNES, N64, Genesis and TurboGraphx16) plus rumours that NEO GEO will be added to the lineup.

By the time they use up their AAA games, we'll have quite a selection onhand.

Re:For now... (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355809)

Neo Geo is definitely forthcoming, and there's a very good chance many Commodore 64 titles will be added as well!

Re:For now... (1)

Tofystedeth (1076755) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356509)

Can one develop for the Virtual Console? Is it really an entity in and of itself that can have games made for it? It seems to me like it is really just a collection of emulators with a unified front-end. I suppose developers could essentially make new ROMs for these, or maybe Nintendo will allow them access to the API which allows the emulators to work with the VC. Or better yet, maybe a stripped down Wii API and dev-kit for use in downloadable games. I don't know, I'm just spewing out stuff that I think I sort of understand. Salt to taste.

Re:For now... (2, Interesting)

Wdomburg (141264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19358663)

Erm, there's a fair number of Mario titles left:

    Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (orig SMB2 in Japan) (NES)
    Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES)
    Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)
    Dr. Mario (NES)
    Super Mario Kart (SNES)
    Yoshi's Safari (SNES)
    Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (SNES)
    Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (SNES)
    Mario Party (N64)
    Mario Party 2 (N64)
    Mario Golf (N64)
    Mario Tennis (N64)
    Paper Mario (N64)
    Mario Party 3 (N64)

As well a number of Zelda titles:

    Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (NES)
    The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64)
    The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (GBC)
    The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords (GBA)

Then there are other franchises, like Metroid:

    Metroid (NES)
    Super Metroid (SNES)
    Metroid Fusion (GBA)
    Metroid: Zero Mission (GBA)

Or Kirby:

    Kirby's Avalanche (SNES)
    Kirby Super Star (SNES)
    Kirby's Dream Land 3 (SNES)
    Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (N64)
    Kirby & the Amazing Mirror (GBA)

There's plenty of other games out there - the original Super Smash Bros, the entire Megaman series, the Wario games, the remaining Castlevania games, the first Star Fox, etc.

And of course there's plenty of games left from other platforms. Plenty of titles continue to roll in from the Turbographix-16 and Sega Genesis. There are MSX games in Japan that could potentially be introduced to the US market. Neo Geo games are in the pipeline.

Given their current strategy of trickling the top tier games one a week (or less, some weeks) they've got enough material for a good while, even if they don't add any more systems to their repetoire.

Re:For now... (1)

Bongo Bill (853669) | more than 7 years ago | (#19360197)

Good thing they're not only using AAA titles, then. Seriously. Final Fight? J.J. And Jeff? Legend of Kage? What is this shit?

Memo to Nintendo (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354099)

Lets have less Turbographix games, and more Secret of Mana.

That is all.

Re:Memo to Nintendo (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354299)

Square has explicitly stated they don't want any part of the Virtual Console. After all, they make a killing off of releasing the same games over and over for full price. I'd imagine they'd want to keep Secret of Mana off of the VC in case they decide to give it the same treatment as FF4 and FF6.

Re:Memo to Nintendo (1)

IAstudent (919232) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354541)

On Square wanting to keep possible cash cows off the VC, where they would be reduced to about $8 (The usual price for an SNES game, 800 wii points = $8), I can see that. Now only if they would give Secret of Mana any attention and stop coming out with sequels/prequels/alternative storylines that drag the good Mana name through the muck.

On the subject of RPGs though, I'm hoping to start seeing some on the VC soon. Sega has Shining in the Darkness planned to come out soon (good times, but where's Shining Force?), plus I wonder why aren't they considering the Phantasy Star series? That used to give me a good fix whenever I got bored of Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy. I think there's a lot of other players they could tap by introducing some classic console RPGs into the mix.

Re:Memo to Nintendo (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355469)

Oh god, if they release Shining Force... I was one of the few games that made me happy I owned a Genesis when I was young. Later when I discovered emulators I played through both of them back to back, at the expense of WoW and life. So enjoyable. We need more turn based strategy games. The only game that stands up to them is Final Fantasy Tactics, but that was rather drawn out, and dragged quite a bit (its Square, so its to be expected).

On the Genesis front they need Shining Force, Alysa Dragoon (stupid, but nostalgic), and the second Toejam & Earl (perhaps more Sonic). For SNES/NES they need to bitchslap Sqenix, and get Final Fantasy 1-6, plus Secret of Mana, perhaps even the original Panzer Dragoon. As for the T-16. I don't care.

I wish they would make an indie game channel. Let small developers try their hand. It worked for the 360, which seems to help innovation (with games like Flow), so I don't know how it would hurt Nintendo.

Re:Memo to Nintendo (1)

Sorcha Payne (1047874) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356621)

You should try Tactics Ogre sometime. There was a Super nintendo game, as well as a gameboy game I believe. It's been some time since I played either one though. IMO these games were much more enjoyable than FF Tactics.

Re:Memo to Nintendo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19356439)

plus I wonder why aren't they considering the Phantasy Star series?

Sega released PS II, III, and IV on the Sega Genesis Collection for the PS2 and PSP. For $20 (for 15 or so games), it sure beats buying them individually for $8 on the VC, not to mention that the SGC allows for save states at any time, and includes bonus material.

Do yourself a favor and pick it up if you have either of those systems... it's well worth it, and way superior to the bare-bones ROM dump that the VC gives you >_>

Re:Memo to Nintendo (1)

SethraLavode (910814) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354793)

Actually, I believe Squeenix said they were not considering downloadable content for Wii titles at the moment. Seeing as how Actraiser was just released as a VC title, I'd say they are interested in the possibilities of the Virtual Console.

Of course, they're certainly not going to let their big cash cows out, so long as they can keep re-releasing them and we keep buying them (like FF1 and FF2 being put out as separate titles for the PSP version.>

Re:Memo to Nintendo (1)

aesiamun (862627) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354913)

If that is true, how come they have ActRaiser on the VC? While not one of their top games, I remember playing it back in the early 90s.

Re:Memo to Nintendo (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355439)

Except they haven't re-released Secret of Mana in any form. I mean we're on the what, THIRD rehash of FF4 now?

If they won't go out and re-release it as a seperate thing, the VC seems like a cheap way for them to do it instead. I can guarantee there's a market for the game, despite all the bad things they've done to it with stuff like Children of Mana.

Re:Memo to Nintendo (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355667)

while a Enix game, ActRaiser was released which is owned by SE now. Also none of the Dragon Warrior titles have been re-released on a system that is still currently supported (last re-release was on the Game Boy Color) so that leaves a good 5 NES titles open for the VC that would be guaranteed million sellers.

While they dont have plans as of yet (what with the 5 million FFXIII titles coming out, FFXI add-on, 2 FF:CC games, FFIV, and 2 Dragon Warrior games ot name just a few) Im sure they might be prepping something for the later half of 2007.

Re:Memo to Nintendo (1)

CdrGlork (1096607) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354375)

Amen to that!

Re:Memo to Nintendo (1)

QuijiboIsAWord (715586) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354671)

I would have really expected Secret of Mana to be released around the same
time as the recent DS game. They're most likely not releasing things like Secret of Mana and the Final Fantasy games for fear of cannibalizing their portable version sales.

Re:Memo to Nintendo (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355191)

That's not a problem, they have no Turbographix games on the VC.

TurboGrafx-16 games, on the other hand...

What goes up... (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354343)

The fantastic Retronauts podcast [1up.com] talked about this milestone recently. They determined that as ownership of the Wii increases, Virtual Console purchases per person decreases. They surmise that all the hardcore fanboys who rushed out to buy the console bought a disproportionately large number of VC titles. It will be interesting to see the numbers after a year.

We Want Battletoads! (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19354407)

It's not nostalgic until I can struggle through Battletoads!

Re:We Want Battletoads! (1)

IAstudent (919232) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355927)

Do you really want to give people more incentive to throw their wiimotes? ;)

Re:We Want Battletoads! (1)

Dorceon (928997) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356851)

Unlikely. Rare made it, and Microsoft pwns them now.
Oh wait, 'owns' was actually correct that time.

Re:We Want Battletoads! (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356961)

Wow, you're correct. I didn't realize Rare had done it. That's a let down. What about Dinosaurs For Hire, on the Genesis then? That was an even harder game! At least I managed to beat Battletoads. ;)

Tried VC, haven't been impressed-- (1)

Speare (84249) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355371)

I don't know if it's a matter of my getting older and not remembering the feel of the controls of these ancient games, or if there's poor latency/response in the Virtual Console itself, but I found the Starfox64 to be pretty "syrupy" in the controls, and hard to jump on cue in the Mario64 as well. I'm not inclined to spend too many more Wii points if all of the Virtual Console suffers from bad latency.

I initially wished for the standard Wii-motes to play the Virtual Console games, but I fear those bluetooth protocols would just compound the problem of response-times even worse.

Re:Tried VC, haven't been impressed-- (1)

Boogaroo (604901) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355615)

So far, I have Bomberman, Gradius 3, and Kirby's Adventure. Each of these are pretty demanding on timing, especially Gradius 3. I've not noticed any lag or delay in controls.

Re:Tried VC, haven't been impressed-- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19356181)

I have Super Mario 64, Star Fox 64, Mario Cart 64, and Ocarina of Time (as well as number of SNES and NES titles) and I can assure you that none of these titles suffer from no lag in the controls what so ever. My room mate and I even busted out the old 64 to compare. If anything the VC versions handle better as they don't suffer from the crappy analog stick design Nintendo used in the N64 controllers. Just my two cents.

Re:Tried VC, haven't been impressed-- (1)

SethraLavode (910814) | more than 7 years ago | (#19358055)

You may want to check if your TV has a "game" mode, if you have an HD television. If the TV is trying to scale the signal (or if it's DLP-based), that can introduce enough lag to through off games that rely on precise timing.

Sell it Again Sam (1)

Rev Jim (AKA Metal F (1004571) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355421)

It's amazing the life (and bucks) Nintendo is getting out of these titles. Take the original Super Mario Bro, it appeared on nintendo, then later packed with preceding titles (Allstars) then on the GBA, and now on a virtual console. Who else can take the same game and then over abnd over 20 years later still be selling it again pretty much the same as ever. I'll take the free emulator versions over these anyday thank you. I wish more emulators could establish some multiplayer TCP/IP stuff though. I suppose though then you have problems with cheaters. Fucking bastards.

Re:Sell it Again Sam (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355847)

Allstars was a great package. It had the first 3 North American Super Mario titles, Super Mario 2 from Japan, and some versions bundled Super Mario World as well. Plus all the games let you save your progress so that you didn't have to start from the beginning every time you powered on the console. And of course the graphics were astounding!

Re-Volt (1)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19355497)

I really wish they'd release N64 Re-Volt. That game ruled ...

Rich.

Re:Re-Volt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19356203)

I never owned a n64, but i do have 2 games for it. Re-Volt is one and it was awesome, the other is mario cart.
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