The Virtual Console is one of the many special features of the Wii, the Nintendo 3DS, and the Wii U. The Virtual Console allows gamers to download games that have been uploaded by their respective companies. Most of its games come from Nintendo's own NES, SNES Nintendo 64 (Wii and Wii U), Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS (Wii U), Game Boy, Game Boy Color (3DS) Nintendo did not upload Nintendo GameCube games to the Wii Virtual Console or the Wii U Virtual Console due to the fact that GameCube ISOs use 1.35 GB on the hard drive (the internal memory on the Wii is only 512 MB), and the Wii is backwards-compatible with all GameCube discs and most accessories. Sega has provided the Wii and 3DS Virtual Console with Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, Sega Master System, and Sega Game Gear.
Wii Virtual Console games are bought with Wii Points via the Wii Shop Channel. Wii Points Cards, which are sold at most game retailers, each come with 2,000 redeemable Points on them. However, in Japan, cards are worth either 1,000, 3,000, or 5,000 Wii Points. Wii Points can also be purchased directly through the Wii Shop Channel with a credit card in blocks of either 1,000, 2,000, 3,000, or 5,000 Points.
Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Virtual Console games are bought with eShop credits via the Nintendo eShop. Nintendo eShop cards are sold at most retailers with the following values; $10*, $20, $35, and $50. In Australia and New Zealand, there are $15, $30 and $60 cards.
*Note: $10 eShop cards are only available at Wal-Mart, GameStop, Best Buy, and Target in the United States only.
While this pricing is true for most games, a few select games have been priced differently. Imported games such as Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars and Mario's Super Picross in Europe and Australia and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels outside Japan cost 100 Wii Points more than usual.
In the United States, retailers currently only sell 2,000 points cards for $20 apiece, at a price of one cent per point.
Similarly, in Australia, retailers only sell 1,000 points cards for $20 apiece.
*Note: Games released on the Virtual Console Arcade are automatically set to 500 points. However, most Virtual Console Arcade games are priced higher than 500 points.
*Note: Discounted price if originally purchased on the Wii Shop Channel via Wii Mode.
Various controllers are needed used to play Virtual Console games.
- Wii U GamePad - Can play all Virtual Console games in Wii U Mode. Only works in both Wii U and Wii Mode (only displays screen) on the Wii U console.
- Wii U Pro Controller - Can also play all Virtual Console games in Wii U Mode. Only works in Wii U Mode for the Wii U console.
- Wii Remote - When turned sideways, it can be used as an NES substitute. It is also compatible with Sega Master System games. Works in both Wii U and Wii as well as the Wii U via Wii Mode. Can be used for Wii U SNES and GBA games if is held while the game boots.
- Classic Controller - Can play any game. It is made to fit the design of the SNES Controller. Works in both Wii U and Wii as well as the Wii U via Wii Mode.
- Nintendo GameCube controller - Can also play any game, but it is best compatible with N64 games. It currently only works for the original Wii console.
List of Mario games for the Virtual Console
Note: The Donkey Kong Country series has been delisted, (except in South Korea) likely due to Microsoft's desire to renegotiate licensing agreements with Nintendo before rereleasing it. Yoshi's Cookie for the NES has been delisted as well (except in South Korea but can't be bought).
Games on the Virtual Console of the 3DS do not have 3D capabilities, except for 3D Classics. They are sold via Nintendo eShop.
The following Mario games have been released on the Virtual Console of the 3DS:
a. Available for free to participants who purchase Mario Golf: World Tour from the Nintendo eShop from May 2, 2014 to May 29, 2014.
b. The European edition of the Nintendo Direct December 18, 2013 reveals a promotion for Nintendo 3DS users, as those who registered their Nintendo Network ID before the end of January 2014 will be eligible to receive a free download code of Super Mario Bros. Deluxe from the Nintendo eShop on February 13, 2014.
Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program
All of these games are available as free downloads for consumers who purchased a Nintendo 3DS prior to the August 12, 2011 price drop. The NES titles were first available in Japan on August 31, 2011 for these ambassadors, and available worldwide on September 1, 2011. The Game Boy Advance games were released in Australia on December 15, 2011, and worldwide on December 16, 2011. The Legend of Zelda became available in the Japanese eShop on December 22nd, 2011, making it the first Ambassador game released to the public. Currently, all NES titles offered by the Ambassador Program are available worldwide on the eShop. Nintendo has announced that GBA games will remain exclusive to 3DS ambassadors. GBA games have been released on the Wii U instead, and there are currently no plans for 3DS VC releases.
Mario NES games
Mario Game Boy Advance games
Games on the Virtual Console of the Wii U can be played on the Wii U Gamepad controller. As with the Nintendo 3DS, they are also sold via Nintendo eShop.
a. Available for free to participants who purchase Yoshi's Woolly World from the Nintendo eShop from June 25, 2015 (Australia)/June 26, 2015 (Europe) to July 23, 2015.
* In the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Famicom, Virtual Console titles were on sale at a reduced price of 30 cents until July 12, 2013 (Yoshi) and August 13, 2013 (Donkey Kong).
- Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels was only available in Europe and Australia from September 15, 2007 until October 1, 2007. It was then still available to freely re-download for those who purchased it while it was initially available. On August 22, 2008, it was made available again, this time without any time restrictions.
- This is also the first time that the NES version was made available outside Japan, having been remade for the SNES elsewhere. Thus, its title screen reads "Super Mario Bros. 2", its Japanese name and on the Wii Shop Channel and Wii U eShop it is considered a import game.
- Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars was regarded by Nintendo as the 250th game to be released on the Virtual Console in North America. Its European Virtual Console release was the first official release of that game in the region.
- Timed demos of several Virtual Console games are included in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, all of which star the game's various fighters. The only default Mario title is Super Mario Bros.; Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros. 2, and Super Mario World are the others, but they must first be unlocked.
- For reasons unknown, the NES version of Yoshi's Cookie and the entire Donkey Kong Country trilogy were de-listed in all regions except South Korea. While the removal of Yoshi's Cookie is unknown, the removal of the Donkey Kong Country trilogy could be due to legal issues with Microsoft, the current owner of Rare, who developed the trilogy before being completely sold over to Microsoft in 2002, although technically Nintendo owns and originally published these games. The games remain available to be re-downloaded by those who had purchased them while available. The DKC games were restored to the Wii Shop Channel when they were released for the Wii U VC.
- Transfer Pak functions are not supported, nor are online N64 Tournaments like the Mario Tennis Ring Tournament mode supported.
- N64 & Neo-Geo games don't support suspend functionality.
- N64 Controller Pak functionality is not supported.
- N64 games do not support the Rumble Pak functionality, despite the GC controllers having rumble features.
- Only NES titles support multiplayer due to the GB, GBC, and GBA (Ambassadors only) games being too complicated to recode the games to add wireless features and there being no link port for multiplayer. NES games that have simultaneous multiplayer utilize 3DS Download Play, and Game Gear games use local play while NES games that only have alternating multiplayer are played on a single 3DS. To alternate players when playing NES games, simultaneously press and to display a pair of NES controllers (<-America and PAL regions) or Famicom controllers (<- Japan only) in the lower-right corner of the top screen; press while they are displayed to switch control between players 1 and 2.
- This feature can also be used when playing Game Boy titles to change the screen color from gray to the classic green.
- While loading Game Boy, Game Boy Color, or (Ambassadors only) Game Boy Advance titles from the HOME Menu, by holding or the game on the top screen will be shrunk to its original resolution.
- Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles will also display virtual versions of their respective consoles surrounding the screen to give the illusion of playing on the actual console. GBA, DS, and DSiWare games just shrink the screen to the screen size from the original consoles.
- Many games have been given the ability to create one save file each.
- GBA Ambassador games do not rely on hardware emulation; instead, they rely on hardware simulation with the 3DS booting into the GBA's firmware to play the games natively, the same way the 3DS handles DS backwards compatibility. This is the reason why GBA games do not support Virtual Console features like Save and Restore Points, sleep mode, and Home Menu Access.
- This occurs because the 3DS is not powerful enough to emulate the GBA in the same way it does other Virtual Console games. (This is also why GBA games are not available for purchase on the eShop for 3DS.) Through hacking, it is possible to load GBA games into a regular Virtual Console emulator, but performance is slow and the ability to do this was removed in a later update.
- The player can create save states and remap controller buttons. For GBA games, there are options to change scaling, enable pixel smoothing, and view scans of the original paper manual.
- The Wii Remote can be used for SNES and GBA games if is held while the game loads.
- The NES games and N64 have some pixel smoothing.
- N64 games support Rumble Pak functions, but won't support Transfer Pak functions. It is unknown if Controller Pak functions will be supported.
- GBA and DS titles can only be played in single player mode.
Although Nintendo has claimed they will keep all Virtual Console releases true to the originals, they have made changes to various games:
- Super Mario 64
- During gameplay, the drop shadows located at the top and bottom of the screen have been removed and can only return if Mario loses all of his Health Points.
- Chain Chomp's mouth is purple instead of red, possibly because the game in general is made a bit darker.
- Vanish Mario appears purely transparent instead of being flickering in dithered colors for unknown reasons.
- All lag and loading times have been removed, and the game is impossible to crash.
- The sound is slightly quieter and sounds a bit muffled.
- Mario Kart 64
- When Lightning item is used, the flash that appears during the use of that item has been adjusted to avoid the risk of seizures.
- The Kalimari Desert course's train has its wheels recolored from red to black for unknown reasons.
- In Koopa Troopa Beach, the waterfall at the end of the shortcut is recolored blue from the original grey.
- The game timer is spaced slightly further apart. Most notable between "00" and between the " sign and the number preceeding it.
- Saving ghost data is impossible, due to the lack of Controller Pak functionality.
- Mario Golf
- The Transfer Pak feature to transfer characters from the GBC version (Sherry, Joe, Azalea, and Kid) is removed, as are the extra four square boxes used for transferred characters on the Character Select screen. Consequently, said characters cannot be played in the game's re-release for Wii.
- Mario Tennis
- The Ring Tournament mode in Special Games is removed and cannot be selected, since the service is no longer supported after the official website was replaced with its sequel Mario Power Tennis in 2004.
- The ability to unlock characters and courts via the Transfer Pak (e.g. Alex, Nina, Harry, Kate, and each characters' personal courts, except for Donkey Kong's) is removed. However they still exist in the game coding. Consequently, however, said characters cannot be played in the game's re-release for Wii during normal gameplay.
- Paper Mario
- The brightness of the light from the Super Block has been adjusted to avoid the risk of seizures.
- The walls in the temple in Dry Dry Desert appear more curved in the Virtual Console version.
- The Crystal King's clones are more transparent, making it easier to spot the real Crystal King.
- Monstar has stars surrounding it in the Virtual Console version.
- Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy and Game Boy Color games
- NES games include restore points and download play but Game Boy and Game Boy Color games don't support multiplayer. Only NES and Game Gear games do, and TurboGrafx16 games will when they are released. but all of the ten NES games from the ambassador program did not gain these features until they were respectively re-released for public purchase. Original Game Boy games also include two switchable color palettes; black and white and black and green, in which the latter is a nostalgic approach to original "brick" Game Boy players since the first Game Boy model has a green-tinted screen.
- Super Mario Bros. 2
- The ground, sky, and waterfalls have a darker color scheme than in the Wii and Wii U VC versions.
- Super Mario Bros. 3
- The game's pixels appear more filtered and the background border is less dimmer compared to the Wii and Wii U VC versions.
- Super Mario Bros. Deluxe
- The game's print and trade features have been disabled due to the lack of a Game Boy Printer accessory and infared port.
- Mario Golf and Mario Tennis
- Characters that could be unlocked in the Nintendo 64 version are omitted due to the lack of transfer pack functionality in the Wii VC versions and visa-versa in the 3DS versions.
- Wario Land 3
- Various cutscenes, such as the one where The Steep Canyon initially becomes accessible, have altered color palettes to reduce the risk of seizures.
- NES, SNES, N64, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS games
- All games include restore points, Wii U GamePad off-tv play, and Miiverse support. GBA, N64, and DS games also include their original instruction booklets, but GBA and Nintendo DS games don't support multiplayer, Gamecube/Wii connectivity or sleep mode. N64 games will not support transfer pak funtions.
Icon from the Wii's Virtual Console.
Nintendo 3DS's Virtual Console old selection on Nintendo Eshop.
Wii U's Virtual Console logo.
Wallpaper for the Wii U's Virtual Console.
- WiiWare — Applications and games that can be downloaded from the Wii Shop Channel.
- DSiWare — Applications and games that can be downloaded from the DSi Shop.
Name in other languages
- ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-dttHujw0I
||Super Mario series
||Super Mario Bros. (1985, NES) • Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (1986, FCD) • Super Mario Bros. 2 (1988, NES) • Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988, NES) • Super Mario World (1990, SNES) • Super Mario 64 (1996, N64) • Super Mario Sunshine (2002, GCN) • New Super Mario Bros. (2006, NDS) • Super Mario Galaxy (2007, Wii) • New Super Mario Bros. Wii (2009, Wii) • Super Mario Galaxy 2 (2010, Wii) • Super Mario 3D Land (2011, 3DS) • New Super Mario Bros. 2 (2012, 3DS) • New Super Mario Bros. U (2012, Wii U) • Super Mario 3D World (2013, Wii U)
|Mario vs. Donkey Kong series
||Mario vs. Donkey Kong (2004, GBA) • Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis (2006, DS) • Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! (2009, DSiWare) • Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! (2010, DS) • Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move (2013, 3DS) • Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars (2015, 3DS/Wii U)
||Donkey Kong (1981) • Mario Bros. (1983) • Mario's Cement Factory (1983, G&W) • Mario's Bombs Away (1983, G&W) • Mario Bros. Special (1984, PC88) • Punch Ball Mario Bros. (1984, PC88) • Wrecking Crew (1985, NES) • Super Mario Bros. Special (1986, PC88) • Super Mario Land (1989, GB) • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (1992, GB) • Hotel Mario (1994, Philips CD-i) • Donkey Kong (1994, Game Boy) • Mario Clash (1995, VB) • Wrecking Crew '98 (1998, SFC)
|Ports and remakes
||Donkey Kong (1982, G&W) • Mario Bros. (1983, G&W) • Vs. Super Mario Bros. (1986, Arcade) • All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros. (1986, FCD) • Super Mario Bros. (1987, G&W) • Super Mario All-Stars (1993, SNES) • Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World (1994, SNES) • BS Super Mario USA (1997, SNES) • Super Mario Bros. Deluxe (1999, GBC) • Super Mario Advance (2001, GBA) • Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 (2002, GBA) • Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 (2003, GBA) • Famicom Mini Series (2004, GBA) • Classic NES Series (2004-2005, GBA) • Super Mario 64 DS (2004, NDS) • Virtual Console (2006-current, Wii) • Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition (2010, Wii) • Virtual Console (2011-current, 3DS) • New Super Luigi U (2013, Wii U) • Luigi Bros. (2013, Wii U)
||Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (1996, SNES) • Paper Mario (2000, N64) • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (2003, GBA) • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (2004, GCN) • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (2005, NDS) • Super Paper Mario (2007, Wii) • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (2009, NDS) • Paper Mario: Sticker Star (2012, 3DS) • Mario & Luigi: Dream Team (2013, 3DS) • Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (2016, 3DS)
| Mario Kart series
||Super Mario Kart (1992, SNES) • Mario Kart 64 (1996, N64) • Mario Kart 64 (slot machine) (1997, Arcade) • Mario Kart: Super Circuit (2001, GBA) • Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (2003, GCN) • Mario Kart Arcade GP (2005, Arcade) • Mario Kart DS (2005, NDS) • Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 (2007, Arcade) • Mario Kart Wii (2008, Wii) • Mario Kart 7 (2011, 3DS) • Mario Kart Arcade GP DX (2013, Arcade) • Mario Kart 8 (2014, Wii U)
| Mario Party series
||Mario Party (1998, N64) • Mario Party 2 (1999, N64) • Mario Party 3 (2000, N64) • Mario Party 4 (2002, GCN) • Mario Party-e (2003, GBA) • Mario Party 5 (2003, GCN) • Super Mario Fushigi no Korokoro Party (2004, Arcade) • Mario Party 6 (2004, GCN) • Mario Party Advance (2005, GBA) • Super Mario Fushigi no Korokoro Party 2 (2005, Arcade) • Mario Party 7 (2006, GCN) • Mario Party 8 (2007, Wii) • Mario Party DS (2007, NDS) • Mario Party Fushigi no Korokoro Catcher (2009, Arcade) • Mario Party 9 (2012, Wii) • Mario Party: Island Tour (2013, 3DS) • Mario Party 10 (2015, Wii U)
||Mario Baseball series
||Mario Superstar Baseball (2005, GCN) • Mario Super Sluggers (2008, Wii)
| Mario Golf series
||Golf (1984) • NES Open Tournament Golf (1991, NES) • Mario Golf (1999, N64) • Mario Golf (1999, GBC) • Mobile Golf (2001, GBC) • Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour (2003, GCN) • Mario Golf: Advance Tour (2004, GBA) • Mario Golf: World Tour (2014, 3DS)
|Mario Strikers series
||Super Mario Strikers (2005, GCN) • Mario Strikers Charged (2007, Wii)
|Mario Tennis series
|| Mario's Tennis (1995, VB) • Mario Tennis 64 (2000, N64) • Mario Tennis (2000, GBC) • Mario Power Tennis (2004, GCN) • Mario Tennis: Power Tour (2005, GBA) • Mario Tennis Open (2012, 3DS) • Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash (2015, Wii U)
||NBA Street V3 (2005, GCN) • SSX on Tour (2005, GCN) • Mario Hoops 3-on-3 (2006, NDS) • Mario Sports Mix (2010, Wii)
|| Mario & Sonic series
||Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (2007, Wii) • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (2007, NDS) • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (2009, Wii) • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (2009, NDS) • Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (2011, Wii) • Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (2012, 3DS) • Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games (2013, Wii U) • Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (2015, Wii U) • Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (2015, 3DS)
| Super Smash Bros. series
|| Super Smash Bros. (1999, N64) • Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001, GCN) • Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008, Wii) • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (2014, 3DS) • Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (2014, Wii U)
||Mario Teaches Typing (1991, MS-DOS) • Super Mario Bros. & Friends: When I Grow Up (1991, MS-DOS) • Mario is Missing! (1993) • Mario's Time Machine (1993) • Mario's Early Years! Fun with Letters (1993) • Mario's Early Years! Fun with Numbers (1994) • Mario's Early Years! Preschool Fun (1994) • Mario Teaches Typing 2 (1996, MS-DOS)
||Super Mario Bros. Print World (1991, MS-DOS) • Mario Paint (1992, SNES) • Mario no Photopi (1998, N64) • Mario Artist: Paint Studio (1999, N64DD) • Mario Artist: Talent Studio (2000, N64DD) • Mario Artist: Communication Kit (2000, N64DD) • Mario Artist: Polygon Studio (2000, N64DD)
||Mario & Wario (1993, SNES) • Yoshi's Safari (1993, SNES) • Undake30 Same Game (1995, SFC) • Mario's Game Gallery (1995, MS-DOS) • Mario's Picross (1995, GB) • Mario's Super Picross (1995, SFC) • Donkey Kong (slot machine) (1996, Arcade) • Picross 2 (1996, GB) • Excitebike: Bun Bun Mario Battle Stadium (1997, Satellaview) • Mario's FUNdamentals (1998, MS-DOS) • Mario Pinball Land (2004, GBA) • Super Mario Fushigi no Janjan Land (2003, Arcade) • Yakuman DS (2005, NDS) • Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix (2005, GCN) • Itadaki Street DS (2007, NDS) • Fortune Street (2011, Wii) • Nintendo Land (2012, Wii U) • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (2014, Wii U) • Super Mario Maker (2015, Wii U) • Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition (2015, 3DS)