The Virtual Console is one of 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. It currently only has video games from stationary consoles, mostly Nintendo's own NES, SNES (Wii and Wii U), and Nintendo 64 (Wii). Nintendo did not upload Nintendo GameCube games to the Wii 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 Virtual Console with Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, and Sega Master System.
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.
*Note: $10 eShop cards are only available at Best Buy 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 Remote - When turned sideways, it can be used as an NES substitute. It is also compatible with Sega Master System games.
- Classic Controller - Can play any game. It is made to fit the design of the SNES Controller.
- Nintendo GameCube controller - Can also play any game, but it is best compatible with N64 games.
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 onto the Wii U. Yoshi's Cookie for the NES has been delisted as well (except in South Korea).
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:
* 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 the following February.
Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program
All of these games are available as free downloads for consumers who purchased a 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. There are currently no plans to release the Game Boy Advance games, as listed below, to those who are not eligible to participate in this program.
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.
* 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.
- 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.
- Despite the GameCube controller having built-in force feedback, no N64 game supports the vibration feature (originally requiring a separate peripheral). Also, Mario Kart 64 required a Controller Pak to save ghost data, which the VC version does not support.
- Only NES titles support multiplayer; ones that have simultaneous multiplayer utilize 3DS Download Play while ones that only have alternating multiplayer are played on a single 3DS. To alternate players simultaneously press and to display a pair of NES controllers in the lower-right corner of the top screen; press while they are displayed to switch control between player 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 a Game Boy, Game Boy Color, or Game Boy Advance title 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. Applying any level of 3D will also give the game screen a little depth into the virtual console (it's the same depth no matter how high the 3D Slider is) and add to the illusion of playing on the actual console.
- Many games have been given the ability to create one save file each.
Although Nintendo has claimed they will keep all Virtual Console releases as true to the originals, they have made several changes to various games for certain reasons:
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
- The attacks Flame Wall and Static E! are both recolored to avoid the risk of seizures.
- For the PAL Virtual Console release, the offensive word "bugger" (used when Croco says "You're a persistent bugger") is replaced with the word "pest".
- Moleville has a notably darker color scheme.
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 was transparent rather than being dotted for unknown reasons.
Mario Kart 64
- When the 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.
- Saving ghost data is impossible, due to the lack of Controller Pak functionality.
- 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.
- The Ring Tournament mode in Special Games is removed, 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.
- 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 Wii 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.
- NES games include restore points and download play, though some didn't gain these features until they were released to the public.
Super Mario Bros.
- The color scheme is noticeably lighter than in the Wii and Wii U VC versions.
NES & SNES
- NES and SNES games include restore points, Wii U GamePad, and Miiverse support.
Icon from the Wii's Virtual Console.
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.
||Super Mario series
||Super Mario Bros. (1985, NES) • Super Mario Bros. Special (1986, PC88) • Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (1986, FDS) • Super Mario Bros. 2 (1988, NES) • Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988, NES) • Super Mario Land (1989, GB) • 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)
||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 Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (1992, GB) • Hotel Mario (1994, Philips CD-i) • 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, FDS) • Super Mario Bros. (1987, G&W) • Super Mario All-Stars (1993, SNES) • Donkey Kong (1994, GB) • 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)
|Role Playing Games
||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 Kart series
||Super Mario Kart (1992, SNES) • Mario Kart 64 (1996, N64) • Mario Kart: Super Circuit (2001, GBA) • Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (2005, 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 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 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 Superstar Baseball (2005, GCN) • Mario Hoops 3-on-3 (2006, NDS) • Super Mario Strikers (2006, GCN) • Mario Strikers Charged (2007, Wii) • Mario Super Sluggers (2008, Wii) • Mario Sports Mix (2010, Wii)
|| 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 / Wii U (2014)
| 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 (2011, 3DS) • Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games (2013, 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) • 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) • Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix (2005, GCN) • Itadaki Street DS (2007, NDS) • Fortune Street (2011, Wii)