Wii Hands-On: Wii Virtual Console
Another great reason to get your hands on Wii.
At the tail end of Nintendo's Wii booth at E3 was a kiosk getting a lot of attention. The kiosk was marked Virtual Console. Perhaps one of the best reasons for many gamers to buy Nintendo's hot new toy is the impressive selection of Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis, and TurboGrafix 16 games at their fingertips. No need to spend megabucks on eBay for old systems or download messy illegal emulators. Just select your game and download direct to Wii.
Playable classics on the Wii included one signature title from each deceased console. Super Mario Bros, Super Mario World, Super Mario 64, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Bonk's Adventure were all on the menu. While the game selection menu was tentative, it was clean and simple with an image of the dead console behind the game. Exactly what you would expect a virtual console to look like. But the games looked even better than we remembered in some cases.
Super Mario 64 looked as good as ever, but certainly showed its age with Super Mario Galaxy just a few steps away. Even so, it only took us a moment to get lost in the nostalgia, a perfect example of why the Virtual Console is an important part of Nintendo's future business. After several exhausting play tests we concluded that the games ran perfectly on the Wii hardware, proving that the emulation is solid, and that the Wii is at least as powerful as TurboGrafix 16.
The highlight of the Virtual Console play test was the hybrid controller, a perfect blend of every controller ever made. Just looking at the thing made us happy inside. Holding it was even better as it manages to feel natural when used with sidescrollers, something that never happened for us when playing Sonic the Hedgehog on the Gamecube in Sonic Mega Collection.
The Virtual Console will be many gamer's deciding factor when considering the purchase of a Wii. And we have to say that it's a much cleaner, and hopefully much cheaper alternative to the many compilation games out there.
Staff Writer, Kikizo.com