Prior to yesterdays Wii conference, only two third party developers were officially working to bring games to the Virtual Console (Hudson and SEGA). Now we can add a veritable plethora of developers to the mix. IGN reports that Nintendo President Satoru Iwata stated at the Japanese conference that we can look forward to 30 games releasing this year in America. That’s 30 great games to add to the collection of about 25 Wii titles that should be out by Christmas. Starting in 2007 Nintendo promises roughly 10 new games each month.
Approximate pricing was also announced. There seems to be a tiered structure with games costing $5, $8, or $10. Most likely this relates directly to NES, SNES, and N64 games. But as these prices are approximate, and third party developers are involved, the cost could fluctuate considerably within that range. While in no way confirmed, I’d imagine Nintendo would put a cap on the cost so you won’t be paying $35 for a Virtual Console game. Purchasing games will be done by the use of Wii points, which you can buy online or get from a pre-paid card at your local game store. It’s a similar system to Microsoft’s, which seems to be a good model so far.
Additionally, Iwata announced that titles from MSX arcade would join the NES, SNES, N64, Genesis and Turbo Grafx games. The Virtual Console is expected to become compatible with more systems in the future. Just imagine being able to play the crappiest Zelda game ever made…’Zelda’s Adventure’ for the Phillips CD-i. If that isn’t enough, original content is planned to be released in the future over the Virtual Console.
Take a look at the list of developers working with Nintendo; quite a few are top tier, some are…not.
Bandai Namco Games
HAL Laboratory Inc.