Emulating classic games and consoles is not a new concept. There have been emulators for some of the older consoles available as open source projects online for over 10 years. These options have typically been buggy or illegal, but always served to prove that our high power modern devices are that much more powerful than the consoles of the past.
Nintendo has just announced that they will be offering classical Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and GameBoy Advance (GBA) games for download on their new Wii U console. More specifically, users will be able to download and play these classic games on either the Wii U console OR the Wii U control pad alone. This update, coming in the spring, will allow the Wii U Pad to become it’s own game system, separate from the full console. Unfortunately, you still can NOT leave the house with the Wii U Pad, really taking away some of the benefit of this service. Nonetheless, people can relive the fascinating Mario and Zelda games in all of their 8 – 16 bit glory!
When the service launches this spring, only NES and SNES games will be available at first, with GBA games coming later this year. NES games are to be priced at $4.99 to $5.99 USD at launch, and SNES games will be $7.99 to $8.99. If the user has previously purchased a classic game on the original Wii console, they will be able to re-purchase the game on the Wii U for $1.00 for NES games and $1.50 for SNES games. This seems like a bit of a rip off considering the user already purchased the game once, but at least it is highly discounted and the user is not forced to pay full purchase price a second time.
As an added bonus, There will be a sort of social interaction available so you can interact with friends and potentially play the classic games in a multiplayer mode. While all of the details have still yet to be explained, it seems that this is Nintendo’s way of attracting the older generation of gamers to their new console, which until now has been aimed at younger or more casual gamers. It’s a bold strategy, and it’s just crazy enough to work.
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