Wii's Virtual Console Possibilities
Related Links to Wii
Written by Josh-December 28th, 2005
Updated: April 28th, 2006 with Wii name replacing Revolution

Many people, gamers and game makers alike, are excited about the possibilities of
the Wii. I mean, the controller opens up so many opportunities. First-Person
Shooter games will feel like a PC; maybe even better. I never got into PC gaming
because to keep up with the games, you have to keep upgrading your PC. That
obviously becomes very costly. With the Wii, many franchises will be able to get a
face lift, it's not just FPS. Real Time Strategy games will be very realized on the
new system, and any flying game, be it spacecraft or maybe just a game element,
can be controlled in real directions, by simply tilting the controller. I could go on
for a while, and it's probably best saved for another article. But what many seem
to forget is the download service.
Nintendo promised that owners of the system will be able to download past
Nintendo games. Nintendo is calling this download service the Virtual Console.
The Revolution is already backwards compatible with Gamecube games. That
means you could play every Nintendo game on one system. And virtually any
game is possible with the Virtual Console. All Nintendo has to do is have
publishers release the rights to their games and they could get in on it, too. That's
what happened recently when Sega and Hudson announced that their older games
will be available on the Virtual Console. Considering how many more companies
will ultimately sign onto this service it's a pretty cool thought. Now, this goes to
say that it will definitely cost something. You have to consider, though, that you
are simply downloading. That means Nintendo (and a publisher) doesn't have to
pay to manufacture the cartridge, or disc. They don't have to pay to ship it to a
warehouse or anywhere. This means no middle-man, and the profit would go right
to them. That means Nintendo could sell the game for a really small price. We
could be getting the same game as it was way back when, but what if Nintendo
could capitalize on the idea?
There are things that can be done to improve these games. Nintendo doesn't have
to stick with the same exact game. So instead of simply porting it, they could
actually update it in a meaningful way and also make it more suitable for today's
standard of gaming. I mean, obviously, NES and SNES games will never look 3D or
even close to today's games. Here I am going to outline everything Nintendo and
publishers could do to really spruce up the experience with these games!

1. Enhanced Graphics
This is the most obvious improvement. Nintendo has already ported one Nintendo
64 game for GCN, that being The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. But they
didn't just port it. They significantly increased the resolution, and added
Progressive Scan support. The game looks amazing. They could do this with
virtually every game, not just Nintendo 64 games. If they went the extra mile;
they could also try upgrading the models or details. I expect at least the resolution
update for every N64 game.

2. Rumble Support
This isn't a big deal, but it would be kind of cool to be able to play all the older
games with the controller vibrating. In Japan, Nintendo re-released Wave Race 64
and Super Mario 64 to feature Rumble Pak support, and nothing else. Hey,
Nintendo started the rumbling controller trend. It only makes sense that they
build on it. And one should realize that they can do this with any game, even SNES
and NES games. Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 had rumble support,
if played on Game Boy Player. It felt great, and brought the action to life.

3. Game Transfer
I would imagine that the Wii's download service would download games right to
your console. But what if you want to play that game at a friend's house? If they
have a Wii console, you wouldn't want to bring the system to their house. It is fact
that older games use very small space on a Memory Card, the Wii comes with 512
MB if internal memory. That's 8 times the size of a Memory Card 1019, and 16
times the size of Donkey Kong 64 game pak. Obviously, many game cartridges
have varying sizes, especially for Nintendo 64. Of course, SNES and NES are much
smaller that those. Anyway, Nintendo could allow you to move games onto a
Memory Card, that you could take and play at a friend's house. Of course, the
option of copying a game wouldn't be available. Then you'd be able to illegally give
your friend a copy of the game. So basically, as long as Nintendo could keep it
secure, it is a very possible idea.

4. Controller functionality
Here's an idea that will really make the games cool. When the media got to
preview the Wii controller, they played many test games, including Metroid Prime
2: Echoes. Many seemed to agree that playing the game with the controller felt
more real, and much better. Nintendo could do this with all past games, and really
make the most out of the controller. Of course, this also allows rumble support, if
they program it. This would take a lot more effort, but it would be really cool. It
has already been confirmed that games will use the new controller for normal
gameplay, but not necessarily the new controller's functions.

Another thing I just thought of: You can download games as soon as they are out.
That means no more going to the store and waiting in line, and wasting all that
gas money and time. As soon as the game is released, just buy it from home. That
leads to another thing.

5. Prepaid Games
Tired of convincing your parents to let them use their credit card? Over your own
credit card's limit? Obviously, Nintendo will have to accept something that can be
transferred digitally, and dollar bills sure aren't digital. Nintendo could offer
prepaid game cards that allow you to just use those, instead of credit cards or
anything else.

6. Free Downloads
This ties into the fifth one. New games could come with a pre-order bonus of a
free game. So when you pre-order Metroid Prime 3, you could get the original
Metroid game for free. Pretty cool idea.

7. Online Modes
This would be the best thing to see. Imagine playing Mario Party's Bumper Balls
or Mario Kart 64's Block Fort with three other people whenever you want online.
Because of the Wi-Fi service, these should be free modes to use. And if copyright
allows it, we could even be playing Goldeneye 007 online...

So there you have it! Bottom line, if you are buying Wii for the new games, you're
going to be pleasantly surprised by the older games, as well!
The Wii controller is seen here, with the
separate Control Stick attachment. It is one
major selling point of the next-gen console,
and opens many possibilities for future video
games.
The Legend of Zelda: ocarina of Time looked
even better on the GCN, thanks to enhanced
resolution. Imagine every N64 game like that!
Super Mario Bros. 3 had rumble support, with
a GCN controller. The same thing is possible
with any other game.
A sample SD Card, which can be used to save
files from Wii games and even games
downloaded from the Virtual Console.
Imagine playing past games like Metroid
Prime 2: Echoes with the functionality of the
new controller for Wii.
Block Fort from Mario Kart 64 could
potentially be played online with Wii and the
Virtual Console.