During Nintendo’s most recent Nintendo Direct, they announced that Wii games will be released on the WiiU eShop digitally. These downloadable Wii games can be played right from the WiiU main menu without needing to boot up the disc from the Wii Channel. Further, if you did a data transfer from Wii to WiiU, save files from these Wii games will work with these digital re-releases without any extra effort.
Nintendo already released Super Mario Galaxy 2 for an introductory price of $9.99. This low cost download will then revert back to $20 after this intro price point is expired. Punch-Out!! and Metroid Prime Trilogy are set to be released in the coming weeks, also for an introductory price of $9.99. Considering that Metroid Prime Trilogy carries a heavy price at used retailers and eBay, this will be the best and cheapest way to play these three fan favorite Metroid titles.
Having Wii games released digitally opens the door for many possibilities. First, this gives players a convenient and low-cost way to play games they might have missed the first time around. Metroid Prime Trilogy is a great example. Originally released in limited supply, finding this Wii title out in the wild is rare but provides players an easy way to play all three Metroid games in one place, remastered with Wii Remote controls. Having the opportunity to buy this game for only $10 means the quality fiercely outweighs the price and any WiiU owner should consider this purchase when it becomes available in a couple of weeks.
Secondly, these digital Wii games could one day become a part of the Club Nintendo program. While Nintendo has yet to introduce GBA games as part of their monthly digital game rotation, just having these games available again could allow for more variety in this giveaway program. Or if not monthly, then perhaps one or more of these digital Wii games could be given away to Gold or Platinum members when the program ends each summer.
Third, this could allow 3rd party developers and publishers to re-release their games. It worked for the Virtual Console so limiting these Wii re-releases to only 1st party titles would leave money on the table for Nintendo. There are plenty of games WiiU owners would want to experience like No More Heroes, Castlevania Judgement, A Boy And His Blob, or Geometry Wars Galaxies. However, there is one major problem regarding re-releasing Wii games – all online functionality has been shut down. The Nintendo WiFi connection was shut down quite a while ago for all original DS and Wii titles. If developers are so inclined, perhaps these digital releases could be patched, outfitted with new online capabilities. Although it is unlike this will happen, the possibility could potentially be there to experience these games as originally intended.
Finally, if Wii games can be re-released digitally, then hopefully Gamecube titles will follow soon too. The Wii was fully backward compatible with Gamecube games and with the Gamecube controller adapter accessory available (if you were lucky enough to find one), the GC library could be opened to a new set of gamers. But like trying to access the online functionality of Wii games, GC games will also have their set of troubles like being released on an HD platform when the GC was not HD. However, the Virtual Console has addressed these issues of screen ratio and resolution so it shouldn’t be as big of a deal. But can you image playing Mario Kart Double Dash!!, Metal Gear Solid The Twin Snakes, Smash Bros Melee, or Super Monkey Ball in HD on your WiiU? Or wouldn’t it be super cool if The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventure was re-released and made compatible with wireless 3DS connectivity instead of being tethered to a short GBA-to-GC link cable?
It would not be wise to hold your breath waiting for some of these features but having Nintendo acknowledge their Wii library with WiiU re-releases is definitely a step in the right direction.
In no particular order, here is a list of Wii games that will hopefully make it to the WiiU eShop:
Endless Ocean and Endless Ocean: Blue World
Kirby’s Return to Dreamland
Kirby’s Epic Yarn
Conduit and Conduit 2
Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn
The Last Story
New Super Mario Bros.
Sin and Punishment Star Successor
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Tatsunoko Vs Capcom: Ultimate All Stars
Mario Kart Wii
And the games on this list HERE.
Let us know which Wii games you would like to see be released on to the WiiU eShop in the comments below or in our forums.