The Wii U Virtual Console is the service on the Wii U eShop distributing classic Nintendo games as digital downloads. The service supports NES, SNES, N64, GBA and DS games with Japan supporting PC Engine and MSX additionally. Each game is wrapped in an emulator. Similar Virtual Console services were available on the Wii and 3DS. The pricing structure is based on local currency rather than Nintendo points and titles owned on the Wii can be upgraded for a fee.

Feature set


While simplistic, the emulators for NES and SNES games were advanced over their predecessors on the Wii with controls configuration, an actual save state and a simple way to access the emulator's settings by tapping on the screen


The GBA emulator isn't particular more complex, but it has a pixel smoothing filter toggle. The shortcut to this is clicking the right stick.


Nintendo DS

Titles offered

Each region is offered a different arrangement of titles

Changes from originals

Although Nintendo strives to re-release all games as close as possible to the original, there have been some changes to various games, both trivial and notable.


  • In Zelda II, the death animation was changed to have the screen only turn red with Link's silhouette instead of flashing red and black in order to reduce the risk of seizures.
  • Wrecking Crew was changed to include the ability to save custom stages, previously only available in the Famicom version.
  • Duck Hunt has been altered to compensate for the lack of the zapper. Instead, the player aims with the Wii Remote and a targeter appears on screen.
  • All NES games have a pixel filtering filter which causes a slight blur effect.


  • Donkey Kong Country
    • The blinding flash that occurs when Squawks faces the screen in Torchlight Trouble was removed to greatly reduce the risk of seizures.
  • Donkey Kong Country 2
    • The blinding flash that occurs when Glimmer faces the screen in Glimmer's Galleon was removed to greatly reduce the risk of seizures.


  • Mega Man Battle Network games have been updated to just give the player trade-exclusive chips


All N64 games, like the Wii Virtual Console, are rendered at 480p instead of the original 240p

  • Super Mario 64
    • During gameplay, the drop shadows located at the top and bottom of the screen have been removed and can only return if Mario loses all of his Health Points.
    • Chain Chomp's mouth is purple instead of red, possibly because the game in general is made a bit darker.
    • Vanish Mario appears purely transparent instead of being flickering in dithered colors for unknown reasons.
    • All slowdown and loading times have been removed, and the game is impossible to crash.
    • The sound is slightly quieter and sounds a bit muffled.
  • Paper Mario
    • The brightness of the light from the Super Block has been adjusted to avoid the risk of seizures.
    • The walls in the temple in Dry Dry Desert appear more curved in the Virtual Console version.
    • The Crystal King's clones are more transparent, making it easier to spot the real Crystal King.
    • Monstar has stars surrounding it in the Virtual Console version.
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