The Virtual Console (バーチャルコンソール, Virtual Console), sometimes abbreviated as VC, is a feature of the Wii, Nintendo 3DS, and Wii U that allows players to officially emulate games from older video game consoles. Supported by the Wii Shop Channel on the Wii and the Nintendo eShop on the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, the different consoles have differing coverage as to what games they feature.
List of consoles on Virtual Console
In the Super Smash Bros. series
A majority of the Masterpieces featured in Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U work via the Wii's Virtual Console engine. In addition, all Masterpieces are timed, and when the timer runs out, the player is told about how the full version can be purchased for the Virtual Console.
Unusually, Smash 4 features Masterpieces of Game Boy titles, which are not supported by the Wii U's Virtual Console. As a result, players are told about how they can download the two Game Boy titles, Kirby's Dream Land and Dr. Mario, on the Nintendo 3DS's Virtual Console.
Re-release of Super Smash Bros.
Super Smash Bros. was released onto the Wii Virtual Console for Japan on January 20, 2009, as to celebrate the ten years since the game's first release in Japan on January 21, 1999. It was later released to Europe and Australia on June 12, 2009, and later still, to North America on December 21, 2009. While not officially available for the Wii U's Virtual Console, the Virtual Console re-release of Smash 64 could still be purchased and played when the Wii U was running in Wii Mode. However, the game is no longer legitimately available for purchase since the discontinuation of the Wii Shop Channel as of January 30, 2019.
While the Virtual Console version of Smash 64 can be used in tournaments, its use is generally discouraged compared to using emulators such as Project 64k, or using the actual Nintendo 64 console. This is due to the limited support of controllers for the Virtual Console compared to either of the two previous options; furthermore, the Virtual Console port can suffer from frame-skipping, which can potentially disrupt players' inputs.