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 offered differing coverage as to what games they featured. The Virtual Console has since been retired, with the currently available Nintendo Switch offering classic games with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. The currently supported consoles on this service are NES, SNES and Game Boy/Game Boy Color with the base package, with N64, GBA, and Sega Genesis costing extra as part of the Expansion Pack.
List of consoles on Virtual Console
|Platform||Wii||Wii U||Nintendo 3DS|
|NES / Famicom|
|SNES / Super Famicom|||
|Sega Master System|
|Game Boy Color|
|Game Boy Advance|||
|Sega Game Gear|
- Wii U can play them in Wii Mode
- Only available on New Nintendo 3DS
- Only available on Japanese 3DS systems
- 10 Game Boy Advance games were released for members of the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program. They were not released otherwise.
- Only available in Japan.
- Only available in North America and PAL regions. All games were removed from the Wii Shop Channel in August 2013.
In the Super Smash Bros. series
A majority of the Masterpieces featured in Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U work via the Virtual Console engine. In addition, all Masterpieces are timed, and when the timer runs out, the player is told about how the full version could be purchased for the Virtual Console.
Unusually, Smash 4 features Masterpieces of Game Boy titles, which were not supported by the Wii U's Virtual Console. As a result, players are told about how they could 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 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 discontinuation of the Wii Shop Channel on January 30, 2019 made the game legitimately unavailable.
Due to lack of N64 controller support and significant performance issues like frame-skipping, the Virtual Console version of Smash 64 is not used for tournament play. Players use the original Nintendo 64 hardware for in person tournaments or Project 64k for online events.
- Virtual Console - Official Virtual Console site