home > editorial > happening > Pre-E3: The Virtual Console and Wii
GamesFirst! Online since 1995

View Image Gallery

Pre-E3: The Virtual Console and Wii
posted by: RJ Brooks
publisher: Nintendo
view related website
date posted: 01:30 PM Sat May 6th, 2006
last revision: 01:35 PM Sat May 6th, 2006

Click to read.E3 is upon us. The buzz has been steadily building as the show nears. While no one is expecting anything but the best from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, this year is proving to be pivotal for all three, as by the end of the year all three companies will have released their next generation systems unto the world.

With Microsoft being the first out of the gate, the challenge they now face is continuing and building interest in their Xbox360 as competition arrives. For Sony, it is maintaining their dominance despite the year ahead lead that Microsoft has, and the rumored high price tag of their super-computer-do-all PS3. Then, there is Nintendo...

Once the company to beat in terms of game system domination, times have changed since the entrance of both Sony and Microsoft in recent years. Now Nintendo, in America, is third. Despite their position, they have refused to give up. Instead, they have taken a new direction with the Nintendo Revolution, aka Wii.

Rather than pushing system specs as the selling point like Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo, has concentrated on the innovation of Wii\'s system capabilities. One of these capabilities is Wii\'s online download game service, which will allow users access to every Nintendo game ever released on Nintendo, Super Nintendo, and Nintendo 64, as well as other retro-games from 3rd party developers.

Not much information has been given about Wii\'s \"Virtual Console\" --as Nintendo calls it,-- aside from the possibilities it opens up to users, and that it will be ready to go when Wii is placed on the market. The results of their announcement has since had major ramifications with both Sony and Microsoft announcing similar arrangements with 3rd party developers to provide retro-games in the same manner.

Why is this being mentioned in relation to E3? Because with only a few months away from the initial rumored release date, details such as the Virtual Console\'s interface, full capabilities, pricing, etc have yet to be released.

Even more important than those details are the games that will be available. Despite Nintendo\'s announcement from over a year ago, as well as the release of the news that both Sega and Hudson will be providing software from their Sega Genesis and Turbo Graphix 16 libraries respectively, an actual list of games has yet to be seen. It is clear that Nintendo has been purposely keeping this list quiet for a major announcement-and what place would be better than the largest electronic gaming exposition in the world a few months before the release of the system?

Nintendo\'s strategy of presenting their system is something to admire. Despite their lack of success against their competitors over the years, they have been able to completely reshape their image with Wii and show how the quiet, smaller competitor can take away some serious steam from its bigger competitors. Could Nintendo potentially overshadow both Microsoft and Sony at E3 this year-it is very possible, and if there is anything that Nintendo has proven during this next generation console war is not to disregard them.

Click images for larger version

Click for larger. Click for larger. Click for larger. Click for larger. Click for larger.