Nintendo's Virtual Console Choices Sure Are Strange

By Jason Schreier on at

Today, Nintendo released a new downloadable Wii game for Wii U. It’s not what you might expect—the new release isn’t Mario, nor is it Zelda. It’s Pandora’s Tower, a niche action game published by XSEED and released here for the Wii in 2013, way toward the end of the console’s lifespan.

Now, there’s anything wrong with Pandora’s Tower—by most accounts it’s a great action game—but man, Nintendo’s Virtual Console strategy continues to be baffling.

In January, Nintendo declared during a Nintendo Direct that they’d be releasing Wii games for download with native support on Wii U, starting with Super Mario Galaxy 2, the Metroid Prime trilogy, and Punch-Out. This was great news! Then nothing happened for six months.

No Zelda: Skyward Sword, no Zack & Wiki, no Donkey Kong Country Returns, and none of the other classic Wii games we saw over the past decade. Last month Nintendo released Kirby’s Return To Dream Land, and now, today, we get Pandora’s Tower, making for a total list of five Wii games you can buy digitally on the Wii U and play using the newer console’s features, like GamePad support.

Combine that with the paltry list of software for other consoles, the baffling lack of GameCube games, and the fact that there’s still no unified account system, and we’ve got a service that continues to be inadequate. Meanwhile, look at all the N64 games you can play on Xbox One!

Still, enjoy Pandora’s Tower.