Virtual Console

Virtual Console is a section of the Nintendo eShop that sells retro games. It is accessible on the Revolution, Game Boy 3DS, and Stream in various forms.


The Virtual Console was first announced at E3 2006, when it was announced that Nintendo, including the newly acquired Hudson Soft, was working to bring their best classic games to the Revolution.

Super Mario 64

The first N64 game on the service.

The Virtual Console was the original component of the Nintendo eShop, launching with the Revolution in late 2006. It featured NES, SNES, TurboGrafx, and Nintendo 64 games. These four platforms would be the mainstay of the Virtual Console, each contributing dozens of titles, with arcade games only arriving in early 2009, and only appearing scarcely afterwards.

Early on, the Virtual Console received many titles, with over 100 from various systems being available by the end of 2007. However, the flow of titles slowed drastically afterwards, with a mere four games being released in 2012. This was arguably due to a large portion of Nintendo's library being released at an early date, with 20 games being released during the last few weeks of 2006 alone. However, some critics say that the company had done a poor job recruiting smaller companies to re-release their games.

Super Mario Land

The Game Boy 3DS launched with a Virtual Console in March 2012. Although it would also come to feature NES games, the focus was put on Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles, with the original Game Boy launch lineup being available on launch day in some territories. The 3DS's emulator is more advanced than the Revolution's, featuring functions such as save states and a reset option.

The Stream's Virtual Console is functionally identical to that of the Revolution, being fully backwards compatible. Nintendo has announced that they would be "optimizing" certain games in the future, but has yet to describe what this would entail. Nintendo has also announced that they would be re-releasing GameCube games eventually.


The Virtual Console has fairly consistent pricing, usually based on a game's platform of origin.

  • $4 for Game Boy games
  • $5 for NES games
  • $5 to $10 for arcade games
  • $6 for Game Boy Color games
  • $8 for SNES games
  • $8 for TurboGrafx-16 games
  • $10 for N64 games
  • $15 for GameCube games

Note that up to $2 might be added due to a game's localization costs or other factors. Prices are similar in other countries.

List of Companies with Virtual Console Games

See Also

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