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Wii U Virtual Console will be compatible with the GamePad in the future

Iwata reveals new Wii U info in special Nintendo Direct

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has said that Nintendo are planning a Wii U Virtual Console that will be compatible with the Wii U GamePad, but don't expect it at launch.

Speaking during a new Nintendo Direct broadcast, Iwata once again confirmed that you'll only be able to play Wii, WiiWare and Virtual Console games on your TV rather than the Wii U GamePad screen.

Iwata is reported to have said it was unfortunate that these games couldn't be played on the GamePad screen but Nintendo does have plans for the Wii U Virtual Console in the future.

Iwata said: "We understand that there are people who were looking forward to playing Wii games, Virtual Console games, and so forth on the GamePad, but unfortunately we cannot accommodate those users' expectations.

"There are plans for a Wii U Virtual Console that will be compatible with the Wii U GamePad. Please look forward to it in the future."

We will look forward to it Mr Iwata.

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  1. shy guy 64 Wednesday 14th Nov 2012 at 13:55

    its hardly a terrible loss

  2. K-tet Wednesday 14th Nov 2012 at 14:10

    The biggest news is the media issue. Be sure to have a separate article for that please. I can contribute greatly to that discussion.

    As for this, I have a feeling that the Wii U Virtual Console will eventually include every Wii Virtual Console title anyway. It'll just be a simple migration. Once that's done, you'll be able to play your VC games on the Game Pad. It's no loss and no real hardship. It'll just be a simple update to the games you've already got and hey presto, you can play them on the Game Pad. No issue.

  3. mushroomchow Wednesday 14th Nov 2012 at 14:11

    The joys of updatable firmware! Looking forward to it.

  4. tomonm Wednesday 14th Nov 2012 at 14:13

    The biggest news is the media issue. Be sure to have a separate article for that please. I can contribute greatly to that discussion.

    As for this, I have a feeling that the Wii U Virtual Console will eventually include every Wii Virtual Console title anyway. It'll just be a simple migration. Once that's done, you'll be able to play your VC games on the Game Pad. It's no loss and no real hardship. It'll just be a simple update to the games you've already got and hey presto, you can play them on the Game Pad. No issue.

    The media issue. I'm waiting for things to be confirmed by Nintendo on that. I've read a translation but the numbers I've seen don't really add up for me.

  5. MartinIsAwesome Wednesday 14th Nov 2012 at 14:27

    I'll be looking forward to playing Virtual Console console games on the GamePad. There's something exciting about being able to play Super Street Fighter II and Super Mario World in their original form on a decent sized personal screen.

  6. K-tet Wednesday 14th Nov 2012 at 15:00

    The media issue. I'm waiting for things to be confirmed by Nintendo on that. I've read a translation but the numbers I've seen don't really add up for me.


    I'll be happy to help you here Tom.

    Apparently the Wii U can only read 2TB of external data. Even if you're using a hard drive bigger than 2TB, only 2TB can be seen by the Wii U. You can use any media you want to, but Nintendo do not recommend using small flash drives (e.g. 32GB) because they can be easily filled. Technically, it could also be due to how the Wii U reads the data from these external devices. Older and smaller flash drives can wear out quicker.

    If you want, I can PM you my deliberation on the whole issue if it helps. It's rather lengthy and would constitute an article discussion all on itself.

  7. barrybarryk Wednesday 14th Nov 2012 at 15:27

    Flash drives and SD cards will be too slow for games anyway, I wouldn't even bother trying (especially SD cards). The 2TB limit isn't really surprising (it's not limited to the Wii U) most PCs older than a year won't even boot off a 2TB+ drive. Though I think 2TB is a fairly excessive for a games console, even if all the games were 25GB you'd get nearly 80 games on there

    Some more info on the 2TB limit if you want it

  8. K-tet Wednesday 14th Nov 2012 at 15:44

    Flash drives and SD cards will be too slow for games anyway, I wouldn't even bother trying (especially SD cards). The 2TB limit isn't really surprising (it's not limited to the Wii U) most PCs older than a year won't even boot off a 2TB+ drive. Though I think 2TB is a fairly excessive for a games console, even if all the games were 25GB you'd get nearly 80 games on there

    Some more info on the 2TB limit if you want it


    The link's definitive, but not 100% true. Remember, exFAT and NTFS formatted drives/file partitions can exceed 2TB easily. If everything was limited to 2TB, NAS Boxes would not be able to hold such a huge amount of storage in the way that they do. I should know, I know someone who has an 8TB NAS box formatted to 5.45TB (with the correct RAID mirroring) that can be seen by all of their Windows and Mac devices.

    It's more to do with the fact that there are challenges with addressing data (integer word sizes), so you need to write code in a different way. This can be fixed with a future firmware update. I've already thrown in my deliberations (and will share them with everyone should you want to read the discussion), but you are right about read speeds, especially for older flash devices and flash devices such as pen drives. I don't think this applies to any external SSD as those are faster than external HDDs anyway (and as we know, the Wii U's internal storage is an SSD).

  9. barrybarryk Wednesday 14th Nov 2012 at 16:26

    Well no an external SSD is going to be more or less the exact same speed as an external HDD, they'll both be limited by the USB speed, faster random seek times but that's about it.

    Even most NAS boxes don't support HDDs bigger than 2TB, mine doesn't, you can use multiples of them and RAID them etc but the HDD limit is still there. For example I'd guess your friends 8TB NAS is 4x2TB HDDs

    Word sizes are to do the CPU addressing workable memory not backing storage (like the 4GB RAM limit on 32bit systems).
    For HDDs its all down to how the disks are indexed, how the partitions are formatted and the formats the system will accept. Yes it can be addressed in an update. Specifically by adding support for GPT disks, MBR disks are limited to 2TB, they wont ever be bigger, no matter what filesystem you use to format any partition on a MBR disk it will never be bigger than 2TB (or 2.2TB specifically).

    Windows does support GPT disks with partitions bigger than 2TB, as do most OS's, but as I said the vast majority of PCs wont boot off one because it's still an old BIOS limitation

  10. torterratrainer Wednesday 14th Nov 2012 at 16:28

    i sold GC double dash to pay for a wii u along with MH3 Mario galaxy 2 etc... all great games but lucky i'll be getting MH3Ultimate NSMBU and mario kart double dash on the virtual console!!!

  11. cmk8 Wednesday 14th Nov 2012 at 16:55

    "In the future?" - I don't get what the problem is, I'm sure there are plenty of people out there could program it so all VC games would play on the Gamepad, and make all 3DS virtual console 2 player games work properly.
    I don't get what the delay is.
    Grumpy because I wanted to play Super Mario RPG on my Gamepad on Christmas Day so I could ignore the tat on telly.

  12. ThePokekid78 Wednesday 14th Nov 2012 at 17:31

    All we need now is confirmation of Gamecube games for the Virtual Console! That would be the best thing ever...

  13. K-tet Wednesday 14th Nov 2012 at 19:55

    "In the future?" - I don't get what the problem is, I'm sure there are plenty of people out there could program it so all VC games would play on the Gamepad


    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v425/Tomatzu/headdesk.png

    The Wii U plays Wii software in 'Wii mode', just like how the 3DS plays all DSi and DS software in 'DSi Mode'. Wii doesn't (and never will) support the Game Pad, therefore why should Wii software running on Wii U support the Game Pad when Game Pad support on Wii doesn't exist?

    Seeing as all Virtual Console titles are apps (formerly channels by Wii's own nomenclature), they can easily migrate the entire Wii Virtual Console library over and add Game Pad support via a free update. Basic support is better than no support. Just remember this won't happen for WiiWare and actual Wii software, otherwise they might as well just be Wii U software.

    Windows does support GPT disks with partitions bigger than 2TB, as do most OS's, but as I said the vast majority of PCs wont boot off one because it's still an old BIOS limitation


    Sure, but I'm talking about an external data disk on an embedded system, not an internal disk in a PC.

    As of 2010 most current operating systems support GPT, although some (including Mac OSX and Windows) only support booting to GPT partitions on systems with EFI firmware, hence why you can't boot Windows from a 3TB disk without the EFI firmware update. You can apply the same GPT logic to a Wii U firmware update, but once again, it's due to software, not hardware, and because the Wii U is an embedded system, it can easily be updated. That's the crux of the argument.

    I could plug in an external 3TB data disk into my PC and Windows will happily read it as a data disk. If I plug that same disk into my Wii U, it only reads 2TB due to its firmware. The 3TB data disk is still 3TB in capacity, it hasn't magically lost 1TB (ala the 4GB RAM issue on 32-bit OS's, only 3GB is seen)! If Nintendo update the firmware to fix this issue in the future, problem solved. Also, if 2TB was the actual hardware limit, there wouldn't be a market for 3TB+ drives (which you can buy at any self-respecting computer hardware store).

    You clearly know your stuff, you just overlooked a simple fallacy. Great to have the debate though. ^^

  14. barrybarryk Wednesday 14th Nov 2012 at 20:18

    I didn't say it was a hardware issue, you did when you implied it was down to a word size limit or that it can be fixed by writing "code in a different way". It can't, it's just a driver problem, they either support the extended GPT format and block size options or they don't, no amount of clever programming can 'fix' it. I just mentioned it was common, very few devices bother supporting drives that big, try plugging one into a DVR, PS3, MP3 player etc you wont have much luck

    I'd love to know what "simple fallacy" I missed though ;)

  15. adamatsu Wednesday 14th Nov 2012 at 20:54

    Is the virtual console itself being moved in its entirety to the wii u eshop ? or are nintendo starting again with which old games you can download to the wii u ?

  16. 3DSRulesO.K Wednesday 14th Nov 2012 at 21:18

    There's no problem with 2TB, it's way more than enough, infact most people will only need around 64GB. (I would at least...)

  17. tomonm Thursday 15th Nov 2012 at 08:53

    The media issue. I'm waiting for things to be confirmed by Nintendo on that. I've read a translation but the numbers I've seen don't really add up for me.


    I'll be happy to help you here Tom.

    Apparently the Wii U can only read 2TB of external data. Even if you're using a hard drive bigger than 2TB, only 2TB can be seen by the Wii U. You can use any media you want to, but Nintendo do not recommend using small flash drives (e.g. 32GB) because they can be easily filled. Technically, it could also be due to how the Wii U reads the data from these external devices. Older and smaller flash drives can wear out quicker.

    If you want, I can PM you my deliberation on the whole issue if it helps. It's rather lengthy and would constitute an article discussion all on itself.

    Thanks. Yes, feel free to PM me your thoughts on the issue! I'd love to read it. I enjoyed your thoughts on the best Pokemon Generation the other day.

  18. deKay Thursday 15th Nov 2012 at 09:18

    Flash drives and SD cards will be too slow for games anyway,

    No, they won't. They'll be faster than the discs the games come on, and they're not too slow.

  19. deKay Thursday 15th Nov 2012 at 09:20

    There's no problem with 2TB, it's way more than enough, infact most people will only need around 64GB. (I would at least...)

    All 75 of my Wii games fit take up about 200GB of my 320GB hard drive, so even assuming Wii U games are 10 times the size (they're not) 2TB will be plenty.

  20. K-tet Thursday 15th Nov 2012 at 09:43

    Thanks. Yes, feel free to PM me your thoughts on the issue! I'd love to read it. I enjoyed your thoughts on the best Pokemon Generation the other day.


    Sure thing. I'm glad you enjoyed my deliberations on Pokémon. I'll PM you my thoughts on the issue right away.

  21. Panagiotis Thursday 15th Nov 2012 at 10:24

    i hope i don't have to buy my wii games again digital from the e-shop in order to be able to play them in my gamepad.

  22. deKay Thursday 15th Nov 2012 at 10:31

    i hope i don't have to buy my wii games again digital from the e-shop in order to be able to play them in my gamepad.

    You won't be able to play them on the gamepad at all.

  23. nintenu Friday 16th Nov 2012 at 12:52

    Great news ...at least its coming!!

  24. Panagiotis Friday 16th Nov 2012 at 12:55

    i hope i don't have to buy my wii games again digital from the e-shop in order to be able to play them in my gamepad.

    You won't be able to play them on the gamepad at all.

    Iwata said: "We understand that there are people who were looking forward to playing Wii games, Virtual Console games, and so forth on the GamePad, but unfortunately we cannot accommodate those users' expectations.

    it doesn't make sense to make the gamepad compatible with gamecubes games, super nintendo, nintendo 64 and NOT wii games.i hope you missunderstand something cause if i did and they plan to make it compatible with all games except the ones of the wii,I will cancel my wii-u preorder.

  25. deKay Friday 16th Nov 2012 at 13:32

    The Wii games are only playable in the Wii U's "Wii mode" (a sort of virtual Wii inside the Wii U). It's like how Gamecube games run on a Wii - you can't access any Wii U functionality from the Wii side just like you can't access Wii functions in GC games on the Wii. That means the Wii in the Wii U can't "see" Wii U specific features like the gamepad (or even the Pro controller).

    However, VC games may be updated to run from the Wii U in Wii U mode rather than in Wii mode (as they will do at launch), and so can make use of the gamepad and other Wii U features.

    Also note that at this time, the Wii U cannot run GC games at all. It's plausable you'll be able to download them on the VC, but it's almost guaranteed you'll never be able to run your GC games from disc - the Wii U has no GC controller ports for a start, and, as I pointed out, the Wii in the Wii U would run the GC games, not the Wii U itself.

  26. Panagiotis Friday 16th Nov 2012 at 13:42

    The Wii games are only playable in the Wii U's "Wii mode" (a sort of virtual Wii inside the Wii U). It's like how Gamecube games run on a Wii - you can't access any Wii U functionality from the Wii side just like you can't access Wii functions in GC games on the Wii. That means the Wii in the Wii U can't "see" Wii U specific features like the gamepad (or even the Pro controller).

    However, VC games may be updated to run from the Wii U in Wii U mode rather than in Wii mode (as they will do at launch), and so can make use of the gamepad and other Wii U features.

    Also note that at this time, the Wii U cannot run GC games at all. It's plausable you'll be able to download them on the VC, but it's almost guaranteed you'll never be able to run your GC games from disc - the Wii U has no GC controller ports for a start, and, as I pointed out, the Wii in the Wii U would run the GC games, not the Wii U itself.

    I am a bit confused, maybe its my bad English or maybe my lack of knowledge in these matters.can you please answer me if from what we know this far i am eventually gonna be able to play my wii physical games in wii u gamepad??

  27. deKay Friday 16th Nov 2012 at 15:17

    You will not be able to play your Wii physical games on the gamepad, no.

    Even if you could, how would you use the Wii remote pointer? Or the remote and nunchuk accelerometers separately?

  28. Panagiotis Friday 16th Nov 2012 at 15:31

    You will not be able to play your Wii physical games on the gamepad, no.

    Even if you could, how would you use the Wii remote pointer? Or the remote and nunchuk accelerometers separately?

    no idea, just think that it would be a good idea if i didn't need the tv to play again games like xenoblade cronicles or the last story.so dissapointed right now that this is not gonna happen.

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