I like my WiiU. I like playing games on it, exploring MiiVerse, and looking at other usersí hideous Mii creations at the Plaza. I like how the GamePad feels in my hands and I like the fact that I can switch the TV on and off with it. So, I like my WiiU. But I donít love it. Not yet, anyway.
One of the main reasons I donít love my WiiU is that Nintendo is giving me very little excuse to actually use it - in the 3 months since its release, there have been precisely 0 new eShop releases. Aside from a few titles such as Chasing Aurora, most of the other eShop titles available from launch are either ports (admittedly HDíed up such as Mighty Switch Force!, originally a 3DS game) or available on other systems. Come January 22nd, Double Fine will release The Cave, the first new Wii U eShop title since launch, but even then that isnít an exclusive.
Even the consoles retail release schedule has been thinner than most were expecting - especially as Nintendo has announced that four of its most anticipated titles, Pikmin 3, Game & Wario, The Wonderful 101 and Wii Fit U are all delayed until further notice. There are still some belters to come, such as Rayman Legends, Lego City: Undercover and Bayonetta 2, but on the whole there are precious few worthwhile WiiU titles out there.
A slight kick in the teeth that few were expecting was the curious quirk of only allowing Wii titles (and Wii eShop downloads) to be played via a ďWii ChannelĒ - presumably this is to prevent the Wii U being pirated as widely as its predecessor. While this does allow Wii owners access to their digital downloads there is a lot of faff involved, and it certainly isnít an ideal situation.
Something I have been mulling over the past few weeks (mostly as I stared longingly at the meagre collection of eShop games) is the possibility of making DS games available on the Wii U via the Virtual Console. This wouldnít have been possible on the Wii due to a lack of dual screens and touch controls, but that would all be negated now that the GamePad exists. The more I think about it, the more I can't think of any reasons not to: why not make the best of Nintendoís vast library of DS games available on the Wii U eShop? It would give players something to delve into while they wait for new Wii U titles, and would be a relatively easy process - certainly less time consuming than making new games. Titles like Advance Wars: Dual Strike, Chrono Trigger and Nintendoís own first-party DS releases would be a welcome addition in my opinion.
While I'm sure many will point out that the DS is still being manufactured, and therefore availability of the handheld's games on the eShop would diminish interest in the DS itself, (and to an extent, the 3DS as it features backwards compatibility) I would counter with the fact that Wiis are still being made and yet it is possible to play original Wii games on the Wii U. Besides, I doubt that those who buy new 3DS's are specifically purchasing them to play original DS games, and having DS games on the Wii U eShop would just provide an additional revenue stream for those titles.
The only other problem would be image quality - scaling the top DS screen up to 32inch+ TV sizes would most likely render the image looking a little worse for wear. Nevertheless, similar things have emerged from Nintendo - the Game Boy Player for the Gamecube console did effectively the same thing, only with a GBA. That system had a 240x160 display, and the DS just pips it at 256x192. If Nintendo are happy with a 240x160 display scaled up to TV sizes, then I can't imagine them worrying about DS resolutions.
The dedicated Wii U virtual console has suffered a fair few setbacks and has been delayed much longer than most hoped, but Nintendo have reassured gamers that it is still in development and will definitely be included (though when that will be is not known yet.) There is such a rich back catalogue of Nintendo games to be explored, and the companyís DS games could provide a vital source of entertainment for the Wii U. I really donít understand the aversion console manufacturers have to making their legacy titles available on current gen consoles - look at how long it took Sony to put PS1 classics on the Vita, and that was something even the PSP could do.
If DS games were made available for purchase on Wii U, I could list 10 titles Iíd buy immediately. Perhaps they won't become available until after the DS is discontinued, or perhaps Nintendo will just confine DS emulation to its future handhelds. Pipe dream or not, I really, really want to love my Wii U, and having DS games available for purchase could very well be the clincher.
LAG has reached out to Nintendo for comment and we will update this article if any news is unearthed.