Friday, January 25, 2008

Virtual Console Games Slow to a Crawl; Master System Added to the Roster

Good news and bad news for the Virtual Console. First the good news. Sega's Master System will be added to the console roster next month in Japan. Good news, of course, if only because that means we get to play Phantasy Star, Golvellius and Outrun again. Oh, and maybe Impossible Mission if we're lucky.

Bad news is the ever-slowing pace of new VC releases. The number of games that appear each week has dropped to two, and we're seeing weaker and weaker titles at every turn. It's becoming clear that most of the best games - the big sellers - are already out. And too many great games are left in legal limbo, as their developers or publishers went belly-up. There's a reason you haven't seen any of Technosoft's games.

Nintendo's also running up against two major hurdles where Virtual Console is concerned: the high price of individual games, and the serious lack of storage space. If they're smart, they should dramatically lower the cost of downloading games (I'd switch to a 99-cent model, ala iTunes), and allow users to save on SD cards.

Then again, I'm a committed Wii-theist. I don't believe the Nintendo Wii even exists.

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