Game News

Sonic Games Being Removed From Japanese Wii Virtual Console

This is bound to set off those of you against digital download services. Over in Japan, developers are beginning to pull games down from Nintendo’s Virtual Console service on the Wii. On top of WiiWare titles from the now-defunct Hudson and Irem’s library, Sega is pulling several Sonic titles from the service.

According to a report by Japanese website Inside-Games, these titles include the Mega Drive’s Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic The Hedgehog 2,  and Sonic & Knuckles, as well as the Master System version of  Sonic The Hedgehog. The titles are expected to be off the service by the end of the month. It’s currently unknown if other titles will disappear as well or if they will remain up for a while longer.

This development certainly begs a few questions: for those that bought the games and aren’t privy to the homebrew side of the Wii, will they be able to access the titles for redownloading? More importantly, will such a move make its way over to Western shores? It’s too soon to say, but the move is no doubt very discouraging for Virtual Console supporters.

[Via Nintendo World Report]

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22 Comments

  • Reply

    My question is: WHY?

    • Reply

      No one knows for sure. I wouldn’t be surprised however if the companies aren’t finding it cost effective anymore to have the titles on the distribution system: not enough sales to justify the costs of keeping them up.

  • Reply

    It is really expensive to keep ROMs up.

  • Reply

    Do not forget the remote possibility of hardware problems. Wii programming is a bit like using Windows, as long as you are not restricted by Internal Operating System, you can do stuff many ways. Following the Uglier Wii, Nintendo could decide to leave out some hardware which was used ONLY by GC and/or emulators, not by discs.

    That said, I do not actually believe that as the most probable scenario. I think there is another reason that just nobody can’t find but is rather obvious once you know it.

  • Reply

    It has to have something to do with how they’re performing in the store. Then again, considering that the WiiU is around the corner, maybe they will redistribute them on that system instead? Either way, Virtual Console began to lose focus a couple of years ago, possibly an effort by Nintendo to improve floundering WiiWare sales. Overall though, I would fit the blame to Nintendo for not offering a better solution, which they probably couldnt due to the Wii’s limitations.

    I want the Virtual Console to make a bigger comeback. At least life begins anew for the Nintendo 3DS, but evev that remains to be seen how successful it is, considering that Nintendo is very quiet about their online sales.

  • Reply

    This is exactly why I like having hard copies of games.

  • Reply

    I should also say, I think I spent over $600 on the service. I regret nothing.

  • Reply

    They’re removing them from the Wii’s Virtual Console because they will soon be published on the Dreamcast II’s Virtual Console….

    A man can dream.

  • Reply

    Oh well…A Genesis and some Sonic games wouldn’t be a bad purchase, now wouldn’t it? Plus, the games are on Gamecube collections, so I’m not really too disappointed to see Sega do this.

  • Reply

    Well, I was rather “privy” in the Homebrew scene on the Wii. But I seek out the original format over downloading unless it’s on Steam.

  • Reply

    @stan423321
    The only thing they removed from the RVL-101 are the physical GameCube ports. Everything else is still there, including BC and MIOS.

    That having been said, licensed developers are actually quite restricted in what they can do with the system. The SDK enforces restrictions on what they can and can’t access, and forces almost all hardware access to go through IOS.

    Homebrew, on the other hand, can bypass everything by setting AHBPROT, and then inject fake disc code into IOS to make it load data from a hard drive while the game thinks it’s loading from disc. Kinda ironic that Nintendo’s “security” system ended up making it easier to pirate games.

  • Reply

    I really don’t see how having a ROM up on Virtual Console would be expensive, unless of course they need to keep paying Sonic 3/4rds of their money.

  • Reply

    Yes, you will be able to re-download your games. This has been confirmed multiple times.

  • Reply

    I wouldn’t worry too much regarding this. The Wii U’s virtual console will be a step up from the Wii’s and we could possibly see the return of these games. Maybe these companies are just preparing for Nintendo’s new online service. If not I guess it makes a little since to remove these games. They have been up for a while. People have had plenty of time to get them.

  • Reply

    This is why I have all the original Sonic games on my Genesis.

  • Reply

    well by your logic only the Japanese Wii will get the Dreamcast stuff, the title clearly says Sonic Games Being Removes From JAPANESE Wii Virtual Console

  • Reply

    Sonic isn’t very popular in Japan (atleast compared to elsewhere) so maybe that’s why.

  • Reply

    To be honest, I never would have imagined that any publisher might actually remove, or even had the option of, taking their software off of a downloadable service.

    It’s fair to say my trust in services like this have diminished. I mean, while the titles are still available to download for previous customers, the option is still removed to stop new and potentially interested buyers from seeing it. I still find double-standards like this disturbingly illogical.

    Not that I even care, the well-polished homebrew emulators on WiiBrew have way more features to brag about than the bare-bones, “play and forget” apps on the Virtual console. It was annoying as hell trying to run and jump at the same time on DK2 with a piss poor layout that the devs assumed would actually be comfortable with a GC controller. At least on Snes9xGL I could switch up those controls for comfort’s sake or even use the WiiMote, haha!

    • Reply

      The debs nevere assumed GameCube controls would be good for SNES games; consumers are supposed to buy the Class Controller. GameCube controller support was added, but Nintendo wanted to make money and provide a better controller.

  • Reply

    Oh well that sucks! hey maby they realise new games?

  • Reply

    Well if the US has to do it, then its a good thing I already got 3 and Knuckles downloaded.

  • Reply

    It’s not that Gamecube controller support was a complete afterthought on the developers part, there’s simply no way to modify the controls to your liking at all, even if you’re using the classic controller. (Which requires batteries from the power-guzzling WiiMote to stay on, so that really killed the appeal for me.) I stick to the GC controller on homebrew emulators for that reason, at least I don’t to worry about a bloody battery meter on that thing!

    I would have really preferred Nintendo reproduced the original controllers with built-in bluetooth adapters anyway, personally, because the “classic” controllers felt painfully too much like the DSLite for comfort. Would it have really killed them to clone the SNES controller shell’s design? At least that was ergonomic, and looked cool!

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