Ben Herman, president of SNK Playmore USA, has confirmed that the publisher will be supporting the Wii virtual console with Neo-Geo AES games – with titles also due to appear on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 online services.
Herman had previously indicated
that the company was interested in supporting Nintendo’s virtual console, despite concerns over the file size of Neo-Geo AES games. Now, speaking in a new interview with consumer website IGN
, Herman indicated that SNK Playmore was in fact first approached by Nintendo, with a request to emulate the retro console on the Wii.
“The way it will work between what Nintendo will allow and what we want to do ourselves is that we're planning for a limited number of games each month over the course of a year," said Herman. "We don't want it to be sporadic with one game here, and two or three over the next few months. We really want to have a flow where there are a couple of games available each month, and we'll keep adding to the library that way.”
With some original Neo-Geo AES cartridges regularly going for over $100 between collectors, Herman indicated that the titles on the virtual console would be “just a little above” the 800 Wii Point ($8) cost of current SNES titles. The first titles are expected to appear, worldwide, from the middle of this summer.
Herman also indicated that the company would be releasing content on Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Home network, although he was less specific about the nature and timing of any such downloads.
With a total of one hundred and twenty different retro Neo-Geo game titles to draw on he also ruled out any original downloadable content in the near future, and also expressed that with full anthologies recently seeing retail console release, games like Metal Slug
would probably not be the first to hit the VC service.
Asked whether digital distribution would become a focus for the company in the future Herman answered: “The digital marketplace is growing. There are some exciting things going on - things that we'll be involved in that people are approaching us for, and just like other third parties and hardware manufacturers that give us an opportunity we'll certainly explore that and be a part of it.”
“Nobody is saying that it's the only way to go in the future - right now it's an added value opportunity - so we'll continue being a packaged goods, console supported third party publisher and developer. We have things right now that we're developing for the arcade that are in full high-def. Obviously that opens the possibility of bringing HD to the appropriate next-generation systems as well”, added Herman.