Officials from Nintendo Of America have announced plans to launch the hundredth retro title for the Wii’s virtual console on June 4th, with the scheduling of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
– originally released for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1988.
According to Nintendo of America’s own figures users have downloaded more than 4.7 million games for the virtual console since the service’s launch on November 19th, 2006 – a rate of more than 1,000 games every hour.
Although no specific sales figures are given for individual titles, the five best selling games have been Super Mario Bros.
(NES), Super Mario 64
(Nintendo 64), Mario Kart 64
(Nintendo 64), Super Mario World
(Super NES) and The Legend of Zelda
Despite signs of interest in the concept from Nintendo, there are currently no original downloadable titles available for the Wii, which is only able to store files on 512MB of internal flash memory or on external SD memory cards.
Generally three to four new titles, for formats currently including the NES, Super NES, Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis (aka Mega Drive) and TurboGrafx-16 (aka PC Engine), are release every Monday, although only Zelda II
has so far been announced for June 4th. Other formats such as the MSX and Neo-Geo have been hinted at for the future, in Japan at least.
"With an Internet connection rate reaching 40 percent, Wii owners have more options than ever to find the kinds of games they love to play," said George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications.
"Beyond the Wii Shop Channel, all types of people are getting connected and checking out the information and entertainment options available on the Wii Menu. Whether voting, creating a Mii or just checking the weather, everyone has a favorite channel."