Nintendo Wii U buyers can now download GameBoy Advanced games like Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga to play on their console, fulfilling a promise Nintendo made to users to bring even more games they love to the troubled console.
Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga arrived in the Nintendo eShop earlier today, where Wii U owners can purchase the popular GameBoy Advance mobile game for just $7.99. Like other Mario titles, users spend time in the game fighting against the Mushroom King so that Princess Peach can continue running her kingdom. Advance Wars and Metroid Fusion are joining the game in the shop today.
Nintendo bringing GameBoy Advance games to the Wii U is huge. Today, the console’s store is a bit light on games for users to get excited about. The hope is that the Wii U Virtual Console will get longtime Nintendo fans excited for the console, which has been struggling for sales since its launch in 2012.
Games from past Nintendo systems are already available for users to download from the Nintendo eShop and play through the Wii U Virtual Console. The line-up includes 75 different games from the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Nintendo Super Entertainment System. Nintendo also has seven more games from the GameBoy Advance making their way to the system as well. They include Kirby and the Amazing Mirror and Super Mario Brothers 3.
All told, the Wii U’s Virtual Console capabilities are just what the console needs to start snagging users away from other consoles, or at least convince fans on the sidelines to pick one up. It’s the only current generation gaming system that features any sort of backwards compatibility and as long as Nintendo keeps adding to the catalog it’ll become an even bigger reason to pick up the console. That should continue for the forseeable future. Nintendo has publicly stated that it already has plans to introduce Nintendo 64 and Gamecube games to the system at some point.
By comparison, neither Microsoft’s Xbox One or Sony’s PS3 console allow users to play older games that haven’t been ported to the console. Sony’s PS Now service will allow users to play PS3 titles that are streamed from Sony’s servers. It has yet to launch in the United States.