8-Bit Sega fans may have another way to enjoy their classics. Master System and Game Gear games will be availible on the Nintendo Wii’s Japanese Virtual Console service in February and should also be coming to the rest of the planet soon after. Personally, I find it interesting that the Game Gear actually beat the Gameboy to the Virtual Console as the first portable system on the service, but I suppose that is due to the fact that the Game Gear hardware is essentially the same as the Master System.
Pricing for the games will be 500 points ($5 USD) or 600 points for licensed games. This pricing puts it on the same level as the NES, but it will be interesting to see how sales compare as the SMS/GG library is significantly smaller and not nearly as popular.
Personally, I can only think of a small handful of titles that I would pay $5 for a digital copy of , primarily Phantasy Star, Golden Axe Warrior, and Defenders of Oasis. (I’d pay more for the original, physical copies, and many Master System games are already cheap) But perhaps those that grew up with the Master System or Game Gear would have more nostolgic favortites that they would pick up.
The three import Shining Force Gaiden games would be interesting if translated to English, but I can’t help but wonder if the upgraded and localized versions would later show up in the form of Sega CD downloads via Shining Force CD (which would probably also be cheaper than three separate Game Gear downloads).
I guess I shouldn’t complain too much as an easy and legal way to play classic games on modern hardware should be commended. Keep it up Sega — I look forward to seeing 32X and Sega CD on the Virtual Console soon! 🙂