August 1, 2013 - The next big Wii U release is finally here! Pikmin 3 arrives in the Wii U eShop at midnight on Sunday, so be sure to have your wallets ready! Cloudberry Kingdom also arrives in the Wii U eShop this week, as well as Harvest Moon on the Virtual Console. Three 3DS eShop titles hit, as does the long anticipated Kirby's Dream Land 2. Disney Planes also arrives on the Wii U and 3DS eShops. Be sure to check out all of this week's updates at noon today in your favorite Nintendo digital storefront!
Wii U eShop
Disney Planes (available August 6) - Disney Interactive
Pikmin 3 (available August 4 at midnight) - Nintendo
Cloudberry Kingdom - Ubisoft, $9.99
Harvest Moon (Super Nintendo) - Natsume, $7.99
Disney Planes (available August 6) - Disney Interactive
Whelp, Harvest Moon and Cloudberry Kingdom for me. I got a 'buy 2 get 30% off' coupon as a printout from Target the other day, so I'm saving that for Pikmin 3 and Splinter Cell (Ubisoft-ugh, tell me about it) later in the month. Can't pass up $36 in savings, it seems.
HM64 never released on the VC for whatever reason. Maybe if enough people ask for it on Miiverse (ala Earthbound)...
Did Harvest Moon 64 save data to the cartridge, or to a Memory Card? If game saves were stored on a Memory Card, then that might explain why it never showed up on the Wii's Virtual Console. Nintendo never bothered to implement Memory Card storage on N64 VC games. Why?
Because Nintendo is lazy, and you don't care. [/Cassamassina]
@GameDadGrant Harvest Moon 64 saves to the cartridge, it's one of twelve Nintendo 64 games that still used a battery. There are currently no purely third-party N64 games on the VC, and we're coming up on seven years of the service's existence... I can't help but think that's more than a coincidence.
@GameDadGrant I wonder the same thing, and if I may sound like a conspiracy theorist for a bit... I get the feeling that Nintendo don't really want to remember the N64 era. Perhaps they see that as a mistake, and don't want to be reminded of it, which I would understand. I mean, the N64 isn't currently in the pipeline for the Wii U...
Now that said, emulating the Nintendo 64 isn't exactly easy. For one thing, its architecture is pretty goofy, even for the time, and things like the Expansion Pak and Controller Pak don't help. Even Nintendo have had trouble emulating these, as seen in the GameCube version of Majora's Mask. It's full of odd quirks due to emulation problems. Even PC emulators don't work 100% correctly for most N64 games, and PCs are much, much more powerful than a Wii, which is only about one generation ahead of the N64 hardware. Perfect emulation requires hardware that's several times more powerful than the hardware being emulated, and the Wii is right on the edge of that, so it may not even be able to handle every N64 game. And since Nintendo are selling these games, they need to ensure that they run 100% correctly, or close to it... When Star Fox 64 first went up, it actually ran at a faster speed until it was later patched.
The Wii U is certainly powerful enough to handle it though, so with any luck we'll finally see some more N64 games... eventually.
@Mr_Mustache What makes you say that? Did the batteries die?
Oh, 12 seems like so few. I guess because I have "so many," I figured there'd be a bunch more. Is there a list somewhere? *looking* Lets see.. Yep, both Zelda games, Ken Griffey Jr, Ogre Battle 64, Mario Golf, Smash Bros, Revenge, WrestleMania 2000, and WWF No Mercy isn't on here, but that also used a battery.
What is the REAL difference in the grand scheme of things? Is it SAFER? Less likely to stop working? I've heard that FLASH memory goes away after so many uses also, so I guess none of them are good in the long, long run?
You know, you may be on to something. The N64 was kind of a programming nightmare for developers - maybe making a proper emulator is equally challenging? If not more so. That may explain a lot. I mean, why else would there be so few games from that console NOT on the VC?
Hopefully N64 games come to the Wii U VC sometime down the line. There are still many, many games that I'm sure some out there would like to replay. (without busting out the old system itself)
@Mr_Mustache The only difference to the end user is that the games with batteries are limited by time, and the games with EEPROM and flash are limited by the number of writes (saves).
The battery is powering the save chip, so once the battery dies, the saves are lost and no new saves will be held. The good thing is that batteries can be replaced to get the game working like new again, unlike EEPROM or flash, which will be completely unusable once it wears out. How long the battery lasts depends on how much usage the game gets and how it's stored, so the range can be as little as five years or as long as thirty years, maybe more (my Legend of Zelda NES game still saves and that's 26 years old).
The EEPROM and flash chips inside N64 cartridges are estimated to last for at least 100,000 writes. That sounds like a lot to me, and I don't think any single person will save a single game that many times in their lifetime. By the time these games can't save anymore, it'll likely be difficult to find a working Nintendo 64... and probably a working TV that's capable of playing them, as the standard for cables and resolution will probably be far advanced past any method the N64 has.
The unfortunate thing is that Controller Paks use batteries also, they are essentially the same SRAM chip that's inside those twelve games encased in a memory card shell. So those saves will eventually be lost, but it should be possible to replace the battery in them as well.