Virtual Console

The Virtual Console (Japanese: バーチャルコンソール Virtual Console) is a service for the Nintendo 3DS, Wii and Wii U that allows players to purchase games originally released on old consoles and play them on official Virtual Console emulators on newer systems. Virtual Console titles are purchased from the Wii Shop Channel (for the Wii) or the Nintendo eShop (for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U).

Virtual Console logo

On Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, the Virtual Console menu allows the player to create a single Restore Point for each game at any time. A Restore Point can be instantly created or returned to at any time. Unlike other games, the core series Pokémon games cannot use this feature.

The Virtual Console was succeeded by a feature on Nintendo Switch Online that allows subscribers to play a library of old games on their Nintendo Switch. Currently only Pokémon Snap, Pokémon Puzzle League, and Pokémon Stadium, Pokémon Stadium 2, and Pokémon Trading Card Game are available, but it requires the Expansion Pack tier of the subscription. Unfortunately, the Stadium titles not have a way to connect to the Game Boy games or Nintendo 3DS's Virtual Console.

Virtual Console titles on the Wii became unavailable after the Wii Shop Channel was discontinued on January 30, 2019, and became unavailable on the 3DS and Wii U when the eShop was discontinued on March 27, 2023.

Pokémon games

Wii

Title Genre Original system Original release VC release
Pokémon Snap First-person rail shooter Nintendo 64 1999 2007
Pokémon Puzzle League Puzzle Nintendo 64 2000 2008
Super Smash Bros. Versus fighting Nintendo 64 1999 2009

Nintendo 3DS

Title Genre Original system Original release VC release
Pokémon Trading Card Game Card game Game Boy Color 1998 2014
Pokémon Puzzle Challenge Puzzle Game Boy Color 2000 2014
Pokémon Red and Green Main series RPG Game Boy 1996 2016
Pokémon Blue Main series RPG Game Boy 1996 2016
Pokémon Red and Blue Main series RPG Game Boy 1998 2016
Pokémon Yellow Main series RPG Game Boy*
Game Boy Color*
1998 2016
Pokémon Gold and Silver Main series RPG Game Boy Color 1999 2017
Pokémon Crystal Main series RPG Game Boy Color 2000 2018

Wii U

Games from the Wii Virtual Console can also be played on the Wii U by running the console in Wii Mode.

Title Genre Original system Original release VC release
Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire Pinball Game Boy Advance 2003 2014
PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure Action-adventure Wii 2009 2015
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team Dungeon crawler Game Boy Advance 2005 2016
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team Dungeon crawler Nintendo DS 2005 2016
Pokémon Ranger Action RPG Nintendo DS 2006 2016
Pokémon Snap First-person rail shooter Nintendo 64 1999 2016
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky Dungeon crawler Nintendo DS 2009 2016
Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia Action RPG Nintendo DS 2008 2016
Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs Action RPG Nintendo DS 2010 2016

Differences from original games

  This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: images of Jynx in each version, differences in Wii U games other than Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire

Pokémon Snap

In the original Nintendo 64 version of Pokémon Snap, players could take their games to certain stores to print stickers of their in-game photos; in the Virtual Console version, players could instead send a photo to the Wii Message Board once per day. Additionally, the Virtual Console release changes Jynx's complexion from black to purple, matching the modern design change.

Pokémon Trading Card Game

Similar to Pokémon Snap, the Virtual Console version of Pokémon Trading Card Game has Jynx's skin color changed from black to purple. Despite the 3DS having infrared hardware, the Card Pop! feature is disabled, leaving Mew Lv15 and Venusaur Lv64 unobtainable. As with many Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console games, all multiplayer functionality is disabled, making dueling another player impossible. All Game Boy Printer functions, such as the "Print" option on the PC, are disabled. As the game is emulated in Game Boy Color mode, monochrome Game Boy mode and the Super Game Boy palettes and borders are inaccessible.

Pokémon Puzzle Challenge

Again, like most Game Boy Color games for Virtual Console, Pokémon Puzzle Challenge has all its multiplayer functionality made inaccessible since the Game Link Cable is neither supported nor emulated in any way.

Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire

The Virtual Console version of Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire has no e-Reader compatibility due to lack of hardware. The rumble feature, originally achieved with a GameCube controller when playing on a GameCube via the Game Boy Player, is also unavailable, despite the Wii U GamePad's rumble capabilities.

Pokémon Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow

The Virtual Console releases of the core series Generation I games are all able to use the Nintendo 3DS local wireless communication to trade and battle, or trade with the Virtual Console Generation II games via Time Capsule, simulating the function of the Game Boy Game Link Cable. The process is done through the Virtual Console menu on the lower screen, with which players can establish connections through a hosting system.

The Virtual Console releases do not simulate the Game Boy Printer, so Pokémon Yellow's Game Boy Printer features are disabled.

These releases are also compatible with the Poké Transporter, allowing one-way transfer of Pokémon in the player's first Box to Pokémon Bank, where the Pokémon can then be withdrawn by Pokémon Sun and Moon, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon or sent to Pokémon HOME. From Pokémon HOME, they can be withdrawn in a Generation VIII or IX game.

Moves whose animations involved bright flashes, such as Blizzard, have had their animations toned down. In Pokémon Yellow, Jynx is again changed color from black to purple, similar to other Virtual Console re-releases (as the other three games are monochrome, no change is visible on those games).

Pokémon Red, Green, Blue and the Japanese release of Pokémon Yellow are emulated in Game Boy mode, meaning the Super Game Boy palettes and borders are inaccessible. The international releases of Pokémon Yellow, however, are emulated in Game Boy Color mode, meaning monochrome Game Boy mode is inaccessible as well as the Super Game Boy palettes and border.

Due to the inability to connect with any release of the Pokémon Stadium series and no applicable Pikachu distribution, the Pikachu's Beach minigame is accessible by simply having the first partner Pikachu in the party without it necessarily needing to know Surf.

Pokémon Gold, Silver and Crystal

The Virtual Console releases of the core series Generation II games are all able to use the Nintendo 3DS local wireless communication to trade and battle with each other, or trade with the Virtual Console Generation I games via Time Capsule, simulating the function of the Game Boy Game Link Cable. The process is done through the Virtual Console menu on the lower screen, with which players can establish connections through a hosting system. Additionally, these games can perform Mystery Gift with other Virtual Console copies of the Generation II games using the Nintendo 3DS infrared communication.

The Virtual Console releases do not simulate the Game Boy Printer, so Game Boy Printer features are disabled. There is also no way to communicate with Pokémon Stadium 2.

These releases are also compatible with the Poké Transporter, allowing one-way transfer of Pokémon in the player's first Box to Pokémon Bank, where the Pokémon can then be withdrawn by Pokémon Sun and Moon, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon or sent to Pokémon HOME. From Pokémon HOME, they can be withdrawn in a Generation VIII or IX game.

In Pokémon Crystal, after entering the Hall of Fame, the player can obtain the GS Ball and begin the event to battle Celebi by going to Goldenrod City's Pokémon Center (the Pokémon Communication Center in the Japanese release).

As Pokémon Gold and Silver are emulated in Game Boy Color mode, monochrome Game Boy mode and the Super Game Boy palettes and borders are inaccessible.

The Japanese release of Pokémon Crystal does not emulate the Mobile Game Boy Adapter or Mobile System GB, rendering the Trade Corner, Pokémon News Machine, mobile battles, Mobile Stadium, Battle Tower and Chieko Dice minigame inaccessible, and the Egg Ticket, Odd Egg, Bluesky Mail and Mirage Mail unobtainable.

Trivia

  • When downloading core series Virtual Console games from the 3DS eShop, region locking affects which languages are available to download.
    • On a U region 3DS, the French, English, and Spanish versions of all Generation I and II core series games are available. (All three languages are available for individual purchase, regardless of what language or locale the 3DS is set to.)
    • On an E region 3DS, the English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish versions of all Generation I and II core series games are available. (All five languages are available for individual purchase, regardless of what language or locale the 3DS is set to.)
    • On a J region 3DS, the Japanese versions of all Generation I and II core series games are available.
    • On a K region 3DS, the Korean versions of Pokémon Gold and Silver are available.
    • On a T region 3DS, the Japanese versions of all Generation I and II core series games are available.
  • The names of English, Spanish, French, and Japanese core series Virtual Console games on the 3DS eShop are different depending on language and region:
    • On an E region 3DS, the games always display as that language with translated titles. For example, the English and Spanish versions of Pokémon Red will always display as "Pokémon™ Red Version" and "Pokémon™ Edición Roja", regardless of locale and language settings.
    • On a U region 3DS, the games always display English artwork and screenshots, regardless of locale and language settings. The game titles display inconsistently:
      • In English, the games display as "Pokémon™ Red/Blue/Yellow/Gold/Silver/Crystal Version (English/Spanish/French Version)".
      • In Spanish, the Generation I games display as "Pokémon™ Edición Roja/Azul/Amarilla (Versión inglés/español/francés)", with the language tags mistranslated as the noun instead of the adjective. Pokémon Gold and Silver display partially in English as "Pokémon™ Gold/Silver Version (Versión inglés/español/francés)", still with the mistranslated tags. Pokémon Crystal displays correct tags as "Pokémon™ Edición Cristal (Versión inglesa/Version en español/Versión francesa)".
      • In French, the Generation I games display as "Pokémon™ Version Rouge/Bleue/Jaune (Version anglais/espagnole/français)", with the English and French tags mistranslated but the Spanish tags correct. The English version of Pokémon Gold specifically displays as "Pokémon™ Version Gold (Version anglais)", while the other five variations of Pokémon Gold and Silver display as "Pokémon™ Gold/Silver Version (Version anglais/espagnole/français)". The French version of Pokémon Crystal displays as "Pokémon Version Cristal (Version française)" with a correct tag but missing the trademark symbol, while the English and Spanish versions display as "Pokémon™ Version Cristal (Version anglaise/espagnole)" with correct tags.
      • In Portuguese, the game title portion displays in English, as the original games did not receive Portuguese names. The mistranslated tags "(Versão inglês/espanhol/francês)" are used for all games other than Crystal, and the correct tags "(Versão inglesa/espanhola/francesa)" are used for Crystal.
    • On a T region 3DS, the games display as (for example) ポケットモンスター 赤 (日文版) Pocket Monsters Red (Japanese version), with the game title in Japanese and a tag in Chinese.[1]
  • Changing the time or date on a Nintendo 3DS will not affect the clock in Pokémon Gold, Silver or Crystal.

External links

References