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Saturday, January 14, 2006

First Glimpse: Revolution's Virtual Console

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First Glimpse: Revolution's Virtual Console

"How might the game download service work? An official marketing survey may offer new insight.

An official survey conducted for Nintendo of America by marketing company Zanthus may shed new light on Revolution's "Virtual Console" concept. The website took part in the online questionnaire, which offered a more in-depth look at the game download system for Nintendo's next-generation console than has previously been seen. The survey even featured mocked-up artwork representing how the graphical user interface for the process may look and function. The concepts below are by no means final, but nevertheless Zanthus prepared these materials based on direction from Nintendo of America and therefore they should not be discounted.

The survey featured eight different mock-ups, each showing different features of Revolution's "Virtual Console" setup. The questionnaire began at a mocked-up Revolution homepage - possibly the same destination retrieved when gamers press the still-mysterious "home" button on the console's controller. Located on this hub menu are four options, including Settings, Memory Cards, Parental Controls and - the focus of this article - Virtual Console.
For those who haven't been following Nintendo's new platform, the concept of the "virtual console" describes Revolution's game download service. The Big N's highest-ranking executives have publicly stated that Revolution will not only be able to wirelessly connect online, but that players will also be able to directly download some of their favorite NES, S-NES and N64 classics. The specifics of this service have up until this survey remained completely speculative.

According to the enclosed mock-ups, once the "Virtual Console" option has been selected, Revolution owners are asked to choose a system for its corresponding games. NES, S-NES and N64 are the available options, which is appropriate since GameCube titles cannot be downloaded via this service; Revolution is able to play GCN software, but gamers must first own the original discs. Users seeking to download and play the classic Kid Icarus would obviously select the NES option, just as those hoping to get their hands on Pilot Wings 64 would go with the N64 icon." [more]

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