The classic controller is a good fit, albeit unfamiliar, for a gamepad that supports NES, SNES, N64, Sega Genesis, and TurboGrafx 16. Part of the sacrifice though, is that the classic controller can't offer an authentic retro experience and, of course, leaves us wondering, why bother?
It's no secret that all of these platforms and their games are readily available in emulated formats for computers and other devices. And it's easy enough to invest in a gamepad that's as generic as Nintendo's classic controller. For Virtual Console to succeed, it's got to be clean, easy, and cheap.
That said, the E3 Virtual Console demo featured an elegant interface (the downloading process was not shown) and superb emulation software. The demo featured a sampling of beloved launch titles, including Super Mario Bros. (NES), Super Mario World (SNES), Super Mario 64 (N64), Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis), and Bonk's Adventure (TurboGrafx 16).