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Comparing the Virtual Console launch by region

Ross Miller

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Now that we have the Virtual Console launch lists for the US, Europe, and Japan, it's time to compare and contrast how each region fared. To no one's surprise, Japan has every single game being released in the other regions and more, with the exception of Bomberman '93 (Japan owners get the "vastly disparate" 1994 edition).

Take note of the publishers found in the US and European regions: with the exception of Tecmo's Solomon's Keys for the NES, all games are first-party titles from Hudson, Nintendo, or Sega. International licensing troubles, perhaps?

Looking at the first-party titles, US and Europe are missing out on quite a few high-profile games: Super Mario Bros (NES), Super Mario World and Zelda: Link to the Past (SNES). In fact, the only Mario title coming to US / Europe at launch (Donkey Kong notwithstanding) is Mario Bros., otherwise known as that multiplayer minigame included in all the GBA Mario remakes.

We understand Nintendo giving the much-less-popular Fire Emblem to Japan only, but why delay Nintendo's flagship titles of the past? Does Nintendo think it's going to prove something by launching the Wii outside of Japan with as little of Mario's presence possible?

One more note: UK-based Rare's Donkey Kong Country is coming to Japan and Europe but is conspicuously absent from the US roster. With Microsoft being a US-based company and the new owners of Rare, the conspiracy theorist in us thinks there might be some funny going on. We've sent off a few questions to Nintendo and Rare and will let you know what we find out.

Continue reading for the complete list of VC launch titles, organized in a nifty little chart.

Read -- Wii launch window: 32 Wii games, 30 VC titles
Read -- Japan gets way better Virtual Console lineup (Game | Life)
Read -- Taking you back to the old school (Nintendo)

NES (500 pts)
Japan US Europe
Baseball (Nintendo) X X X
Donkey Kong (Nintendo) X X X
Donkey Kong Jr. (Nintendo) X X X
Go-moku Narabe (Nintendo) X
Gradius (Konami) X
Ice Hockey (Nintendo) X X X
Legend of Kage (Taito) X
Legend of Zelda (Nintendo) X X X
Mario Bros. (Nintendo) X X X
Ninja Jajamaru-kun (Jaleco) X
Pinball (Nintendo) X X X
Soccer (Nintendo) X X X
Solomon's Key (Tecmo) X X X
Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo) X
Tennis (Nintendo) X X X
Urban Champion (Nintendo) X X X
Wario's Woods (Nintendo) X X X
Xevious (Bandai Namco) X
SNES (800 pts)
Contra III (Konami) X
Donkey Kong Country (Nintendo) X X
Fire Emblem: Monsho no Nazo (Nintendo) X (900 pts)
F-Zero (Nintendo) X X X
Mario Super Picross (Nintendo) X
R-Type III (Irem) X
Sim City (Nintendo) X (900 pts) X X
Street Fighter II (Capcom) X
Super Castlevania IV (Konami) X
Super Mario World (Nintendo) X
Zelda: Link to the Past (Nintendo) X (900 pts)
Nintendo 64 (1000 pts)
Super Mario 64 (Nintendo) X X X
Mega Drive / Sega Genesis (600 pts in Japan, 800 elsewhere)
Altered Beast (Sega) X X X
Columns (Sega) X X X
Ecco The Dolphin (Sega) X X X
Golden Axe (Sega) X X X
Gunstar Heroes (Sega) X X X
Puyo Puyo (Sega) X * *
Ristar (Sega) X X X
Shadow Dancer (Sega) X
Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega) X X X
Space Harrier II (Sega) X X X
Toejam and Earl (Sega) X X X
* Known in US/Europe as Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
PC Engine / Turbo Grafx 16 (600 pts)
Battle Lode Runner (Hudson) X
Bomberman '93 (Hudson) X X
Bomberman '94 (Hudson) X
Bonk's Adventure (Hudson) X X X
Dungeon Explorer (Hudson) X X X
Necromancer (Hudson) X
New Adventure Island (Hudson) X
Super Star Soldier (Hudson) X X X
Victory Run (Hudson) X X

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