A mockup of Nintendo's Virtual Console service was available for play at E3. The demo featured one flagship game from each system announced so far for the service: Super Mario Bros. for NES, Super Mario World for SNES, Super Mario 64 for N64, Sonic the Hedgehog for Sega Genesis, and Bonk's Adventure for TurboGrafx-16. Each of the five games featured a selection screen with boxart and a picture of the system to be emulated. Selection of each game brought up a control screen, similar to GameCube kiosk demo discs. While the games appeared to be full versions, they actually stopped with a thank you message after a certain level of completion. The games were fully emulated originals; several people were able to get to the infamous Minus World in Super Mario Bros. Emulation of the 2-D systems seemed to be perfect, at least for the games presented. The Nintendo 64 emulation was most interesting since the resolution of the polygons was increased, while the status icons remained pixelated above. Emulation wasn't perfect as I observed several imperfect connections between polygons, which resulted in cracking.

Virtual Console was also the only Wii station on the show floor to feature the classic controller. All of the games controlled well on the controller. The controller's layout matched the layout of the PlayStation DualShock, with the exception of the shoulder buttons. The prototype controller featured only one fingertip shoulder button for Z, rather than the two shown in press photos and on display. Additionally, a mysterious clipping mechanism was on the back of the controller. The booth attendant was eager to point out this clip, yet when asked was it was for, he would smirk, "It's a secret." Neither the controller or Virtual Console interface are finalized at this time. The attendant did confirm that the classic controller would not be packed in with the Wii system, claiming that Nintendo felt that not enough people had broadband so they would not benefit from owning the controller since they could not download classic games; a lame excuse. This attendant also made it known that the demos on the show floor were in fact running on Wii dev kits, not the actual Wii systems. Technical details such as whether Virtual Console games will run locally or remotely are not finalized.

While everything is still preliminary, it was nice to test out early ideas of how Virtual Console will work. Hopefully, the controller clip will make more sense in the future, and the other trigger will be added in order for compatibility with other games. Finding out price will also be a major deciding factor in the success of the system.