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(Pocket-lint) - Unlike Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo has always been strong on backwards compatibility for its consoles. The Nintendo Wii U is fully compatible with original Wii games, but until now that has only been through hardware emulation and using Wii discs.

The company announced during its Nintendo Direct European broadcast that it has cracked the conversion techniques to also offer Wii games to download via the online store. And any games bought and downloaded from the Nintendo eShop will run without needing to boot into emulation mode first.


There are several titles in-bound, kicking off with the superb Super Mario Galaxy 2 which is available from today. Others to follow include Donkey Kong Country Returns, Metroid Prime Trilogy, Kirby's Adventure Wii and Punch-Out. The first two will be available from 22 and 29 January respectively.

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What's more, each Wii download game will be half price for the first week it is on sale. They will be priced at £17.99 normally but will be £8.99 for one week after each launch. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is, therefore, available at that amazing price for seven days.

Nintendo also revealed the UK and European release date for its New 3DS and New 3DS XL handheld consoles during the broadcast. They will hit the streets on 13 February having been available in Japan since before Christmas.

Writing by Rik Henderson.