When Nintendo came to E3 and did their quarterly Nintendo Direct, they promised more games, coming soon. In the Nintendo Direct in April, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata teased that Earthbound would come to North America and Europe later in 2013. Just ahead of their monthly release schedule starting in August comes news from Nintendo that Earthbound has been released today on the Wii U Virtual Console for $9.99.
$10 might seem a lot for an SNES port to a next-gen virtual console, but it sure beats out buying a cartridge on eBay. Just the cartridge alone can cost you upwards of $154 USD, which is a testament to not only how rare it is, but also how much people want to play it more than eighteen years after its initial release date.
It’s also a great move for Nintendo, who are trying to give people reasons why to buy a Wii U. There is a dedicated, cult fanbase for Earthbound, some of which might be finally convinced to buy a new console just for this game. It has aliens, it has psychic main characters like Ness (also in Super Smash Bros.) and Paula, it’s got a quirky story of 4 children saving the world from evil monsters, what’s not to love?
Earthbound is available for purchase on the Wii U Virtual Console.
Update: Here’s the launch trailer, which can be seen down below.