While 3DS ambassadors received their ten free NES games back in early September last year, a new game is en route for the handheld Virtual Console in Japan - Punch Out. Indeed, the game is not a 3D classic, but a basic port of the original sports-puzzle hybrid.
So long as this is no mistake on Nintendo of Japan's part, it would be safe to assume that more NES games are coming to the already-confirmed 10.
What does this mean for the Wii Virtual Console and the inevitable WiiU Virtual Console? Unlike the PlayStation Network, the shop is not a singular entity between consoles. If you paid for Punch-Out on the Wii and want to play it on your 3DS, you'll have to pay again for the same title.
Let's speculate, shall we?
While it is futile to make further comparisons to the PlayStation Network, consider that your average PlayStation One title will run you $5.99 and an NES title a flat $5 on both systems (US pricing). This would mean a game from 1999 could be played on two consoles and would cost about half the price of one from 1989.
This also means those willing to purchase the same game twice would have to wait for each individual release to come once again. Given how save data is locked on the 3DS, it's unlikely that we'd be able to swap data between the two systems. Besides, the two current systems have yet to connect in any meaningful way thus far.
On the plus side, 3DS now has a much bigger pool of potential games to release from. Releases have been on the slow side for the 3DS Virtual Console since the launch of the eShop, usually bringing one new Game Boy title per week (if that). There would no doubt be some aficionados willing to buy the same game multiple times, so Nintendo could double dip. After all, you don't have to buy it if you don't want to.
Will the WiiU attempt to rectify the situation or is this merely a strategy? Perhaps Nintendo has something in mind for the current Wii.