Wii games will now be available for digital download on the Wii U eShop, Nintendo announced Wednesday during its latest Nintendo Direct presentation.
Super Mario Galaxy 2, released May 2010, is the first game out on the eShop and is available to buy right now as a 1628.8 MB download.
Punch-Out!! (2009) will launch on the eShop Jan. 22 and Metroid Prime Trilogy (2009), which combines all three Metroid Prime titles, will release on Jan. 29. Europe will receive Donkey Kong Country Returns (2010) on Jan. 22 instead of Punch-Out!!.
All three games will be discounted to $9.99 during the first week of release. The regular price of each is $19.99.
The eShop games run straight from the Wii U menu instead of the console entering its Wii emulator mode. Games that supported the Wii Classic Controller can also be playable with the Wii U GamePad.
Games like Super Mario Galaxy 2, which only support the Wii Remote and Nunchuk motion controllers, can also be playable directly from the GamePad screen. Motion control-only games still need those accessories and cannot be played with just the GamePad.
No high-definition visual enhancements have been added to the Wii eShop games. Save data can be used between the Wii disc and eShop digital versions of each title.
Nintendo plans to release more Wii games digitally on the eShop, including Kirby’s Return to Dream Land (2011), Pandora’s Tower (2013) and Sin & Punishment: Star Successor (2010).
The Wii U is backwards compatible with all Wii disc games.