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Nvidia Shield supports Wii games like ‘New Super Mario Bros.’ — in China

Nvidia Shield in China (Nintendo, Mario, Zelda)
Unless you were willing to use an emulator of nebulous legality, thus far it hasn’t been possible to play Nintendo Wii games on anything other than a Wii or the more recent Wii U. In China, however, Nvidia and Nintendo have changed that.

The Chinese Nvidia Shield digital store offers players a number of big-name games, including XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Tekken 7. In the official announcement trailer, however, we also get a brief glimpse of both The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and New Super Mario Bros. Wii running on the system. According to industry analyst Daniel Ahmad, these games will cost 68 Chinese Yuan Renminbi, which converts to about $10.

Along with the pricing information, Ahmad also shared a camera-captured portion of gameplay for both Twilight Princess and New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and both look like they keep the same crystal-clear framerate of the original games. In fact, the games are even rendered in 1080p resolution, which is significantly higher than the Wii was capable of producing.

In a statement to Engadget, Nvidia revealed that in addition to the two aforementioned games and Punch-Out!!, the Nvidia Shield will also support Super Mario Galaxy in China at a later date. GameCube games will also be supported.

Ahmad was quick to point out on his Twitter account that the deal between Nvidia and Nintendo is limited to the Chinese market, and there is no word on whether or not anything similar would be offered in other regions. As the Switch uses a Tegra chipset similar to what’s in Nvidia Shield tablets, rumors swirled last year that the Switch would be capable of running GameCube games via the Virtual Console service. As of now, that still remains a mystery, as Nintendo has no such service available on the Switch at all.

In the meantime, Nintendo will be offering a selection of its back catalog of games through the paid Nintendo Switch Online service, but these will be limited to titles originally released on the NES and SNES. The service is expected to launch in early 2018 after being delayed from its original autumn date, and will require players to play Nintendo Switch games online.

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