Wii U OS improvements, Virtual Console in spring update

The Wii U's front end will get leaner and meaner over the spring and summer with operating system updates and Virtual Console support, Satoru Iwata revealed in today's Nintendo Direct. System owners can expect performance improvements while navigating through the console and launching games.

Two updates, one in spring and one in summer, are slated to reduce load times between launching games and returning to the menu screen--Miiverse browser and mobile support will go live around then, too. The spring update will also include Virtual Console support for Wii U, adding Miiverse and GamePad-only play to the initial lineup of NES and SNES games.

Virtual Console pricing will remain consistent from Wii, with $5 to $6 price tags for NES titles and $8 to $9 for SNES games. These versions are different from those you may still have from a Wii-to-Wii-U system transfer: if you want to play on your GamePad or get mad "Yeahs!" on your screenshot of Prince Darkness Gannon, you'll need to pay $1 for NES or $1.50 for SNES games to upgrade.

Expect the Wii U Virtual Console to expand to other consoles, including the venerable Game Boy Advance, as the catalog fills out.

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.