How to Retrodate (I Just Made That Up Right Now) Your Wii

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Since the Wii was released there have been a multitude of peripherals that have been released, and it seems that there's actually been more than average due to the success of the console. In terms of peripherals, I'm generally not a huge fan; they just add to the gaming clutter in my apartment. However, one company has truly created something that every single retro gamer with a Wii must have. So thank you Retrozone for your Retroport, because I can finally play my NES and SNES Virtual Console games with my NES and SNES controllers, and it actually makes a difference.

At E3 a couple years ago, when Nintendo announced that their new console (at the time it was still called the "Revolution") would be backwards compatible with systems beyond the GameCube, I was so overjoyed I almost peed my pants. In my mind, I constructed a magical device that would have a multitude of connectors that would allow me to plug in NES, SNES, Genesis, TG16, GameBoy, Game & Watch, and MSX games and be able to revisit all of my favorite games from my continuously hemorrhaging collection. But then they said I'd need to re-buy everything and download it; I died a little inside.

Fast forward a few months to November 2006, the day the Wii drops. I pick up my reserved console, and come home and the first thing I do is download Zelda and SimCity, two games that I've had for years now, yet I felt compelled to spend a total of $11 and buy them again. Why? I?m still not sure, because, frankly, it's just not the same thing, especially when I'm using the Wii controller turned sideways. And I'm still not sure why I repeat that same scenario every Monday night. The only reason I can think of is because that games officially peaked in the 8 and 16-bit eras, and that's just a fact. Enter Retrozone, the company that's been helping retro gamers -- like myself -- relive their youth, one controller at a time.

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Retrozone has done some amazing work in the past creating USB NES and SNES controllers for PC gamers playing via emulators. But their crowing achievement, finally came when they turned their attention to the Wii, creating an adapter that allows you to use NES and SNES controllers to play Virtual Console games. Now, this might sound like a step backwards, but when you're a retro gamer, that?s the direction you want to go.

For $20 the Retroports connect seamlessly to your elder controllers and plug right into the GameCube slots on the top of your Wii. They are instantly recognized when you start playing any VC game (as well as any Wii game that allows for the use of a GameCube controller). There's no delay, no discomfort, no problems, and when you grew up using an NES Max or Advantage (both tested and work flawlessly) to beat your favorite games, this is really the only way to replay them. The classic controller is a beautiful device, but sometimes dull grey is just more pleasing. The only downside of the adapters is that they relegate the user to a wired controller, but that just adds to the nostalgia, since you were tethered back in the 80s as well - it's a fair trade just to get my turbo buttons back.

I've never endorsed any kind of a peripheral in the past (I still don?t believe in the Guitar Hero controller), but the Retrozone Retroports are an essential for Virtual Console fanatics.