While the Virtual Console has had its share of problems, for many, the highlight has been the number of previously unreleased games that have arrived in North America and Europe as a result. Titles like Sin and Punishment and Earthbound Origins would likely have never seen a domestic release if not for the Virtual Console service.
This week, the Nintendo Download in North America will play host to another title never-before-released in the region. At first glance, Vs. Excitebike looks similar to the NES classic. It may even be safe to assume that Nintendo thought the title would look too similar to the original game for Western audiences, which may explain why it never left Japan (like the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2). Vs. Excitebike offers several features that the NES original doesn’t, however, including a one-player mode based on the arcade version of Excitebike, two-player races, a new soundtrack and even customizable tracks!
As of this writing, Nintendo has not confirmed whether Vs. Excitebike will arrive on the 3DS Virtual Console service or Wii U (the latter seems more likely, however). Stay tuned to Nintendojo for more information when the title arrives this Thursday!