Jul 3rd, 2013


One of the woes of the current Wii U virtual console iteration is that many people are reporting lag and frame rate delay, as seen above in the .gif. Seemingly up to 6 to 8 frames pass between the time the button is first pressed to the time that Mario actually jumps. I’ve only played Super Ghouls n’ Ghosts, Super Mario World, and a bit of Super Metroid and while I was able to do well at the first two, the last was nearly impossible to do wall jumps correctly. It seems I wasn’t the only one with this problem.

Numerous redditors are reporting laggy games, with Punch-Out! and Super Metroid being cited the most. Have you experienced this type of lag while playing Wii U virtual console games? How about the legacy Wii virtual console? Let us know in the comments below.

local_offer    Nintendo  virtual console  wii u  Wii U virtual console  
  • gamesplayswill

    I haven’t experienced any lag at all in any game apart from Batman Arkham city….

  • I’ve never had lag in any game except monster hunter when the camera is RIGHT in front of an underwater shock trap

  • Dakota John Litchfield

    I’ve never experienced lag on the VC.

  • XEri0x11

    I’ve noticed the lag in Super Metroid.

    • eli

      i havn’t

      • XEri0x11

        Might be just me though. Although every time I use the super bombs it happens and some other random times I can not think off the top of my head right now.

        • eli

          i didn’t experience any lag throughout the game

  • Emily Horton

    No lag whatsoever for me guess I’m lucky.

  • Billy

    Wall jumping in Super Metroid was hard for me, but then I got the timing down. I’m unsure if this was lag in the game or me, as this was my first time playing the game.

    • eli

      no, wall jumping is just really hard :S

  • I lag but I always figured it was because I was really far away from my actual console. Even then it doesn’t really lag all that bad or even very often.

  • Jack5221

    I never really experience lag when Im playing, it pretty much always happens at the start of the game. Like the game screen will show up, with the console in the backround, a short pause thats a little longer than usual, then the game starts normally. Tested it on a friends Wii U, he doesnt get it, only I do. Weird…

  • dinos24

    Mine has no lag.

  • eli

    could it be a possible, bad connection from the gamepad to the console?

  • Saul Rivera

    I have Super Metroid…Yoshi and Kirby…ha all 30 cent games…but none of those lag and I’ve played the hell out of them

    • Shawn Spitler

      Lag only occurs when I’m away from the console.

      Usually in the next room while others watch television.

    • Clel

      Same here

      • Eastcoast Gamingguy

        yup no issues here

        • Nintedward

          Same I have F-zero , Super Metroid , Super Mario World , Punch out , Kirby’s adventure , Mega Man. They all run nice and smooth for me!

          • Satoru Iwata

            Another satisfied customer! Thank you for supporting our products.

          • Squid

            No problem! Can I have a Banana? :3

        • Stuart Thomas

          I never thought twice about this and always blamed the controller for the delay, super metroid requires slightly different timed wall jumps. On my snes i have no issues with wall jumps on VC it just took some time to adapt the fractionally different response times.

    • Michael DeVore

      Same, though with Super Metroid the wall jump has always been difficult, and a bit buggy so I’m not too surprised there. What’s being reported is most likely an issue with the tablet when someone is playing far away, or when someone is in an area with a lot of wireless noise. I was able to actually beat Ghost and Goblins without noticing any frame drops so it’s probably not a common issue.

    • lozman1122

      Same same. Waiting for donkey kong later this month. What day is that out again?

      • Saul Rivera

        If not mistaken…the 15th….would be nice if they continued this offer with more games…seeing as this will be the final one

    • lonewolf88

      i got super metroid no lag maybe its his hard drive?

      • Stuart Thomas

        i think the game gets loaded to ram, I’m not sure but it would make sense. Wireless interference is probably to blame, bluetooth link may be to blame.

      • Elem187

        each VC game is less than 35mb… with 2gb of ram, I don’t see why they wouldn’t just load the entire rom and emulator into memory, so after the initial load off the HDD, it shouldn’t need the harddrive after that.

    • LonDonE247

      No their is defo input lag, also the dead zone on the game pad analogue sticks is way too big, u can notice it the most on assassins creed 3 and black ops 2, some people are just more sensitive to it, like me, since i game allot on a gaming pc, and on all platforms, frame rates not being stable, and having drops are VERY NOTICEABLE TO ME! allot of my friends swear some games are flawless, and when i play them i notice the drops straight away.

      Its also one of the reasons why i game mostly on my gaming monitor, since the native refresh rate and response time is the best you can get, most hdtv’s have input lag, some don’t notice it, but for me, it can be unbearable, for instance battlefield 3 on PS3 is terrible for input lag, yet some claim it does not exist, but i tell you it most definitely does!

      I noticed the input lag and bigger then usual dead zones straight away on the wii u, i hope these issues are fixed!
      Its a shame, but realistically when your beaming the image over a wireless signal your bound to get some delay, people are just not used to it, because 2d plat-forming and fps games are the most impacted by input lag, and so it then becomes a issue for some! i think the dead zone issue is a bigger problem, since when i play ac3 or blops 2 with the pro controller all the dead zone issues are gone, so its defo a game pad programming issue!

    • DWraySweZ

      i have some issues of lag, but thats only when the controller is too far from the tv or theres some sort of external interuption such as multiple devices, being used at one time

    • Zombie Boy

      No problems here either. I could see it being an issue with Gamecube games, maybe, but not nes / snes games. Maybe the hard drive is full? That usually affects how my PC runs.

      • tronic307

        SNES games are emulated, whereas Gamecube games would not need to be, as the Wii U is a supercharged Wii, which itself was an overclocked Gamecube. Emulation is far more taxing on the processor.
        Nintendo could have built the NES, SNES, and N64 into the silicon with minimal impact to the transistor budget. That’s how the GBA played Game Boy games.

        • Zombie Boy

          I know it has a Wii built in, but I didn’t know it actually used the same hardware (as we can’t play Gamecube games through the Wii channel like we could on the Wii). Makes sense, though.

        • It can play Wii and Wii U games because it is using the same IBM Processor architecture as the previous consoles just using a newer generation and faster chip with more cores. It is the same that programs that ran on a Pentium II/III will run on your Core i7 as long as it is compatible with the OS. The Wii U has to dual boot OSes to play the games compatible with it.

          I think the reason it will not play gamecube games is because it is locked out of the Wii OS and the drive does not have the mechanics for the smaller 1.5″ DVD discs.

          • tronic307

            I’ve heard that the Wii U’s CPU has only two bus speeds: 248.625MHz (x5=1243.125MHz CPU) for Wii U mode, and 243MHz (x3=729MHz) for Wii mode. The system bus was not planned to run at the Gamecube’s 162MHz (x3=486Mhz CPU). Gamecube VC games would likely need to be recompiled to run in Wii U mode. The timings would be altered to run at 1.24GHz and the graphics would be reprogrammed to use the Wii U’s GPU, as there’s no access to the Wii GPU in Wii U mode.

  • ElCharlo

    Well, I think I have more lag on the TV anyway, but it seems that the gamepad haves trouble compressing the image of old school games complicated texture patern.I have seen that on super metroid

  • demann78

    Does anybody notice it takes a long time to start up a game. Some times it takes 15 seconds. When im on wii mode it only take 1 second to start a virtual console game. Nintendo told me this is normal but i dont understand why it takes so long to start even disk

  • Ernie Sanguyo

    hmm I never lag at all out of all the wii u vc.

  • Satoru Iwata

    There is nothing wrong with our flawless Wii U. We offer superb service to our fans and third parties alike. Nintendo apologizes to those who might be suffering from lag issues.

    To show our apologies, we offer you a discount of Pilot Wings, now just $7.98 on the Virtual Console via eShop.

    • mustbepbs

      You forgot the “Please understand”.

      • Satoru Iwata

        I’m am very sorry. We at Nintendo don’t always stay consistent with our words, basically it is very much the same with our 1st party support. That also includes slow development times, but we know our fans will and be patient.

        Please understand, that we did not do our homework and are now catching up with current technology. Once again, we are sorry and I will add in a Luigi hat with Pilot Wings for just $7.97.

        All proceeds will go to Bowser’s paternity testing. Thank you very much.

        • Magnus Eriksson

          Thank you Nintendo. You are amazing! Please bring us more great titles like Spelunker and Wrecking Crew from a time when Nintendo was at its greatest.

          • Satoru Iwata

            Thank you, Magnus! I see that you’re a loyal fan and gamer of Nintendo. For your support over the years, we here by will make you lead designer of Nintendo for a week! Miyamoto-san needs a week to recover from his facial surgery due to over smiling.

            Again, thank you for your long support for Nintendo and it’s products!

          • beerkin

            Don’t forget classics like Vegas Stakes and Yoshi……

          • Magnus Eriksson

            Yes, those were amazing. Nintendo at its best. 🙂

        • WolfgangAmadeusMozart

          Hello Mr. Iwata, I am currently unemployed and I always dreamed to compose for Nintendo games, would you hire me ?

          • Satoru Iwata

            After the lackluster Wii Music, we can use all the help we can get. Granted, I was drinking too much sake when I greenlighted this project from Miyamoto, but I take full responsibility for that.

            You’re hired. We have some projects in the works that relate to music. Welcome aboard!

          • WolfgangAmadeusMozart

            My body is ready !

    • Mario

      It’s that really you Iwata?

    • gamesplayswill

      No one is following you… IMPOSTOR!

      • Satoru Iwata

        We are very sorry that Wii Music has made you a disgruntled fan. We are working around the clock to bring you the best products possible. Please be patient.

        • gamesplayswill


          • gamesplayswill


          • gamesplayswill

            Not pos im tor… IMPOSTOR!!!

          • Satoru Iwata

            I don’t know what a posimtor is. Please become a beta tester in our upcoming game, Mario Teaches Spelling. You’ll get great experience and in time, possibly find a great sense of humor. Please sign up and let us know when you will be available. Please understand, that you only have a week to do so as we’re in closed beta at this very moment

            Thank you and please continue to support Nintendo and it’s products.

        • gamesplayswill


    • Raul Oziel Garcia

      hi, you are real mr. iwata? this is my nintendo network id obi-wan78 please add me to your miiverse friends, i have wii u :), please make another metroid for wii u 🙂 im fan of nintendo

      • Raul Oziel Garcia

        i read an interwiew thay says that mr. iwata doesnt want to have twitter and facebook are you real mr. iwata

        • Andreas Sunde

          He just hired Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as a composer for Nintendo. Of course he is the real Iwata!

          • Raul Oziel Garcia

            no one is following him and he doesnt have facebook and twitter acount and you need facebook or twitter to write posts

          • nop, you can do it with google plus.

      • Squid

        Lol he’s just pretending.
        I think.

    • Squid

      Was that sarcasm Iwata? You’re bananas.

  • Nintenjoe82

    I’ve experienced lots of slowdown on the SNES games especially SMW, SGnG and a bit of Super Metroid.

  • Joe Fraley

    I haven’t had any lag that I thought was a result of the software. I have experienced occasional freezes that last a few moments at most, but I think that it’s the result of my games being played off of a cheap external hard-drive rather than from the system’s memory.

  • andrewjcole

    I found no lag and I have Super Metroid, Super Mario World and Kirby’s Adventure.

  • Lil J Moore

    I play Super Mario World and Super Metroid so much haven’t experienced this yet

  • Tim van Broekhoven

    I have all the 30 cent games and Mario World, but I haven’t seen a single lag…

  • slade6alpha

    I’m a Kirby whore and I’ve noticed a little bit of slow down, but nothing that makes it “unplayable”.

  • slade6alpha

    Also, I hope we get a Nintendo Direct soon, too much negative Nintendo news, and too much silence.

  • Sdudyoy

    Nope, I haven’t noticed any lag, other people have though.

  • kenny Johnson

    No lag I’ve seen.. but maybe I suck too much to notice? I do notice that extremely long loading in Lego City though.

  • Victor O

    I have Metroid and no lag problem. I have no lag problem with Yoshi either. I have Pacman and there is lag at times, but I believe that’s just the way PacMan has always been and it’s not great controls when you’re making a sudden turn.

  • Christopher Acuna

    Super Ghouls N Ghosts is always lagging lol…I just figured it was being true to the original lol.

  • boynhisblobs

    Ive experienced no lag in any of the virtual console games.

  • everyone

    Mega Man 3 had some slowdown at certain part with too many enemies on the screen but that was the same deal on the original cart. Super Metroid and all the Kirby games were lag free.

  • gimpcell

    I have experienced lag in many games. I should add that I have three seperate wireless connection in use at all times and always away from the console (20 plus feet). I simply sit closer for a flawless connection. It is never any serious lag, just a frame freeze here and a skip there. I usually browse on my wii u now because it is so reliable.

  • Eastcoast Gamingguy

    Have had my WiiU for 4 months now and LOVE IT!!! I have all virtual console games that were mentioned and have none of this lag time. I also use the Wii on it the most, Donkey Kong Country Returns being my favorite. Only one time did my whole system freeze up and crash. It was while playing Call of Duty MW3. Freaked me out so bad I haven’t put the game back in since, But Black Ops for Wii and Black Ops II play fine on it. I use it all the time and think it is a great console!! I actually traded my Xbox 360 and all games for credit for more Nintendo games. Love the WiiU and support it 🙂

  • t_vo

    Where I get lag is when playing bit trip runner, but on the TV. If I play on the gamepad all is good, but can’t stand playing on the TV because of the slightly delay. A game like that you can’t have any lag or it’s too hard to time everything.

    • Cesar Barroso

      that is your tv, activate game mode

  • Jason Carroll

    I mentioned this back when Punch Out was released. I made a thread about it on WiiUforums but nobody noticed at that point. I notice it a lot more on the gamepad as opposed to the TV. The most annoying thing I find is the audio delay between the TV and the gamepad, so I always turn the gamepad down when playing on the TV. It’s definitely annoying, especially in some of those twitch reflex games of yesteryear.

  • sdmac200600

    Not a problem I’ve ran into.

  • Smurfman256

    I’m only noticing a very, VERY slight bit of delay; nothing out of the ordinary here.

  • Gabe Hoffman

    No problems for me

  • audi lover

    Wall jump in metroid?? Yes mine must be laggin

  • Robert Butters

    Awesome, now I have an excuse for being bad at those games!

  • A SNES Day Off

    Super Mario World on my Wii U definitely has lag. Luckily I still have my SNES and a copy of the game, so I was able to connect that up to the TV and play both versions side-by-side. The differences are minor, but there is a slight delay after pressing buttons on the VC version.

  • 8ruc3

    Never had any problem.

  • TrueWiiMaster

    That would explain why I was having so much trouble with Mario World…

  • Magnus Eriksson

    Pac Man is lagging. Otherwise all games just run excellent.

  • Wayne Beck

    I have twenty VC games and the only time I’ve ever seen lag is when the GamePad is only just barely in range of the console.

    If I’m not mistaken, however, if you are downloading anything in the Background, it significantly increases the chance of lag.

  • Jared Garcia

    those people are using that save state feature most likely. i’ve experienced lag on mario and metroid. i didnt have that issue when i saved using the games designed save feature. this kind of thing also happened on xbox 360 with its HD retro game downloads with their save states like sonic.

  • $39063977


  • Jump’nShootMan

    I’ve had a bit of lag on Mega Man 3 recently while sitting in front of the TV. Its not a big problem though… Its just like everything goes slow no when there’s a lot going on with enemies etc… Probably nothing worse than was on the nes version so I’m just gunna say its a slightly more authentic experience this way

  • david jarman

    No lag for me! Yay!

  • Beat

    I’ve got some minor lag in Mega Man 3 and Super Metroid, but nothing that bad.

  • jonen

    maybe the Wii U is downloading stuff in the background? i have never experienced lag in VC games, but most wanted U lags horribly online and when it loses connection to the autolog servers

  • Adrian

    No, but my console freezes on the Netflix loading screen about 30% of the time, and I have to unplug it :(.

  • giggi

    The only time I get some smaller fps issues is when I’m playing Super Metroid on the Toilet and someone closes my room’s door… But that has nothing to do with the game itself, but the distance to the console.

  • beerkin

    Megaman X and super ghost and ghouls run a 9 frames per second it seems. Makes it almost unplayable. Another win for the big N……l

  • Denvy

    No problems with any of them save Punch Out. It seems to lag when I go left or right.

    • fatherb

      Punch out!! Definitely has lag. If I can beat it on my NES still without getting knocked down until Mike Tyson then play it on the wiiu and start dropping at second Piston Honda, Soda Popinski, Super Mocho Man, Mr Sandman, and Mr Dream its due to the game. Punch out!! Is all about timing and when you skew the response speed (aka induce lag) it changes the game.

      Denying the latency issue does nothing to help the community get better quality games yet it is enabling the sub par experience of great games… and no there wasn’t this issue on the wii.

  • Daniel Brown

    Had no problem with Super Metroid. I beat it in 5 hours. 😀

  • Wanderlei

    Its idiots with HDTV lag and/or Neofaggers spreading black PR.

  • ludist210

    If you’ve memorized the timing sequences in Punch-Out!!, you’ll notice a split second of input lag. It makes it hard to play on Wii U (but not impossible).

  • Jon Turner

    Lag? What lag? I didn’t notice any lag.

  • Marius Lindblom

    I’ve not experienced the exact lag described above, but I’ve experienced that the New Super Luigi Bros sometimes becomes like slow motion if played after a Netflix session. Music and sound are normal, but all graphic are at half speed :-/. A quick reset fixes the issue

  • Mochlum

    The only game I got much lag on is Megaman X.

  • A SNES Day Off

    When playing NES games on the VC, I’ve found quite a difference in the response between the GamePad and a Wii Remote as a controller. The latter responds instantaneously (It’s my preferred controller as it’s closer to the original NES pad) whereas the GamePad does ‘feel’ slower.

  • devmiles

    i did experience lag, fix this!

  • BuckStud

    I have several VC games and haven’t had any lag problems at all.

  • José Abraham Cervantes Posadas

    Yes, I feel laggy Súper Mario World

  • Joey Perez

    Non on mega man x

  • Felix

    ey! but u are paying 8$ for a super quality vc game with mii verse, save states and a tea cup! dont demant that much!!

  • Justin Carlson

    There may be some lag as I’ve noticed my Metroid wall jump timing was off with the Wii U. I learned to adapt pretty quick and didn’t think anything of it until I read this article.

  • SeroReviews

    Nope, no lag at all. I have Baloon Fight, F-Zero, Punch-Out, Kirby’s Adventure, Super Metroid, Yoshi, Super Mario World, Kirby SuperStar and Megaman X. NONE of them have any lag. Smooth as if it was on the real console.

  • tronic307

    Probably rendering at SNES native refresh, adding filters, then triple buffering with v-sync instead of simply hard-synchronizing emulation to the Wii U’s native refresh rate, which is the standard 59.94Hz. SNES video refreshed at something like 60.02Hz, about .0013347% faster, an unnoticeable difference.
    Looks like Nintendo forgot to set their emulator to “GAME MODE”.

  • GuardiansFan

    not lag but i noticed in super mario bros 2 one of the buttons doesnt register if you use it too quick after restoring from save which was extremely annoying

  • Moshugaani

    I’m pretty sure it’s caused by some sort of wireless interference, and not a hardware/software issue.

  • DragonSilths

    Nope. I have Super Mario World, Super Metroid and Super Mario Bros 2. No lag.

  • Lets see…. I have Pacman, Mega Man 1, Mega Man X, Super Mario Bros. 2, Yoshi, Mario Bros. Super Metroid, Baloon Fight, Punch Out, and a couple others all on my Wii U and none of them really lag aside from the glitches that were in the original game. None of them are so bad that the game performance or play is impacted. Maybe they should check the settings on their TV because some TV modes are too fast for gaming in general.

  • Paul

    I have tons of vc games and beat em all…zero lag…

  • Re4wii2008

    lol, I thought I just sucked at Wall Jumps at Super Metroid! well wait a minute I probably just do because that game seems to work just fine from what I can tell!

  • MetroidZero

    No lag here, move on,

  • Amz Strange

    I’ve only been playing Virtual Console games on the Wii U’s old Wii channel, due to there being hardly any games on the new eShop Virtual Console 🙁

    Doing this obviously circumvents the use of the gamepad, and I’ve not had any lag at all using the Wii’s old classic controllers. Sounds like this is a latency issue with the gamepad, or something along those lines.

    I’ve not experienced any latency with retail Wii U games, so I’m guessing it’s caused by a rushed emulation job? Hopefully Nintendo catches wind and releases a patch.

    Some good news would be nice…

  • $41809923

    sometimes yes but not all time
    at the end of the year wii u will be on lan network we are changing are network to lan it better that way

  • Zuxs13

    I have 10 VC games and not any of them have had any issues. I hope this isn’t a wide spread issue and it can be fixed with the next firmware update.

  • Jamin Daniell

    i’ve had Super Mario World glitch, not from lag tho… i threw a Koopa shell into a slanted hill! lolz.

  • Windsmoker


  • NintendoNerd90

    yeah, sometimes there is a bit of a delay when jumping in Mario World. I thought the issue was my controller. huh

  • Leon Tizzano

    Only super Mario bros 2 lags a little when there’s tons of enemy’s on screen.

  • Volfos

    Some of the Megaman’s were acting up, but they weren’t being unplayable…

  • jesus suarez

    This is so not true, I have all those games and everything runs super smooth

  • Agustín Pérez Cuatepotzo


  • brian

    Not on WiiU, but in the Wii menu of my Wii U, when my wife plays some games, there is some graphical anomalies. Like certain pixels are like, four pixels to the right of where they should be. It’s hard to explain.

  • Punch Out!! is the only game I’ve seen that has bad lag.

  • Wanderlei
  • Jonathan Dogey

    I never noticed any problem so far. And i’ve bought every single VC game on Wii U released to date

    • Squid

      Wow. Sweet. I can’t buy that much because I can’t get over how much space it takes on the menus, folders please Nintendo,

      • Jonathan Dogey

        I know, but so far, with my other Wii U games, it’s only three pages. I’m confident an update is on the way before, or a little after summer.

  • DemonRoach

    Inteference can cause all sorts of shitpad lag. Nintendo really needs to release a cable for people living in high interference zones.

  • Martijn Plasmans

    No lag problems, but i had terrible slowdown even to like 2 or 3 frames per second with some underwater stages in Super Mario World.

  • William Cole

    I think Nintendo should have just dropped GamePad support for VC games. It would have eased VC games out as you have to do twice the work to make it compatible with the GamePad. But that would defeat the purpose of Wii U wouldn’t it?

  • Squid

    The only game The Shaymin has lag in is Kirby’s Dreamland. The Shaymin has been very impressed with the service so far. The Shaymin just wants Nintendo to get the rights to Banjo Kazooie.

  • Shigeru Miyamoto

    I haven’t had any lag.

  • Hairee Pothead

    It’s only on Gamepad it lags. The Gamepad can’t stream the emulator fast enough compared to the cable to the TV.

  • companyoflosers

    i personally have no issues with lag but you also have to consider that these games are upscaled to native resolution and native frame rates. basically that means the console has to do some extra processing to upscale something from as low as 240p resolution at a really low frame rate and upscale it to 1080p and with a framerate of at least 30fps. taking something tat was never meant to run like that could be problematic. its not such a big deal with games that ran at 480p standard definition because those already ran at 30fps and the resolution increase isnt as big. that and if we go under the assumption the games havnt been recoded for wii u they have to be emulated which takes quite a bit more processing power. not enough that it should be problematic but once again you have the issues with upscaling resolution and framerate on top of that. basically emulation+upscaled resolution+upscaled framerate= lots of processing power needed. the console does have 2gb of ram though so it shouldnt be an issue unless theres not a separate cache of ram for the operating system… thats my theory anyways. i dont know everything about these things but with my knowledge that would have to be my best guess.

  • mchelski

    kirby lags for me, a lot

  • Johny

    i never played super metroid before, but it played super awesome for me…