I honestly didn't expect it to happen, but Nintendo is preparing to release Super Mario Advance 4 (the Game Boy Advance version of the Super NES Super Mario All-Stars port of Super Mario Bros. 3 for the Nintendo Entertainment System) for the Wii U with the lost e-Reader levels intact and included. As you may recall, SMA4 featured support for the failed peripheral that added new levels to the game which included features from past Super Mario games such as Super Mario World's cape and Super Mario Bros. 2's pluckable vegetables. These levels have been hard to find for years (and weren't exactly easy to play when they were new thanks to the convoluted setup required to scan e-Reader cards into SMA4), but soon you'll be able to experience them for yourself with ease for the reasonable entry fee of a Virtual Console download. It's coming to Japan for sure, but will other territories see it? USgamer explains what this means:
But will Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3 come to North America with all that e-Reader goodness intact? It seems like a sure bet. Nintendo hasn't failed to release any of the Super Mario Advance games to English-speaking audiences yet, and picking through the North American release specifically to remove e-Reader stuff seems like a costly and effort-filled way to cheese off a fanbase for no discernable reason.
I didn't expect Nintendo to do the legwork required to add this content to the game, and while I'd have passed on buying the basic version of SMA4, I will absolutely buy the expanded version with e-Reader content included. Fans have already recreated this material in Super Mario Maker, but here's a chance to play it as it was meant to be experienced. Provided, of course, that it comes west. While it may seem like a slam dunk for Nintendo of America to launch it, David Oxford at Poison Mushroom points out how the company isn't afraid to release lesser versions of games when better versions exist in the vault:
I’m worried that while we may get Super Mario Advance 4 here, we may only end up seeing that third of the total content included. It wouldn’t be the first time Nintendo has held back on such things — the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console, for instance, only features the colorless non-Super Game Boy version of Donkey Kong. And Balloon Kid was only released here in its colorless Game Boy iteration, while Japan was able to enjoy the Game Boy Color version from the previous Japan-only release of Balloon Fight GB. If they won’t release a game about balloons of all things in color, I don’t know what to tell you.
Here's hoping we get the good stuff soon. I'll keep rebuying these old games provided that they get better and better.