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Free 3DS Ambassador NES And GBA Games Include Limitations

Mario Kart: Super CircuitThe other shoe may or may not be dropping on those free Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy Advance games that Nintendo will offer those who bought a Nintendo 3DS prior to the price drop (which take effect today).  Nintendo has specified that the free games will be hamstrung with limitations that the other Virtual Console titles on the 3DS have not included.  However, it's not as bad as you may be thinking.  Pete Davison at GamePro lays it all out:

According to the UK Official Nintendo Magazine, the NES games initially available will be basic ports of the original console titles that come with a simple control guide and the facility to suspend play. Titles that support alternating multiplayer will also work, but there's no simultaneous play to begin with.  Later in the year, these games will get updated versions that support wireless simultaneous multiplayer between multiple 3DS devices, and come with a full manual. Ambassadors will be able to download these updated versions for free, and those who purchased a 3DS since will then be able to buy the titles through the eShop.

The Game Boy Advance​ titles, which are supposedly exclusive to 3DS Ambassadors, won't support the facility to suspend play. This means that players will have to use the standard save systems built into the games, just as if they were playing on a real GBA. They will, however, come with a full electronic version of the manual. Nintendo hasn't specifically said if these games will support wireless multiplayer -- the original GBA required the use of a link cable for multiplayer, though a wireless adapter was later bundled with Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen late in the system's life. This adapter required games to be specifically programmed to work with it, however, and did not see widespread popularity.

While this is a little disappointing, I don't see it as much of a problem.  The NES titles will start out slightly lacking, but will be updated in the future with the full feature set.  The GBA titles that may never get an update to support suspending play will be fine so long as the games support a built-in save mechanism (and so far all of the announced titles do feature such a function).  Also, considering that it's possible to suspend play of all of these titles by just closing the 3DS and putting it into sleep mode, it's still possible to take long breaks between play sessions when saving is not an option at a given moment (just keep your battery charged!).  Game Informer notes that sleep mode is disabled for the GBA games.  As for multiplayer, the only announced GBA title that supports additional players is Mario Kart: Super Circuit.  It would be nice to be able to play that with other people if Nintendo can make it happen.  Hopefully these limitations aren't a dealbreaker for all of you out there.  After all, these games are free and such a giveaway is unprecedented for a make-good gesture.