Among several other things announced during Nintendo's Direct news broadcast this morning, the company announced that the Wii U's Virtual Console—the eShop platform that lets you download and play classic games from past Nintendo systems—would officially launch this spring.

In the meantime, there's one game available: Balloon Fight, an NES throwback that's up for only ¢30. It's part of Nintendo's 30-year NES anniversary celebration, along with F-Zero, Punchout!, Kirby's Adventure, Super Metroid, Yoshi, and Donkey Kong, which will become available for ¢30 each, one a month, until July. You'll only have the month to get each one cheap, though, as they'll go back to their normal prices after 30 days.

The Virtual Console will launch in full in the coming months, with a second update planned for summer to help improve the console's UI speed in general. But the Wii U Virtual Console won't include all the games that are available on the Wii's Virtual Console, because they're being retooled for the new system, with GamePad support, fully customizable controls and even emulator-like save states being added. That's what we're reading, at least.

When it launches in full, Virtual Console NES games will be $5 to $6, while SNES games will be $8 to $9. If you already own a game on the Wii's VC you'll be able to redownload it for a fee of $1 to $1.50.

[via Joystiq, Joystiq, Joystiq]