WTF squatch you can buy the physical carts of a lot of games on VC cheaper than the VC digital. And if you put them up against EITHER older, legacy games in digital format or modern 2D indie games, VC games are definitely more expensive.
Saying it's cheaper than a near-antique collector's item is pointless anyway, VC is not selling you a valuable physical item, they're selling you a dump of the data wrapped in an emulator.
At least with N64 games you're getting something that can't be emulated on a phone. The price on NES games is ludicrous, they could offer the entire NES VC library for $20-$40 and it would not be underpriced considering Sega has offered similar bundles for the same price, across multiple platforms including arcade and Sega CD.
It depends on the game and rarity factors though. But for the most part it's cheaper and more useful to buy digital VC then it is to buy physical.
As a playing copy I absolute agree that digital is more useful. No debate from me, I own a massive retro collection and still prefer to play my games, including the ones I own physically, in digital format.
But $5 for a mid 80s game is silly. Huge bundles of games from that era on any platform sell for $20 down to bundles of hundreds for a dollar even for very high quality games. Even sticking a Nintendo premium pricetag on this, wouldn't you think $5 for the complete 4 game NES Mario set would be a pretty reasonable offer? Donkey Kong should be no more than $2 for the complete collection.
I could name dozens of collections of games and series that have universal acclaim and sell for a fraction of this even when the games are far more recent, but there's no need.
Is it even cross-buy? Last I was aware you don't even buy the game once and get it on both Wii U/Wii and 3DS, it's just the one you buy it on, right? Yeah, all games that can be emulated on both should be cross-buy.
Thing is, people will spend just as much on games as they ever did. 99.99% of people have a set entertainment budget and if anything will tempt them to spend more it's great deals, not high prices. Digital distro costs nothing, these games earned their keep ages ago, it would be more valuable to Nintendo to get customers buying lots of dirt cheap retro games than charging the same for a game from 1981 with 4 static screens of gameplay as it costs to get a AAA game that got good reviews and came out last year.