WiiWare Brings Independent Developers, New Downloadable Games to Wii

Original downloadable games are headed to Nintendo's Wii through the new WiiWare service, which opens the door for indepedent developers to get their Wii on.

Original downloadable games are headed to Nintendo's Wii, courtesy of the company's newly announced WiiWare service. With titles distributed exclusively online through the online Wii Shop Channel, today's announcement claims WiiWare will provide a means "for smaller, more creative games to make their way to the public at lower prices" when the service launches in early 2008.

Due to the ease and cheap cost of online distribution relative to the expensive hassles of dealing with physical media, WiiWare opens the door for smaller independent studios to more easily see their titles made available on Wii.

"Independent developers armed with small budgets and big ideas will be able to get their original games into the marketplace to see if we can find the next smash hit," said Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime. "WiiWare brings new levels of creativity and value to the ever-growing population of Wii owners."

According to N'Gai Croal's Level Up, developers and publishers will be responsible for obtaining a content rating from the ESRB for their WiiWare offerings. Meanwhile, Nintendo itself will determine the pricing for each game and also run a title through a certification process to verify its stability.

"We're providing the venue and light of day for games that might not have gotten attention otherwise," Fils-Aime told Croal. "All our SDKs and dev tools are already--I don't want to call them inexpensive--they're darn near free to developers. This is unlike our competitors, where you have to spend a lot of money building high-res assets to be competitive. So in that sense, there's almost no cost to developers; the tools are already available at rock-bottom prices."

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 27, 2007 7:55 AM

    This is a pretty cool prospect. I wonder how many units are actually connected to the internet out of all the units sold?

    • reply
      June 27, 2007 8:13 AM

      Hopefully Nintendo cares about this enough to run some TV commercials about it eventually. The "wii would like to play" guys can go to someones house and plug in a usb wifi adapter into the family PC, then enter a WEP password into the Wii using an onscreen keyboard so it can access the network, then maybe after that they can show the Wii store load slowly and be the least user friendly (and most Angelfire.com) buying experience on consoles. Then after that they can show the family how to use Wii Opera and that will be pretty awesome actually.*

      * Until they try to play Flash 8 or 9 content.

      • reply
        June 27, 2007 8:16 AM

        It's a great deployment system. Steam has proven that. Nintendo just has to get everyone to hook up their Wiis!

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