WiiWare hitting VC next year

Written by Joe Martin

June 27, 2007 | 14:16

Tags: #ao #developers #esrb #mario #ratings #vc #virtual-console #wii #wiiware #zelda

Companies: #bbfc #indie #nintendo

The capability for Nintendo to replicate the power of Xbox Live's downloadable games system, which has arguably been the most successful digital delivery service to date alongside Steam, has always existed on the Wii through the power of the virtual console system. However, only recently has Nintendo announced it will release original titles for Wii gamers.

Nintendo confirmed recently that the downloadable games and content which has been rumoured for so long will be available next year, and will be creatively dubbed Wiiware. (This could be another joke run in itself -- Ed.)

Nintendo is keen to get the interest of indie developers and wants an emphasis on 'small teams with big ideas' for the Wii console, who can hopefully replicate the success of games like Geometry Wars on the XBox Live Arcade.

Gamers will be able to buy the games and content via the virtual console for Wiipoints, with Nintendo setting a price point for each game based on longevity and quality. Nintendo will also be giving all games a seal of approval and checking each title for bugs and controller response before they are released. This extra step is not unlike Nintendo's "seal of quality" that saved the day in the early 1980's, though one questions if it is truly as necessary in the more mature market.

Developers, meanwhile, will be solely responsible for the ratings that their games receive from groups like the ESRB and BBFC. Nintendo has stated in no uncertain terms that it doesn't want any AO rated content on the Wii at all, lest the console lose its 'family' appeal.

Nintendo hopes that the first games will be available early next year at the latest.

Do you ever used the virtual console, or is the Wii just not hardcore enough a console for you? Let us know what you think about Wiiware and come swap ideas for possible games in the forums.
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