...But not until 2008.
While one could certainly argue for any system they’d like, when it comes to downloading classic games, each of the new consoles holds its own. However, when it comes to original content, against the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 the Wii hasn’t even put up a fight...until now. Today, Nintendo confirmed that newly created downloadable games along the lines of what you’d find on XBLA and PSN will be made available over the Wii Shop Channel, just not until 2008. Dubbed WiiWare, this new content will come from big and small developers alike (even Nintendo itself), and like typical Virtual Console games you will purchase them with Wii Points (price determined on a case by case basis). Right now, we don’t know exactly what sort of games we’ll see from WiiWare, but it is likely we’ll see a sample of what’s coming at E3 next month. Until then, you can read more about WiiWare in the official press release below:
SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 27, 2007 – The search for the next ingeniously ground-breaking video game has begun. At a private developers conference this week, Nintendo announced the introduction of WiiWare™, a game-creation service that will allow developers large and small to create new downloadable video game content for sale by Nintendo through the Wii Shop Channel of the hot Wii™ home video game system. WiiWare paves the way for smaller, more creative games to make their way to the public at lower prices, without any inventory risk to developers. The first WiiWare content will launch in early 2008.
"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," says Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. "WiiWare brings new levels of creativity and value to the ever-growing population of Wii owners."
The possibilities for WiiWare are limited only by the imaginations of developers. WiiWare provides game creators a simple method by which they can get their games to the public. This approach, combined with the remarkable motion controls of the Wii Remote™ and Nunchuk™, will give birth to fresh takes on established genres, as well as original ideas that currently exist only in developers' minds. The reduced barriers to development provide developers the freedom to create and an inexpensive, clearly defined path to reach consumers who will ultimately determine which game will become the Next Big Thing.
WiiWare will be posted on the Wii Shop Channel. As with current Wii Shop Channel offerings, users will redeem Wii Points™ to download content. It will support a variety of pricing options. Details about that and upcoming projects will be announced at a later date.
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