UPDATE: Original Virtual Console Games ‘WiiWare’: CONFIRMED
Newsweek’s N’Gai Croal has the exclusive on the new Wii Channel that will allow us to finally download original Virtual Console games. Nintendo has finally gone on record saying that both major publishers will be involved as well as indie developers! Even Nintendo themselves are working on original games to launch the service. Here’s some more details:
On Wednesday morning, Nintendo will officially announce to the general public its plans for WiiWare, downloadable games for the wildly popular Wii videogame console. Unlike the vintage games already being offered for legacy systems (i.e. Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis and TurboGrafx 16) through the Virtual Console, these games will be built specifically for the Wii and sold via the Wii Shop Channel for Wii Points currency, much like the Xbox 360- and Playstation 3-specific games being sold on Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network.
UPDATE: Here’s the official press release from Nintendo –
NINTENDO’S WIIWARE PAVES THE WAY FOR FRESH GAMES, COOL CONSUMER EXPERIENCES
Nintendo Sets a New Paradigm: One Game Can Still Make a Difference
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. For more information about Wii, visit Wii.com.
The worldwide innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii™, Nintendo DS™, Game Boy® Advance and Nintendo GameCube™ systems. Since 1983, Nintendo has sold nearly 2.4 billion video games and more than 409 million hardware units globally, and has created industry icons like Mario™, Donkey Kong®, Metroid®, Zelda™ and Pokémon®. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, visit the company’s Web site at www.Nintendo.com.