Nintendo launches online Wii store for indie games

13 May 2008

Bypassing the physical game store, Nintendo is making it easier and less risky for games developers to design and launch Wii games by selling them directly through the new WiiWare online store that launched yesterday.

Right now, there are six inaugural games on offer from WiiWare:Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicle: My Life as a King, Lost Winds, Defend Your Castle, Pop, VIP Casino: Blackjack, and TV Show King.

Apart from the Blackjack game, which is rated teens, the remaining five are family friendly. The games range in price from between US$7 and US$15.

“WiiWare is to the video game industry what independent films are to Hollywood,” said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America’s executive vice-president of sales and marketing.

“WiiWare lets developers experiment with new ideas and experiences. Combined with our collection of classic Virtual Console games, Wii provides one-stop shopping for the greatest games of the past – and the future”

The Nintendo Wii has been a breakthrough gaming console, not just through opening up the market to the non-traditional gaming demographic but also for the enthusiasm for developing novel ways of using its unique interactive controls.

US researcher Johnny Chung Lee, recently gave a talk at a TED conference on how he hacked his Wii remote to create a digital whiteboard, a touchscreen and a head-mounted 3D viewer showing the endless enthusiasm and possibilities for the Wii machine.

By Marie Boran

Pictured: a scene from the Lost Winds game for the Wii