Nintendo today launched in North America its own infrastructure for downloadable original games, called WiiWare.
Wii owners with Internet-enabled consoles will be able to download new games priced between 500 to 1500 Wii Points ($5 to $15). Nintendo advertises that WiiWare provides a platform for game developers that is relatively inexpensive, allowing for “original ideas in the most democratic environment in industry history.”
“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.”
Six WiiWare titles are presently available for download, including Final Fantasy Chronicles: My Life as a King, which challenges player to rebuild a kingdom as a young king. Other WiiWare launch titles, all of which are 1000 points or under, include LostWinds, Defend Your Castle, Pop, V.I.P. Casino: Blackjack and TV Show King.
Players may buy WiiWare games by browsing to the appropriate section in the Wii Shop Channel and spending Wii Points to download a specific title. Wii Points may be purchased directly from the Wii Shop through the use of a credit card, or they can be bought in the form of coded cards from retailers.