Nintendo Australia today ended weeks of consumer speculation and rumour by flicking the switch on its WiiWare downloadable-game service for the Wii game console. The announcement coincides with the May 20 European release of the product, and unlike many recently delayed software titles for the Australian region, comes just a week after launching in North America on May 13.
Like the already established Wii Virtual Console service, WiiWare will allow users to exchange Wii Points for downloadable games, with titles costing between 500 and 1500 points (A$5.25--A$15.72). Up to this point the Virtual Console service has only featured classic games from major developers and publishers. Nintendo hopes to change this with WiiWare, providing opportunities for both new and independent games that previously may have been hamstrung by the high cost of traditional game distribution.
WiiWare is available now free via the Wii Shop Channel. In a press release, Nintendo Australia confirmed the service would be updated weekly in conjunction with the system's Virtual Console software library. At launch, six titles were made available for download and are as follows: Square Enix's Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King (1500 points), Lost Winds (1000 points), Star Soldier R (800 points), Dr. Mario & Germ Buster (1000 points), Toki Tori Take 2 (900 points), and TV Show King (1000 points).
Despite being a launch week title for the North American release of WiiWare, "Pop" from Australian developer Nnooo was strangely absent from the announcement list. Both Nintendo Australia and a representative from Nnooo were unavailable for comment by press time. Click here for GameSpot AU's interview with Nnooo creative developer Nic Watt.