The latest generation of consoles is entirely on board the digital distribution trend, as Nintendo today announced WiiWare, a new service that will allow developers to create and sell original downloadable games for the Wii. Previously, Nintendo's digitally distributed games on the system were limited to the Virtual Console rereleases of older titles.
Like the Xbox Live Marketplace and online PlayStation Store before it, WiiWare is being touted as a way for developers with small budgets to try out original, innovative, and smaller-scale games without the investment and risk of creating a title to be sold at retail. The first WiiWare games will arrive early next year and will be available to customers through the Wii Shop Channel.
In discussing the new service with Newsweek's N'Gai Croal, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said developers would be able to use existing Nintendo software development kits to build WiiWare games. Fils-Aime also said that Nintendo would have final control of pricing for WiiWare content, though such decisions would be made with input from the publishers and developers.