WiiWare launching in Japan March 25

Nintendo's platform for independent developers officially dated; nine games available at launch.

Originally scheduled for a vague "early in 2008," WiiWare now has an official date--in Japan at least. The platform is coming to the country on March 25 and will feature nine games available for purchase to begin with, each weighing in at between 500 and 1,500 Wii Points.

The first is Okiraku Ping Pong Wii by Arc System Works, a table tennis game for one to two players (using a split screen), which will cost 500 Wii Points (approx £3.50, $5). Next up is Kotoba no Puzzle Mojipittan by NBGI, a word puzzle game for 1,000 Wii Points (£7.50, $10), and Konami's Saku Saku Animal Panic for 800 Wii Points (£5.60, $8), a puzzle game in which one to four players have to fence off animals so that each type of animal is separated from the rest. Fluffy bunnies sharing with crocs, after all, doesn't tend to end well.

Star Soldier R is the fourth game and comes from Hudson Soft for 800 Wii Points. The game is a shooter with a difference: There's a very short time limit of either two or five minutes in which to obtain the highest score possible, and rankings will be registered. Square Enix's Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King is the most expensive of the seven games, costing 1,500 Wii Points to play (£10.50, $15), and puts gamers in the shoes of a king confined to his kingdom who builds a city by following hints from his adventurers as to what they need (for instance, an inn, or an armourer).

G-Mode has added a one-player card game with three different modes: Angel's Solitaire, Klondike, and Tower Off. It will cost 500 Wii Points. Nintendo's own offering, Dr. Mario & Bacteria Extermination is a puzzle game that sees the good doctor throw two-coloured pills into a Tetris-style grid, and when four colours in a row are matched, the row disappears. There are two different modes, which one to two players and one to four players can play, respectively. Dr Mario & Bacteria Extermination costs 1,000 Wii Points.

The eighth game, a Pokemon title called Everyone's Pokemon Ranch, is a one-player game for 1,000 Wii Points. Gamers can bring their Miis to the ranch, and can use the DS games Pokemon Diamond and Pearl to bring Pokemon to the ranch. You can then take "photos" of your Mii with the Pokemon and "share them with your friends."

Last but not least is Lonpos from Genki for one to four players and 1,000 Wii Points. It's another puzzle game, and it looks very much like Pentominoes, the game that inspired Alexey Pajitnov to create Tetris. Gamers have a series of differently shaped pieces that they need to fit into a board. Up to four players can play.

WiiWare is set for release in North America on May 12, and isn't yet dated for Europe or Australia. The idea behind the platform, which is part of the Wii Shopping Channel, is that independent developers can create small game projects without the financial risks associated with having to sell their games at retail.

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Discussion

79 comments
Waximizer
Waximizer

Good games, good but light games, should come out from Wiiware in the end. Overall this new idea seems plentifully potent, but let's not forget we won't be able to download a 10 gig game from that channel.. the size limitations are at the same time a large barrier and Wiiware is probably going to stay and remain a casual choice for Wii owners.

Vicionator
Vicionator

this is going to be cool and all that, but please nintendo, release something to increase the wii's memory

ntmathis
ntmathis

A Final Fantasy game with Sim city gamplay? should be interesting. I also agree, they should have demos like X-box Live does. Maybe I will stop wasting my money on gamer points, and waste them on Wii points instead ;)

taddia
taddia

Pretty good idea. But It had to come with an external Harddrive... Otherwise it's pretty pointless.

EnozmeH
EnozmeH

Storage forever seems to be a problem whenever the VC topic comes around. Let's just hope that Nintendo realizes this before they release the Wiiware games here :)

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

Awesome this is what i've benn waiting for. And I hope that they have some free or free demos on there but now I just have to figure out where to put everything

Mortaci
Mortaci

SUPER MARIO RPG!!!!! that would be amazing. put it on this or Virtual Console. i miss that game. ha.

lordmt
lordmt

Ya i agree somewhat with Maverick19. If nintendo has to release a special kinda hard drive please do it = D

Maverick19
Maverick19

Why doesn't Nintendo enable the use of a HDD or even a USB thumb drive for storage use... we are really running low on space of the Wii or SD cards.. There should be a use for those 2 USB plugs on the back of the Wii. someone needs to start a petition... or hopefully Nintendo is working on it as we speak!!

Dark_Knight6
Dark_Knight6

That's great and all but where am I going to store them? I only have 300 blocks left open on my Wii. If only Nintendo made the SD cards even some-what usefull.

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

xbox live doesnt have many good games so dont go there wii games are always priced right in fact do you know how much a used copy of super mario 64 will run you,, 45 dollars the most ive seen it 20 is the lowest ive seen it , so 10 dollars or 15 dollars for new wii ware games is not bad considering tetris will have 6 players online, ya plus what do you think a new quality game on 360 goes for -12 thousand ms points for xbox originals, thats the best games on 360 the rest doom and soon duke nukem aside ,, theres really nothing much to go for and those cost 800 points-8 dollars also they are old games, from old consoles so pretty much your getting a pc/snes/n64 port of respective titles with achievements and online thrown in , nothing more

Dan2002sk8er
Dan2002sk8er

XBL doesn't have cheaper prices all games are $10. exept the crappy $5 games. But Dr. Mario is a must have for the Wii with 4 player multiplayer thats sweet it will be like Dr. Mario 64. I hope they have the game Flash in Dr. Mario that was my favorite. it's about time Nintendo did this because I have a few XBLA games and PSN games like Flow and Poker Smash they are fun and cheap. and you can play them when you don't feel like playing a Full Scale Game.

KingSigy
KingSigy

Smash Bros channel, thats all I want and would pay $10 for it.

retrofraction12
retrofraction12

they need to make a super smash channel that ranks everyone

umd1998
umd1998

Dr. Mario will have online multiplayer!

asimplerapper
asimplerapper

A bit overpriced I think. Xbox Live has better games at a cheaper price.

sun_spirit
sun_spirit

Seemed a bit iffy... Until I read the pokemon ranch bit, haha I'm so lame I love pokemon and that has completely grabbed me. Go 'tendo always brining great ieas to the table!

Simpsonsfan2
Simpsonsfan2

I can't wait for this but... Won't we eventually need a hard drive or something, if all this downloadable content keeps getting released? 2000 blocks of memory is waaaaaaaaay too small.

xgalacticax
xgalacticax

Nothing Im crazy about but I'd like to try my hands at the dev tools. The pokemon game sounds like something pokemon fans will like. I'm sure I'd like it if I can get my miis to take pics with Link, Kratos or Ryu Hayabusa, lol....as long as kratos doesnt kill them first.

tennis12master
tennis12master

nintendoboy16....what the hell......? You're name is nintendoboy16 and you say that nintendo sucks! what the hell...and yes, Wiiware games are exactly like XBL arcade games.

fgjnfgh
fgjnfgh

WiiWare is like XBL arcade games? send me an email I don't know what's WiiWare

sickside6
sickside6

Xbox live community is way better

scottyskater77
scottyskater77

Sounds kind of cut and dry. Hopefully it'll flesh out quickly.

bgres077
bgres077

Don't know if I'll buy any games, but very cool for those who will.

syncmaster150
syncmaster150

first thing i will download from that is the championship eating game,,,,,,,,,,,,,, btw isnt 512 internal MB very lil for those games i can't afford and SD card

xblane
xblane

I'd be interested to know how many people have actually purchased Wii points... might submit that as a question for Everybody Votes channel

BadSushi
BadSushi

It could be interesting, but the only way it will psyche me up is if they release demos for this..

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

Oh only in Japan right now? Nintendo's giving us promises to the US, but most of the time now they aren't coming true. (Especially after what happened with Twilight Princess) I still like them but no wonder people say Nintendo sucks.

ansem_man
ansem_man

where did the ds tv application go?that looked like it was a prosiming idea thaqt would practically print money for nintendo.but anyways i'll definatly have to get my life as a king it looks like a solid idea for square enix. :D

waza000
waza000

hmm, i will definitely try to not waste too much money in wiiware, i'll limit myself to PSN and Steam games

nate1222
nate1222

I have mixed feelings on WiiWare. On one hand: the Wii's low dev costs would make development a dream for indies. And SD mem cards are a good storage option because they're used everywhere and are easy to find for consumers. On the other hand: there's the possibility that Nintendo will ONLY work with big names. Plus the fact that many indies can't cough up the initial entry fee. This sort of crap is driving me toward the PC scene.

AngelCage
AngelCage

@schu i i get the whole idea from the link privided by vnc20100 (thanks) you can only get acces to the SDK after an approval proces from nintendo to make you an autorized developer (even for just wiiware), and you will only get that approval if you can pay for the SDK ($2,000-$10,000), if you are a recognized developer, and some other conditions. From theh point of view, wiiware isn't oriented to independent developers-development groups, but to well stablished software companyes... The site is: http://www.warioworld.com/ PD. I would like to work in wiiware too, but i can't allow myself to invest $2000 in the SDK and of course i are a independent developer, who yes have made some pices of software, have certain experience in game programming/design (nothing great, just game maker) and things like that... a independent developer... you know

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

Pokemon Ranch sounds lame as hell.

not_dryad
not_dryad

@Matthew DLC will still probably not happen for the Wii because of the lack of a hard drive. The Wii's storage space is just so small and with the popularity of VC and possibly soon-to-be WiiWare developers just can't expect people to go out and buy SD cards for more space.

Galadreil782
Galadreil782

Can't wait for Wiiware. I am very interested in some of those games.

schu
schu

my question is WHEN can we get ahold of the development kit for wiiware? or is nintendo not actually allowing INDEPENDENT developers to use it

HALCONAZUL
HALCONAZUL

A) Where is the Ds download channel? B) That Pokemon game looks very very expensive for just that feature C) External Hardrive / Memory expandion?......when? i dont have probelms with the memory right now but......there is a limitation there for developers D) Wiipoint cards for Latinamerica?

MatthewNintendo
MatthewNintendo

Lets hope that developers will be able to use this so the wii can DL extra content for games now. For example extra songs for guitar hero.

HyruleanLink
HyruleanLink

I look forward to the Wiiware Channel. The channel will be here before we know it.

norton88
norton88

@hazuki you think you've got it bad, us in europe are STILL waiting on rockband AND super smash bros. Its a bit annoying getting everything last, especially when gamespot write reviews saying how awsome games are

shoeman12
shoeman12

why do we have to wait so long?

hazuki
hazuki

3 extra months for America to get it? Yeah... you'd think the place where the wii more than likely sells the most, would get things on time. Nope. Still waiting on that ds download channel japan has...

AngelCage
AngelCage

@hannify Who has made all the best games for Wii? Thats right - nintendo. Most of there games have been hits all around, Super Mario Galaxy, Super Smash Bros Brawl, Zelda: princess twilight and many more. Theres still games ike Mario Kart wii to come out. many more???? i simply can't remember another high-octane game from nintendo on the wii besides the three you said... ahhh let me see... yes! there is a Mario party wich of course just sucks!, wii-sports, but are a minigame compilation, not an high octane piece of software in any way and... nah, i cant remember nothing more than that (nothing good). on the third party front, half -or even more- of the big games already released or next to be released in the wii are just game cube (wich is stupid since the wii can handle gamecube games) or PS2 ports (yeah, RE4 wich is an awesome game, but has been out for years already), and only a small part of the released games are original real projects, and even these games usually are just bad games. The Wii see the launch of 20 or even more games every month yes, but almost all are VC titles, 2-3 minigames and with a little luck a real game like Super mario galaxy or Brawl. I like the idea of wiiware, but for small developers... not Hudson or Square!!! the big developers -who since the wii launch- are really lazy and just keep releasing cheap games, now will be developing even more cheap games!!!! That's just sad.

Ungdi
Ungdi

Good point ghost! Nintendo is publishing games from big japanese companies. But this is launch day! We can't just assume that now.

ghost867
ghost867

If this whole thing is supposed to be for small studios and indie developers, why are more then half of the games available day on in Japan from major companies? One from Konami, one from Hudson Soft, one from Square Enix, and two from Nintendo. I'm sorry, but this really shouldn't be passed off as some "indie gateway" IMO until it's actually an indie gateway. All it is so far is a seemingly pricey rip off of XBLA or PSN. Which is fine, I wouldn't mind that on the Wii at all, I'd actually welcome it for the most part. But I think some of the prices are excessive. Idk, it just seems to me like some of the prices for what they're describing and what we know about some of these games is just too much. I'll wait and see until they release. And no offense, but I find it kinda sad that a couple of you guys are taking the opportunity to cover up any possible fault in the WiiWare program by knocking XBLA or PSN. Just take it as what it is, and compare it to other services, but don't use this as a platform to knock other services, that just makes you look like a fanboy. Anyway, if this service has enough good games, regardless of how large or how small, it might be a reason for me to buy a Wii. Though at the moment, I'm happy with what I have.

halosniper52
halosniper52

I have to agree with "klugenbeel" Nintendo should focus on putting out some good games for the wii not some little arcade BS.

klugenbeel
klugenbeel

Oh wow, way to go Wii. Just with online lay, your still years behind the competition in some ways. How about focus on good games, not the 5 to 10 dollar games, that usually only end up having 1 or 2 decent games a year. Focus on blockbuster hits, not these lame P.O.S. games.