WiiWare live in North America

Nintendo flips the switch on its new downloadable-game service; new Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles headlines initial slate of half a dozen games.

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Nintendo announced the North American launch of its WiiWare downloadable-game service for the Wii months ago, but has played coy about specific details on games and prices. Today the service goes live, and Nintendo finally detailed a slate of six launch games that range in price from 500 Wii points ($5) to 1,500 Wii points ($15).

Bask in overwhelming gratitude in My Life as a King.

Nintendo has said that there are more than 100 WiiWare games in the works, and as with Virtual Console additions, new games will be added to the service on Mondays. Gamers can find video clips of the games on the Nintendo Channel, and download the actual games in the WiiWare section of the system's Wii Shop Channel.

The initial wave of games is headlined by Square Enix's Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King, a management-sim twist on the seminal role-playing game franchise. Unlike previous multiplayer-focused installments in the Crystal Chronicles spin-off series, the WiiWare entry is a single-player game. My Life as a King sells for 1,500 Wii points ($15). Downloadable content including new buildings, dungeons, and costumes is also available for Square's WiiWare debut, ranging in price from 100 to 800 Wii points ($1-$8).

That's the high end of the WiiWare price spectrum so far, with XGen Studios' Defend Your Castle (500 Wii points, or $5) currently residing at the low end. A remake of a free browser-based game, Defend Your Castle has players using the Wii Remote to exterminate onrushing enemies by grabbing them and tossing them to great heights. The game also includes four-player cooperative gameplay.

Defend Your Castle got a makeover for the Wii.

Defend Your Castle isn't the only WiiWare game to support up to four players. Nnooo's Pop lets up to four gamers do just that, popping a field full of bubbles to earn points and string together combos. Pop sells for 700 Wii points ($7). Two more four-player games include V.I.P. Casino: Blackjack, High Voltage Software's Vegas-themed card game (700 Wii points, or $7), and TV Show King, a Gameloft-developed quiz game featuring more than 3,000 questions across six categories (1,000 Wii points, or $10).

Finally, Frontier Development is offering LostWinds, a side-scrolling platform game that uses the Wii Remote's pointing abilities to control the direction of the wind, helping boost players over chasms or solve puzzles. Designed for one or two players, LostWinds sells for 1,000 Wii points ($10).

With the exception of the T-for-Teen-rated V.I.P. Casino: Blackjack, all of the WiiWare launch games are rated E for Everyone.

Discussion

77 comments
vault-boy
vault-boy

Wii only has a 500MB hard drive, I don't really see how this is going to work. Even independent games like Braid go over the 100MB line, so either these games are going to be very small or they will have to be saved externally, which opens up loads of new homebrew problems that already exists on the console and although I don't mind homebrew that much (I got tons of it on my Wii) Nintendo sure hates it.

Jebril
Jebril

What's this Lost Winds game I keep hearing about?

HappyBB
HappyBB

Wii does not have a hard drive, doesn't it? So where will the downloaded games be saved to? Memory cards?

rankoreAE
rankoreAE

Look guys im going to put this as simply as i possibly can... Lost Winds... DOWNLOAD IT NOW! Stop wondering if its good because its not just good its damn amazing, so just go download it. The longer you wait the longer your missing out.

destrozz
destrozz

I DL FFCC and Lost Winds both are very good games, LW is very original. As far as a Pilotwings go they need to make a new version using the Wiimote not a DL game, Ive been waiting for this since Wii was released.

DrewBlood08
DrewBlood08

I second the pilotwings motion, more so for a new installment in the series than the 64 version.

hawaiiinsomniac
hawaiiinsomniac

I want to buy a Wii, but I am waiting for it to come with a larger hard drive. WOW, the Wii has a lot of downloadable games.

motang
motang

Going to be getting LostWinds tonight. :-D

Neilo_
Neilo_

why the hell would i pay up to 15 bucks for a game i could play on my computer for free seriously 5 bucks for Defend your Castle? What a joke 7 for Balloon Pop? Its disgusting I know xbl is more expensive but peeweeshift is right the content is at least respectable Ive bought 4 games Bubble Bobble 5 bucks Blades of Steel 5 bucks Streets of Rage 2 8 bucks Star Fox 64 10 bucks I thought all of those games were well worth the money, and until now, i thought nintendo had the best pricing as well. So much for that opinion, because now i think they're bent on ripping off people who dont know better than to buy browser games for ridiculous prices

peeweeshift
peeweeshift

sadly nintendo has the best pricing scheme even compared to xbl but the content isn't as good as xbl in most areas except maybe the classic games.

BrunoLucio
BrunoLucio

OK, it's all very cool, but where's that Hard Disk?!?

Tylendal
Tylendal

I can not even begin to describe how excited I am that flash game developers are making Wii-Ware games.

XXMadManVII
XXMadManVII

Is Pilot Wings 64 downloadable yet????

KoR_Wraith
KoR_Wraith

IGN have reviews on a few of these launch titles: http://uk.wii.ign.com/ Gamespot always give Wii the lowest priority so don't expect any WiiWare reviews from them for at least another week...

2w-sephiroth
2w-sephiroth

"allmybase: *waits for the masses to demand that Castle Crashers come to WiiWare*" You have read my mind!!! I want that game so bad! But... I think we need a HD for that first... come on nintendo, you have USB drives and a 20Gb HD would cost peanuts! Even to design! hell!

ArfenZard15
ArfenZard15

Soooo er yeah when's this gonna hit Europe!?

Merl57
Merl57

no achievements and Its a pain to play with friends so im only gonna buy classic stuff

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

Aww Defend your castle's blood got axed.

star77241
star77241

I'd like to get LostWinds but I need a review to read first. I also kind of want the quiz game but only if there's going to be free or really cheap sets of questions for download in the future.

StrawberryWiz
StrawberryWiz

Nice. But when is it coming to Australia? I'm still eagerly waiting!!

madsnakehhh
madsnakehhh

Defend your castle sound like a nice game, very nice indeed, if World of Goo and Doctor Mario doesnt appear in the next couple of weeks, maybe i get Defend your Castle, but, i really want to play World of Goo. And yes, Nintendo, were the hell is our Hard Disk?

Valen_Ca
Valen_Ca

"mjc0961 No game demos = epic failure." Agreed, of course the issue with putting Wii demos up is the fact that the Wii has no storage capacity for them since the demos would most likely eat up at least 100-200MB's on the low end. Now when Nintendo releases a hard drive attachment for the Wii that you can download to and play directly from, then maybe they will do it, but not before then.

ctg867
ctg867

@PinkFloyd2003 The video game industry standard name of "indie" is small time, small game, low budget. It used to mean what you've described it as, but most of the old indie studios have been bought up, or merged, or changed into strictly a business, not an entertainment manufacturer. I have no problem with WiiWare having big name titles (as long as they're good). I just think it's kinda stupid for Nintendo to start calling it this safe haven for indie developers when most real indie devs can't even afford the WiiWare dev kits. Look it up.

Ungdi
Ungdi

Great idea! Im going to boycott this service until they let me boot from my sd card, or through an external hard drive. Sorry Nintendo, but I think it's best for us. BOYCOTT.

mr_squibble
mr_squibble

This is pretty lackluster stuff to me. I'm sure there will be a few titles eventually released in which I will be interested. However, for now I will save my money and the limited space on my Wii. Besides, I'm having plenty of fun with NES and TG-16 games, and they don't take up much space or cost much money ($15.00+++... for that FFCC game - heck no!)

Pete5506
Pete5506

Sweet, getting some better games to play now

Gaticus
Gaticus

wiz4ha, I totally agree with you on that one I got it today and it is beautifully designed and an absolute joy to play.

skemaal
skemaal

Although I'm happy of this new service and looking forward to great games, I have to agree with a lot of my fellow gamers here about the hard drive. Nintendo really needs to do something in that respect in order for their market to grow.

wiz4ha
wiz4ha

LostWinds ftw. Fantastic game.

j3c1987
j3c1987

Cant Nintendo make support for external hard drives instead of making one on their own, or at least for flash drives or bigger sd cards, Ive seen 16gb flash drives on ebay, thats enough for many titles.

Vash67
Vash67

I'm sure a lot of Wii owners are excited for this. I am now one of them. And word to the the wise. Anyone who wants a harddrive needs to stop gobbling up every downloadble thing Nintendo throws at you. Stop buying downloadble stuff and eventually Nintendo will figure it due to the lack of storage space and make one. Otherwise, Nintendo will just say "Well, we're still selling a lot of people obviously do have room on their Wiis..."

ak47pi
ak47pi

I've played the blackjack game. It's a lot of fun. I'm still waiting for DLC songs and characters for GHIII and SSBB, respectivly

Hieh
Hieh

I just want super mario world 2.. ffs

books83
books83

I think Nintendo was smart in letting only third party games be the launch titles.

taj7575
taj7575

The people at Nintendo are being idiots. making all this content, while their gamers have no hard drive. COME ON NINTENDO, IT IS TIME FOR A HARD DRIVE. seesh....

thestickman
thestickman

Can't wait to try 'em out, especially LostWinds, FFCC and possibly Pop.

Lunar52
Lunar52

LostWinds is amazing.

Homerj
Homerj

I'm waiting for World of Goo myself.

PinkFloyd2003
PinkFloyd2003

ctg867 Defend Your Castle - XGenStudios -XGen is about as indie as it gets. They've only released 3 games (as far as GameSpot is concerned), so these guys go under the indie umbrella. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King - Square Enix -Obviously, Square Enix are the last thing from indie. They, without a doubt, fall under the major company umbrella. LostWinds - Frontier Developments -These guys aren't huge, but they're hardly indie. They've worked on a number of Roller Coaster Tycoon games/expansions, along with Thrillville and it's sequel. They also have a semi-large title coming to the 360 and PS3 called "The Outsider". Like I said, they're not huge, but they definitely aren't indie. Pop - No! -Only game these guys have released (says GameSpot). They're indie. TV Show King - Gameloft -Gameloft has been doing mobile and portable games for god knows how long. They are definitely not indie. V.I.P. Casino Blackjack - High Voltage Soft. -Aside from the recent Harvey Birdman game, they did the PSP version of GRAW 2, the PSP version of 50 Cent Bulletproof, and a number of licensed and sports games before that. They're not huge, but they're hardly indie. So that's two big name, two mid range, and two indie. I hardly consider one third of your US launch releases, and from what I remember back when, less then half of your Japan releases, an "indie" platform. So can Nintendo please stop marketing it as one until it actually becomes one? Believe it or not Indie doesn't just mean emo/underground/not alot of work done so far. Indie is just independently developed from a larger financially funding organization. The money for making the product is often internally or privately funded. The bottom line though is this is mainly about small scale developers without the financial means to make a AAA game. Not about "Indie Cred" as it seems like your focused on.

santiagochile
santiagochile

The Wii is going to need a hard drive if Nintendo expects this service to take off. I went to buy Lost Winds but I couldn't fit it on my Wii. I had to erase a whole bunch of save games, NES. Super Nintendo, and N64 games and I still hadn't gotten enough space when I left my house to store one Wiiware games. If there are 100 Wiiware games for sale in the next few months, where will people store them?

okassar
okassar

Hmm.....a Burger King Steakhouse Burger,Icee,and Oreo cheesecake or "Pop".....I'll take the food please.I really don't find anything on that list of games worth it.Maybe the FF addition,but comeon,15 bucks for a sim,forget chall'.

Dualmask
Dualmask

Definitely gonna need to see some reviews before I take the plunge. It's not like I can buy these games used and take them back to the store if I don't like them.

HOMIE_G64
HOMIE_G64

Sounds much better than those half-assed games that are clearly meant to make money, not to entertain.

VenomRitual
VenomRitual

gamespot should do a review on these inital games.

N15PCA
N15PCA

Where is the Dr. Mario game.

p0rkp1e74
p0rkp1e74

well even though it is a little extreme on the wallet My Life As a King so far is very addicting and as mentioned is slow on the startup it is quite fun and makes you want to waste time sending people on endless exp and elemntite runs

Lord_Artix
Lord_Artix

Admittedly, I don't like the way Square Enix is doing DLC, but at the very least, it is offering it. So obviously DLC is possible to some extent on Wii, regardless of what the naysayers preach. My Life as King is great, really addicting, albeit kinda slow at first (one building a day? Sheesh...). No Dr. Mario makes me sad, but I might check out Lost Winds in the meantime.