WiiWare Q&A

As Nintendoannounced earlier (opens in new tab), WiiWare is a game-creation service that lets developers both large and small make downloadable games for the Wii Shop Channel for Wii Points, like the Virtual Console.

With any new announcement comes the usual list of questions and curiosities, so we got in touch with Nintendo for the answers.

How will the games be stored? Is that hard drive coming? How does it compare to Xbox Live Arcade? Nintendofields our questions below.

There are concerns regarding Wii's relatively small internal memory being filled by all this content (as well as VC games). Is this a concern for Nintendo?

Nintendo: Games can be saved on the internal memory or on SD cards - WiiWare games will come in a variety of sizes, but Nintendo encourages smaller, compact games for the service.

Will the games be playable from SD card, or will they need to exist on the internal memory, like VC games?

Nintendo: WiiWare is stored in and started up from the Wii internal flash memory so they would need to be transferred from SD like VC games.

However like VC games you can delete a WiiWare game to make room for other content, then re-download it at no cost.

Is Nintendo considering releasing a hard drive to bolster the Wii's memory for all this new content?

Nintendo: No.

How is WiiWare going to be better than PSN and XBLA, and what would Nintendo say to people who might think you've just copied XBLA?

Nintendo: WiiWare offers unprecedented access for third-parties to create content with few restrictions. The innovative control of the Wii Remote plus open approach of WiiWare is a powerful combination for developers to create and bring their game to consumers.

Development for the Wii is already an attractive option for developers and WiiWare will be no different.

Will we have to pay VC prices for games? Is there any current estimate price?

Nintendo: There will be a variety of price points, similar to classic VC games.

Will Nintendo develop first-party games for WiiWare?

Nintendo: Yes, but we're not ready to announce what those are.

Will the service go live worldwide simultaneously, or on a territory basis?

Nintendo: We've not decided yet. Developers can approach WiiWare as they would packaged software. Content can be created for one region or more. It will be up to the developer to do the localization and testing.

A long shot, but is there any chance of an open-source, development tool being released for the service to allow for user-generated development (like the PS Net Yaroze) in the future?

Nintendo: There are no plans at present.

June 27, 2007