As the industry moves towards digital distribution, an
ever-increasing amount of new titles are starting life on corporate servers,
rather than on store shelves. Following the success of the Microsoft Xbox Live
Arcade, and Sony’s Playstation Store, Nintendo of America will be unveiling
their WiiWare service on May 12th, 2008.
Whereas the Virtual Console focuses exclusively on retro
titles, WiiWare products will be both new titles and a few selected ports modified for the Wii hardware. Reportedly, Nintendo wants publishers to keep
their titles small and separated; they have reportedly asked parties to keep
the file size under forty megabytes, while releasing no more than one title a
month during the launch window.
While Nintendo’s PR is heavily pushing WiiFit, the WiiWare
system is getting relatively neglected. With less than a week to launch, we
could not get a confirmation of the launch titles. Still, we expect to see the
following titles at/near launch:
Lost Winds: Using the Wiimote, players create gusts of wind to assist in the movement of main character, Toku, who is controlled with the Nunchuck. Creator Frontier Developments were cleared inspired by Okami, where enemies are dispatched with simple slash. Fans of DS title Yoshi’s Touch and Go may also enjoy this title.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King: Detailing the events after the original Crystal Chronicles, My Life as a King is more of city simulator than typical RPG. Players obtain resources, which they will spend strategically, to cause their kingdom to grow and flourish.
Pop: While stylistically simplistic, this game variety of variations could increase the longevity of this title. Bubbles ascend from the bottom of screen, gradually changing in color. Players build combos by popping bubbles of the same color. The player must maintain a balance of popping the smaller bubbles for points, with exploding the larger targets, which yield additional time.
Toki Tori: A combination of a platformer and puzzler, in this title the player is a chicken who uses different devices to save imprisoned eggs. Gameplay looks reminiscent of Cloning Clyde.
Magnetica Twist: This sequel to the DS game is a Zuma clone with Wiimote control. Besides Mii integration, one new addition to the series is co-op gameplay.