Nintendo of Australia has today announced the local launch of WiiWare, the Wii's own version of Xbox Live Arcade. Until now the Wii has only offered the Virtual Console - a platform that essentially made ROMS of original NES, SNES, Sega Master System, MegaDrive and Turbo GrafX available for play. However, none of the VC releases have been upgraded, offering only the exact same version of the release as it was from day one.
WiiWare on the other hand, gives developers a chance to work in smaller scale with the Wii's hardware offering up a similar platform to the successful Xbox Live Arcade.
WiiWare is a new game download service, accessible via the Wii Shop Channel, where users can download a variety of new games in exchange for Wii Points. The Wii Shop Channel is free to access and is where WiiWare and Virtual Console games can be downloaded.
Whereas Virtual Console allows consumers to download classic games, WiiWare offers brand new titles, and is also an opportunity for video game developers to create new games for Wii.
Developers, no matter how big or small, will be able to create new downloadable games to be sold through the Wii Shop Channel. Changing the way developers create Wii games and how players access them, WiiWare will make it possible for smaller, creative titles to take centre stage. The combination of low development barriers and unique game experiences, through use of the Wii remote, will enable developers to try new ideas with lower risk in a quicker, more creative and affordable way.
WiiWare is available locally today from the Wii Shop Channel. You can find out more about what's on offer by checking out the press release