Want to create your own game to play on the Nintendo Wii? Now those capably skilled can do just that.
Today, Nintendo announced it is opening the popular Wii platform to independent developers. From the weekend-warrior computer geek to professional studios, people will be able to put together their own efforts, and sell the results, using tools called WiiWare and a Nintendo retail channel called Wii Shop. The retail channel will open after the holiday season in early 2008.
WiiWare, like a similar tool from XNA game studio for the Microsoft XBox platform, seems set to play on the trend of user-generated content. While, unlike video, blogs or otherwise, developing gaming content requires much more specialized skill, the open door to the Wii will allow amateur and professional developers to focus on niche markets, or non-traditional games. Efforts could include anything from obscure card games (3rd Card Monty?) to involved strategy and roll playing creations.
With Wiiware, games that wouldn’t likely have the sell-through potential to allow them access now will have a chance to be built and find an audience. In return, the added diversity in titles could bring more casual gamers, or non traditional gamers into the market; a nice benefit at a limited cost for Nintendo.
(Playing one of these non-yet created niche games may require patience; the Wii is still in hot demand and rapidly selling out of inventory at the stores getting current shipments. Even if great games to play are created, getting the platform to play them on will be a challenge of its own).