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Nintendo Businesses Software Wii

Details on Nintendo's Original Downloadable Content 138

Posted by Zonk
from the it's-kinda-about-time dept.
HaymarketRiot writes "N'Gai Croal from Newsweek has given us a broad outline of Nintendo's plans for downloadable original content. To be called 'WiiWare', the company will be selling these all-new games via the Wii's Virtual Store for Wii points. Not only are they looking to big-name developers for these titles, but small garage-style shops as well. 'Shorter, original, more creative games from small teams with big ideas; these are the buzzwords that you'll be hearing from Nintendo when its Wednesday announcement goes wide. Fils-Aime told us that while Nintendo, as the retailer, would itself determine the appropriate pricing for each game on a per-title bases, the games themselves would not be vetted by Nintendo. Instead, Nintendo would only check the games for bugs and compatibility, with developers and publishers responsible for securing [a rating lower than AO with the ESRB].' For more, N'Gai has an interview with Reggie Fils-Aime on the subject. Unfortunately, we won't be seeing a finished product until 2008."
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Details on Nintendo's Original Downloadable Content

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  • Cool (Score:2, Informative)

    by GWLlosa (800011)
    This idea is excellent. I love using the Wii Virtual Console for the sole benefit of not having to change discs in order to play a game. Adding more games to this category can only be good, and the fact that Nintendo is taking a largely 'hands-off' approach to quality control should provide for a comparatively wide selection.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      ...the fact that Nintendo is taking a largely 'hands-off' approach to quality control should provide for a comparatively wide selection.
      This will also likely result in a number of buggy & crappy games being released.
      • by fbjon (692006)
        With regards to bugs, you forgot to RTFS.

        Nintendo would only check the games for bugs and compatibility
      • by LKM (227954)

        ...the fact that Nintendo is taking a largely 'hands-off' approach to quality control should provide for a comparatively wide selection.
        This will also likely result in a number of buggy & crappy games being released.

        Actually, it seems Nintendo still does QC for these games.

  • So, build your game in flash if your gonna skirt the AO line?
  • by ivan256 (17499) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @10:53AM (#19663095)

    A month or so before the March Game Developers Conference, Nintendo's PR agency approached us about a hush-hush new content initiative that the company had been cooking up [...] What's more interesting is that Nintendo isn't only seeking WiiWare from established publishers and developers like Ubisoft and Sega. At a Nintendo developer's conference earlier this week, the company informed attendees that it was seeking from indie developers as well. Shorter, original, more creative games from small teams with big ideas;


    So, the same thing that Microsoft and Sony are already doing? Why's it so hush-hush then? Wouldn't they want to tell people ASAP that they're not missing the boat?

    Article summary: Wii games for download next year, actual article content with interview next week. The rest is fluff.
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)
      I think the article should read something like, "Nintendo has now re-implemented about 75% of Xbox Live's features, before the Xbox 360 was released." Put it in perspective, you know.

      I'm kidding, but it is kind of funny, especially considering how many people (Slashdotters in particular) are so keen on talking about how non-innovative Microsoft is, and how the Xbox and Xbox 360 didn't introduce anything new or worthwhile to the table.
      • The XBox's strength is in implementation, not innovation. Online gaming was old-hat by the time the original XBox came out, and it wasn't even really new for consoles. What Microsoft did was make a good online gaming system for consoles. By the same token, the 360 doesn't have anything completely new and different, in the same way the wiimote is, but it implemented a lot of old ideas in good ways. When it works.
      • by cowscows (103644) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @11:20AM (#19663509) Journal
        I've always thought that the Xbox has pretty much gotten a fair deal on slashdot. Of course there's been the fanboys from either side who refuse to give an inch regardless of the realities, and still a general dislike/distrust of Microsoft. But overall, it seems that the general mindset (generalizing is bad, I know, but sometimes interesting) is that Xbox Live has been a monumental step in online console gaming, and MS did a pretty darn good job with it. MS also received a good bit of praise for their decision to include a HD standard with the Xbox, and a good amount of criticism for making it optional for the 360. The 360 appears to have less innovative stuff in it, but still has a fairly positive vibe to it around here as far as I can tell.

        All that being said, MS tends to miss the mark with new products far more often than they really get it right, so skepticism isn't necessarily a bad thing. But it doesn't seem that the majority of the /. crowd has a problem acknowledging when they do something well. At worst, a lot of us wonder why they can't be more consistent at it with all the resources they have.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Blakey Rat (99501)
          I guess so. The problem is that the Nintendo supporters on this site are so loud and overwhelming that it doesn't seem like the other consoles get their fair due. For instance, while you might see one or two fair and accurate Xbox posts modded up in a discussion, you'll see ten or twenty Nintendo posts modded up in the same discussion, even if the story has little to do with Nintendo.

          The general rule with Microsoft is: Hardware good, software (mostly) bad.

          Microsoft keyboards and mouses are very nice. Micros
          • by cowscows (103644)
            I'll agree with what you said regarding Nintendo. But to be fair, Nintendo has made something that's really really different, while MS has just been refining a decent product. (Nothing wrong with that, it's just more interesting for most people to talk about something new). Nintendo's also had a couple of decades longer to build up their fanboy base, plus they've been the underdogs for a while, and everyone loves a story about the little guy sticking it to the big boys.
          • Hardware good? Are you fucking kidding me?

            Even if you forget the fact that the 360 has abhorrent reliability, this is a company that can't make a decent fucking mouse.

            In fact, I'd venture to say that software is the only reason anyone would ever buy a 360.
            • by Blakey Rat (99501)
              I've never seen an unbiased comparison of Xbox 360 reliability compared to other consoles. There's sure a lot of noise on the Internet about how often they fail, but I've never seen any actual data to form an opinion with.

              And now the pointless anecdote which also isn't actual data:

              My launch 360 hasn't had a single problem since I bought it, and I exercise it at least 10 hours a week. My launch original Xbox also hasn't had a single problem, and I played it about the same amount over its entire lifetime. I s
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by SetupWeasel (54062)
                I usually don't put a lot of stock in anecdotal failures either, but when Crecente of Kotaku said he was on his sixth, I took notice. If Microsoft cannot get a unit that is not defective to an influential news outlet in 5 tries, something is seriously, seriously wrong.

                That is what I look it, because the media is their meat and potatoes. They should be doing whatever they can to get working units to those who comment on and review games for their systems.

                Major gaming sites have been reporting that their own
                • by Blakey Rat (99501)
                  I usually don't put a lot of stock in anecdotal failures either, but when Crecente of Kotaku said he was on his sixth, I took notice.

                  1) For any product that is capable of breaking down and sells in the millions, statistically you're going to have X number of people who have numerous failures. Without knowing if that X is one customer, or 5% of customers, you can't draw any rational conclusion. That's true no matter how famous the individual whose console failed is. (Personally, I've never heard of him.)

                  2) Y
                  • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                    by SetupWeasel (54062)
                    1) Simple probability-if there is a simple 5% failure rate (too high in my book anyway) the probability that any one person will get a defective unit is 1/20 or one in twenty. However the probability that one person will get 5 defective units is (1/20)^5 or (1/3200000) one in three million, two hundred thousand. If the failure rate was so low, only 2 people in the world would share Crecente's fate. The story at 1up about the man with 11 failures [1up.com] would happen once for every 204,800,000,000,000 consoles sold.
                    • 1) Simple probability-if there is a simple 5% failure rate (too high in my book anyway) the probability that any one person will get a defective unit is 1/20 or one in twenty. However the probability that one person will get 5 defective units is (1/20)^5 or (1/3200000) one in three million, two hundred thousand. If the failure rate was so low, only 2 people in the world would share Crecente's fate. The story at 1up about the man with 11 failures would happen once for every 204,800,000,000,000 consoles sold

                    • I'm suggesting it is Microsoft's fault, and that their failure rate is completely unacceptable.
              • by LKM (227954)
                You know, at some point, claiming that there's no issue with the 360 becomes laughable. Even Microsoft itself said that people should not worry about the reliability, but be happy that Microsoft has such great service instead. That's pretty much an admission of guilt. They also won't come out and say what the failure rates are, but they keep getting bigger. They started out below 5%, then below 10%, and now it's "about industry standard" without even naming any numbers.

                There are people who are on their twel
            • Can't make a decent mouse? The original intellimouse explorer is PERFECT, and insanely reliable. I've had one for years and years that's gone through hell (including multiple full glasses of water spilled directly on it) and it still works perfectly.
          • by Kelbear (870538)
            It's probably because it's different people working on certain things, even if they're all under the same company logo. For instance, how many people here haven't encountered incredible incompetence from someone else in their company? Who doesn't know anyone in their company who's good at their job(including themselves)?

            MS has a large number of projects under its umbrella and the people who do the actual work on these will have different performance levels. Of course general company policies can hold back s
          • The general rule with Microsoft is: Hardware good...
            Is that so... [slashdot.org]
        • "I've always thought that the Xbox has pretty much gotten a fair deal on slashdot. "

          Well.. not 'always'. Just before launch, the 360 was a big joke on Slashdot. When the name was announced, there were jokes about Microsoft spinning in circles. When the machine was launched and demand exceeded supply, lots of complaints were made that Microsoft was doing that on purpose. ("We'll make more money by having less units available for sale!") There were complaints about the different SKUs and the lack of a ha
          • by cowscows (103644)
            To be fair, just in terms of comparisons to what came before it, the Xbox360 was a good bit less interesting than I had hoped. It's really just a souped up Xbox (minus the HD), but at least MS never really tried to hype it as much else. Contrast to Nintendo who made a system that really is different, or Sony, who still sometimes likes to pretend that the PS3 is some sort of breakthrough revolution that changes everything.

            Really, I think what MS did with the 360 is what Sony should've done with the PS3. Incr
          • Just before launch, the 360 was a big joke on Slashdot. When the name was announced, there were jokes about Microsoft spinning in circles.

            At least we can all proudly say that none of us engaged in such childishness when Nintendo announced the name Wii. :)

      • by LKM (227954)
        Game downloading existed as far back as the Megadrive/Genesis. I think even the NES had a download service in Japan. Either way, the difference between what Nintendo is doing and what Sony and Microsoft are doing is that Nintendo encourages indies, provides a cheap dev kit, and will do QC for them. Not sure what Microsoft is doing, exactly, but Sony doesn't seem to go as far.
        • by Blakey Rat (99501)
          Game downloading existed as far back as the Megadrive/Genesis.

          Ok, that covers Xbox Live Arcade, which is about a third of Xbox Live.

          Either way, the difference between what Nintendo is doing and what Sony and Microsoft are doing is that Nintendo encourages indies, provides a cheap dev kit, and will do QC for them. Not sure what Microsoft is doing, exactly, but Sony doesn't seem to go as far.

          Microsoft:
          1) Encourages indies. http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/xna/aa937785.aspx [microsoft.com]
          2) Provides a *free* dev kit. (Requi
          • by LKM (227954)

            Game downloading existed as far back as the Megadrive/Genesis.
            Ok, that covers Xbox Live Arcade, which is about a third of Xbox Live.

            ...as well as the subject of the /. article.

            I know you probably hate Microsoft with the fiery passion of a thousand suns, but seriously, do at least a teeny bit of research before writing a post like this so I don't have to waste my time correcting it, k?

            I said I was "not sure what Microsoft is doing, exactly." So thanks for clearing it up.

            • by Blakey Rat (99501)
              I said I was "not sure what Microsoft is doing, exactly." So thanks for clearing it up.

              You said that, then immediately assumed that Microsoft was doing nothing. Look at the previous sentence:

              Either way, the difference between what Nintendo is doing and what Sony and Microsoft are doing is that Nintendo encourages indies, provides a cheap dev kit, and will do QC for them. Not sure what Microsoft is doing, exactly, but Sony doesn't seem to go as far.

              That's like me saying, "unlike Dodge, Ford and Chevy don't d
              • by LKM (227954)
                You're right. I wrote the sentence, and while writing it, it occured to me that I wasn't actually sure what Microsoft allows, so I added the sentence saying that I wasn't sure. Obviously I should have gone back and changed the sentence.
  • Great! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Aladrin (926209) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @10:57AM (#19663145)
    I'm very much looking forward to this. So far, the most fun I've had on the Wii is still the first game, Wii Sports. I was -so- hoping that Wii Play would be as good, but it's nothing like it.

    Super Paper Mario is nice and fun, but took almost no advantage of the uniqueness of the system. Excite Truck was good, not great. Trauma Center was better than the DS version, but still not as much fun as Wii Sports.

    I'm looking for more little games like the Wii Sports ones that are fun solo, and a ton of fun with friends, and I'm willing to pay for them. I think this plan will bring those titles.

    If I had a little more motivation, I'd gladly spend the ~$2k for the Wii dev kit and write my own games. Unfortunately, I still haven't even managed to motivate myself to do it on the PC for free. Some day...
    • Re:Great! (Score:5, Informative)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman.gmail@com> on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @11:20AM (#19663511) Homepage Journal

      Excite Truck was good, not great.

      Sacrilege! If jumping a newly formed mountain at 200MPH then scraping a tree in midair thus resulting in a barrel roll which lands you upside down as you skip off the mountain peaks before diving headlong onto the track where you mysteriously manage to land upright AND get a speed boost for a Nice Landing doesn't bring a smile to your face, I don't know what will. That game is crazy. CRAZY, I tell you. My wife played it and managed to smash, bump, crush, ram, sink, skip, splash, slide, crash, flip, and careen her way through Fiji. Result? S-Class rating!

      Excite Truck: The only racing game that rewards bad driving! :P

      I'm looking for more little games like the Wii Sports ones that are fun solo, and a ton of fun with friends, and I'm willing to pay for them.

      I have heard nothing but good things about Rayman and Elebits, save for that Rayman takes a little bit of time to warm up to. Both make excellent use of the Wii Remote and may be exactly what you're looking for.
      • by Aladrin (926209)
        "I have heard nothing but good things about Rayman and Elebits"

        Oh, let me be the first then!

        Rayman: I was halfway-enjoying the first round or 2. When it came to the area with the close-the-toilet-door scene, it was ridiculous. Not only was that event nearly impossible, the others were hard enough that I didn't care anymore, either.

        Elebits: While it was interesting at first, it very quickly got tedious because of the interface.

        I don't enjoy games that I fight the interface, rather than play the game. Th
        • by Baumi (148744)

          Rayman: I was halfway-enjoying the first round or 2. When it came to the area with the close-the-toilet-door scene, it was ridiculous. Not only was that event nearly impossible, the others were hard enough that I didn't care anymore, either.

          Really? I didn't think that part was *that* hard - and I'm most certainly a casual gamer (I usually only play 2 or 3 times per month if that often.) There are a lot harder challenges coming up a few rounds later, and I could usually beat them after 4 or 5 tries.

          I don't enjoy games that I fight the interface, rather than play the game. This is mostly because I hate the pointing system on the Wii. There is no way to calibrate it to my TV

          That could actually go a long way to explain your troubles - if your setup doesn't work, it's going to make *every* game that much more difficult.

          • by Nevyn (5505) *

            When it came to the area with the close-the-toilet-door scene, it was ridiculous. Not only was that event nearly impossible

            Really? I didn't think that part was *that* hard - and I'm most certainly a casual gamer (I usually only play 2 or 3 times per month if that often.)

            Well I had a similar problem, although the other events were ok so I could finish the level. The problem for me was that the intuitive interface was for you to "push" where the door was. What you actually needed to do was "shake" wher

        • "I have heard nothing but good things about Rayman and Elebits"

          Oh, let me be the first then!

          Rayman: I was halfway-enjoying the first round or 2. When it came to the area with the close-the-toilet-door scene, it was ridiculous. Not only was that event nearly impossible, the others were hard enough that I didn't care anymore, either.

          The instructions are actually pretty poor in that mini-game, and was a big hassle for me. Instead of "Pushing the Nunchuck forward" to close the door (as they instruct you

        • by kubalaa (47998)

          When it came to the area with the close-the-toilet-door scene, it was ridiculous.
          The trick for me was realizing that the timing of the nunchuck shake is important and needs to occur just after you point at the door; if you are just constantly shaking the nunchuck while pointing at doors, that doesn't work.
        • I used to suck at that toilet-door minigame too, until I had the revelation to return to the center after each hit, preparing you with minimum distance when you go for the next one.
        • by LKM (227954)

          Rayman: I was halfway-enjoying the first round or 2. When it came to the area with the close-the-toilet-door scene, it was ridiculous. Not only was that event nearly impossible, the others were hard enough that I didn't care anymore, either.

          Let me start out by agreeing that Rayman is flawed. The main issue is that I don't want to unlock games. This is a party game. I want to put it in and play insane games against other people. I don't want to play single-player to unlock stuff. Also, not enough minigames allow two or four players to play at the same time.

          Having said that: The toilet game is not hard, but it's kind of hard to figure out the control. Give it another try.

        • by Wdomburg (141264)
          Rayman: I was halfway-enjoying the first round or 2. When it came to the area with the close-the-toilet-door scene, it was ridiculous. Not only was that event nearly impossible, the others were hard enough that I didn't care anymore, either.

          Ermmm... both me and my wife got through everything in the first few rounds on our first tries.
      • Your enjoyment of Rayman can also depend on your sense of humor. I really liked the rhythm-game part, but things like pulling worms out of decaying teeth and fart jokes didn't appeal to me - the associated games would have been more fun without the 13-year-old sensibilities.

        But then, as most posters here are male, 13 is probably right up their alley. ;)

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I liked Elebits right up until the final boss, which was so irritating it retroactively made me dislike earlier parts of the game.

        If you play Elebits, throughout the game you'll find various knobs that need to be turned like door handles and sinks. You'll also notice that the knob turning code is almost completely broken. It is impossible to turn a knob without causing your camera to spaz out and end up pointing at the ceiling. But it's mostly no big deal, because there are only ever one or two doors or sin
        • I honestly had no trouble with the final boss (or opening doors or turning other knobs), and I easily beat it on my first try. As long as you turn it/rotate your hand while keeping it pointing in the same direction that it originally was (at the knob or whatever), it works perfectly well. If you point at the ceiling or something while turning, I suppose that would make the camera point at the ceiling and wobble about, but if you just point forward and rotate the wiimote around the long axis, no problem, a
      • by Blakey Rat (99501)
        Just FYI, except for the "newly-formed" part, you can do all that on Crackdown on Xbox 360. It also has crazy-ass physics.
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      For a game that really takes advantage of the Wii controller, check out Super Monkey Ball. I played it on the GC and like it, but it's completely different and so much better on the Wii.
  • Really? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Applekid (993327)
    ... but small garage-style shops as well.

    Really? I'll believe it when I see small garage-style shop priced Wii dev kits. Moreover, even from TFA, Nintendo only does a QA check on the games and leaves important things, like ESRB ratings, to the developer.

    I'd personally like to see ESRB-free hobbyist-targeted Wii development, maybe like Microsoft's XNA initiative.

    Furthermore, it'd be nice to make them available for download for minimal price (as there is minimal COST of pushing bits over a network). But now I
    • Re:Really? (Score:4, Informative)

      by morari (1080535) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @11:13AM (#19663399) Journal

      I'll believe it when I see small garage-style shop priced Wii dev kits.
      If I remember correctly, the Wii SDK is only $2,000. While that is certainly a lot of money, it's really a drop in the bucket when compared to other consoles. I don't see it being anywhere near impossible for a small, dedicated development team to raise that amount of money.
      • by ravyne (858869)
        As far as I know, the $2000 price that gets bandied about was for the very early devkits, which essentially consisted of a couple wired Wiimotes, a sensor bar and some software, which was intended to be used with a Gamecube Devkit, its sole purpose was to get devs working with the Wiimote early, finding out what they could do with it, and prototyping Wii games until the full Wii Kit arrived.

        If someone in the know can actually confirm one way or the other on more than hear-say I'd be glad to have it all clea
      • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Mattintosh (758112) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @03:04PM (#19666759)
        The Wii SDK's price is not disclosed to the public, and is likely covered by NDA. At one time it was reported to be about $2000, but that could be an early version, a specific contract price with a single developer, or even just plain incorrect.

        Then there's the unfortunately reality that it will cost you not only money, but also your soul. If you're not convinced of this, go read their criteria for becoming a Wii developer [warioworld.com] at their WarioWorld site.

        If you read that page carefully, you'll note that even if you can pay for the dev kit, you have to be "accepted" as a licensed Nintendo developer first. During this acceptance process, they don't give a crap whether you can pay for the dev kit or not. You can't order one until you're accepted. But to be accepted, you have to be an established developer with an existing game portfolio, and the games can't suck. You also have to have an office. So no working from home. (This is supposedly to keep Nintendo's proprietary stuff "secure". As if an office can't be robbed.) It also states an approximate price for dev kits: $2500 to $10,000. It also states that they expect "financial stability".

        Nintendo is going to make sure you're going to make and finish a game. Not just any game, but a good quality game. You can't just order a dev kit to "play with" or to make "indie" or "hobbyist" games. They want commercial games, and if you can't make one, you can't have a dev kit.
        • by grumbel (592662)

          Have a look at the page again, it got updated:

          As of April 2, we have two categories for Wii developer status, Tier 1 and Tier 2. Tier 1 is focused on existing developers who have shipped games in the console/handheld space. Tier 2 is for startups, and other experienced software companies who have not yet shipped games. The designation of Tier 1 or Tier 2 for your company will be at Nintendo's discretion.

          This whole Tier 1 and Tier 2 thingy is new and it looks like to open the door for independent develope

          • The next paragraph down from there states:

            An authorized developer must have demonstrated the ability to develop and program excellent software for Nintendo video game systems or for other video game or computer systems
            That tells me that they still want to see some prior work before allowing you to do even Tier 2 development. Note that the requirement only requires excellent software, not necessarily entertainment software (i.e. games).
            • by grumbel (592662)
              True, but they don't do any clear separation between Tier1 and Tier2 in their requirements, which might simply mean that if you don't meet those requirements you will become Tier2 instead of left out. But we have to wait and see for further news to get the details, at least now there is some hope for indie development, which there wasn't before.
        • by ProppaT (557551)
          The thing you're missing is that this is to become a full blown licensed developer. I believe that things are a bit different and cheaper being a WiiWare developer.
    • by LWATCDR (28044)
      Two grand for a dev kit is cheap.
      You will pay more than that to develop a good website, or a good gaming PC.
      Garage-style shop != parent's basement.

      What you are talking about is a hobbyist system.
      If you really want to develop games on the cheap write them for Linux.
      There are even wiimote drivers available for Linux so knock yourself out.

    • by Aladrin (926209)
      As noted already, the Wii Dev Kit is less than $2000. While that is still a -tad- highly for just a bit of hardware and license, it's also got some support behind it as well. Look at the rest of the costs to developing as well, though:

      PC: $1000 x 2. (Got to have 2 half-decent ones, if you're even half serious. Programmer and Artist.)
      Software: Free to $10000+. (Depending on if you go with a free compiler, the Gimp, and Blender or get really serious.)

      And this is assuming only 2 people. (It could be don
      • by bateleur (814657)
        Nintendo also require the developer to foot the bill for ESRB testing.

        The ESRB's website doesn't publish costs for that, but it's a fair bet that will also be well over the cost of the dev kit.
        • by tepples (727027)

          Nintendo also require the developer to foot the bill for ESRB testing.

          The ESRB's website doesn't publish costs for that, but it's a fair bet that will also be well over the cost of the dev kit.

          You're right. Wikipedia's article about ESRB cites a source that an ESRB rating costs $2,000 to $3,000.

        • by Aladrin (926209)
          I could have sworn I just read on this article that Nintendo intended to help small developers by dealing with the ESRB stuff. (For the mini-games system, not if you want to make a DVD.) Could have read it wrong, I guess.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by grumbel (592662)
          The german USK costs around 250-1500 , depending on the length and complexity of the title. The BPjM will ban your game for free. No idea about BBFC, PEGI and whatever other rating organizations might be around there if you want to publish a title outside of the USA.
  • by MacBrave (247640) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @11:11AM (#19663361) Journal
    This is welcome news. I'm hoping we will see some real quality titles like Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne that are already over on XBox Live Arcade.......

    • by trdrstv (986999)

      This is welcome news. I'm hoping we will see some real quality titles like Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne that are already over on XBox Live Arcade.......

      I would love that. The Wii could improve on the XBLA version of Catan by using the DS to hold your player cards and actually allow a game of local multiplayer (in addition to online, and against the computer of course.)

      • Found this in a closed-to-comments earlier slashdot story on Guitar Hero...

        Again, no disrespect to Rush (I'd play it), but Zeppelin would be amazing...

        ...and thought you might enjoy this. [ideaspike.com]

        I'm a huge fan of GH, but I do actually play. :-)

  • I've finally gotten around to playing some of the Sam and Max Season 1 games, and it sounds like games like this would be perfect as WiiWare. Straightforward gameplay/control scheme, fairly short, and highly entertaining--what more could you ask for? Hopefully they'll work with TellTale Games to get some of these or other similar games on the Wii.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by pi8you (710993)
      Keep in mind though the 512MB of built-in memory and (current) inability to load games/saves directly from SD cards. Hopefully we'll see a firmware upgrade with this that lets the Wii load from SD cards and/or external hard drives via the USB ports on the back, but otherwise I imagine we'll be burning through that 512MB a lot quicker than we have been with the VC alone. That being said, its still fairly exciting news and I'm looking forward to picking up some new content to sit side by side with my favori
      • Keep in mind though the 512MB of built-in memory and (current) inability to load games/saves directly from SD cards.

        I don't think that the SD Card limitation is an overall Wii limitation, but rather an issue with the Virtual Console emulation. If you think about it, the VC games are all games that originally ran off of ROM. If Nintendo is using the internal flash as virtual ROM rather than loading it into memory (and let's admit, there are only 64MB of RAM) then the SD Card might not provide fast enough dat

        • by Cadallin (863437)
          I would be very shocked if the Virtual Console software isn't loading the entire ROM image into RAM. The largest game on the Virtual console is only 32MB, being Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. And the Wii doesn't have 64MB of RAM, it has 88MB. While there are larger games for the Neo-Geo, that's the biggest title for the N64.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by AKAImBatman (238306) *

            The largest game on the Virtual console is only 32MB, being Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

            Indeed. Which would leave only 32MB of memory Subtract 4MB for the N64 RAMBUS memory and you're down to 28. Another 4MB for the expansion pack when in use and we're down to 24. (Though I don't think any games use the expansion pack yet?) 24-28MB is the amount of space the emulator+OS has to fit within. That's not a whole lot of space by modern standards. While I think Nintendo could do it, they may be playing it saf

            • by tepples (727027)

              24-28MB is the amount of space the emulator+OS has to fit within. That's not a whole lot of space by modern standards.
              NO$GBA, an emulator of the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS compact video game systems, is a 144 KiB Windows executable. Is the Nintendo 64 really 200 times as complicated as the DS so that an emulator needs to be 200 times as big?
              • You're not seriously comparing the complexity of a Gameboy emulator to that of a Nintendo 64 emulator, are you?

                a 144 KiB Windows executable

                That executable links to no shared libraries, system calls, drivers, or anything else, right?

                And it's not just the code size. You need to consider what kind of data the emulator might need to track at runtime. The console memory is only half the battle. You need to track the general state just like any other program. Some advanced features like JITting (an actual possibi

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by default luser (529332)
                  You're not seriously comparing the complexity of a Gameboy emulator to that of a Nintendo 64 emulator, are you?

                  Sure he is, and with good reason. The DS actually has quite a complex architecture (main CPU, one 3D rasterizer + T&L unit, two 2D rasterizers), with most of the features offered by the N64.

                  The typical size of N64 emulators on the PC/Mac are in the 1-3MB range, even with all the fancy features you expect. You can also find them in the Sub-1MB range for platforms that are short on memory [qj.net].

                  So ye
            • by antime (739998)
              The Zelda collection on Gamecube used an emulator and OoT ran just fine. Majora's Mask had sound issues, but it will fit into the Wii's memory just fine. If you doubt that it used an emulator it was extracted and available on the net as a separate download. I personally tested it with Super Mario 64 and it worked perfectly, even though the loading process was extremely cumbersome.

              You're also a bit off regarding the Wii's architecture. The 24MB 1T-SRAM is the "main memory", unchanged from Gamecube, likely fo

  • Just rename "Manhunt 2" to "Cotton Candy and Kitty Cats" and release it this way.
  • by LKM (227954) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @03:43AM (#19672967) Homepage

    I think there are some misunderstandings about what it takes for you to be accepted into Nintendo's development program. Earlier, Nintendo was pretty strict and only accepted established developers. That has changed somewhat. You can find the details at http://warioworld.com/ [warioworld.com], Nintendo's dev site, but here are the important points for pepole who aren't currently game developers:

    As of April 2, we have two categories for Wii developer status, Tier 1 and Tier 2. Tier 1 is focused on existing developers who have shipped games in the console/handheld space. Tier 2 is for startups, and other experienced software companies who have not yet shipped games. The designation of Tier 1 or Tier 2 for your company will be at Nintendo's discretion.

    More on this page [warioworld.com].

    • by toolie (22684)

      Developer Qualifications: An authorized developer must have demonstrated the ability to develop and program excellent software for Nintendo video game systems or for other video game or computer systems. In addition, an authorized developer must have a stable business organization with secure office facilities separate from a personal residence, equipment, personnel and financial resources in order to insure the security of Nintendo proprietary information and in order to ensure an effective environment for working with Nintendo and/or its licensees. Home offices do not meet this requirement. Nintendo provides authorized developers with highly proprietary information and many of Nintendo's licensees also rely on recommendations and referrals to authorized developers. For these reasons, Nintendo exercises a very high level of care in approving only a select number of authorized developers.

      It still isn't possible for a hobbiest, or maybe some Indie developers (depending on where they do their work, or if they have done any software work previously) to get into.

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