Nintendo launches WiiWare

Nintendo has today announced the launch of WiiWare, the latest addition to the Wii Shop Channel.

Nintendo has today announced the launch of WiiWare, the latest addition to the Wii Shop Channel.

WiiWare is a new game download service, accessible via the Wii Shop Channel, that allows users to download a variety of new games in exchange for Wii Points.

Nintendo Wii users already have access to the Wii's Virtual Console, where they can download classic games from previous consoles such as the Nintendo 64 (N64), Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and the Sega Mega Drive.

WiiWare is different to the Virtual Console because it provides new downloadable games. WiiWare aims to make it possible for smaller developers to take centre-stage thanks to the use of the Wii remote.

Already, developers offering WiiWare games include Square Enix and Frontier, along with a host of independent developers.

WiiWare games scheduled to be released for launch week include Lost Winds, Star Soldier R, Dr. Mario & Germ Buster, Toki Tori Take 2, TV Show King and FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES: My Life as a King.

Nintendo has promised a wide range of games with varying genres, concepts and prices.

WiiWare is the latest addition to the Wii console, which has sold more than 9.5 million units in the US since its launch in 2006. In April, the Wii sold 714,000 units in the US, compared to 188,000 for Microsoft's Xbox and 187,000 for Sony's PlayStation 3.

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Ross Catanzariti

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