Monday, July 2, 2007

Obligatory (sparse) WiiWare commentary

If you heard something un-applish within this past week's din of prelaunch iPhone religious euphoria (seriously folks, it's not like burning tablets are scheduled to fly out of shrubs this week or something), that noise might have been Nintendo's beloved son, Reggie Fils Aime, announcing WiiWare, Nintendo's XBLA-like program for 3rd party downloadable games on the Wii.

Plenty of commentary so far (Dave and Ian both have good posts on the subject). Like both of them, I have a lot of questions and would go a step further to say that I think they either havent' thought things through entirely, or are being disingenuous in their promises.

I frankly do not beleive they can approach it in a way that titles are not vetted by Nintendo. They have stated that titles will need to be rated, and AO ratings would not fly, but I don't think that's enough.

Echoing and adding to the list of unanswered questions that David and Ian raised:

  • What of content that might get an M or T rating, but that some groups would find offensive (e.g. Nazis), or for that matter, that some corporate groups would find offensive (would The McDonald Game fly?)
  • If they aren't vetting concepts, then how are they prioritizing dev kits? From what I understand, there's a pent up demand for them, so how is this allocated if they have no idea what a dev is working on (or is this the real gating factor)
  • If they aren't vetting concepts, but have the right to refuse games based on the above factors or other reasons, then might developers sink a couple hundred thousand into a game only to be turned away when showing up to Wiiware wanting to hang out their shingle?

I guess details will become clearer as we near the first release of titles, but I am skeptical to say the least.


Anonymous said...

Kim, Koolaid. Koolaid, Kim. Now drink! Oh yeah, you did that already.

Although I doubt anything will be as seamless and functional as XBL(A), I am still certain we Wii Owners will get to buy and download games online... and play them on our consoles. I will exercise my right to ignore offensive or strange titles. Will that I find religious proselytizing offensive ensure I won't see any Jesus-saving titles?

I, for one, will be happy to spread my gaming love (ie dollars) around a little. Hell, the Wii game play rocks!

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