Moment of Zen: Wii Would Like to Ware

WiiWare has been around for a little while now -- how do we feel about it?

Posted on July 8, 2008 at 10:32 pm by Zentendo Staff

WiiWare: it's finally here. Has its launch been a success? It would seem so. But are flocks of gamers downloading content because there's nothing else to play, or because they are genuinly excited about cheaper games that are conveniently downloadable? Will Nintendo give Wii owners some type of option for extra storage, and if so, what would work best?

What do you make of WiiWare's current catalog, what are you looking forward to, and what would you like to see if you were wishfully thinking? Will WiiWare continue to succeed into the future? What needs to be done for it to reach its full potential?

What does our community have to say on the matter?

We have a guest speaker this session: It's Kevin Cassidy of GoNintendo fame, better known as RMC [Raw Meat Cowboy]! Give it up and lend your ears!

It's not hard to see the potential of WiiWare. I think that LostWinds single-handedly showed just what was capable via the distribution service. Even if you think the total game time was a bit short, you can't deny the quality and fantastic use of the Wii control scheme. If one WiiWare title can come along and outdo what most retail third parties are putting out, I think that says a lot. I was truly excited for WiiWare before launch, but LostWinds made my expectations rise even higher.

The problem is, Nintendo is bringing me back down to earth with one tiny, little problem...storage space. I don't see how Nintendo even started this service without having a storage solution readily available, whatever that could be. Storage issues on the Wii are a huge problem for the core gamer. My Wii was filled up with VC titles just a few months after launch, so trying to squeeze larger WiiWare titles on the system is near-impossible. Going through a 10 minute routine of deleting/moving games before I download new ones is absolutely absurd. I shouldn't have to sit down with a pen,

paper, and calculator just to figure out how many blocks I have left, how much space upcoming titles take up, and what needs to be moved in order for me to make new purchases. Storage issues have put me off from purchasing titles that I wouldn't have batted an eyelash at, if I had the space to put them in.

If Wii owners are having these issues, just imagine what third parties are thinking. Do you really want to put a few months into WiiWare development, only to risk having your title ignored? Not only is there next-to-no advertising for the releases, now you also have to compete with the lack of storage space. People staying away from purchases due to lack of space should not be something that devs need to consider. There are more than a handful of people that have admitted to not purchasing games because they didn't feel like cleaning out their 'Wiifrigerator'. If I buy a WiiWare or

VC title and want to keep it on my system to play...for a long time...I should be able to do that. Shifting titles around in an awkward version of 'Channel Tetris' is not my idea of fun.

I get worried as we continue on in the Wii's lifespan without storage solutions. I know that Nintendo has outright confirmed that they are working on something, but when will that happen? When will we see the fruits of that labor? The worst part is, third parties are oblivious to Nintendo's work on fixing this problem. If their statements are to be believed, they haven't seen anything to solve this problem. Nintendo is known for being secretive, and I am hoping that is why third parties are in the dark, just as we are. The longer we go without a fix, the less we enjoy the ideas behind digital distribution, and the less third parties will want to create WiiWare titles.

A wonderful idea for the distribution of new titles is being hampered by the very company that developed the feature. If Nintendo wants WiiWare to thrive, they need to act fast. While there are a few bum titles, there are a number of good to great ones as well. Nintendo risks shooting themselves in the foot by staying quiet on this very important topic. Core gamers want to know, developers want to know...when will this digital nightmare end?

Please, Nintendo...don't ruin a great thing before it even has a chance to start running.