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05.12.08

Nintendo launches WiiWare: an open playground for creativity

Nintendo's Wii console has already changed the way people play games. Now its new WiiWare service decisively tears down limitations for how developers create games - and the way people receive them.

Starting today, Wii owners with an Internet connection can download new, creative games from a wide range of developers, from large publishers to indie shops. By reducing the barriers that make console game development prohibitively expensive, WiiWare showcases original ideas in the most democratic environment in industry history, connecting the people who make games more directly with the people who play them.

WiiWare frees developers from the traditional constraints of video game development. WiiWare lets developers experiment with big ideas and small budgets to the benefit of players everywhere. Newer, smaller teams now have an outlet for their creative ideas. The constantly growing WiiWare library will have a regular flow of unique video gaming experiences consumers might not otherwise have access to.

"WiiWare is to the video game industry what independent films are to Hollywood," said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. "WiiWare lets developers experiment with new ideas and experiences. Combined with our collection of classic Virtual Console games, Wii provides one-stop shopping for the greatest games of the past - and the future."

WiiWare games are easy to download. Just go to the WiiWare section of the Wii Shop Channel, find the game you want, redeem Wii Points and start the download. Wii Points can be purchased in the Wii Shop Channel or at retail outlets. New games, at various Wii Point values, will be added to WiiWare on Mondays. The newly launched Nintendo Channel on Wii will let people view videos of and read information about WiiWare games and other Nintendo products. Users also can see player opinions to help them decide what to play next.

Today, the inaugural lineup of WiiWare games is just a taste of things to come:

FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES: My Life as a King (Square Enix, 1 player, Rated E for Everyone - Mild Fantasy Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes, 1,500 Wii Points): FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES: My Life as a King takes a legendary franchise and launches it into the realm of simulation gaming. Players are challenged to rebuild a kingdom, leading its young king on a path of discovery through an adventure bristling with mystery and intrigue.

LostWinds (Frontier Development, 1-2 players, Rated E for Everyone - Mild Fantasy Violence, 1,000 Wii Points): A fresh, enchanting platform adventure that puts the power of the wind in the palm of your hand - from raging tornados to the gentlest breeze. You'll wield your Wii Remote controller to power Toku's jumps and glides, suspend and smash enemies, meet friends and solve puzzles using LostWinds' novel, intuitive and playful control system.

Defend your Castle (XGen Studios, 1-4 players, Rated E for Everyone - Cartoon Violence, 500 Wii Points): Defend your Castle takes place on a grassy plain surrounded by invaders. You are the commander of your castle, and it is your duty to fling the invading enemies sky-high, watching them plummet to their demise. As you progress, add powerful spells and upgrades to your arsenal for repelling the attacks. How long can you hold them off?

Pop (Nnooo, 1-4 players, Rated E for Everyone, 700 Wii Points): Pop bubbles to score points and stop the timer from running out. Pop can be enjoyed by anyone - casual gamers can simply play to pop bubbles and keep the game moving, whereas advanced players will need to pick their shots rapidly and accurately and generate combos to maximize their score.

V.I.P. Casino: Blackjack (High Voltage Software, Inc., 1-4 players, Rated T for Teen - Simulated Gambling, 700 Wii Points): V.I.P. Casino: Blackjack re-creates the casino experience, with fully animated players and a realistic Las Vegas dealer. Single players can increase their bankrolls, while multiple players can engage in a head-to-head mini-blackjack tournament.

TV Show King (Gameloft, 1-4 players, Rated E for Everyone, 1,000 Wii Points): TV Show King transforms your living room into a real TV quiz show studio where you'll face the challenge of answering more than 3,000 questions across six different categories. Compete against family and friends and use your Wii Remote controller in original ways to make it to the finals to see who can win the greatest amount of cash in one final, deciding duel.

For more information about WiiWare, visit WiiWare.com.

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