Nintendo finally announced WiiWare, aka original downloadable games on the Wii — coming in 2008. I wonder if consumers will be confused by all the terminology (Virtual Console vs. WiiWare vs. Shop Channel), if they’ll appreciate the distinctions, or if they’ll even notice either way? (That’s an honest question, not a leading one.) Anyway, on a positive note, I’m really excited to see what indie developers will do with the Wiimote. On a negative note, I have a hard time believing Reggie’s statement that Nintendo won’t “screen ideas,” given Nintendo’s brand positioning, historical behavior, etc. I also wonder how a developer can “qualify” for getting onto the service if the quality of their proposal isn’t being taken into consideration. Size of the studio? Age? Previous relationship with Nintendo? None of those bode well for a very wide swath of independent developers. Given all that, I will assume the statement is an exaggeration.
The MacArthur Foundation is putting $1.1M into a new middle and high school in New York that will feature a curriculum “based on videogames”. That doesn’t appear to mean “kids will play educational games all day” (though I’m sure that will be part of the curriculum). Very little detail is offered, and what little there is would confuse the heck out of most normal people (i.e. anyone not in the serious games industry or academia.) Let’s hope to see better PR for this in the future.
Steve Wozniak, David Jaffe and Nolan Bushnell are guest starring in Code Monkeys, an “8-bit style” gaming and pop culture parody cartoon debuting July 11th on G4. The show follows the employees of “GameAvision” and is apparently rife with industry in-jokes. Looking forward to it! :-)
BioWare is developing a Nintendo DS RPG based on Sonic the Hedgehog. If any company can pull this off (and that’s not a given), it will be Bioware. Kudos to SEGA for trying something different, and for having the sense to sign a world-class partner.