Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Wii Virtual Console - Not Just For Old Crap Anymore

Since the Wii's release, people have been playing two types of games on the console: Wii Sports, and old stuff that they played when they were 8 years old. But what if the Wii is the only console you have, and you're tired of gaming like it's 1989? Don't worry - the big N's got you covered. Eventually.

Newsweek originally broke the story that has now been confirmed by Nintendo, which is that they are officially getting into the new downloadable games business. No more will the Virtual Console be populated only by 8-bit gems from yesteryear and crap you wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole when you were little. Coming in 2008 and currently known as WiiWare, the service will feature original games from all the publishers you know and tolerate like Capcom and Sega. There's no word on a pricing structure for these games, and we probably won't see that for some time, but you can bet that they'll slot in higher than the copy of Kid Chameleon you just downloaded.

We can infer some bads news from this as well. With original content making its way to the VC, it's only a matter of time before microtransactions become a part of the Nintendo world. Ironically, N's lack of innovation in the online sector has actually saved its customers from the hassles that are microtransactions, but all good things must come to an end.

People have been clamouring for original content on the VC for a while now, so this is definitely a good move. Even though Nintendo has made a bunch of money off the old games, there's still more to be had - you only have to look at the cash cow that is the Xbox Live Arcade to see that. I just hope that some of the games available for download are more entertaining and well developed than Red Steel. That shouldn't be too difficult.

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