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Nintendo announces WiiWare for 2008

Aimed at indie devs with small budgets and big ideas. Full announcement inside

As we reported this morning, Nintendo has announced what it calls a game-creation service that will let developers (large and small) create new downloadable games that will be sold via the Wii Shop Channel. Full details inside.

Nintendo says WiiWare, oddly renamed 'Wii Software' for Europe, "paves the way for smaller, more creative games to make their way to the public at lower prices, without any inventory risk to developers." The first WiiWare content will launch in early 2008. You'd think they'd have one or two games ready though.

"Independent developers armed with small budgets and big ideas will be able to get their original games into the marketplace to see if we can find the next smash hit," said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. "WiiWare brings new levels of creativity and value to the ever-growing population of Wii owners."

Nintendo apparently announced the introduction of WiiWare at a private developers conference this week. It said that the reduced barriers to development will provide developers "the freedom to create and an inexpensive, clearly defined path to reach consumers". It then up to you to decide the next big thing.

WiiWare will be posted on the Wii Shop Channel. As with current Wii Shop Channel offerings, you'll need to redeem Wii Points to download content. It'll support a variety of pricing options and details of upcoming projects will be announced at a later date - maybe E3 in a few weeks?

In the meantime, check out our exclusive Wii Software Q&A, in which we get answers from Nintendo on everything you want to know about the new download service.

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