GDC 08: WiiWare channel to launch May 12th; no demos planned

WiiWare, the Wii’s channel for original downloadable games, will officially launch in North America on May 12th, according to all around awesome guy N’Gai Croal over at Newsweek’s Level Up.

This is very exciting for people (like me!) who are very much looking forward to the creativity and overall retro feel most seemingly simple downloadable games have to offer. With the continued success of the Wii, a lot of smaller, independent publishers will have the opportunity to have their games seen by millions of people around the world.

Sadly, as mentioned in Croal’s same article (and being whispered about here in the halls of GDC), no demos will be available for any of these original downloads. How gamers are going to know which games to purchase in what is sure to be a sea of options is beyond me. Says Nintendo:

The key for us is not to impose too many restrictions on the content creators and allow them to create the content that and the features that they think are more suitable to express their vision of the product. And creating demos or having demos as a requirement is a very costly type of endeavor, so it’s not a requirement from Nintendo.

I am a huge Nintendo supporter, but am very worried about this decision. Hopefully there is more to this story as Nintendo promises to reveal much more information about WiiWare over the next few days of GDC. What do you think? Is Nintendo shooting itself in the foot with this news?

Chad Concelmo