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Melbourne Australia, 20 May, 2008 – Now the Wii Shop Channel offers Wii™ owners more, with today’s launch of WiiWare™.

WiiWare is a new game download service, accessible via the Wii Shop Channel, where users can download a variety of new games in exchange for Wii Points. The Wii Shop Channel is free to access and is where WiiWare and Virtual Console games can be downloaded.

Whereas Virtual Console allows consumers to download classic games, WiiWare offers brand new titles, and is also an opportunity for video game developers to create new games for Wii. Developers, no matter how big or small, will be able to create new downloadable games to be sold through the Wii Shop Channel. Changing the way developers create Wii games and how players access them, WiiWare will make it possible for smaller, creative titles to take centre stage. The combination of low development barriers and unique game experiences, through use of the Wii remote, will enable developers to try new ideas with lower risk in a quicker, more creative and affordable way.

WiiWare games will come from celebrated developers such as Square Enix, creators of FINAL FANTASY® CRYSTAL CHRONICLES: My Life as a King™; as well as up and coming developers such as Frontier, creators of the unique platform adventure Lost Winds™, and other independent developers with great game ideas.

The first WiiWare games available include:

Lost Winds™
Star Soldier R
Dr. Mario & Germ Buster™
Toki Tori Take 2
TV Show King
FINAL FANTASY® CRYSTAL CHRONICLES: My Life as a King™

WiiWare also empowers consumers to determine with their Wii Points which games have the ability to become the next big thing. Consumers will assist in the creative process as their choices will directly determine the success of current projects and direct the plans for future ones.

There will be something for everyone on WiiWare with a wide range of games from varying genres, concepts and price levels.

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“Every time you go through localization you then have to put it through a test, which involves making sure that you recorded the proper voice, and that the proper voice is being activated with the proper trigger, at the proper time…So it’s not just a case of swapping over some words, it requires some proper extra development processes. And so it takes time. I realize that from time to time we have still been disappointing some people, but in general we have also been able to bring to them games which would have never been available before in a European market, and the time frame is slowly decreasing, so I’m positive for the future. We know that we are still not reaching the expectations of all the people, but we’re really doing our best to resolve this.” – Laurent Fischer, Nintendo of Europe

Knowing that Nintendo of Europe is not completely satisfied with the delay in game releases might give people some hope. Having to wait four months for such an anticipated game is definitely difficult. However, could localization really have delayed the game four months?

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WiiWare has gone live in Europe, and has launched with the following games.

Dr. Mario & Germ Buster
Final Fantasy: My Life As A King
LostWinds
Star Soldier R
Toki Tori
TV Show King

A demo version of Dr. Mario launched with WiiWare, although it can only be experienced with someone who has purchased the full version. Titles that were mentioned in the previous European press release, Pop and Pirates, are assumed to be launching in the near future.

Wii Fit launch coverage

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A – M

1UP Network; Akella; Atari Inc.; Bethesda Softworks; Capcom USA Inc.; Crave Entertainment; Codemasters; D3Publisher of America; Deep Silver; Disney Interactive Studios, Inc.; Electronic Arts; Eidos Interactive; Fox Interactive Media; Indie Games; Jagex, Ltd.; Konami Digital Entertainment America; LucasArts; Majesco Entertainment Company; Microsoft Corporation; Midway Games, Inc.; MTV Games;

N – Z

Namco Bandai Games America, Inc.; Natsume, Inc.; Nintendo of America Inc.; Novint Technologies, Inc.; Nyko Technologies; Rebellion; SEGA of America, Inc.; Serious Games Initiative; Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc.; Sony Online Entertainment Inc.; Southpeak Interactive; Square Enix USA; Take-Two Interactive; Tecmo; THQ Inc.; Toshiba America Information Systems; Ubisoft Entertainment Inc.; Valve Software; and, Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment Inc.

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Those who have been wishing for a more traditional controller method in Toki Tori will be pleased to know that in addition to the nunchuck + Wiimote set up, players will be able to control the action on-screen with the classic controller as well. In an interview with WiiWare World, Martijn Reuvers divulged this information and also detailed a few other notable prospects for the WiiWare remake. Not only will a second player will be able to join in and draw hints on the screen, but players will occasionally receive travel logs on their Wii message boards, too. Toki Tori is due out on the 30th in Europe.

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The next awaited addition to the Wii’s casual library will be none other than Wii Music. We haven’t heard a ton of information about the game, except for bits and pieces here and there. Though, one pretty big feature that may end up in Wii Music might be the inclusion of the balance board functionality. According to RevoGamer, Wii Music will use the balance board to simulate a drum pedal. Those who were interested in double Wiimote usage for the drums needn’t be worried, however, as that controller configuration will be available as well. RevoGamer also noted that a 2008 release for the game seems to be realistic.

Further information about Wii Music is likely to be discussed at this year’s E3.

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– Three modes: Story mode, skirmish mode multiplayer mode

– Story Mode: Take control of navy captain he is incognito trying to obtain the “The Key of Dreams”. Run after Blackbeard to get the artifact from him

– Ability to recruit lookouts, navigators and gunners

– Weapons include sea mines, rockets, flame cannons, and cannons

– Skirmish mode: 35 small stages, can fight up to 3 opponents

– Multiplayer mode: 2-4 players, number of ships can be chosen

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VC titles

NES game
Sky Kid
1-2 players
500 Wii points
19 blocks (1 save block) [19 needed]
No Re-Releases

WiiWare titles

Critter Round-Up
1-4 players
1000 Wii points
[235 needed]

Star Soldier R
1 player
800 Wii points
145 blocks (1 save block) [145 needed]
Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection

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