Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Wii's Indie Future? @ GamaSutRa

A new feature for Gamasutra sister site Serious Games Source is discussing the Nintendo Wii's opportunities for both 'serious' and independent game developers, revealing that the company won't start reviewing independent developer applications to make games on the Wii until January 2007.

Regular columnist and 'serious game' maker Ian Bogost discusses the opportunities inherent in the Wii for educational, exergaming, news and other independent titles, noting that: "Interface innovation does not lead automatically to expressive innovation", before also commenting:

"Both physical and digital distribution rely on independent developers’ ability to make games for the new platform in the first place. While Nintendo has been quite vocal about its intention to support independent developers, including offering Wii dev kits for under US$2,000, Nintendo of America has also said [in personal correspondence with Bogost] that it won’t start reviewing independent developer applications until January 2007 — which means that only those developers with publishing contracts or special invitations actually have them."

In fact, Bogost's conclusion notes that he believes the Wii controller to be perhaps an overstated element of innovation for the console compared to other elements:

"In spite of its much-celebrated downsized graphics and gestural interface, perhaps this unsung, sleeper feature of the Wii is where the console really holds promise of revolution: as a viable distribution channel for old and new video games for classic consoles and computers."

You can now read the full Serious Games Source feature on the topic to hear more about the promise of the Wii (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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