The Nintendo Wii, which always seemed to be in a category of its own in the console war, may be ready to jump in the mini-war between the online services of Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network with the release of WiiWare. This was suggested after several indie developers have (anonymously) expressed their thoughts on the matter. Details in the full article.
Within the console war is a mini-war – a skirmish of sorts – between Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network, competing for the hearts of online gamers. The Wii, which has eluded (or excluded?) this war, seems to be girding its loins for battle.
The Wii, which the industry considers to be in a level of its own in this hardware cycle, has so far eluded the online-services war, staying in the sidelines. That may not be the case for long with the release of WiiWare.
According to Develop, Nintendo is pulling in its developers for WiiWare by pointing out that developing games on the Wii is much cheaper than developing a game for the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. As one developer points out:
It should be noted that we can purchase almost two to four Wii development kits for one Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 , which as you can appreciate for a small company can affect our budget a lot
Also, if it is Nintendo’s intention to go against Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network, their timing is excellent, seeing as Microsoft recently cut the royalties that XBLA indie developers receive in half. That’s quite a hit against XBL, considering indie developers think of capital as a major factor in choosing which platform to developer for.
Most developers maintained their silence on the matter because of Nintendo’s non-disclosure agreements. If WiiWare’s “secret war” turns out to be as aggressive in the market as the Wii itself ,it’s going to be an interesting few months for the industry once the service goes live.