WiiWare goes live in NA

Nintendo’s rebuttal to the PlayStation Network and XBL Arcade is going live today, May 12th, in the US with a total of six titles available on day 1. The service had already gone though a mass amount of criticism before it even saw the light of day so it would be easy to assume that the launch titles will see just as much scrutiny.

WiiWare has been slandered by gamers and developers for the restrictive file sizes, as well as the fact that the Wii simply has no internal or external hard drive available to store a large number of downloadable games. These problems still exist, but Nintendo is confident that consumers will see the value in the games and be satisfied with the high level of content that will be distributed.

The launch titles are as follows:

  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King (Square Enix, 1,500 Wii Points)
  • LostWinds (Frontier Development, 1,000 Wii Points)
  • Defend your Castle (XGen Studios, 500 Wii Points)
  • Pop (Nnooo, 1-4 players, 700 Wii Points)
  • V.I.P. Casino: Blackjack (High Voltage Software, Inc., 700 Wii Points)
  • TV Show King (Gameloft, 1,000 Wii Points)

One of the really cool features of the WiiWare channel is the ability to review the games right there on your system. After you rack up an hour of play on any WiiWare game you are given the option to submit a review which is then tallied and compiled with all the other reviews that have been given for that same game. This should definitely push publishers to raise the level of content as well as save consumers from making any dumb purchases along the way.

I can’t speak for the rest of you, but I’m mighty pleased to see LostWinds on that list, and even more pleased that they’re only asking $10 for it. Not that I would have paid any more than that, but I think there were plenty of people, including me, who were worried that Nintendo was going to be asking an arm and a leg for the marquee WiiWare titles. It’s nice to see that’s not the case.

[See also: LostWinds gallery]