Nintendo has announced a new initiative called "WiiWare" ("Wii Software" in Europe) intended to help developers of all sizes bring new games to the marketplace.
Nintendo has long said it wanted original downloadable games offered via the Wii Shop, but prior to this has only made available budget-priced downloads of retro titles from older consoles such as the NES, SNES and Turbografx-16.
Laurent Fischer, European Marketing Director for Nintendo, said, "Wii Software provides developers with big ideas - rather than big budgets - an easy and very accessible way to create new games and bring them to the marketplace." He added that the service would also offer "great additional value for Wii owners who will be able to download fresh new games."
Both Microsoft and Sony already offer similar services for their Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 platforms, leaving Nintendo to play catch-up in this area. However, Nintendo is counting on its innovative motion-sensing controller to offer developers the opportunity to create new types of console entertainment unavailable on the other two systems.
The first WiiWare titles are expected to be released in early 2008 and will be purchasable via Wii Points.