News Article

WiiWare vs Xbox Live Arcade - Fight!

Posted by Damien McFerran

As part of its WiiWare Week, Develop has been getting reactions from studios that have signed up for Nintendo’s new service and the responses have been somewhat surprising.

Nintendo is currently working hard to make sure developers know the benefits of WiiWare, not only from a creative point of view but from a financial one, too.

One anonymous source was quick to attack Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade, stating that the service wasn’t anywhere near as profitable as it could be and that it was packed with sub-par retro remakes.

Another WiiWare developer put it in rather less subtle terms:

Frankly, we're not looking at making games for Xbox Live Arcade because the service is full of shit.

So there you have it; although the service has officially launched yet, it seems that Nintendo has already won the hearts and minds of many developers. The sheer volume of positive comments coming from the dev community suggests that WiiWare is, for them at least, a winning propositon. Time will tell if the games are worth waiting for, but the future of downloadable content on the Wii is currently looking very promising indeed.

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User Comments (51)



Chester said:

Now that's the spirit! And the comment was one of the best I've heard in a while.



Pegasus said:

I wouldn't exactly say that XBLA is full of turds, but there are certainly quite a few titles that aren't worth a second look. On the other hand, it does feature some great games like the Prince of Persia remake, Pinball FX, Pac-Man C.E., Bomberman Live, and others.

What I do think is a bit ludicrous is that Microsoft pockets 30% (or more) of money spent on said titles.



Superman64 said:

Filled with retro-remakes? I wish. XBLA is filled mostly with average to poor original games. I'd love to get more games like TMNT or Pac-Man C.E. on there. I await The Simpsons arcade game and TMNT: Turtles In Time.



Dark_Jinjo said:

I agree that WiiWare seems more financially agreeable to developers, but I think that within a year of starting up we will all look at WiiWare and say the same thing, "the service is full of ..." Of course we know there will be great games as well, just like there are on Live Arcade; but overall it seems obvious that WiiWare will be flooded with crap. That's not to say that I am not tremendously excited about the possibilities of WiiWare though.



King_wiL said:

Being a 360 player (but not owner - its my housemates') im not on either side of the "fight" if you'd call it that, yeah XBLA has some turds as well as qualities but doesnt everything? Nintendo still rocks though, a fan for life since i could pick up a nes pad waaaaaaaay back when



Manicfatty said:

I hope the flood of support is enough to make Nintendo take downloadable content and online play more seriously than it has in the past. This is definately a positive step and a bit of a revelation. I hope the dollar signs that I'm sure fill Ninty execs eyes as this moves forward don't cause short sighted stagnation. It's a great start. Now let's keep up the momentum.

On a related note, I've been spending a lot of my time and money...both of which would have gone into VC usage...on the Playstation store. Why? Simple answer: Demos. I've been playing the hell out of multi-player/online demos of games and a few adventure (Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is amazing!) and racing games. If only the Wii had the storage to allow for a full demo

A few of the original offerings are fun as well: Stardust, Flow, Pixel Junk Monsters are all time suckers. I hope some show up on Wiiware with useful, and relevent wiimote controls.



Kelvin said:

One thing XBLA does have over WiiWare (so far) is board games. I'd love to see some of these, like Settlers of Catan, get WiiWare releases.



Starwolf_UK said:

"it was packed with sub-par retro remakes"
To be fair surley thats better than just sub-par retro. But you can ensure there will be a few sub-par retro remakes on Wii Ware. As well as some worth caring about, of course

"What I do think is a bit ludicrous is that Microsoft pockets 30% (or more) of money spent on said titles."
And Nintendo pockets ??. Which in all likleyhood is about that if not higher, judging from Nintendos past it should be better than the 90s when Nintendo charaged 50% comission for having a game on their system*. So lets say 30-50%...

*-Its less now after third parties left in droves fed up with paying that (and the fact alternatives existed...Playstation)



DJ_Triforce said:

First off, Kelvin, Settlers of Catan is amazing... and way under-rated. A lot of people have never heard of it. I think I'm going to play it when I get off work. Haha.

I've got to say that anything that Nintendo does, I'm happy about. They've only let me down once since I've known of them (which was when I was 4 and the NES was only release for a few years), and the only time I was let down was when they release Operation Wolf for the Virtual Console without the Zapper support... it's a shame.

As for this whole console war, my glass will be held high for Nintendo!



That_Guy_from_Faxana said:

This is stupid. I have nothing against the Live-Arcade. Actually, there is a bunch of games I´d definitly download if I had a Xbox 360. Right now, I can´t see why Wii-ware should be any better. Because of Wii´s smaller harddrive? Honestly, I doubt Nintendo would even have considered the Wii-ware channel if it wasn´t for the competition from Microsofts (and Sonys) counterpart. They´d been happy releasing Virtual Console games till the end of Wii´s lifespan. I hope for good Wii-ware as much as anyone, but I can´t stand pie-throwing.



Bass_X0 said:

"""WiiWare vs Xbox Live Arcade – Fight"""

I'd like to see that on Harry Hill.



DJ_Triforce said:

That Guy from Faxanadu, you see - there are two type of game fans. You have people like me, who is behind a certain console (Nintendo), always have been - always will be. I never will buy an XBOX or a PS3 for that reason, and from everything I've been viewing from them, I don't see any reason to. But then there are people like you, which I know many, that are not behind any particular system (which, of course, is fine). I was just trying to give an explanation for why people think of this whole thing the way that they do.



Herandar said:

@ Starwolf:
One would think that Nintendo has learned it's lesson from losing the last generation's console war. And it would stand to reason that the developers that are now working on WiiWare games would already know Nintendo's price.

@ DJ Triforce:
Not buying a console because it isn't made by a certain company is a stupid reason. I'm a Nintendo fan, and have had every Nintendo console except for the VB and GBC, and the last non-Nintendo console that I bought was the Dreamcast. But that is due to financial reasons, mostly.



Rapadash6 said:

Wow, strong words indeed. That is one of the most dissapointing things about XBLA though. While there are more than a handful of gems to be had on the service it does seem more to be a host for remakes or poorly emulated retro games. (Contra, Ninja Turtles, I'm looking at you!) Wiiware seems to be a more open venue for developers so it doesn't surprise me that they are excited about the service.



Herandar said:

From the article: "Microsoft recently halved the royalties paid for first-party Xbox Live Arcade from 70 per cent to 35 per cent on games that make under $4m in revenues (the rate rises closer to 50 per cent when the revenues go over that amount...)"

Um, that means Microsoft pockets 65% of the sale. No wonder the developers are pissed. Makes Nintendo's 50% look good, in fact.



Kenryoku_Maxis said:

That's what I was noticing when I looked on XBL. It was mostly full of a bunch of small original titles that looked to be either knock-offs of other major games (Smash Bros knock-off, Gradius Knock off, etc). They're fun, but then you start to realize what they are and you feel jipped for playing it instead of playing what they are parodying. And then you feel that you'd have to filter through the huge list to find all the ones that are good or bad just to find the few good ones.

The WiiWare focuses on either new original titles or games that are connected to name brands already (like Dr. Mario, Pokemon, Final Fantasy, etc). It doesn't have to be a knock off title. Plus we already have the largest library of classic ports on the market, Virtual Console.

Its taken a while for the Wii to overtake XBL, but as long as the WiiWare titles are good, it will. Heck, I'd rather have Virtual Console alone over XBL anyway. WiiWare is just typical Nintendo going that extra mile.



DJ_Triforce said:

Herandar, like I said, "from everything I've been viewing from [XBOX and PS3], I don't see any reason to [buy from them]". I don't see the point of spending that much money for paper weights.



whalleywhat said:

I think Devs frustrations with XBLA goes way beyond just MS's cut of the profits. Keep in mind that XBL is a closed service, so a lot of the demos are only available to people who pay for XBL Gold. I'm not sure if this is the same for game purchases, or if it's all available to Silver subscribers, but a lot of those games are based on adding online multiplayer to old titles, and only Gold subscribers can play online. Also, XBLA has a really strict certification process, so it's possible that you could a put a ton of time into making a game only to have it rejected by MS. That's gonna lose you a lot more money than only getting 35% of the cut on sales.



lockelocke said:

This article makes me smile. Lets give the slimey fat cats at Microsoft and Sony a big kick in the teeth. I hate them so much, = )



StarDust4Ever said:

"Frankly, we're not looking at making games for Xbox Live Arcade because the service is full of **."

Quite frankly, if people continue to spend their precious Wii points on crap like Bubble Wrap, then soon enough Wiiware will be full of ** too



uncle_smuck said:

Agreed with Stardust. Most of these games will be a five minute play job much like 80% of all VC Games. I really hope i am wrong...........but i suspect not.



lesock said:

I still think the major flaw in Wiiware is the Wiis capacity to store games. I am not as excited about wiiware since I ran out of room on the Wii. I don't buy the work around thats been touted. Deleting and downloading already purchased things is a faf and will probably mean you stop playing some games and not download them again. Sticking stuff on an SD card takes ages and so does getting them off the SD card again; not to mention deleting and moving games to make room for re-downloading etc. It all makes a mockery of the console ideal of pulling out a cartridge and sticking another one in in a minute!

This simple technial issue may be the star in 360's crown. If Wiiware sells less because people don't have anywhwere to store it the developers will priortise other platforms.



Tim said:

Are these developers narrow sighted?

Do they not realize that wii owners have a storage problem and a lot of people are not going to download/buy new stuff released because they are out of space?

Do they not realize that probably the majority of wii owners don't have their wii hooked up to the internet because mom, dad, grandma, grandpa and little billy too don't know how to setup a router?

No kidding, it's , because is all developers release for it. If you don't like then release something good. Being a gem stone in a catalog of sub-par retro remakes should work out in your favor unless you were planning on releasing another sub-par retro remake.

Sometimes I think people are idiots and a half.



Manicfatty said:

@lesock, - Preachin' to the choir. I've taken a lot of flack for blasting Nintendo over the storage situation and boycotting the VC because of it. In my opinion, Nintendo is making the same arrogant, uninformed, stubborn throw-back mistake they made with online play. They're going to be a couple of generations behind on storage now as well. Look at how long it took them to adopt a standardized media for the games themselves. One that didn't limit space for developers. Everything from video to textures to audio has suffered over the last couple of systems because Nintendo believes their own press. How many games didn't get a decent full GC version or a release at all because of the lack of online support.

And here we are again. Storage indeed. Such an easy problem to solve. Where is the love Nintendo?



Kenryoku_Maxis said:

Okay guys, I've been hearing nothing but 'Storage' coming from you guys on this site for a while now. But I gotta tell you, I don't hear it from any other Wii owners from any other forum, hardcore or casual gamer out there.

Let's look at what would happen if Nintendo suddenly released either a new HardDrive or a new 20,000 block attachment thing to the Wii. Casual gamers wouldn't buy it most likely (big hit to them). Many hardcore gamers don't need it because they either are just playing Smash Bros, Mario and Zelda and the like and only are saving files or haven't filled up their space already. And even me, who DID fill up my space, was able to just delete the Internet Channel and put one thing on an SD card and now I have another 700 blocks free again WITH Smash Bros saved on my system.

So, looking at it, it looks like only the people who are downloading 50+ VC games and are planning to buy 10 WiiWare items are going to need some crazy HD support, and still, I think you might want to look at a SD card, which has 15000 slots on it...



Manicfatty said:

@Kenryoku_Maxis - SD cards ARE storage, and enabling play from them WOULD be an acceptable fix. Even allowing for USB thumb drive and the like would work. I'm just saying that HDD support is a) simple b) an easy concept for the 'casual gamer' (they may not even know where their SD card slot is) and c) more economical (bang for the buck). But storage is storage...and we (and wii) just need



GamerWho said:

Screw Wii Ware, I want Virtual Console games. If the VC is poo now are they gonna use WiiWare as an excuse to release even fewer games?



Manicfatty said:

@Kenryoku_Maxis - Also, I've seen the issue raised on quite a few sites...some since shortly after the system's release. There has been both forum and journalist blog activity...some recently...on IGN.



Kenryoku_Maxis said:

@Manicfatty - I guess everyone sees what they want to see. I didn't see but one or two mentions of storage outside of this site, where its brought up a lot, for obvious reasons (people downloading more than the avg amount of Virtual Console games). But outside of here, Virtual Console and the use of the Wiis memory is hardly touched. That was the point I wanted to get across.

The vast majority of Wii owners either don't use any of their Wii blocks, only download a couple of the free WiiWare items or download a couple old games they liked from VC like Mario 1, Sonic and Pac-Man. I'm not saying you shouldn't advocate for a thumb drive or the like, I'm just playing devils advocate and saying why Nintendo probably won't.

We who download 25+ VC games and are here every day looking at the WiiWare news are rare compared to the rest of the gaming market. They might feel the device is along the lines of a N64 Disk Drive market. Not saying it is, but this is Nintendos thinking you know. Keep it cheap, for all markets and formulaic. I'm surprised we even got such a thing as the WiFi router device by Buffalo supported by Nintendo. Maybe the WiiWare will make them get some kind of storage device out or you will be able to use the SD cards better with the WiiWare.



Manicfatty said:

@Kenryoku_Maxis - We agree on a few points. In fact, in other threads my thought s run parallel to yours. I often lament that Nintendo's return to the spotlight comes at the cost of Mom, dad and little Susie becoming the least common denominator and the star by which the good ship Nintendo guides itself. The thing is...and this is my that implementing one or all of these storage options wouldn't take a herculine effort, and could potentially increase downloads and attract additional developer support from those companies that would love to do something for the Wiiware line-up, but envision something a bit grander in scale.

It wouldn't take much and it would mean a lot to the Nintendo faithful. I'm just sayin'...



Clayfrd said:

@Uncle Smuck
Most VC games are NOT 5 minute games! I have almost filled my entire Wii Menu with them, and not one holds my attention for less than 30 minutes. Think about Super Mario Bros., Super Mario World, Kirby's Adventure, Sonic 2, etc. Anyway, more on topic, I think that the WiiWare can benefit greatly from indie and first party developments, e.g. Doctor Mario.



Clayfrd said:

Write Nintendo! You're brilliant. I've only got 60 blocks left, I need some back. Seriously, you say everything I think! Go you.



ChocoDK said:

Honestly I can't even think about getting anything on Wii Ware right now with only four blocks left on my Wii. I was fine except until I got Brawl and Nintendo release something for storage or fix the issue. I won't buy another VC or any Wii Ware games when they come out because I need room for Mario Kart Wii.



diablos79 said:

Personaly i couldnt care less about wiiware titles, it just seems like an easy way for developers to release boring, 5-min games that wouldnt sell or just arent good enough to warrant a proper release. C'mon nintendo, please stop catering to the casual market and focus on the hardcore gamers who have stuck by you for over 20 years and will continue to support you long after the casuals have gotten bored of the mini-games and will-fit accessories. Honestly, the wii is becoming less and less like a gaming console and more and more like a badly-structured mess that doesnt seem to know what its supposed to be.



rbtransformed said:

I think that WiiWare has great potential, but I think that the main hurdle will be the whole "storage issue." I went out the other day to buy an SD card. I have at least 25 VC titles, so I thought the best solution would be to get another storage device so that I wouldn't have to keep deleting my files. I was so frustrated when I found out that copying over files to an SD card takes almost as long as just downloading the game in the first place. Nintendo really needs to step up like the other companies have and deliver-- and this is coming from a life-long, Nintendo-only fan. The simplest answer is an update that allows the direct use of SD cards... Brawl has already proved that the Wii is capable of doing this. (saving levels/pictures/etc. on an SD card and being able to read the files straight from the card)

Like Diablos79 said, Nintendo needs to refocus on its "fans" and not just cater to the casual audience who will move on to something else in a few years.



Drizzt said:

rbtransformed, I feel the same way. I have a fair amount of VC games and I only have 100 blocks left. I have a 2 gb SD card but the fact that VC games can't run directly off them makes it an annoying hassle to copy, delete, and redownload games constantly. This is a major issue that Nintendo cares little about but frustrates us.



Rapadash6 said:

To rbtransformed - On the subject of Brawl, I've noticed that in addition to directly linking to the SD cards, the Virtual Console demos available on the game also have a feature that desperately needs to be implimented into the actual service; automatic aspect ratio adjusting. I was fuming mad to find that these demos automatically adjusted to the proper ratio while on the actual games I have to adjust it with my TV remote. Seriously how hard could a fix for this and the SD card thing be, if Brawl can do it?



rbtransformed said:

Drizzt, trust me, I feel your pain! It is very frustrating. I used to buy a ton of games before I ran out of space. Granted, Nintendo has put out some of their best games already, but still, the 512 MB limit is keeping them away from an even bigger profit.

Rapadash6, I didn't know about the "automatic aspect ratio adjusting." I use a 4:3 TV anyway, but I'm sure you wish the real VC games did that in the same way. I forget what the technical term is, but an update of some sort would be the cheapest and easiest answer to the SD problem. (Isn't it called a freeware update or something like that?) The update would please almost all of us here, and help us save money so that we don't have to go buy a hard drive specifically for the Wii.



Manicfatty said:

@ rbtransformed - It's called a 'firmware' update, if I understand what your conversation was about. And that's something I hope we'll see come to pass in the very near future. But I wouldn't wager my rent money on it.



N_A_T_O said:

The presence of Rez HD gives XBLA a HUGE edge over VC. That game rocked on the DC and now rocks even more.
Also..Streets of Rage 2 in HD and online play. C'mon guys its a no brainer. I could go on.
I am, actually, a big fan of both services, and actually think they compliment each other very well, if you have a 360 and Wii.



A_link_to_the_VC said:

all i can say is that im playing ffcc my life as a king right now and its awesome, and i think wiiware is going to be sweet, but like anything there will be some bad games, overall though i think that there will be enough great games to make customers more then happy



A_link_to_the_VC said:

i know that someone from nintendo did get quoted from saying that they will eventually release some form of an external hardrive, they also went on to say that they felt that not many people were having memory problems but they said that the ones that are having memory problems are some of their best customers, so it sounds like we will eventually get what we need

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