News Article

WiiWare to Support Flash Soon

Posted by Damien McFerran

The Official Cave Story Blog has revealed that soon WiiWare developers will be able to code games using Flash, which opens up a world of exciting (and possibly not so exciting) gaming experiences for Wii owners.

Games like Defend Your Castle originally started life as free PC-based Flash titles, and recent Xbox Live Arcade hits such as Castle Crashers also owe a massive debt to the programming format, which tends to encourage titles that offer instant playability and addictive challenges.

However, for every decent Flash game there are about 10 less desirable ones, so hopefully this won’t signal a drop in quality on WiiWare.

Source: Cave Story Blog

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User Comments (41)



that_dan_guy said:

This sounds more worrying than exciting. Hopefully it will encourage more indie developers to bring quality games to the wii, but judging by the quality of the majority of flash games on the net, even the wii specific ones, I don't hold high hopes for this move. Hope I'm proved wrong.



Corbs said:

I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not. I guess it's better to wait and see before making any judgements.



Omega said:

They should also implement BASIC and some kind of Game Construction Kit Software into the WiiWare System. Then finally every Tom, Dick and Harry can develop new WiiWare games. Hurray! But seriously: I think Flash belongs to the Internet Browser and nowhere else.



calculon said:

Sound crap-tastic. I personally can't see why this would benefit WiiWare other than for lazy programmers who can't be bothered to learn something new. I guess development times may be shortened (hence more crap between good releases) and I'm sure Nintendo were thinking it'd be an ideal fit for the service, considering 1 out of every 9 WiiWare games is actually worth buying.

I suppose the one real benefit to consider would be the version of Flash supported: if it is version 9, we could see better Flash support coming to the Internet Channel (which would give me some sort of reason to use it) Then again, why would Nintendo want to cripple further game sales by allowing people to play the free browser based versions of stuff they're supposed to pay for?

Smells like BS to me. Good luck with that one Nintendo.



Bass_X0 said:

I use the internet channel a lot, way more so than I play games on the Wii. I can't use the P.C. at night so I just go on the internet channel. Its still terrible though, it hates Facebook. It doesn't like Hotmail. And is really lame. But I can still go online with it so I still use it. I just hope Nintendo upgrades the Internet Channel so its more enjoyable to use.



Omega said:

If they use this flash-thing just to improve the quality of the internet channel, then it is probably a good idea. But I smell something worse than that.



KDR_11k said:

The performance I've seen from Flash was abysmal even on the PC, unless that's a very optimized version anything more complex than Pong will lag on the Wii. Of course if it's optimized enough to get at least within an order of magnitude to native code it may be a good addition as many downloadable games, both WiiWare and XBLA, start as Flash prototypes.



Starwolf_UK said:

Bring on the countless tower defence clones...

As for an internet channel update. That would require Nintendo to talk to Opera and we know from last weeks Iwata Asks that Nintendo going over to Norway to chat to them was very expensive (the hotel rooms were like ¥70000 a night).

Its still terrible though, it hates Facebook
Seeing as my computer hates facebook (as in will spike to 99% CPU for about 5 seconds on every page) and this solution made facebook usable it should work for the Internet Channel:
go to rather than
It may not be as pretty but it works really fast.



Gabbo said:

If this means I'll finally be able to watch hulu and other flash based video then I just may need to buy a second Wii. Heck, maybe one for every tv in the house!



WiiGuy said:

yay! only if Nintendo would update the Internet channel's Flash



Rockbandmonkey said:

The way I see it this could go either way. If developers even consider people are going to be buying these games and not just playing them for free they may put more effort into there games. Or maybe not.



calculon said:

Outside of YouTube I hate Flash with a vengeance (unless I'm writing a Flash based website for someone of course) My web browser has Flash blocking enabled for all sites just so I don't have put put up with a computer than runs like a dog because someone can't write a decent plugin.

Yes, there are some really interesting Flash based ideas and even games out there but the power required to run them far exceeds a well written equivalent in native code. Considering the Wii isn't that much of a powerhouse I can't imagine anything that would equal what many WiiWare titles offers today.

The only reason I can see Nintendo's inclusion of Flash into the WiiWare SDK is as a way to 'fast-track developers. Assuming that is the case I can imagine a whole host of puzzle games and over-hyped platformers rushing the service - at which point I unplug my Wii from the Internet. Forever. Mwah hah hah! |D



Philip_J_Reed said:

Yeah, I'm with several commenters here: I'm only really excited if this affects the Wii browser as well.

Alright, alright, we could get some great games out of it, too...that would be fun...but my prime excitement would come from the browser upgrade.



Popyman said:

Perhaps there will be demos now? Like the ones Capcom has been doing?

Other than that, I can't see much good coming from this, and I love Flash stuff!



wanderlustwarrior said:

On the Internet channel, the most recent version of flash Adobe allows use of is Flash 7. of course, this makes any useful video watching outside of youtube USELESS. is there any sign that adobe is letting the wii use more recent versions for internet and wiiware channels?



jangonov said:

flash support is good but I agree with Damien on this one. It could be really good. Like he said castle crashers is a great flash game. But i dont want some 2-bit developer to think "It has flash!??! Now I can just make a horrible game and I will make money!"



Sean_Aaron said:

I don't think flash use will automatically increase the amount of crap on WiiWare beyond the current level, but it might make more developers interested in the service which has to be a good thing overall.

Yes we might end up with oceans of crap, but remember that not every person sitting at home in their underpants gets to put games on the WiiWare service -- you need an established company, a proven development track record, a dev kit, etc. That means you're either working with an established game publisher or you have to meet some kind of minimum standard to get in the door.



Dawnclaude said:

I think Nintendo want more games for WiiWare to get it more popular.
its ok when they sell the games for 500. So 3D Games can rise their points, to get Low Budget and midprice games
I only fear a situation when they copy ideas from "bigger" WiiWare projects. But Nintendo will watch about the quality... I hope.



Terra said:

@Sean Aaron
You took the words right out of my mouth.

I don't see why people are looking at this negatively, it might be interesting to see what comes out of this. Nintendo won't exactly allow unexperienced or developers unable to meet that minimun standard to release stuff on their consoles. I remember that studio, Xiotex, being refused because they didn't have decent experience and that creator of Bob's game being refused dev kits for the DS.

Devs don't need flash to do cheap, crap games. The Incredible Maze and Pong Toss anyone? What about Midnight Bowling or Hockey Allstar Shootout? You get my point. This won't increase the crap on WiiWare neccesarily, it will just make it easier for some devs to do their games.

I'm also curious, did it say if this will support different types of flash or just the latest version?



thewiirocks said:

I've worked under the covers on Flash games written by some of the best Flash game designers in the industry. There is NO WAY ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH this is a good thing.

There's a reason why professional versions of titles are regularly contracted out to third-party game studios. That reason is that a Game Designer may be able to make a kick-arse prototype in Flash, but he tends to lack the technical knowledge to put the capabilities of a good game system to use. Similarly, good Game Designers aren't always good artists, either. (Ever wonder why some of the best Flash games have stick figures? Now you know.)

Add it all up, and you realize that the best games come from a good Game Designer teamed up with crack artists and programmers. THAT is how you get the best results.

Flash is a tool that has improved a lot over the years, but it's still used by Game Designers to express ideas in a rapid, albeit not always ideal form. Even when the necessary technologies are available to them on the Flash platform, they usually don't know how to make the best use of those technologies.

In short, Flash may not increase the amount of "crap" we see on WiiWare, but it will almost certainly drop the overall quality.

@Starwolf_UK - There's a great invention called the "telephone". I'm sure Iwata is well versed in its use.

In any case, the Opera staff have repeatedly made it clear (both in private and to the world at large) that they don't make the decisions on what goes into the web browser. Nintendo does. Opera can beg and plead, but at the end of the day they have almost no say.

My expectation is that the Flash plugin in Wii Opera will NOT get updated. In fact, I also expect that the Flash plugin will get dropped from the browser of the Wii's successor. Nintendo may want to keep Youtube support around, but my spidey senses tell me that they'll go the iPhone route and work out a custom, non-Flash application for those videos.

Oh, and my spidey senses also tell me the Wii's successor will have a MotionPlus built in, a unified sensor bar with camera and microphone, possibly no GameCube support, and a few other surprises.



Wiiloveit said:

It'll be nice to see more dev's join in the fun, but as the team behind Super Meat Boy recently said in one of your own interviews, there's only so far that the technology can go. Plus - this is likely to put people off browser based flash mini games. I myself think that this is a move by Nintendo to get more games, innovation and interest in the service - now if only they'd release more than one game a week...



thewiirocks said:

@Neomega - This will not accomplish a NewGrounds for the Wii. That's what sites like WiiCade and WiiPlayable attempt. All this will do is make it possible to develop WiiWare in Flash.

@TwistedVivid - I doubt it. Most likely Nintendo is only distributing these kits to licensed WiiWare developers.



thewiirocks said:

@Neomega - Again, that's not what this is going to do. This is going to be used to create new WiiWare games. WiiCade is much closer to what you want, as it is founded on the same types of ideas as Newgrounds. All you need is the Opera browser and one or more Wii Remotes. (I highly recommend at least two. My recent game Coverfire is tons more fun with two remotes instead of one. )



Kirk said:

But will it be easier to actually get a game on the system?

I assume it will still be exactly the same except you can just develop the game on Flash.



Wiiloveit said:

@Neomega: Don't start another Newground's debate, because last time that website was mentioned here, it didn't end well...



Wiiloveit said:

ZOMG - just had a thought, maybe the inclusion of flash on WiiWare will mean that it will be available to DSiWare developers. If so, that would be ace and allow for a variety of random iPhone-style apps to personalize our DS's. Make it happen, Nintendo!



Ricardo91 said:

Yes! Now all those flash game I play for free on the internet I can now pay for!

EDIT: I agree with most people here that the web browser's Flash needs some serious updating. When are you gonna get around to that, Nintendo?



VenomTheEvil said:

To quote the internet:


Seriously not good idea sure we MIGHT get some good stuff but FLASH cmon ITS FLASH.

Hopefully this means N or N+ Will come to wiiware.... in my dreams...

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