News Article

Nintendo Wants To Spark Indie DSiWare Development

Posted by Brad Long


Hot on the heels of Sony's PSP "Minis" program, Nintendo is about to launch something similar for its DSiWare download service.

Like the Minis service, Nintendo's new initiative will make it easier for indie developers to publish their own games through DSiWare. Nintendo will keep the current pricing structure of 200 ($2), 500 ($5) and 800 ($8) Nintendo Points, and will charge developers different royalty rates depending on the size of their games.

To put it in perspective, a game smaller than 20MB could cost 500 points; anything bigger will see the royalty rate payable to Nintendo increase. With this in effect, larger and more ambitious games will sell as premium content, while apps and puzzlers (and chunks of already existing DS games!) can go out cheap.

One negative that has been brought to bear is that some developers could go for massive audio/video compression in their games to get a cheaper price tag, which could have a detrimental effect on the quality of their games. Still, it's encouraging to see that Nintendo is doing something to encourage the indie developers: the service really needs something to bring it up to the standard that WiiWare is setting as of late!


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User Comments (33)



SwerdMurd said:

isnt' the 3rd threshold perfectly noted in-article as 800 points? Yes it is. I love facts.



SwerdMurd said:

gotta love being helpful--you guys wreck too much consistent shop for me to allow any typos to continue. Random opportunity to thank you guys for all your hard work!!



James said:

Yeah, facts are great. In future we'll try to use more of them



Knux said:

Hopefully this means we will see more useful DSiWare games besides clocks and caculators.



bboy2970 said:

Can someone explain to me how this “minis” thing is any different from what is already being made on the shop?



SwerdMurd said:

Speaking as a designer (who works for a company that was very interested in this very newsbreak) we are very interested in working within the confines of the 200 point requirements to deliver quality, new games. The accessibility of this type of system is very, very exciting to us!

@bboy - it's my understanding that this will work similarly to the Apple App store, in that there isn't a set, weekly schedule of only a few games, but instead new content is being released constantly (and, as has been addressed, there tends to be a ton more less-than-polished content)




From what I understand, it gives a way for developers to choose a price point by controling the size of their games



Grumble said:

I said a few months back... Nintendo is fighting for a piece of the market occupied by the likes of the psp and the iphone, so its great they are stepping up their efforts!!! Nintendo can be a great company, and will continue to be... they just need to stay innovative and never remain stale!




Darknyht said:

One correction, the 800 point category is actually 800+ as in games can and probably will eventually cost more.



Slapshot said:

And I got all the fuss about this when I posted the PSP Minis Thread and how I hoped this exact reaction would come from Nintendo and here it is. Competition runs the markets, this is great news for us DSi owners.
@SwerdMurd..... dude are you developing on DSi and PSP? I thought you were the one who said was a dev but I coulnt remember. Its noted for sure now.



brandonbwii said:

Could someone post a new thread? I want to know what this PSP minis thing is.

On topic, I thought Ninty did something like this for wiiware. Anyway, when dsi 1st came out I heard they wanted more 3rd party apps. So this could be a very good thing. Still waiting for myNotebook.



Chunky_Droid said:

Thanks Swerd_Murd, I need to keep on my toes! Don't know how I missed this one though as I have a couple of 800 point games on my DSi already



Hardy83 said:

Now I'm confused by hell with this information because... The biggest game on DSiWare right now (Pop Superstar) is 800 points, but also under 20MB in size.

Now the confusion sets in with that. For games under 20MB. I thought 20MB was the cap... And if they are raising the cap, the space they set aside for DSiWare on the pathetic 256MB of memory is an even more pathetic 105ish MB or memory.

Unless Nintendo is (should've been out from the start but Nintendo is once again slow) going to have SD support for DSiWare then, again... I'm confused.



mjc0961 said:

"Nintendo is fighting for a piece of the market occupied by the likes of the psp and the iphone,"

lolwut? The iPhone isn't occupying the same market as the DS and PSP.



Hardy83 said:

"lolwut? The iPhone isn't occupying the same market as the DS and PSP."

No the DS and PSP aren't in the same market as the app store, but DSiWare and the Mini store are.



MindFever said:

meh... no SD support,no fun switching/deleting stuff on internal memory.
sorry folks,but Nintendo made me (and alot of others,trust me) into a certified skeptic.

But anyway;
Does that go for the GAMES on dsiware,or for the APP & GAMES ???
i hope someone will make a messenger or something that brings these 2 usless cameras into play.immagine DSi being a very useful comunications gadget? i freakin` do!

please,more APPs !!! (a new browser that runs only Flash,i wish.well,they could use the SD memory as a "page file" of




MindFever said:


it IS certainly a start.a positive at that.(sure,i may be a harsh Nintendo critic...bottom line; i aint stupid i can see the obvious benefits from Nintendo`s moove)...

but it is known,no matter how great an be polite, Nintendo keeps frustrating people.Me,...well,i have quite alot of patience left before i ditch my White DSi (white/black = nicest dsi colors,imho).

why do i talk about stuff you,probably, dont even care? lol, done



maka said:

If they want indie developers they should lower the cost of entry. Right now indie developers are making homebrew apps which is free. Nintendo should really take the chance to try and bring those developers, not shut them out.

As an example, Apple started including developer tools free with their system releases when they switched to OS X. iPhone developer tools are also free as are those for the Android mobile platform. That's really the way to go if you want people to develop for your system...



StarDust4Ever said:

After downloading Pop+ and Flipnotes, I only have a measley 36 blocks left on my Dsi. When I heard the DSi coming out, I thought that running Apps off the SD card would be a no-brainer for Nintendo.



erp said:

@maka, I completely agree. If Nintendo want to compete with the iPhone App Store - and I can only assume this recent move is indication that they do - then I really think they need to make the price of entry for indie devs competitive with Apple's.

This means allowing devs to prototype and develop pretty much for free, charging a relatively small fee for publishing (sub-$100 per annum) and taking a sensible stake of the takings.

In these days where DS homebrew is so mature using normal retail DSes, I really don't see how Nintendo can get away with making indie devs buy crazy-expensive devkits. The homebrew guys have proven they're just not needed (and so have Apple).

These are the real details that Nintendo need to announce before potential devs (myself included) can genuinely get excited about this.



erp said:

@Prochnow: wow, that's even bigger fail then I suspected then.

It's typical modern Nintendo: come up with ideas that are great and exciting in theory, and then completely cripple and botch them at the point of implementation with stupid restrictions and limitations.

It's a damn shame.

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