Comparisons Between WiiWare and Xbox LIVE Community Games
There’s little information regarding developing WiiWare games, and the little information I garnered include:
- Development Tool: WiiWare SDK costs around USD 2000
- Point of Entry: Developers must be licensed and approved by Nintendo
- Pricing: Nintendo controls pricing of Wiiware games
Now, compare this to Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE Community Games, whereby you get to create games, submit it online and have people buy the games from Xbox LIVE. The prerequisites are, well, much lower than what would you expect from a platform which has a way better online marketplace experience compared to the Wii (Microsoft could have charged higher for that):
- Development Tool: XNA Framework and Visual Studio Express Development Tools are FREE OF CHARGE
- Point of Entry: Developers pay USD 99 a year for access to XNA Creators Club to submit games for peer review. Once passed, game will be listed on Xbox Live!
- Pricing: Developers sets price between 200 to 800 Points. and get 70% of the total revenue from their game sales.
It’s pretty to see which one is the more accessible and developer friendly, not to mention cheaper option. Nintendo’s coverage on Wiiware development is ridiculously scant, with all my information garnered from sites like IGN and Wikipedia. What’s the point of having an innovative controller in the form of a Wiimote when the point of entry for developers is set very high? And Nintendo’s approach pretty much sidelines homebrew developers.
I don’t know bout you, but I can actually dismiss the following statement made by Tom Prata, senior director of project development with NoA, as hubris:
Powered by Sidelines
Basically we’re giving the tools to any developer to make the games that they want to make, and all the dreams and passions that they have and bring them to Wii. We’re trying to encourage the philosophy that a big idea can succeed without a big budget. They decide the content, while we provide the lowest barrier of entry into development as we can for them.
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