What is WiiWare?

April 1, 2010

A few weeks ago, the Wii Blog For You explained the Virtual Console, which is an online collection of classic games from video game systems of the ’80s and ’90s. This week’s blog defines another collection of downloadable games for your Wii called WiiWare.

So, what differentiates the Virtual Console from WiiWare? Quite simply, whereas virtual console games are old games made for video game systems that are no longer available in stores, WiiWare games are brand new and made specifically for the Wii. This means that, unlike Virtual Console games, WiiWare games can take advantage of the Wii’s unique, modern capabilities, such as motion control and advanced graphics capabilities. In other words, if you are feeling nostalgic for an old game, the Virtual Console should be your destination. On the other hand, if you’re in the mood for something more contemporary, head for WiiWare. Since WiiWare games are shorter and less complex than disc-based Wii games that you would buy from the store, they are also much cheaper than the $49.99 price tag of store-bought games. WiiWare games range from $5.00 to $15.00.

If you are curious about trying WiiWare but are not sure where to start, here are two games I recommend:

1. World of Goo
World of Goo is a difficult game to describe, but, in a nut shell, it is a puzzle game where the player must figure out how successfully build structures made out of, well, goo. Here is a link to the game’s official site. And here is a link to IGN’s extremely favorable review of the game.

2. Excitebike: World Rally
Excitebike: World Rally is an action-oriented racing game that is a remake of the 1986 classic that was originally released for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Here is a link to the game’s official site. And here is a link to IGN’s full review of the game.

You can find WiiWare games in a few easy steps:
1. Once your Wii is turned on, click on the Wii Shop Channel.
2. Click Start
3. Click Start Shopping
4. Click the WiiWare button in the center of the screen
5. Browse for games

And, that’s all there is to it. Enjoy!