Despite having some ridiculously clever gameplay ideas on their service (Lost Winds, anyone?), sales of downloadable Wii games have faltered for a number of reasons. One is Nintendo’s lackluster online strategy, but that has honestly never been their focus.
Another cause of fail is the fact that WiiWare, unlike the Xbox Marketplace and the PlayStation Store, doesn’t offer free demos of its games, giving consumers a chance to try before they buy. That is changing today! Kind of.
From now until January 31, 2010, gamers will be able to choose from a select group of titles to sample using Nintendo’s new Demo Download service on the Wii Shop Channel. Here are the first three demos, plus descriptions, straight from Nintendo Everything:
* FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES: My Life as a Darklord (SQUARE ENIX): Try out six exciting levels!
The acclaimed developers of Square Enix require no introduction to videogame fans the world over, so it comes as no surprise that their WiiWare-exclusive games in the legendary FINAL FANTASY series quickly captivated a large audience. This strategy game puts you in the fashionable shoes of a Darklord’s daughter as you protect the Dark Crystal at the top of your tower.
* BIT.TRIP BEAT (Gaijin Games): Sample the first level of this title!
Gaijin Games’ first WiiWare title is full to the brim with fresh gameplay ideas. The crazy mix of ‘80s aesthetics and modern game design quickly turned into a popular series of Wii Remote-fuelled retro rhythm action. Anyone up for a hardcore challenge or simply a slice of something daringly and deliciously different would be wise to try their hand at BIT.TRIP BEAT.
* NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits (Over The Top Games): Enjoy the full first level of the game!
Take a trip to ancient Greece where the simple basics of running and jumping through lovingly crafted environments are infused with the fresh gameplay possibilities offered only by the Wii Remote. First-time developer studio Over The Top Games has created an enchanting adventure that takes players on an unforgettable journey in search of a friend in need.
No word if these are the only demos that will be available until the service is discontinued, or if this signifies a change in policy for the future. Why are they only offered until January? Who knows?
Hopefully, Nintendo will start offering free demos for ALL future WiiWare releases, leveling the playing field with its competitors a bit. Although, that would fill up our little SD cards pretty quickly… Could a Wii HDD be far behind?
Source: Nintendo Everything