Reports in development circles indicate that independent developers without a signed project with a publisher will not be getting hold of Wii development kits any time soon. To bring you up to speed, Nintendo had gone to great pains to explain that it would welcome independent efforts to supply software for the Wii (both in the traditional sense and over Virtual Console).
Applications opened for Wii kits in early 2006 and Nintendo dragged its heels over offering a date. Following mounting pressure a delivery date for the first round of kits was slated for sometime in January. However, it appears that this date has been missed and no revised timeframe offered.
: "According to our contact, the Wii Independent Developer Program is "on hold" until the end of the month, because "the Wii publishers are taking all of the available inventory, and more." In other words, Nintendo doesn't have enough kits to cover the demand for all those crappy licensed games, let alone more original work."
Nintendo is a firm with an unerring eye on its bottom-line. Its president, Satoru Iwata,
sits atop seven years of glorious commercial success and right now, it seems as though churning out licensed games
from the big publishers is going to make Nintendo money. Sending out development kits destined for the hardcore elements of the homebrew scene is not.
Of course, this strategy is short-termist at best, downright stupid at worse. The Wii and its Virtual Console network simply need the sort of content Microsoft and SCE are fighting over for their own online offerings. There is a time limit to the novelty of paying old (?classic?) games you've bought already (and can steal from the Internet) should you want to play them again. Nintendo needs to back what is certain to be a community tripping over itself with ideas, several of which will likely produce the Lemmings
of the current generation of Nintendo hardware.
If you're in Nintendo's queue for a Wii dev kit, get in touch with us at email@example.com.?