Wii's online digital store is about to become an open shop. Nintendo's (OTC: NTDOY.PK) next-generation gaming platform is looking to share the fat margin wealth of digital delivery to aspiring game developers with its WiiWare initiative.
Over the past few months, Nintendo has been loading its virtual storefront with throwback classics, priced for as little as $5 a download. There is no physical inventory to stock, products to ship, or retailer returns to worry about. Beyond the small cost of delivering the game files, transactions are mostly gravy.
Nintendo isn't the first video game maker to cash in on the magic of digital delivery. Microsoft's
Microsoft has already moved to sell game enhancements to existing titles through Xbox Live. It's a revenue channel so lucrative that Microsoft will pay $50 million to Take-Two Interactive
If there is any surprise here with Nintendo's announcement, it's that the company's Wii ships with much smaller storage capacity than its peers.
Nintendo's move will give developers -- especially small ones that may not have the finances to bankroll a costly physical release -- a shot at cashing in on the hottest next-generation console.
Yes, even now -- long after the 2006 holiday rush has come and gone -- it's awfully hard to find a Wii console in stock. Amazon.com
Nintendo's move to embrace budding developers, even as its own star is shining brighter, is admirable. It just goes to show that you're never too big to think small.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz would love to see pizza be digitally delivered. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.