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Nintendo Planning WiiWare Demos

Sample games in advance later this month.


What's the one thing missing from the Wii Shopping Channel? If the word "demo" popped into your head, you know your Nintendo downloads!

Things may be changing shortly, though. In a Q&A session with investors during a financial briefing last week, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata said, "As an experiment to see if we can expand our customer base by offering demos on WiiWare, we hope to run tests for a limited number of titles as early as next month."

The briefing took place on the 30th, so he's presumably referring to this month.

Iwata made this comment in response to a general question about the state of Nintendo's WiiWare and DSi Ware download programs. While not providing specific sales figures, he admitted that the market for the download titles isn't all that big at this point. He likened the Wii Shopping Channel and DSi Shop to a store where the customers go in knowing the exact game that they want, make the purchase, then leave without looking at other product. The reason Nintendo is trying out demos is to get more consumers "into" the Wii Shopping Channel site.

Iwata added that he doesn't believe demos are necessarily the solution to the small WiiWare and DSi Ware markets. Said Iwata, "Unless we can give people a reason to go to the Wii Shopping Channel and DSi Shop even if they don't have business there, I don't believe digital goods sales will heat up."

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