Nintendo's DSiWare service, like its WiiWare platform, are temptations and teases for the lovers of the independent and obscure. Because no boxes or cartridges/discs need be sold, the ability for much-loved indie titles to be finally unleashed or re-released seems to be too good to be true.
Making good on part of that promise, Nintendo has had a busy week announcing both downloadable versions of their retro Game & Watch series, as well as their cult-classic music/art title, Electroplankton.
For the uninitiated, Game & Watch was Nintendo's first electronic gaming platform, dating to the very early 80s. These black-and-white LCD standalone handhelds were what I grew up on, and they were lovingly re-created in a series of compilations on the Game Boy Advance (and in a Club Nintendo limited-edition DS cartridge). Nine of these games will be available for $2 each, a steal when you consider that's the same price as a Mario-themed calculator. Breaking them down to individual titles is also a smart move because it allows the fans to build their own collection instead of having it forced down their throats.
Electroplankton was a Japan-first project created by visual artist Toshio Iwai which synthesized music and motion into a collection of quirky aquatic visual toys. The 10-creature set will be broken down into three installments selling for $2 a piece, which is fantastic for deal-seekers--for a grand total of $12 you can own what previously cost over $20.
First of all, these better hit the U.S. shores. Second of all, we hope that this encourages Nintendo to explore other DSiWare avenues, including releasing the Japan-only bit Generations retro games that inspired the Art Style titles currently on DSiWare and WiiWare. And while we're at it, how about a proper DSi Virtual Console with GBA games galore?
This should be what downloadable games are all about--large catalogs of rare treasures, priced affordably. That, of course, depends on the whims of developers and publishers. Years after the Virtual Console debuted, many fans are still waiting for Mother 3.
What do you want on your DSi? Let us know (and maybe let Nintendo know, too) in the comments.