Nintendo to upgrade app store for Wii U

by Dale Wright

With the excitement starting to build around the new Wii console, there are plenty of rumours about Nintendo’s next move. The latest is the supposed plan to upgrade the Wii app store.

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The current Wii console comes with a limited app store where you could spend any points that you bought or earned from game purchases. You can also download smaller games such as my favourite, Bit Trip. However, with the tablet style controller for the Wii U, Nintendo are expected to make improvements to the old app store.

The Wii U is due to be released in the second half of this year and it looks impressive so far. Nintendo are integrating features from tablet computers into the Wii U, so the new app store will offer games, magazines, video and lifestyle apps. Maybe we’ll see Angry Birds on the Wii U too.

For now, the app store prices are an unknown quantity. Prices for Nintendo games are very standard for consoles, but app store prices for other tablets are usually far cheaper, so with a good new app store, Nintendo should be trying to compete on price. However, the console giant will be wary of repeating the perceived failure of the 3DS, offering too little official software and big-name brands on launch date.

There hasn’t yet been a list of what we’ll be able to buy on the new Wii U app store and it hasn’t been confirmed whether any third party software developers will be able to contribute apps. It may be that there is an approval process for any independent apps that could appear in the store, similar to the way Apple control their app store. However, it looks like some apps such as MLB.TV will run on the console and some will be able to run on the controller alone, turning into a true tablet rival.

Do you think that the combination of tablet apps and console gaming will make the Wii U the must have console for this year?