Digital distribution platforms seem to need some sort of user-aggregate ranking system to help sort the tide of downloadables that promises only to continue growing. I've hoped to see such a system implemented on Xbox Live, but it looks like Nintendo quietly sneaked in while my back was turned and implemented something that at least approaches it.
The new, free Nintendo Channel on Wii went live last month. It primarily features DS and Wii interview and preview titles, and since we get plenty of those on the internet, it was easy to overlook. But it also apparently lets users rank the games they've played, creating user-generated usage statistics on the site.
Downloading the Nintendo channel also lets you rank titles that you've played for more than an hour. Pick one, and the service will ask you the gender and age of the person in your house who enjoyed the game the most. It also asks you whether you think that it's a title more for "gamers" or for "everyone", whether it's more fun alone or with friends, and whether you consider it more hardcore or more casual. Finally, a slider you can pull with the Wii Remote allows you to rank (to a pleasing drumroll sound) just how much you liked it.
It can be fun - and surprising - to see what the user base thinks of your favourite titles.
The ranking system lets you find titles you might like based on user recommendation s- if you're searching for a casual title for everyone that you can play with friends, for example, the service will pick some for you based on how other users have evaluated them. Titles that have been ranked already show their user data under their listing - for example, 95 percent said that My Life as a King is more fun to play alone, while only 26 percent would call it a "hardcore" title.
57 percent of Wii users said that Dragon Quest Swords is a hardcore title, while more than half think it's only for "gamers". It even shows you how many total hours have been played of a given title - both in total and average per person, and what other titles users who enjoyed it also liked. Dragon Quest Swords players have only played eight hours and 56 minutes though, across 4.17 sessions. This kind of information about your fellow players can be a bit addictive.
What do you think, Kotaku readers? Would you check the Nintendo Channel for the opinions, recommendations and rankings of other Wii users for a Wii, Wii Ware or DS title you were considering purchasing? How important do you think it'll be to the digital distribution platform in general to incorporate user rankings?
[Thanks to Gamasutra for pointing out the service.]