Nintendo plans to release games digitally on 3DS and Wii U; no Wii U price or date at E3 2012
Just a day after revealing its largest financial losses ever, Nintendo has revealed its plans to sell games over a digital retail network. According to CEO Satoru Iwata, the company will continue to sell games the traditional way, but will begin to have digital retail versions of major releases alongside the normal retail versions.
In other words, you'll soon be able to buy the Big N's big games directly from their respective systems the same day they release in retail stores, all without ever having to leave your house. Nice.
This service will be available for both the 3DS and the Wii U. For the 3DS, Iwata revealed the upcoming New Super Mario Bros. 2 would be available in both forms, saying: "In principle, starting from this software, the company will offer the software titles that Nintendo itself publishes in both packaged and digital download formats so that our consumers can choose the way to purchase them."
He went on to say that the digital network will be available for the Wii U at launch. Unfortunately, he failed to specify when the service would begin, or, for that matter, whether or not the service would be available worldwide on day one.
It was also revealed that, aside from buying from the systems directly, people will be able to buy digital downloads at retail stores and online. It's currently believed that these will be in the form of coded cards, not unlike Xbox LIVE Gold registration cards. What's interesting is that, while Nintendo will set the prices for the games in its digital library, retailers will be able to set their own prices for their digital downloads. This means the retailers could, potentially, discount Nintendo's prices.
In other Nintendo-related news, the company revealed some details on which details about Wii U will and won't be revealed at E3 this June. It was confirmed that the final format of the console will be shown, as well as the software line-up. Details that won't be revealed are the launch date and the price for each region. Those will be revealed after E3.
But getting back to the subject of digital retail, do you readers think it is the right step for Nintendo to make? Do you think the company has a better chance to bounce back from its financial rut this way? Feel free to share your thought and/or speculate on the matter in the comment box below.
A writer, journalist, and aspiring storyteller, Peter Grimm has been gaming since the days of the Nintendo 64, and reporting on the goings-on in the World of Gaming since late 2011. His base of writing operations is located within the void between Here and There, or so he would have you think.
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