The day that no one thought they’d ever see looks to be coming this summer with Nintendo finally offering full retail releases as downloads. It all kicks off in August with the launch of New Super Mario Bros 2 on 3DS where Nintendo will offer the game as both a cartridge version as well as full download. With promise of every future Nintendo published 3DS title to follow suit, this is very exciting news indeed. Nintendo didn’t mention anything about third parties however.
Iwata didn’t stop there though as he went on to announce that this download service will also be up and running from day one for the Nintendo Wii U. That means launch titles can either be bought in disc form or as a download. This is a big step for Nintendo and truly shows they are doing what they can to catch up with the competition.
Titles will be able to be purchased on the Nintendo eShop as well as via online retailers and high street store who will supply 16-digit code download codes. Nintendo will not set the price of these retail-bought download codes, allowing shops to offer deals.
When you take all this into consideration it looks to be great news for a number of reasons. Sure we now have a choice with how we buy a game but another reason is that the console will be able to download titles of greater memory than what was previously offered on the Wii. Whereas the Wii had a low limit for its WiiWare launches (a problem that has prevented great games like Sonic 4: Episode II and Super Meat Boy from making it onto the console), it appears this will no longer be an issue for the Wii U. While retail games is a great start, I’m sure there are plenty of gamers out there who would also love the chance to download past games. Gamecube titles or maybe even some of SEGA’s Dreamcast classics. Why not even include old Wii games that have since stopped being produced. Or better still titles that may not have made it over to a certain territory. We’re still missing Excitebots and Mario Baseball for the Wii while the US didn’t get a chance to try Disaster: Day of Crisis. Digital may be a great way to help get old and new titles across the world without another Operation Rainfall incident occurring again. With the ability there hopefully Nintendo can capitalise on this.
“For our digital business to grow drastically, it is imperative for us to expand the exposure of the digital download products to potential consumers,” Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata explained in a briefing to investors.
Here here Mr. Iwata!