Nintendo to Release Wii U and 3DS Retail Games in Downloadable Form

Nintendo’s financial results briefing has brought with it some pretty intriguing news. New Super Mario Bros. 2 will be available via digital download and the Wii U will offer up downloadable retail games on day one.

It appears based on the wording that all Wii U games made available in retail stores will also be on the Wii U’s eShop. Furthermore, retailers outside of the eShop like gaming stores will have the option of selling download codes, allowing sales for games beyond just the on-system store. This is one thing that has hurt the Xbox Live Marketplace, but has been handled fairly well on the PlayStation Store front. New Super Mario Bros. 2 will be the first game from Nintendo to follow this business model. It isn’t known if they’ll include things like full digital manuals with the purchases, or offer a digital price drop vs. the retail price like the Vita, but is a huge step forward for the company even if they don’t go to that extreme. As someone who felt that the company really missed the boat with the GC’s online lineup of a whopping TWO games in an era of Xbox Live and the PS2 Network, seeing them embrace online sales like this is a very pleasant surprise.