3DS and Wii U retail games to be downloadable, beginning with New Super Mario Bros. 2

As expected, Nintendo plans on selling retail games digitally through the Nintendo Network. The first first-party game to be available at both retail and on the eShop will be New Super Mario Bros. 2.

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As expected, Nintendo plans on selling retail games digitally through the Nintendo Network. The first first-party game to be available at both retail and on the eShop will be New Super Mario Bros. 2, scheduled for release in August. And that will be just the beginning. "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," the company announced at its most recent investors' meeting.

The digital release of NSMB2 is part of Nintendo's growing commitment to digital. "It is imperative for us to expand the exposure of the digital download products to potential consumers," the company admitted.

Representative of Nintendo's growing investment in digital is the fact that Wii U will launch with this functionality on day one. "Our consumers can choose either the packaged version or the digital download version of the same software from day one of the Wii U’s launch."

However, not willing to alienate retail, the company promises that digital games will be available for purchase at retail as well, through the use of prepaid cards. "Our consumers can visit retail outlets or the retailers’ online shopping sites, look for products of interest, make a purchase decision and actually pay for the product there. The retailers then can issue the 16-digit software exchange code."

Interestingly, retailers will be able to set their own prices for digital games sold in-store, much as they would with physical copies of games. "By taking this approach, there will not be a situation like 'there is no markdown for the digital products while markdowns are the norm for the packaged software.'"

From The Chatty

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    April 26, 2012 10:30 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, 3DS and Wii U retail games to be downloadable, beginning with New Super Mario Bros. 2.

    As expected, Nintendo plans on selling retail games digitally through the Nintendo Network. The first first-party game to be available at both retail and on the eShop will be New Super Mario Bros. 2.

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      April 26, 2012 10:56 PM

      If Nintendo plays their cards right - this can be very, very huge.

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        April 26, 2012 11:13 PM

        Straight Flush

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        April 26, 2012 11:19 PM

        Well, I see it as inevitable for Nintendo. It's a huge convenience and more and more consumers are going to prefer digital, especially after they've had a few years to warm up to it on their smart phone.

        I just fear for the retro market. If you buy a used WiiU in 2022, will you be able to get any games for it?

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          April 27, 2012 12:04 AM

          What I'm most concerned about is that Nintendo does not seem to "Get" e commerce as well as the competition. The unimaginative eShop, it's troublesome purchase system, clumsy payment systems, lack of great sales... the eShop seemed tacked on to me instead of being a system that could have been a steam for the 3DS.

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            April 27, 2012 12:09 AM

            Compared to Microsoft, it's easy to navigate and simple to understand the prices.

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            April 27, 2012 3:11 AM

            -lack of great sales

            Hell, I'd be happen with any sort of discount PERIOD. I haven't bought anything from the wiishop since 2010 and having a sale (at least on new original software) would go a long way to getting people to spend money in their store. I'm going out on a limb here and predicting that retail game prices on the eshop will work like Microsoft's games on demand service. For games that sell for years like a NSMB2, that's fine but nobody will be wanting to pay 39.99 for the 3DS version of the new raving rabbids games a year after it comes out when it hits the clearance bin at retail for 9.99.

            A good move by Nintendo but as always, they're just playing catch-up to the competition in the digital space.

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            April 27, 2012 6:44 AM

            Have you tried it recently? They've improved it quite a bit, now it's got 3D videos of almost every game, downloadable demos, background downloading, and they cleaned up the menu considerably.

            I also much prefer their purchase system over microsoft points.

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            April 27, 2012 7:41 AM

            I have no idea what you are talking about. I'd prefer it to be like Sony's system and use real money, but MS uses points - so whats the big deal? Purchase system is smooth. And there are tons of freebies.

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            April 27, 2012 9:24 AM

            I dunno, the 3DS store is actually pretty good. There's not a ton of 3DS specific content yet, but the organization, videos, etc. are all nicely done and they do a good job highlighting different games and game genres. It seems like a night and day difference compared to the shitty DS/Wii stores of the past.

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      April 27, 2012 12:33 AM

      A 1 TB external hard drive is going to be my new best friend.

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      April 27, 2012 1:14 AM

      How much storage is Wii U expected to have? How about the 3DS?

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        April 27, 2012 3:16 AM

        I think they're going to skimp on internal storage on Wii U to save on the per unit cost but the good news is that they did say they would allow USB external HDD to be used. Now that was info from last year's e3 so it might have changed but I would bet that it will be that.

        3DS also doesn't have much in the way of internal storage but every one comes with a 2GB sd card so upgrading that card from a 2GB to a 16 or 32GB would be relatively simple and cost effective unlike the VIta.

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          April 27, 2012 6:26 AM

          Yeah, IIRC something like 16GB internal flash was thrown around a lot but the external drive is the big thing.

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          April 27, 2012 7:56 AM

          as long as they allow you to re-download games you've already bought, i don't think internal storage will be an issue. maybe enough to store 3 or 4 games?

          any word on how much data can be stored on the optical discs? are they using DVD still or proprietary Bluray?

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      April 27, 2012 1:46 AM

      No surprise here. We knew this would happen. Tsk Tsk Tsk ... and you won't listen won't you.

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      April 27, 2012 4:48 AM

      i know they won't do this, but i hope they treat their prices and offerings in a valve sort of way, with lots of sales and bundles and maybe even free weekends. It's one of the things that's possible with digital distribution and i really like it

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      April 27, 2012 5:18 AM

      Truly trail blazers with this.

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      April 27, 2012 5:34 AM

      Just wanted to say I'm fucking pumped for Luigi's Mansion 2 and only reason I haven't sold my 3DS.

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        April 27, 2012 6:53 AM

        That and Paper Mario 3DS are the 2 announced 3DS games that I'm the most excited about. Every time I see the LM2 3D videos on my 3DS, I get super pumped because of how awesome it looks in 3D.

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          April 27, 2012 7:54 AM

          Oh damn, you can download the 3d videos? I need to check that out.

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            April 27, 2012 8:04 AM

            I think it was a limited time only deal.
            They had a batch of videos right after E3 last year that you could download and another batch sometime last fall. I pluged luigi's mansion 2 into the eshop search engine and came up empty so I don't think they're still hosting them.

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          April 27, 2012 9:25 AM

          Yup, those two and Animal Crossing have me pumped

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      April 27, 2012 6:59 AM

      See, all Nintendo needed to do was lose some money and they actually start doing smart things!

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      April 27, 2012 7:30 AM

      "Interestingly, retailers will be able to set their own prices for digital games sold in-store, much as they would with physical copies of games. "By taking this approach, there will not be a situation like 'there is no markdown for the digital products while markdowns are the norm for the packaged software.'"
      -quote from article

      that's funny, cuz i don't remember nintendo EVER lowering the price of their games after the initial release . e.g., i bought a USED copy of mariocart DS for 24 bucks from gamestop.

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        April 27, 2012 7:39 AM

        i see Nintendo games marked down all the time

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          April 27, 2012 7:43 AM

          yup, they even have a reissued line with new box art for their flagship titles once they've gone out of print and drop in price

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            April 27, 2012 10:46 AM

            yeah, and that's new retail, not used

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        April 27, 2012 9:55 AM

        Used game at Gamestop are supply & demand. Try picking up a used PS2 persona game for under $20. Games that continue to have high demand like Mario and Pokemon tend to cost more.

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      April 27, 2012 8:29 AM

      Buying 3DS games digitally sounds amazing, good job Nintendo.

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        April 27, 2012 11:05 AM

        They are, but they're not idiots about it; they made migrating software from the DSi to the 3DS very easy, and they can restore your software if it breaks and you have to repair/get a new one.

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          April 27, 2012 11:08 AM

          Oh that's not to bad then. How do you migrate with no account?

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            April 27, 2012 12:10 PM

            You'd have to have the ID of the hardware, available is software and on the back case. They also keep that stuff tied to your Club Nintendo account, so I could see them expanding that in the future.

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              April 27, 2012 12:11 PM

              For the DSi thing, there was actually an app - 3DS Transfer Tool - you could download from the store.

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              April 27, 2012 1:56 PM

              So if you loose the system and don't have it registered with club Nintendo you are SOL? They need to force everyone to at least create a club Nintendo account.

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                April 27, 2012 2:10 PM

                I don't know if forcing people to do that is a good idea. Make it easy and fast (it already is), and recommend it like they do, yes, but why force someone? And if you don't keep any of the stuff that came with your console and have no way to ID it, I don't see how that's anyone's fault but yours.

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                  April 27, 2012 2:41 PM

                  It is just going to lead to issues for people down the road. Every other digital distro platform requires an account. And I have never seen a recommendation to create an account. I have one, but not because it told me to when I bought a game. Nintendo is so far behind in online they don't need something like users loosing access to games they bought to give people something to trash them about.

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        April 27, 2012 2:52 PM

        tying it to the hardware seems safer than tying it to an online account in regards to account hacking and piracy. doesn't it? after seeing all the Xbox Live and PSN accounts hacked, maybe that's what nintendo's angel is.

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          April 27, 2012 3:11 PM

          People would lose their shit if Steam did that. Is account security that much harder on a console?