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Nintendo Plans Digital Distribution Of Retail Titles

A slide shown during Nintendo’s investor conference shows that Nintendo is preparing for the digital distribution of packaged software. Microsoft and Sony both offer digital downloads of retail based titles on Xbox Live and PSN, so it shouldn’t come as a great surprise that Nintendo is considering doing this for Wii U.

81 thoughts on “Nintendo Plans Digital Distribution Of Retail Titles”

  1. Does this potentially mean that press information that New Super Mario Bros 2 was going to be distributed by both retail and download means may turn out to be accurate in the future?

    Or at least that Nintendo is considering something similar for other future games?

      1. I love game booklets, some are actually really well made, like Melee was. And then there’s the Metroid Prime Trilogy with really great collectibles.

    1. lol same here if i can get a hard copy ill get it but if its a game that is super hard to find physically ill download it XD

  2. If this is accurate; we might just get full-fledged games being distributed through the “shop” in the Wii U. Fascinating.

  3. Oh, so it’s safe to assume that the Wii U contains an internal harddrive then? You know, to hold all of these “digital distributions”.

      1. In all seriousnes, I thought this was pretty much comfirmed when Ninty announced GCN games would be Digitaly Distributed.

      2. Solid State Drives break way too easily. I’ve never known anyone keep one functional for more than four months.

        1. What the hell are you talking about? SSD’s are in every fashion more durable and reliable than Hard Drives.

          I’m typing this on a Macbook Air with an SSD that I’ve owned for almost a year.

      1. Nothing was confirmed about this. And you act as if hard drives were “the wave of the future” when the slow bastards are clearly not. I’d very much rather have a 60GB SSD than a 100+GB HDD on my Wii U.

        1. I’d rather have a 1TB HDD than a 60GB SSD.
          More space and the fact that a 60GB SSD costs around the same as a 1TB HDD.

          1. While ostensibly I agree with you, unless there is something that can be done with all that space, it is useless. In the case of a Wii U, unless they allow loading video and audio files (video is doubtful, audio maybe, but what doesn’t function as an MP3 player these days) the only real function of the storage device is for downloading eShop games. In which case, 20 – 60GB is probably good enough.

            1. If they support multiple video formats I’d think about getting a whole new HDD for that along with downloaded games.

      2. u can use external harddrives, ya know, when hardware failure goes down, plus u can get however amount u want without having to just get the one thats in the system which is limited. u can also use flash drives and another method plus it hs internal memory.

    1. I am still surprise that people are forgetting that you can use your own external hard drive with the Wii U.

      So that is a great option for storing all your content. Using your own hard drive means less cost for consumers. Plus if Nintendo distribute smaller budget AAA games digitally, it also means cost of these games will be less (they do not have to pay for mass produce and distribution cost).

    1. Why? they assured backward Compatibility(something that his competition didn’t have mention it), and that is fucking rumor so far.

      1. umm wii u will support selling downloaded game licenses to friends LOL and why would they nintendo knows people take games too friends to play or sell them nintendo never gonna support that crap

    2. Hey, at least Nintendo will never stop releasing hard copies. they’re not trying to kill them like Sony and MS are rumored to.

  4. I always buy physical copy of the games.. I never trust my money to get a “copy” of a game, in someone else server… If I cant find my game in the store selves, I just dont buy.. simple as that… I never buy games that are “about games” in an others server and not be able to play them, if I dont pay phone and internet connection..

    Internet service is only for patch… for me

    1. sony and nintendo don’t require an internet connection to play Downloable games, last ti me I checked, only XBLA games did.

  5. Of course, if Nintendo is doing that, they should also do account based eShop account.

    I do like this approach, however. I do think this is more necessary with some games than others. There are some game that should just be digital. Tetris: Axis, for example. It’s Tetris. Does anyone really want to drag the cartridge around? Because I really don’t think it’s that type of game. It’s a game I play when I’ve got five or ten minutes.

    I also think this is true for other games. Such as Animal Crossing or the Wario Ware series. Again, it’s the type of game you pick up and play 10 or so minutes at a time. I also think the same could be said for Mario Kart, Mario Tennis, etc. Again, they’re the types of games I like to pick up and play whenever. I constantly play them. I usually play them for longer than 10 minutes, but the pick-up-and-play nature still applies.

    Other games, though. Like The Legend of Zelda, I prefer non-digital. I usually have one main game I play. And it usually stays in my system during that time. I sometimes switch it out for Mario Kart or a similar type game.

    But I do think the digital stuff should focus mainly on handhelds, I have a case that holds up to six games but I only have so much pocket space. I rarely ever switch my games while I’m out anyway but it would nice to have Animal Crossing or Mario Kart on my system so I don’t have to bring the game case with him.

      1. True, but there’s still a pick-up-and-play nature to it. It’s a game people usually play off-and-on. When it comes out, I’ll likely be constantly switching between it and whatever game I’m playing that month. I’ll focus on it heavily the first month but after that I’ll be playing something else and play Animal Crossing 30 minutes to and hour a day. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

      2. My experience has been around 20 minutes. They really need more stuff to do and more incentives to play every day.

  6. The main thing for me when it comes to downloadable retail games is price. I see games on the Playstation Store that are €60 when you can get them in a shop for about €30. True, I prefer physical copies but if there’s incentive to buy online, I will.

      1. You realise how long it will take to download a full game? Forever! In order to make it download quicker, games will be smaller and not as creative. See why?

  7. Please! I find it so annoying having to exit to the home menu on my 3DS and Wii to physically pop out a game/disc. If it’s already downloaded in my hardware, less work for me. Screw physical copies!

  8. I’ll see this as a positive option as long as I can still buy hard copies of Wii U games new AND pre-owned.

  9. I was just irritated when my Wii broke earlier this year and I lost Mario Kart, OOT and Starfox. Even Vectorman. I’d rather even wait for “retro packs” because you never know when downloaded things will just slow down or stop working.

  10. It will be nice in the sense that one will be able to purchase games any time, any way. If they do that with Gamecube games, I’ll squeal like a pig! ^_^ I could also see this as a way to cut costs for shipping, packaging, and physical media, as well as the instruction books (as they are going for the digital media now these days). Plus, one would be able to prevent themselves from losing the disk (I lost MKWii and MK7 (Mario Kart, not Mortal Kombat)).

    However, I do want the physical media as well (both for aesthetics and for being able to use the same game on multiple systems). Please don’t let this become like the PS Go. If they only have digital, then one would need to bring their system over to another person’s house, which would get annoying (though I do this all the time whenever I got to someone else’s house). Plus, like nkutzler said, if the system breaks and only digital media was present, one would lose all of their save files. I had this happen once for Pokemon Ranch (or whatever it was called) and I lost a good chunk of my Pokemon (even a Salamence!!). I hated how the Wii couldn’t make multiple save files for ALL games (most could, but SSBB couldn’t).

    From a business perspective, digital media is a WONDERFUL idea (and I do think it is good). However, from a consumer perspective, I would be ok with it, but I would want some security and ease. Maybe work a hybrid of the two where when you buy a hard copy of a game, you get a code that can be used online to have both a digital and physical copy of the game (like certain DVDs with the Digital Copy thing). Make the codes only work for one time or else piracy would be on the rise. Maybe make it a combination of the disk and the code to get the digital copy.

  11. Please have an Ethernet port on the system. The Wii adapter was a pain, and if they want to go to online marketing, it would be good for all of us to add this.

  12. This is a very smart step in the right direction for Nintendo. Start putting aside money for an external hard drive people.

  13. if that’s the case, the can’t ship that thing with anything less than 120GB for memory. my PS3 has 160GB and thats more than enough. but considering Nintendo’s history with great games. people will download a shitton. and won’t wanna spend another $X on more memory.

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