Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has informed investors of the potential benefits and the downfalls of providing full retail games digitally on both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. We found out earlier today that Nintendo is letting third-party developers put their retail titles up for download on both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Nintendo will begin doing this when it launches New Super Mario Bros 2 in August.
“First, about your comment that digital download sales of packaged Wii U software may not be so attractive to consumers because of the amount of download time, it is true that downloading software with 10 gigabytes of memory cannot be done in an instant today, even with broadband connections. So, compared with the situation of portable gaming devices, where comparatively compact-sized software can be downloaded, we have to ask our consumers to wait for a longer time before the download process is completed. However, consumers will be able to use the Wii U effectively by finding convenient times to download software such as when they are sleeping at night. Some consumers prefer to download digital software so that they can play with them on their system anytime without the need to exchange the games’ storage media. Some other consumers find it easier to purchase the medium at a retailer and play it as soon as they insert it into the game hardware. These consumers think it advantageous that they can exchange games with their friends. In order to offer consumers options to choose from, it is important for the company to first make the situation (where digital downloads of packaged software are offered to our consumers in addition to the existing packaged software sales) a reality, and we are ready to offer these options now.”