Last Friday, Nintendo issued a statement to popular video game blog, joystiq. In the statement, Nintendo detailed their plans for how they’re going to distribute games for the 3DS and the Wii U.

Hit the jump for the press release and other details!

Here is the full statement from Nintendo:

Nintendo is aiming to significantly expand its digital business. In August, New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the Nintendo 3DS system will launch both as a packaged game at retail stores and as a digital download in the Nintendo eShop. The majority of Nintendo-published Nintendo 3DS games will have the same dual-distribution strategy. Likewise, the majority of Nintendo-published Wii U games will be available both as packaged products and as digital downloads starting on launch day.

These downloadable games will also be available for purchase at participating retail stores and on retailers’ websites. Our customers can visit retail outlets or their online shopping sites, look for the products they want and pay for the product there. The retailers will then provide shoppers with a 16-digit code that can be exchanged in the Nintendo eShop for the game. This will give shoppers more options to find and purchase their favorite games.

From this, we learn that the majority of first party games will have the dual distribution as described above. For example, New Super Mario Bros. 2  will be sold in both the standard packaging with the game cart or over the Nintendo eShop. The digital download can be purchased both directly on the eShop and in a retail store, such as GameStop.

Earlier, Nintendo revealed why they decided to have retail purchases for the digital download. Nintendo said that they did not want to alienate customers who prefer to purchase physical copies of games. Further, they wanted to use this as an opportunity to expose customers to digital purchases and allow people who are generally unable to buy digital downloads with a credit card. Kids, for example, would have a more difficult time purchasing a digital download straight to the 3DS.

With this in mind, we can be almost certain that the future Zelda games will be available both for purchase as a physical copy or digitally over the eShop.

Additionally, this press release also reveals that the Wii U store will be called the eShop, “The retailers will then provide shoppers with a 16-digit code that can be exchanged in the Nintendo eShop for the game.” 

What do you think about these changes? Is Nintendo taking a step in the right direction with the digital option? Tell us in the comments below!

Source: joystiq (via GoNintendo)

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  • dlink

    Well it is good as long as it stays as an option.

  • RPH1

    For a game like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, where the instruction manual was 2 pages and I solved it in 3 days, I wouldn't mind a download. For the big games like Zelda, Metroid, Mario, Smash Bros. … I want the box and manual.

  • This will be great for when i cant get i hold of a game, but im still going to buy physical copies of the good games.

  • Sakume

    It's nice to download cheap things. I don't mind paying a buck or two, maybe five tops for a game I like on ipod, computer, whatever have you. But to pay a full game price for a download is not cool simply for the reason there is no retrieving your data if your system is lost or corrupted. Nintendo isn't going to pass out codes for that. BUT if your system is lost or corrupted but you still have your cartridge, not as big of a loss. That's my reasoning as to why I never buy an expensive download. Data is just too fragile in place of physical matter.

    • ralphpotato

      I would assume that the download games would be a lot cheaper, considering that they do not have to manufacture or ship the cartridges, so that would be the main appeal to the digital game.

      Additionally, I think there is an incredibly low chance of the 3DS becoming corrupted if you use it properly.

      • DougDoug

        Thirdly, given the nature of large scale digital downloads, I would imagine that Nintendo is going to implement some sort of nintendo club account integration or account of any kind so stuff like data loss wouldn't happen

      • Prada

        you'd be surprised

        • ralphpotato

          What would I be surprised about? If the digital download is the exact same price, well than of course there is a lot less appeal to the download. However, even if a game is $10 cheaper, and the company gets a higher net gain on each product sold, to the customer it's $10 less they have to pay. That's an attractive deal. Whether a person prefers a physical copy more than the the $10, that's the customer's decision.

          I personally like having a physical copy of the game (which is why I have all of the Zelda titles for their original consoles) however I cannot deny that the digital download is the better deal.

      • Sakume

        Oh I didn't mean the 3DS itself. I mean as if oh, you spilled water on it, dropped it, whatever. Became unusable in any case. That's assuming your sd card doesn't have the data on it. Also, hey, if they're cheaper, I just might opt for that. Depends.

  • alilinsane

    I think this is awesome. It may be slow at first, but think of how popular the app store is for iTunes. I just hope there is a profile for each account so that you can retrieve previously purchased content onto a new device.

  • arbiter0110

    Digital downloads are for a select number of users only. I never do downloads unless there is no physical option and hope we never go to straight digital downloads. Especially given currently the price difference between download and physical game is incredibly insignificant. Besides, I'm proud of my collection, 22 systems – somewhere around 280 games and counting!

  • Prada

    So their is a possibility of re-purchasing Windwaker and playing it in HD?! YEEeeeesssS!

  • majorasmask3ds

    they don't make them like they used to , literally

  • boomer30569

    If they pull this off right it'll be like Steam for Nintendo. They definitely need a sort of registry of all of your downloaded games though, but they already do this to a certain extent with Club Nintendo so it shouldn't be that hard to implement.

    They probably won't make the downloads cheaper, even though they should, because no one else does it, but if they do it could spark others to do the same and that could have a really positive affect on gaming as a whole.

    Personally I will be going all digital when they do this, it saves space and I don't have to be limited to one card on my 3DS or change CD's every time I want to play a different game on the Wii U.

  • Keimori

    I think this is a grand Idea, I'd still prefer hard copy stuff as it feels more I’m getting something. (Yes I know I'm buying the game, not the disc/card, but I still like having something physical for my purchase.)
    But Digital content is great for folks that can't find the physical copy of the disc or just wish for the convenience of a download, Sony for example has been offering many modern day full games on their systems for a bit now and let me tell Ya, its really nice to find a game on the PSN when I can't find the disc anywhere.

    So I say I'm behind this, not only will it allow the eShop to catch up with the PSN and X-Box live stores, but it'll give folks a chance to experience obscure short print titles that are really good and very enjoyable but may not have the marketing juggernaut that other titles have behind them.

    I just hope it remains an option, that I can still get myself a nice disc and manual and a fancy case to carry them in.

  • Adventurous Knight

    Sounds like they are trying to match what the PS3 and Xbox 360 does. Still a nice option, but I will

  • Robbie Kincaid

    It's hard for me to choose between physical copy and download. I love the option of carrying the game with me, but download is also beneficial. I usually like the instruction manuals included but if they're anything like MK7's manual, they're a bit lackluster and not much fun to read. So, thus I am torn between the two. I might do download just to stay out of long lines lol. Not sure yet, but I'm glad they're giving us the option.