Nintendo will offer 3DS Retail Games as downloads starting with New Super Mario Bros. 2.

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Nintendo 3DS Retail Games Go Digital in August Starting with New Super Mario Bros. 2

Starting this August Nintendo will be offering their retail titles as downloads starting with New Super Mario Bros. 2.

Nintendo has not been one to easily accept the digital distribution model. The Wii has an online store but it is weak to navigate and is filled only with download exclusive titles. The DS featured no form of online service while the PSP embraced it. The Nintendo DSi showed the first hint of  what a Nintendo handheld with an online store would look, like but it was still weak.

Finally, the 3DS released and has been quite successful for Nintendo in retail as well as the downloadable market. They have many downloadable games from their past as well as new titles that have received glowing reviews from many video game critics. Coming this August, it looks like the 3DS will join the big boys in digital distribution and give the option to download retail titles instead of purchasing them physically.

Nintendo has announced that this coming August, games for the 3DS will start to be offered digitally and the first game announced for this duel sales option is New Super Mario Bros. 2. This option will allow gamers to go the the 3DS eShop and download a new game that just released instead of having to trudge to the store to pick it up. Oddly, it looks like this option will also extend to retail.

According to David Gibson, the source of Kotaku’s information on the meeting,

Digital buys will also include retail as place for payment and download, but said “it does look complicated” in demo.

What I get from his tweet is that you will be able to purchase the download of the game at the store and download it there. It looks like the main reason for this would be for people that don’t have a good internet connection to use. You could simply walk into GameStop and download the title there. As to why you wouldn’t just purchase the physical game instead, it looks like Nintendo might be sending fewer copies to retail.

Said game life is getting shorter, hence retailers carry few, digital will help retail as inventory risk reduced!

Basically this means that by supplying retail stores with download codes on top of their smaller supply of physical copies, their would be less worry about too few copies in the store. This is a good thing for those working retail that have to deal with customers coming in looking for rare titles but is bad for collectors that really enjoy a physical copy to show off. On the bright side, it looks like the price of the digital copy you buy at the store won’t be the same as the physical copy.

R4i 1.4.3 PER NINTENDO DSi XL€ 24,99

Digital wholesale price will not be the same as packaged as inventory risk is different

More than likely, the price for digital download codes will be five to ten dollars cheaper than that of the physical copy. This isn’t fact of course, but based on Sony’s pricing of downloadable copies of retail titles on the Vita, this is what we should expect at the least.

While I consider myself more of a collector, this is definitely the right step for Nintendo. The way the industry is moving, sooner or later, games will probably be entirely digital. It alleviates stress from retail costs such as packaging and shipping while bring in pure profit for the developers and publishers of the games. How do you feel about this? Are you excited for Nintendo to start releasing their retail titles as downloads as well or do you think things should stay totally physical? Tell us below in the comments!

This news is coming from a Nintendo investors meeting and shall be updated accordingly if anything changes.

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