Nintendo eShop

During a financial results briefing today, Nintendo chief executive Satoru Iwata announced that the company will not be revealing pricing for its upcoming Wii U console at next month’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, although it will “showcase the final format, and discuss the details and the software lineup for this year,” according to a transcript obtained from Nintendo’s investor relations site.

Iwata went into more detail on the future of the 3DS handheld system. He said that starting this August with the release of New Super Mario Bros. 2, Nintendo will offer digital download versions of certain titles alongside their retail releases. Customers will store downloaded titles on SD cards, but games will only be playable on the hardware that downloaded them.

Nintendo will also be reaching out to retailers to help carry out its digital plans.

“It seems that, in general, digital distribution of the software available today is mainly aiming at no involvement from retailers,” Iwata said. “On the contrary, Nintendo has decided to choose an approach in which we will ask our retailers to be proactively involved.”

While all digitally distributed software will be available in the 3DS eShop, customers will also be able to buy download codes from a store to “lower their psychological barrier to making online purchases.”

Retailers will decide for themselves how much they will charge for these download codes; Nintendo will not be involved in these decisions, nor will it cover the billing and settlement costs like it has been for software purchased directly from the eShop. This is essentially the traditional wholesale-retail model, except that it involves way more 16-digit codes.

Wii U titles will also be available in both digital and physical versions when the console launches this fall.

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