The Wii U might have full, downloadable retail games
Downloadable retail games have been gaining popularity in recent years, with services like Steam, Xbox Live, and PlayStation Network offering the ability to get your hands on a new title without ever leaving your home. According to Iwata, such a distribution channel has already been implemented in the 3DS and will also be part of the Wii U’s online services.
However, Nintendo aren’t sure when or even if they’ll begin offering full games up for download.
For the digital sales of the content, we are also considering the future possibility of digital distribution of packaged software, which is often referred to as “software download sales.” This concept was built into the design of the Nintendo 3DS, and we already have the necessary infrastructure. We will prepare the same infrastructure for the Wii U.
However, we have not decided the concrete timing of when we will start it. The decision must be made by taking into consideration such factors as the relationship with the wholesalers and retailers, and the best way to be embraced by consumers, as well as the environment surrounding the market and consumers, such as the required memory capacity on consumers’ SD memory cards. However, as an option for the future, the significance of this business field will increase.
Considering that a Wii U game disc can carry up to 25 GB of data, downloading a Wii U game will be a major investment of time, bandwidth, and storage space for the end consumer, so it’s good to hear that Iwata is looking out for the best way to go about this. The company also confirmed last February that retail games aren’t going anywhere, either, so it’s safe to assume that you won’t lose the ability to build a physical game collection.
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