Nintendo will offer Wii U games as digital downloads at launch, the company has revealed. And it won’t be just small game downloads and indie titles, but full retail games as they are released. This is something quite new for Nintendo, and it will coincide with the launch of the new Nintendo Network online service. While gamers will be able to purchase games and download them on the Wii U, retailers will be able to sell download codes to games as well.
Nintendo won’t be setting fixed prices for retailer’s downloadable codes, which means they can adjust the price as they see fit, and offer discounts, etc. It’s unknown how many and what titles will be available at launch for the Wii U as digital downloads, but its likely that the majority of third parties will be on board with the proposal. The same system will be implemented for the Nintendo 3DS as well, when Nintendo Network launches this Fall.
This also brings into question Wii U’s available storage for games and content. It’s rumored that the Wii U will include 8 GB of internal flash memory, but that may only be enough for a few Wii U games. However, the console will also support external storage through USB hard drives and SD cards.