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Nintendo releasing retail games on 3DS eShop, starting with New Super Mario Bros. 2


Satoru Iwata dropped the proverbial bomb today in an investor presentation, announcing plans to distribute certain retail 3DS games on the eShop download service, where they will be stored on the SD card. The first game to receive this dual release treatment is New Super Mario Bros. 2, due worldwide in August. In addition, the "Onitore" Brain Training game will be sold in this manner.

As for the kinds of games Nintendo wants to distribute digitally, Iwata offered the following explanation: "Nintendo publishes various titles that enable you to enjoy daily communication, such as 'nintendogs,' 'Animal Crossing' and 'Tomodachi Collection,' in addition to the ones like 'Onitore' (temp.), with which you might like to practice every day, and database-type software like 'Hana to Ikimono Rittai Zukan' (sold in Japan only). It must be easier for the Nintendo 3DS owners to feel the merit of being able to carry around only the Nintendo 3DS system with, in particular, these kinds of software titles stored inside."

He added that even other, non daily-communication-related titles stored on a single system would be "handy."

Nintendo plans to sell codes for downloadable versions at retailers, in addition to directly through eShop, in order to avoid cutting its retail partners out, and to avoid alienating users who prefer to buy everything at retail. "Furthermore," he said, "we recognize that one of the biggest hurdles for the expansion of our digital business is the limited methods to expose digitally downloadable products to potential consumers. This recognition is one of the reasons why we are taking this sort of approach."

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