Nintendo just released their financial report (opens in new tab) for the period, and aside from boring facts about sales or profits, something that’s actually of interest to gamers was found inside. A lot of somethings in fact. They not only revealed new plans for software distribution, but also gave us hints about what will be shown at E3, and what won’t be, including the Wii U’s release date.
First off, though Nintendo still maintains that the Wii U will be out worldwide before the end of the year and that its “final format” will be at E3, but Nintendo isn’t revealing everything at June’s trade show. The publisher says they will reveal price and release schedule at a later date, similar to what the company did with the 3DS last year. If we took bets, we’d say Wii U will be out in a 2012 month that ends in “er.”
But wait! There’s more, and it’s actually a much bigger shock. Starting in August with New Super Mario Bros 2 on 3DS, Nintendo will begin offering retail releases as digital downloads simultaneously. And from the sound of it, these same-day-as-retail downloads will continue at least for Nintendo’s titles, though there was no mention of third party releases getting the same treatment.
This particularly progressive bombshell of Nintendo’s was followed by confirming that same day digital practise will also happen on the Wii U, starting at launch (whenever that is). Though this isn’t revolutionary for the game industry at large, as similar digital plans have been on the Vita since before February, this is still a huge step forward for Nintendo, a company not known for cutting-edge internet plans. This, mixed with their recent approach to DLC, bodes well for whatever online plans the publisher may have for the Wii U. Stay tuned…