Nintendo recently announced that New Super Mario Bros 2 will be the first retail game offered digitally on the 3DS at launch, a service to be continued for many releases afterward. The news was delivered as part of a financial results briefing by Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, during which the company posted its first annual loss in 30 years. Digital download codes will also be made available at brick and mortar retail stores, a move to preserve retail business despite a stronger digital push.
“There must be a solution other than positioning digital distribution as an enemy to wholesalers and retailers.” Satoru Iwata explained.
According to a Nintendo statement to Joystiq, “The majority of Nintendo-published Nintendo 3DS games will have the same dual-distribution strategy. Likewise, the majority of Nintendo-published Wii U games will be available both as packaged products and as digital downloads starting on launch day.”
While Nintendo stated that they will keep both digital and physical copies of software the same price, retailers will be permitted to discount their download vouchers in the same fashion as boxed copies. However, any digital game will only be playable on the hardware it was purchased on.