Nintendo’s Wii U will allow gamers to purchase and download games on launch days via their home internet connection. What’s potentially awesome about this is the fact that gamers can simply download the game presumably at midnight instead of leaving the house and spending time with friends at midnight launch events. As depressing as the image of myself you’ve formed in your head is, you’ve got to admit: It’s convenient. What’s NOT convenient is the amount of people wanting to download any given game at the same time you are.
Sure, Nintendo will accommodate all of us and whatnot, but others may simply not have patience for the long download times, be it because of Nintendo or their ISP. Gamers will also be able to purchase codes at various vendors if they choose not to pay online.
In any case, we should be looking at the big picture: Nintendo is giving gamers options to get what we want, and that’s something to be admired.
In a comment to Kotaku, Nintendo of America clarified more on the subject:
Nintendo is aiming to significantly expand its digital business. In August, New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the Nintendo 3DS system will launch both as a packaged game at retail stores and as a digital download in the Nintendo eShop. The majority of future 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.
These downloadable games will be available for purchase at participating retail stores and on retailers’ websites. Our customers can visit retail outlets or their online shopping sites, look for the products they want and pay for the product there. The retailers will then provide shoppers with a 16-digit code that can be exchanged in the Nintendo eShop for the game. This will give shoppers more options to find and purchase their favorite games.