No Wii U Launch Date or Price at E3, and Nintendo Going Full Digital Download

IGN posted news that was discussed during today’s investor briefing Nintendo held in Japan. It was at this briefing where Nintendo CEO, Satoru Iwata, announced that the company has no intention of revealing the price or launch date of the Wii U at E3 his June. This is similar to what the company did with the 3DS. They used E3 to unveil the system, showcase the games and features, but disclosed the full launch details closer to the system’s launch.

That’s not the only news we have for you. Starting this August New Super Mario Bros. 2 will be available as a digital download from the eShop on the same date as the retail version. There will be no discount for the digital release though, which is a bit disappointing. For now NSMB2 will be the only full 3DS title to be available on the eShop, but somehow we doubt it will be the last.

Finally the last big piece of news revealed at the briefing was that starting on day one Wii U players would be able to download Nintendo first-party titles from the Wii U’s eShop or purchase them via more traditional means. While we’re assuming third parties could also choose to follow Nintendo, it doesn’t appear like this will be policy. The bizarre part of this news is that Nintendo made no mention of any hardware alterations to the Wii U, which doesn’t feature a hard drive.

This news is quite exciting as it shows Nintendo is preparing to make some bold moves in the coming months. Iwata-san also reiterated that Wii U will be released worldwide by the end of the year. That means at E3 this year the lid should be blown off on the system, and a ton of software and the online features should all be revealed. We’ll have all the info as it breaks.

What are your thoughts on all of this?

6 thoughts on “No Wii U Launch Date or Price at E3, and Nintendo Going Full Digital Download”

  1. So they’re taking Sony’s route right now, eh? Not only from a handheld point of view, even their console too. Interesting. Really don’t know how to fully react as Nintendo continues to block worldwide digital distribution, so this can come and bite them in the ass. If they open up their services to other countries, I can see this working…but retailers are going to have a hard time processing it for the Wii U.

  2. One of the interesting bits of information released now is that retailers are going to be involved with this. Apparently Nintendo will sell them game cards which will contain a 16 digital alpha numeric code players can then use to unlock the game via the eShop. Retailers can set the prices for these cards as high or low as they want. Keep in mind this is basically the same thing as going to the store to buy the actual game, except you only get a code instead of the physical copy. The idea behind this is to ease players into the idea and also for those that don’t want their credit card numbers to be used through the Net.

  3. I don’t understand the secrecy. If they announce intended pricing early enough, they can see how the market reacts. Sony of course didn’t benefit from that, but Nintendo can’t afford for Wii U to trip out of the starting gate.

  4. One popular theory going around right now is that they don’t want to scare people away. Iwata has already confirmed this will be the most expensive Nintendo console in history, meaning it will be more than $250. I don’t think they want the press to focus on the price over the games, features, etc. This is about the only logical move in skipping on pricing details at E3. At for the launch date, that typically goes hand in hand with the price, so I guess they figure they might as well not reveal anything until as close to launch as possible. That’s just my guess of course.

  5. Having codes sent to retail is a really smart move I must admit. So technically, they’re beating Sony and Microsoft to the punch and coming up with an actual solution so retailers don’t get upset. Of course, as previously mentioned, this only applies to the big countries. I highly doubt we’ll see retail codes where I come from anytime soon. As for not focusing on the price, good for them. It’s a smart strategy as they don’t want to repeat what the 3DS through. I would really love a release date window at E3 though. We’re all 99% sure it’s around Christmas time…but a confirmation would be nice so we can pre-order.

  6. That’s exactly how I feel for the price Ahmed. We need to know at least the launch window for pre-order purposes or else it’ll be madness come September. As for the retail cards, yup that’s a very good idea and I’m wondering how Nintendo plans to roll this out worldwide. As you said their worldwide online distribution isn’t up to par right now.

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