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Nintendo experimenting with free-to-play, cross-buy for Mario and Pokémon spin-offs

Xenoblade Chronicles 3D and free Anime Channel also dated.

Nintendo is set to experiment with free-to-play mechanics and a Cross-Buy scheme for two of its biggest franchises.

First, the publisher will launch a free Pokémon puzzle game, Pokémon Shuffle, via the 3DS eShop in February.

The match-three title will cost nothing to download, but you'll be able to pay in-game to download power-ups.

It's not the first free-to-play game from Nintendo (3DS submarine title Steel Diver is another recent example), but notable in that it features such a high-profile franchise.

Next, Nintendo will launch platform puzzler Mario vs Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars as a digital download for 3DS and Wii U on 20th March.

The game is effectively a cross-buy title - buy a version for one platform and you will be gifted a download code for the game on the other.

In other 3DS news, Nintendo has dated another match-three puzzler for launch on 3DS - Puzzle and Dragons will launch in Europe during May.

The EU version of the game will include Puzzle & Dragons Z and Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition, which launched in Japan separately and sold lots of copies.

Meanwhile, a free 3DS Anime Channel will launch on 13th February and stream episodes of the Pokémon, Kirby and Inazuma series.

Finally, Xenoblade Chronicles 3D - the Wii role-player's New 3DS-exclusive port - will launch on 2nd April.

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About the Author

Tom Phillips avatar

Tom Phillips

Deputy Editor

Tom is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.


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