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Nintendo now lets you buy eShop games on the web, download to console

Only in North America.

Nintendo has finally joined the likes of Sony and Microsoft by allowing players the ability to purchase games on a web store then retrieve them on a console.

Unfortunately, this service is currently exclusive to North America, but it's a promising start.

As spotted by some astute NeoGAF members, Nintendo's official online store now includes the option to purchase games from the web, which can then be "automatically downloaded onto the system associated to your Nintendo Network ID," be it Wii U or 3DS. Or you can opt for a download code, should you want to gift it to a friend or load the game onto a different system.

Furthermore, you can even pre-order games this way. While they won't pre-load, they will begin downloading at midnight on a game's release date.

So far this seems to be an option exclusive to first-party games like Super Smash Bros., but will hopefully become available for third-party titles down the line.

We've contacted Nintendo to see if it has any plans to bring this feature to European shores or add the option to digitally purchase third-party software on its web store.