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Nintendo-published 3DS, Wii U games downloadable on release day

Starting with New Super Mario Bros. 2 in August.

Nintendo-published 3DS games will be available to download from the day they are released in shops, starting with New Super Mario Bros. 2 in August, Nintendo has announced.

All Nintendo-published Wii U games will also be available to download day-and-date with their high street launches.

"For our digital business to grow drastically, it is imperative for us to expand the exposure of the digital download products to potential consumers," Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata explained in a briefing to investors following yesterday's financial announcements.

"Starting from [New Super Mario Bros. 2], the company will offer the software titles that Nintendo itself publishes in both packaged and digital download formats so that our consumers can choose the way to purchase them," Iwata continued.

This will also be available "from day one of the Wii U's launch".

Iwata offered little extra clues on the Wii U, aside from reiterating that the console's final form would be shown at E3 in June. More details, including the console's software line-up, will be announced then. Price details and launch dates for each region will then follow after E3, Iwata said, ahead of a worldwide launch "in the year-end sales season".

Digital copies of 3DS games will be sold through the Nintendo eShop, but players will also be able to buy 16-digit code download codes from online retailers and high street stores. Nintendo will not dictate the price of these retail-bought download codes, allowing shops to offer deals.

Iwata also teased a number of unannounced first-party titles in the works for 3DS, as well as previously unveiled games such as Luigi's Mansion 2, which he said would release "in a timely fashion".

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