Nintendo has been extremely aggressive when it comes to the online space as of late with the reveal of the Miiverse and through the growth of the eShop. According to a source of the Wii U Daily, Nintendo will be taking that aggression to another level with the Wii U. If these sources are to be believed, Nintendo wants to offer all retail games as downloadable titles available on the Wii U eShop, and will be going to extreme lengths to get third party publishers on board as well.
“They’re offering insane incentives for publishers to sell retail games as downloads on the console. You’d be stupid not to take advantage of it and go retail box-only”, said the anonymous developer to Wii U Daily. “The new platform is perfect for indie devs, it’s a whole different ball game than WiiWare. They’ve learned a lot from that mess. It’s just a much bigger revenue cut that you’d get selling it on any other platform at the moment, plus promotions on the online store. If the pull it off and it gains traction, it’ll press the other guy to give more of the revenue to the publishers. It’s very good for us who make games”.
This is very good news for developers and consumers alike, especially taking into consideration how poor Nintendo has handled the downloadable scene in the past with WiiWare. I would like to see an open economy much akin to the Steam network, where developers can really gain from releasing games on the online service. If Nintendo can become the best source for developers to release software online, then they will have a fighting chance in the next gen and beyond.