Nintendo is taking another small step to being a company that understands how modern consoles should actually function by giving the Wii U and 3DS the ability to pre-load digitally purchased games. The update was quietly revealed during Nintendo’s semi-annual financial results briefing, and the slides from the presentation were posted online.
Once the new system in place, Wii U and 3DS owners will be able to download almost all of the game ahead of time to lay dormant on their system until the release date. This is nothing new, and has been done on PC for years and it was recently added to the Xbox One, PS4, and PS3, but it’s another move that shows Nintendo is finally committed to bringing the Wii U into contention in this console generation.
The first game to be eligible for this feature will be Super Smash Bros Wii U which comes out on November 21st. If you purchase the game through the eShop or with a card and code from a physical store, you will be able to pre-load the game and be ready to play right at (or close to) midnight on release day.
Iwata explained that this, along with Nintendo’s recent update that allowed gamers to purchase items though Nintendo.com, is one of the company’s “various approaches to make the digital business more user-friendly.”
There is still a long way to go before the majority of Wii U owners should trust Nintendo’s digital strategy though. In particular, there really needs to be a way to tie your purchased game data to your account name, instead of just the Wii U. Did you buy $200 worth of games on your Wii U and your toddler threw it out of a second story window? Too bad, those games are gone. You can go through a lengthy process and hope to recover some of your data, but it’s never a guarantee that you’ll get your games back. Until Nintendo finds a way to fix this, there is almost no reason to gamble and buy digital only games for your Wii U or 3DS.
As previously mentioned, pre-loading will be available for the Wii U next month, and the 3DS will get the feature sometime next year.Source: Nintendo