Nintendo has the infrastructure in place to allow full retail games to be downloaded to 3DS, but is still considering when and if to deploy it.
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed at an investor briefing that Wii U will also share the same infrastructure — impressive considering Wii U uses 25GB discs — but the company is not yet decided whether it'll bypass retail or not:
For the digital sales of the content, we are also considering the future possibility of digital distribution of packaged software, which is often referred to as “software download sales.” This concept was built into the design of the Nintendo 3DS, and we already have the necessary infrastructure. We will prepare the same infrastructure for the Wii U. However, we have not decided the concrete timing of when we will start it. The decision must be made by taking into consideration such factors as the relationship with the wholesalers and retailers, and the best way to be embraced by consumers, as well as the environment surrounding the market and consumers, such as the required memory capacity on consumers’ SD memory cards. However, as an option for the future, the significance of this business field will increase.
Would you prefer to download all your 3DS games or are you happy picking up boxed copies for the foreseeable future?