While the Wii U and 3DS eShop stores have taken great strides in bringing Nintendo towards current-day standards in digital retail, there are still various areas of improvement. Just recently Nintendo has begun to sell retail downloads online that can, by purchasing from the official website in North America while logged in with Nintendo Network ID details, be downloaded to your system through SpotPass. Now Satoru Iwata has announced that fans of retail downloads may not need to wait so long for games to arrive, with a new 'pre-download' service that'll kick off with Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
The idea is simple — and familiar for gamers with Sony consoles, for example — in that you can pre-order a digital version of a game and do the bulk of the download before it's released. In theory you'll be able to pre-download most of Smash Bros. and, when midnight rolls around on release day, simply finish it off with the "requisite minimum amount of update data". If it's fully optimised we'd hope this will be a small 'unlock' key, which means you'll be smashing not long after those midnight launches.
Details were thin in the investor briefing details, though it was also stated that retail download cards will also support the feature. No doubt it'll be explained in time how long we have pre-release to complete the bulk of the download, while it seems set to be rolled out worldwide. It's likely it'll become relatively standard after that initial run, while there are plans to offer the service on 3DS in 2015.
Are you a download fan that's looking forward to quicker access to new games? Let us know.