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Nintendo to offer new 3DS and Wii U games for download

Nintendo is overhauling how it sells games, offering digital versions alongside the download codes in shops.

Nintendo may have just posted its first annual loss of £330m, but the much-loved games manufacturer is looking to turn around its fortunes by overhauling how it lets you buy its titles.

Beginning with the launch of New Super Mario Bros. 2 in the summer, the big N will let you download new releases direct from its eShop, in addition to purchasing them from regular old-fashioned brick and mortar outlets, it announced in a financial results briefing.

Nintendo already offers titles for download across its consoles, including the Wii, DS and 3DS, but most are retro games or smaller, novelty titles. As well as offering new games for the 3DS this way, Nintendo will use the same approach for the Wii U when it launches this Christmas.

You'll be able to pipe new in-house Nintendo games straight to your console, or pop down to the shop to pick up a download code. What's the point of that, you say? Well Nintendo will let retailers set their own prices for download codes, so you could well pick up a brand new game for a song.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata laid out the plans during the briefing. He said: "For our digital business to grow drastically, it is imperative for us to expand the exposure of the digital download products to potential consumers."

Sony and Microsoft already offer plenty of games for download, so it's about time Nintendo got its act together. This is especially in the face of smart phones with their quad-core chips and their growing army of killer titles at a fraction of the price of a console game. It's a tough time to be in games, make no mistake.

Here's a nostalgic romp through Nintendo's history, courtesy of our own Luke Westaway. Enjoy!

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Would you download new Nintendo titles? How much would you be willing to pay? Let me know in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.