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April 27, 2012
Iwata revealed that the upcoming New Super Mario Bros. 2 will be simultaneously released as a cartridge and an eShop download.

Iwata directly stated that digital copies of retail titles would be available for direct purchase from the eShop itself, and that retail stores would be selling download codes for those same titles.

In a seeming contradiction, Iwata also seemed to state that Nintendo would be eschewing from the standard digital sales practice and selling through retail partners instead of directly to the consumer, thus letting stores set the prices of games.  Given that these two comments appear to flatly oppose each other, perhaps there was a mishap in translation.

Iwata regarding direct eShop sales of digital titles:
"Naturally, consumers can digitally buy packaged software at the Nintendo eShop."


Iwata regarding direct corporate sales of digital titles vs. retail sales of digital titles:
"As you can see here, in the common digital product distribution of today, it is the standard business model where the platform holder makes direct sales to consumers, which is often called the disintermediation type of digital product distribution. However, the digital product distribution channel Nintendo conceives is not the disintermediation type.

As you can see, Nintendo sells its digital download products to its retailers, and the retailers sell them to the consumers.

In this case, retailers are going to decide the retail prices of our digital download products, which have been decided by Nintendo so far. Nintendo will not be involved in the retailer’s retail price decision. Also, Nintendo has so far been shouldering the billing and the settlement costs at the Nintendo eShop business, but with this system, just like the ordinary packaged products, Nintendo will not shoulder these costs."


Source: NCL Financial Results Briefing for Fiscal Year Ended March 2012 (English)

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