3DS eShop: Nintendo Laying Groundwork For Wii U?
Expect to see elements from Mario and Co.'s portable store on its newest console.
The 3DS eShop got off to the kind of start we expected, with Nintendo releasing a handful of titles from its storied library, namely Super Mario Land, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX and 3D Classics: Excitebike, a port of the hit NES title with 3D effects.
In other words, business as usual, and it continued this way for the next several months, as the big N continued to blow the dust off Game Boy hits.
Things began to look up with the arrival of Netflix and 3D video, which is something that doesn't receive nearly as much attention.
All of sudden, the eShop became the hip virtual place to be. Not only can you find some of the system's hottest games (seriously, Pushmo is great), but also demos for upcoming retail titles, including Resident Evil: Revelations.
But wait a second. This is Nintendo, the company that failed to grasp the concept of online distribution, right? At least that's what the critics said. Now they must eat their words, or at the very least, take a few nibbles. The eShop still lags behind the App Store in terms of content, but the quality we've seen over the past few months has definitely raised some eyebrows.
More importantly, this will probably help the company lay the foundation for Wii U's online store, viewed through the television or its special tablet style controller.
Farfetched? Please. Nintendo knows it needs to make a splash this fall (or whenever the system arrives), and online connectivity/digital distribution must play a huge role in this console's success.
That said, expect the publisher to experiment with the eShop throughout the rest of 2012, then bring a similar/superior version to Wii U, with more user friendly menus, streaming video, demos, old school Nintendo hits (you absolutely must have those) and a hefty dose of new content.
Perhaps you'll be able to sign in using one Nintendo account and play those 3DS games (minus 3D) on Wii U. May not work with all titles, but come on. VVVVVV would work just fine.
On top of that, it's a safe bet the five star rating system will make its way over. The scores tend to be a bit high on the eShop, but it's a feature we enjoy. Sometimes, it's the little things.
Who knows? Perhaps we'll see Pushmo 2.