Following news that Nintendo will introduce an application store with its forthcoming Wii U console, a rumor has appeared that an eBook download service could be introduced too. This builds on the speculation that Nintendo wants its next console to be more than just a games machine.
Quoting an unnamed software developer who has been working with Nintendo, Forgetthebox.net was told of a complete eBook download service, featuring not only books, but comics, magazines and newspapers too.
One of the Wii U’s unique features is its 6.2-inch touchscreen controller, and it’s here that the eBooks would be read, using the standard page turning swipes to browse through them. Nintendo will also make the publications available on the 3DS handheld console, emulating Apple, Amazon and Google’s approach to adding benefits to those who show brand loyalty.
In addition to third-party publications, Nintendo will possibly dig into its own back-catalog by releasing its official strategy guides. These guides covered games on the NES, Gameboy, SNES, Gamecube and so on, and many are out of print now, but they’d be offered for free via Nintendo’s Wii U eBook store. That’s not all either, as any games you download would have an electronic instruction booklet included too.
Finally, there’s a chance the company will reprint every issue of its Nintendo Power magazine inside the store, providing fans of older Nintendo products a great opportunity to revisit old reviews and articles.
Like the console itself, there are still plenty of unanswered questions here, such as pricing, agreements with publishers and the amount of zooming one would have to do to read a magazine on a 6.2-inch screen.
Nintendo is likely to be showing off the Wii U at CES next week, so perhaps it won’t be long before we get the official word on this interesting development.