Following reports that Nintendo is secretly building its own Apple-like app store for the upcoming Wii U console, there's now chatter that the company will also launch an ebook store for distributing game guides, digital magazines and other content. The company is reportedly talking with publishers and developers now, and is even entertaining the notion of re-publishing digital versions of its back-catalog of out-of-print "Players Guides" in the supposed ebook store for free.
According to an iOS developer, content offered on Nintendo's ebook store will not only include the free "Players Guides" for virtual console games, but downloadable instruction booklets and every back issue of Nintendo Power. Paid game-related content may be provided by Prima Games which currently publishes the official strategy guides. So far there's no indication that this ebook store will be separate from the previously reported app store, or combined into one storefront like iTunes.
There's certainly no question that Nintendo is appearing taking a "tablet" approach with the upcoming Wii U, but if the iOS source is correct, the console's unique controller will seem even more tablet-like while users purchase non-gaming content from the ebook store. Nintendo is reportedly "actively seeking" partners among publishers to bring mainstream ebooks, magazines and newspapers to the Nintendo landscape.
Like Kindle and iBooks, virtual books will be synchronized between devices -- meaning that the Nintendo 3DS will also have access -- logged onto the same account. It's presumed that consumers will have two options to pay, using credit cards or Wii/3DS Points. The iOS source also added that both the 3DS and Wii U controller will download newly released issues while its idle thanks to their active sleep system.
On Monday the unnamed iOS developer, based out of Los Angeles, claimed that Nintendo actually approached the studio and offered to assist in porting and publishing their iOS software to be played on the Wii U's touchscreen controller (tablet). Previously Nintendo indicated that Apple and its iOS devices really aren't a threat, yet here the company is gearing up to launch a tablet-like device that can read ebooks and possibly play Angry Birds. Meanwhile, Apple is gearing up to launch iTV...