Remember a little while back when I wondered what it would take to get game publishers and developers to skip retail and instead offer their games directly to the public? It seems that Nintendo was listening to me. The company has finally decided to unleash Electroplankton for the Nintendo DS and, for the first time, it will be available from Nintendo itself.
Electroplankton will be sold exclusively online and at the Nintendo World Store in New York. It will be carried by all major online retailers and at Nintendo.com.
This is a smart move for Nintendo. Electroplankton isn't so much a game as a music creation program, and that's not the kind of thing that soars up the sales charts at Wal-Mart or Best Buy, but it could sell nicely in the online marketplace. The gamers who truly crave Electroplankton have been following its progress and will surely snap it up when Nintendo offers it for sale. It's also a great marketing point for them - "Own the game you can't buy in stores!". I wonder if the North American version of the title will become "rare" later in life because of its limited availability.
There's no word on just how long Nintendo will offer the title, nor is there any indication of how many copies they're going to issue, so this may be something to snag sooner than later. There's also no indication of a cost just yet, making me wonder if Nintendo will knock some of the retail markup off the price of the game to help move it a little more. This is an interesting experiment and one that we should all watch as events unfold.