Nintendo’s policy with digital downloads has always been less than favorable. When a concerned aunt of a young Nintendo 3DS owner wrote to Nintendo concerning their the digital content owned by users with lost systems, a customer service representative reaffirmed their policy.

… I was wondering, should I lose or have my 3DS stolen, is there any way to retrieve the games that I’ve purchased on the eshop? I am curious about your policy on this, and especially when so many young kids play 3DS and could potentially lose them. I know on the iphone and PSP, you are tied to an account to which you can retrieve your games. How does it work for Nintendo? Should I be worried about buying my little nephew eshop points?

Customer service representative from Nintendo of America: Thank you for writing. I’ll be happy to answer your questions regarding virtual content on the Nintendo 3DS. All virtual content downloaded on the Nintendo 3DS is tied to the system itself. As our warranty doesn’t cover lost or stolen game cards and systems, if this were to happen regardless of your games being virtual or you owning the physical copies, they would not be covered for replacement. …

Of course, this policy is incredibly outdated. Head inside for more!

I don't know what it is today, but it seems there is some information that must be getting spread around behind closed doors. First, Emily Rogers talks about some interesting stuff and says the E3 slate for Nintendo is going to be pretty good. Now we have this from CVG:

"There are still some issues with the handheld market, of course, from the fairly poor third-party support to the questions hanging over Sony's PS Vita. But Nintendo has once again proven that it understands its own market much better than the doubters have.

Which brings me to the Wii U. Regulars at CVG might be aware that I talk down the console's chances in the most definitive language possible whenever asked. Well, from the things I'm hearing, there's a chance I'll soon be added to the reject bin of crazy talking twitter twonks pretty soon.

Hopefully, if we obtain further details from our sources, we'll be in a position to explain more to you soon. But, for now, put it this way: In the past two years there have been moments of disquiet regarding the 3DS and - like an instant magic trick - Nintendo has put an end to this with sudden reveals of significant games that went on to become star performers at Christmas."

Thoughts inside.

Today, Ubisoft's put out the official trailer for the Wii U version of Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Ubisoft has been one of the few third parties throwing full support behind Nintendo's new console, and it looks like they don't plan on wavering; this is a AAA title arriving to the Wii U the same day as all the other consoles. That's a rarity. It looks as though Blacklist is going to have some Wii U specific features; and they don't look like gimmicks, but real functionality. Hopefully this can give some other third parties ideas.

I'm hard pressed to even call this a rumor based upon the source, but that's simply what it is until Nintendo confirms. Emily Rogers—who works at an unnamed marketing firm, blogs for NotEnoughShaders (where she created a controversial but extremely well researched look in Satoru Iwata's work as a CEO), and is a writer for Nintendo Force Magazine—has taken to Twitter to build up some hype for future happenings at Nintendo.

No, she doesn't work for Nintendo, but it's important to note that not only has she never stated anything that turned out not to be true (in the general sense; her E3 2011 stuff was pretty spot on with only two things wrong out of 15 items she claimed), she recently was dead on about Deus Ex coming to Wii U in the way that it did, something she said would happen weeks prior to the announcement. Whatever connections she has seem to be rather reliable in the industry she so passionately enjoys being part of.

She had some great things to say about the Wii U, including a future announcement about a cross play type feature with Virtual Console and eShop games between the 3DS and Wii U... along with a bit of hype for some other Wii U related things that will be shown at E3 (which is creeping closer and closer). More inside.

Rayman Legends is the upcoming sequel to 2011's critically-acclaimed Rayman Origins. Releasing September 27th, 2013 for Wii U, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, it will take Rayman back to his 2D platforming roots once again in a new co-op adventure with beautiful visual flair. But you probably already know the whole story of its delay from beginning to end.

Today, thanks to Nintendo Everything, new screenshots have surfaced of Rayman Legends in action and it's looking more impressive than ever. Check them out inside!

With the next Super Smash Bros. titles coming up, Super Smash Bros. news is exciting to come by. Yesterday we came across a [probably fake] list that suggested the next Super Smash Bros. title could come to our living rooms by the end of the year. Amidst the speculation, development news, and more, Did You Know Gaming has released a short video with a boatload of Super Smash Bros. trivia. Check it out to learn some fun facts about Nintendo's fantastic party brawler series.

Nintendo, you just couldn't help yourselves. Inherently, the above ad, and two more you can find at Kotaku, aren't too terrible. It's aimed at families and sure, it's nice that Nintendo brought them to NoA in order to talk about the Wii U itself. The problem, however, rests in the marketing you are presenting on screen yourself. Not only are these ads barely showing off anything that it appears you need a Wii U to play (New Super Mario Bros. U again... really?), but the official advertising is actually referencing the console as an upgrade to a Wii, not an entirely different product that can stand on its own.

This pretty much confirms much of what Michael Pachter has said about the console from day one - calling it a Wii HD, and it seems Nintendo themselves is now buying into this notion. As a Nintendo fan it's a shame because remarks like this are exactly what I have been fighting against on the internet and in the consumer world. But when Nintendo themselves are now touting it like this... what else can I really say? Maybe it is, after all, just a stepping block into a new console in 3 years.

Pokémon X and Y Versions are some of the Nintendo 3DS' most hotly-anticipated games this year, and bringing many big changes from the series' past, we can tell Game Freak is looking to shake up the series in many exciting ways. According to a Twitter user under the name of @Hirobyte, Pokémon X and Y Versions will be introducing Pokéfans to an all-new type: Fairy.

If Hirobyte is to be believed, this marks the first time Pokémon has introduced a new type since Gold and Silver all the way back in 1999. According to Hirobyte, the newest Eeveelution will be a Fairy-type Pokémon, alongside the legendary X Version mascot, Xerneas. Hirobyte also claims that the Clefairy line and the Togepi line may be reclassified from their original typings to the new Fairy type. Head past the jump to read more about this rumor and why it may or may not be true!

Currently at Best Buy, Paper Mario: Sticker Star is being sold for half-price at $19.99. This is an incredible deal considering that this game launched only 5 months ago. For those unaware, Paper Mario: Sticker Star is the most recent entry into the Paper Mario series, developed for the Nintendo 3DS, which uses stickers as a gimmick for attacking, field use, and plot progression. It is not an RPG like the first two Paper Mario games, but it is not a straight-up platforming like Super Paper Mario.

Field navigation is the same as in the original RPG-style games, with new sticker-themed twists, but the battle system works solely through sticker use, so the more stickers you have, the better prepared you are for battle. Stickers literally litter the environment, so running out is generally not a concern, and Nintendo made this strange idea work well with this quirky series.

The game manages to retain the charm of the series while implementing new, creative gameplay, and is definitely worth $20, even according to critics, who rate this game generally around an 8 out of 10. It has been one of my personal favorite 3DS outings so far and should be considered for entry into any 3DS owner's library, especially for this steal of a price.

Recently, an ex-SEGA employee revealed that he was in possession of an extremely rare prototype for an unfinished SEGA system called the SEGA Pluto. It was said to have a modem for Netlink built into it, but otherwise was a normal Saturn. Shortly after, another person posted a YouTube video claiming that they had one like it, and never knew it was rare. He described how he had picked it up at a flea market for one dollar, and said he might consider putting it for auction.

It turns out that he followed up, and he put it up for auction on the website GameGavel. He bought the console for $1, but it already has been bet up to $7600.

Pictured to the left is a possible leak from Nintendo of America revealing the supposed release dates of several Nintendo 3DS and Wii U titles. Among the featured titles are a Super Mario Galaxy 2 rerelease and Super Smash Bros. U.

According to this list, Super Smash Bros. U appears to be scheduled for release this fall. Interestingly enough the list was leaked on 4chan before Nintendo revealed the release date for Pikmin 3 and yet both documents list it on the same day.

If the list turns out to be the real deal, then this would appear to be the fastest Smash Bros. release after an E3 event. Of course there is no way to verify this list, and with the heading "Super-Secret" it doesn't seem likely to be a very professional document.

What do you think, real or fake?

The Wii U's next system update, which will be speeding up load times on the console, might be launching tomorrow. Evidenced by Excite Bike's virtual console release listed for Tuesday, April 23rd and Nintendo's earlier statement that the Wii U virtual console would be launching the day after the system update, we should have severely reduced loading screens to look forward to tomorrow.

Inside is a video comparing the loading times before and after the update.

Although most people are aware of the recently announced game Batman: Arkham Origins, releasing for the Wii U, Xbox 360, and PS3, less are aware of the existence of its sister game, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate. Blackgate is releasing for the 3DS and Vita along with Origins itself. It is a 2.5D side-scrolling adventure that is developed by Armature. While few are familiar with Armature itself, many are aware of their previous major projects: the Metroid Prime series. Armature was formed by the project leads from the Metroid Prime series of games.

GameInformer got a chance to interview Mark Pacini, project lead for Blackgate, and they discussed why he left Retro, what to expect from Blackgate, and other topics. When asked why he left Retro, he responded:

"Nintendo’s an awesome company. They’re great to work for. It’s hard, challenging work, but it’s rewarding at the same time. But given that regard, there’s a limited amount of things you can do in Nintendo. You can’t work on other platforms. You kind of work on games that they would like you to work on, so after doing three of the same games in a row, we were kind of like, we’d really like the flexibility to do other things."

To read what else he had to say, click the jump!

Last August, Nintendo began to more fully embrace digital distribution as a way to sell more games than ever before - a drastic change from their earlier years of distancing themselves from the online community.

President of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aime, has said that digital downloads are rapidly becoming a major contributor to the company's games sales and he expects it to continue to grow in popularity.

"We have 15 Nintendo-published titles available, both physically and digitally [on the 3DS]," he says. "So far in 2013, of those 15 available in this format, 11 percent of sales have come through full digital downloads of those games."

The sales get even more remarkable with some individual games. Fire Emblem Awakening has already sold more than 240,000 units in the United States, with around a third of these sales in digital form. More inside!

Sunbreak Games is a small studio recently formed by Jason Behr, head level designer of the Metroid Prime series. Their first game, Buddy & Me, was funded several hours ago via Kickstarter and is planned to be released on select tablet devices this June. Buddy & Me is an infinite runner that will be setting itself apart with beautiful visuals and a companion that I can only guess was at least partially inspired by The Last Guardian

However, what's most noteworthy about this game is that even though it failed to reach its Wii U port stretch goal, Nintendo's ever-relaxing indie strategy may end up bringing this game to the Wii U anyway.