Rumour: Wii U to double as eBook reader

Nintendo may be moving into the eReader realm, with a story popping up over the holiday break suggesting that the Wii U could potentially include reader software.

The unverified tale first popped up on Forget The Box, where author Mike Gwilliam recalls a New Years’ discussion with a “good friend” who works in software development. This friend hedged around his non-disclosure agreements, mumbling that Nintendo approached his company regarding porting some iOS software so that it could be used on the Wii U.

Nintendo Wii U

Perfect for novels.

Apparently, while games were discussed, it was the eBook possibilities that grabbed Gwilliam. He reports that the console may feature “a digital e-reader type service” allowing gamers to download an assortment of publications. These could then be read via the Wii U tablet, in much the same way as any other eBook reader (think Kindle, iPad, Nook etc).

There are also rumours of a companion program for 3DS, so the downloaded texts could also be read on your handheld, with full zooming, page-turning abilities.

Current rumoured content includes first-party Nintendo publications including Player Guides and electronic instruction booklets (particularly for virtual console games), but the company is allegedly already chatting to publishers regarding “electronic versions of popular magazines”.

Nothing is official at this stage, and Nintendo have not yet replied to any inquiries on the matter. But, given that I spent most of my holiday break buried neck-deep in an assortment of eBooks on both an iPhone and an iPad, I for one have typed this all out with crossed fingers. (And even if it doesn’t turn out to be an official first-party Nintendo release, it’s still a great plan for a third-party developer, don’tcha think?)

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