Reports are coming out that Squids Odyssey will be the fist game to offer cross-buy for the Wii U and 3DS platforms. Nintendo of Europe, as well as Squids Odyssey developer The Game Bakers, have already confirmed that those who have purchased the action/RPG game for the 3DS will also be able to download the title on Wii U. Note that this promotion is Europe exclusive and only works one way -- buy on 3DS and get the Wii U. Buying on Wii U will not result in a cross-buy.
The North American eShop, however, is quite a bit more complicated and already officially confirmed not to work with cross-buy. The Wii U version of Squids Odyssey was released first, but oddly buyers had to acquire the title through the 3DS eShop. Now that the 3DS version is coming available, Nintendo must have had to split the two games apart intentionally in North America. A decision that Nintendo of Europe seems to have made differently.
According to Siliconera, when asked whether Squids Odyssey would support a similar cross-buy function in North America, The Game Bakers replied that Nintendo of America, "could not support this operation yet":
"Yes we did ask, we really like this promotion and wished to make it happen for all gamers, but NOA could not support this kind of promotion."
Considering Nintendo's lack of progressive, or even regressive, decisions in terms of online functionality and storefronts it's no surprise Nintendo of America rejected the proposition. Still, it's pushing past startling that Nintendo of Europe acquiesced, or perhaps even recommended the course of action. Perhaps if the reaction is positive enough then Nintendo the world over will consider trying cross-buy out on more games. I think Squids Odyssey certainly appreciates the coverage.
Let's all cross our fingers and hope that this is just the first opportunity for consumers to buy 3DS-Wii U cross-buy titles. It's certainly a feature that many consumers would appreciate, and one that is becoming increasingly difficult for publishers to deny to their audience.