Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney 5 release date: Fall 2013. Also known as Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies, the latest title in the bizarre lawyer game from Capcom is on its way to Nintendo 3DS sometime this autumn.

But there's a difference this time: the game will only see a digital release.

The Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies release date was announced by Capcom via press release. The Fall 2013 release date is for both North America and Europe, although it is not clear yet whether it will be a day-and-date release. According to the press release, the game will only be available digitally.

The digital-only Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney 5 release date is new ground for Nintendo 3DS, which has never offered a full-priced title exclusively via download, and has only had downloading options for retail titles for less than a year. According to Kotaku, Capcom decided on the digital exclusivity because "historically it's been tough to attract long term retail support for Ace Attorney titles... we believe this direction is the best to take to ensure that fans are able to enjoy the game at their own leisure."

Essentially, the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney 5 release date is fundamentally a niche event, at least outside of Japan. The games are actually quite popular, but not anywhere close to mainstream. The sheer strangeness of a game starring a lawyer and set almost entirely in courtrooms makes the series a tough sell to those who aren't already familiar with it.

The Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies release date will be the first time the series comes to Nintendo 3DS, not counting a Japan-only Professor Layton crossover that you just know we'll never see. The game will also be somewhat of a return to form, since Phoenix Wright himself will return as the protagonist and player character after being largely absent from the previous game.

As for the story we'll see when the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney 5 release date rolls around, it's probably best to let Capcom say it:

Set eight years since his last appearance in the courts, the first case in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies sees the action start in a destroyed court room. It's down to Phoenix Wright and his team at the Wright Anything Agency to discover the cause of the destruction. Players will have to battle it out in court against Gaspen Payne, the younger brother of Winston Payne from previous Ace Attorney titles, as they defend the accused.

The much loved gameplay and features from previous titles in the Ace Attorney series return but for the first time with stunning 3D graphics, bringing the courtroom and characters to life and putting players directly in the heart of the action. Players will need to investigate each crime scene with dynamic 3D visuals, making it possible to change views and zoom-in on areas to uncover any hidden evidence or clues. The drama continues in the court room as players present their evidence, challenge witnesses and begin to unravel the truth behind each of the cases in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies.

Other series characters like Apollo Justice (star of the most recent game) will also return on the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney 5 release date, as well as some new faces, one of whom can use psychoanalysis to gather evidence from witnesses.

What do you think? Will you download Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies? Do you have an objection to the lack of a retail cart? I think it's a good idea, and the definite future for niche (and eventually mainstream) titles. What about you?