Distributed items are scheduled to be released usually during a weekly or monthly period. In City Folk, Pete, the mail carrier, will greet the player outside their house when they start the game and present them with special items as letter attachments. The letters are often signed from Nintendo, but a few may be signed by special residents or out-of-game characters that appear in other Nintendo games. Other times, Wendell will give the player one of his designs to commemorate a special occasion.
In New Leaf, downloadable items are divided into two groups: WiFi distribution, where the player actively checks for new items delivered to the post office while connected to either local WiFi or a Nintendo Zone hot spot, and SpotPass distribution, where the items are passively delivered by Pete in the same way as in City Folk.