Topic: "Your View" Feature - The Future of Download-Only Games

Posts 41 to 53 of 53


The big thing that NOBODY is talking about is the problem that plagues all of us parents out there who game with their kids --- having to buy the SAME GAME four times! That is my problem with Download Only. Want to buy that new eShop only game? Kids want to play too? Either buy multiple times or share your 3DS. Animal Crossing cost me $105 for three copies. Thank goodness my son can't read yet.



I'm no stranger to digital and the whole shuttering-down-services scare. I love buying games from Steam thanks to a number of sales that could fill over five hundred copies of Samus Aran's power suit during Steam's high and mighty semi-annual sales. The reason I bring Steam up so because Steam has the least annoying DRM I've ever seen - it's only real restrictions being that you can only be logged in and playing a game on one computer at a time (no different from having one console in the house) and that you can only play offline if you hit "remember me" last time you logged in and didn't log out of Steam (which is different than shutting down the computer) - yet people seem to still want DRM free PC games (heck,'s (which sells DRM free download games) hashtag for their summer sale going on right now is #noDRM), and I think the biggest reason why is because a DRM free game can be backed up to a disc or a harddrive or whatever in case the site that sold one the game goes offline.
Now, Steam pumps in way too much money for Valve to die anytime soon. PC services have a longevity unlike consoles because there isn't a single company controlling the manufacturing of PCs and every service available to a PC, putting a stopper in old features and changing stuff for a new generation of hardware. So I think people who don't buy from Steam because of the DRM are just paranoid. But a catalog of game downloads to go extinct because the service is sure to shut down in a year or so due to being catered to an aging console is something to worry about.
That said, there is something you can do to make sure you can still play your WiiWare and VC games from an SD Card should the Wii Shop go offline and your SD card just stop working. Get an SD card reader for your computer and copy the entire contents of your Wii's SD card to your hard drive. That way if the SD card goes kaput, you have a backup of the contents that you can copy back to another SD card. The same can be done with a 3DS SD Card and a DSi SD Card with DSiWare transferred over to it, though since save data is attached to the app, be prepared to lose saved progress in games after restoring to another card, unless you back up regularly.
I hope that in the future, Nintendo will bring back WiiWare and DSiWare games on their future consoles as Virtual Console games of sorts. It would be terrible to not be able to buy a ton of games just because a plug was pulled on a server.

I'm pretty okay.
Formerly Destroyer360, Destroyer64, DestroyerInsertYourFavoriteRandomNumbersHere.
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Wait, quotes should be meaningful? Ugh, fine.
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Seems that everything these days has a double edged sword. If I buy a game in physical form I sate my need to collect, and if need be down the road I can sell/trade them in. Also the abilty is there for me to play them at a later date, but I find I extremely rarely replay games from bygone systems. With the exception of Skies of Arcadia GC and Final Fantasy III SNES, most of my old collection just stays on the shelves collecting dust, which has to be cleaned periodically. Also I seem unable to part with these games, so they they will sit until I run out of room on my shelf and eventually join one of my storages I rent to house them and my comics/toys/books.
With my digital media, I own a vitual version of the game which may disappear. This worries me, but then again, at least they don't take up an room. Plus I doubt I would really notice or actually care if I nevr got to play them again. I have a heck of a time keeping up with new/current games, and in fact at least half of my collection has never been played, many not even opened. And sadly no, I did not buy them with that intention.
So I am torn. Buy games with cool cases and boxart and there mine forever; for better or worse. Or skip the clutter altogether but take a chance on never being able to play them again; which I probably never would. Oh great, now I feel like I need to buy one of each if they have the option. I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.

Gotta catch them... eh, nevermind.


I have no reason to worry if online stores start to vanish because illegal methods will always be available.

Edited on by theblackdragon



Perhaps a community solution is in order, at least in the realm of online multiplayer games. Think, for example, about the original Phantasy Star Online. The official servers for that game were shut down years ago, but you can still play the game online to this day thanks to a number of unofficial, community-run server groups. Thanks to a bit of patching and hacking, you can even play the Dreamcast and Gamecube versions of the game online, and Sega doesn't have to pay a dime in server maintenance bills as a result. Some server groups have even gone the next step and included new items, quests, and the like, keeping this aging game fresh.

In PSO's case, this is certainly not an officially backed program, but it has nonetheless kept PSO in the gamers' mindset. Heck, I would have never heard about PSO2 if it weren't for this. This is why I believe it would be in Nintendo's and other companies' interests to make the server back-ends available to the fans to run after a game goes offline. In my opinion, this is the absolute best way to preserve an online game forever.

On the other hand, this could be a different issue entirely for digital distribution services like the Wii Shop Channel. Most publishers wouldn't feel comfortable with a community run solution here, but many smaller companies would probably be fine with hosting the WiiWare catalogue. That's not entirely unheard of. For a while EMI was handling MP3 downloads of iTunes' entire catalogue.

In closing, there are many entities that would love to handle aging online services. Nintendo just needs to swallow its pride for a bit and make it so.

Edited on by SmaMan

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Stuffgamer1 wrote:

RR529 wrote:

They need to create an account system, problem solved.

That'll solve the problem of what do you do if your console is lost, stolen, or broken, but won't help if they shut the servers down one bit. After all, where do you think they store your account?

uhh, not on the Wii Shop Channel server? I think RR529 meant a global account ala PSN or XBL. If Nintendo just merged Club Nintendo and Nintendo Network and allowed you to tie your Virtual Console games to the account, then this wouldn't be a worry.

It ain't easy being cheesy...

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@cheesesteak7: It would be a worry for all the Nintendo gamers who don't have access to a Club Nintendo service.

I used to have a blog link here. I'll put it back up when the blog has something to read.


I would be fine with digital only, but some things do need to change before that's a completely OK with everyone.

I think there are some ways people have more control over their media as-is, but you will always need internet to access your digital content IN SOME CASES. That's why I think accounts being tied to the hardware is not such a bad idea when you see more options being opened up. When the accounts are tied to a system, that literally means that the server for your content is right in front of you. The difference is allowing account access in a local area, but still having the server as a last resort.

As long as one of my devices has my account data stored on it, I don't need to connect to a server to get my games back onto the said device. This goes along with data back-up.

I think digital back-up copies would be a safe way to ensure you don't need a server to download your games if something were to happen, as long as your account is able to be handled locally.

This is what I think we're moving to. Many see accounts as being part of an internet network, mostly due to Apple and Sony's account sharing systems, but there are other ways to do virtually the same thing without requiring a network.
The internet network still plays a part in getting content and other things you can't get locally, but we need to have our accounts and content accessible without always requiring a network.

I think I may have repeated myself a few times, but I want to make it clear that we don't necessarily need a network to access and manage our accounts.

Edited on by SCRAPPER392


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If the industry comes up with a way that I can re-download purchased titles for free 15 years later, I'd be less resistant, even though I like physical artwork.

EDIT — Actually, I'd be willing to pay a reasonably small fee.

Edited on by Midnight3DS

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This is why physical will always be the better option. Any game purchased digitally, even if it can be transferred to newer systems as time goes on, is subject to the fact that if someone else wanted to play it, they can’t, because it is tied to you. Eventually, either the game or the service will shut down, and those who were “late to the party” so to speak will miss out and not be able to obtain the game, unless they were willing to buy the system itself that the game is stored on. Meanwhile, I can go on eBay and Amazon right now and buy any physical game I want from any system. Virtual Console services also do not have the entire library available, so physical is the only way to go to play these games. Digital is only viable as long as the system allows it, but your physical games will last much longer, and they are obtainable long after the e-shop’s servers shut down. As manufacturers cut costs by making games digital only, it is coming back to hurt the consumer. Most people who buy the game digitally are younger and clearly do not see what the big fuss is to have it physically, and as a result accept the ever limiting conditions that are placed on them for owning it digitally. Physical gamers, on the other hand, recognize the disadvantage that comes with not being able to hold and distribute it freely, and are, rightly so, weary of the changes that are beginning to overtake the hobby. It may not be apparent now, but far off in the future, people will wake up one day in a digital game only world and ask: How can I play (specific title)? And odds are that unless they bought it at the time the servers were running for that specific console’s e-shop, there will be no way to get it. Physical will greatly outlast any digital service in terms of access to content and obtainability, but that will only continue to last as long as physical remains as an option.


Download-only is a double edge sword for most customers especially if they don't know how to use the Internet, eshop, and/or have Internet for the system; but it a good thing for publishers/ developers since it lowers the cost and risk of localizing. This increase the chances of not just the game release in different regions but also being created in general. Plus it's more Eco friendly.

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ultraraichu wrote:

Download-only is a double edge sword for most customers especially if they don't know how to use the Internet, eshop, and/or have Internet for the system; but it a good thing for publishers/ developers since it lowers the cost and risk of localizing. This increase the chances of not just the game release in different regions but also being created in general. Plus it's more Eco friendly.

I agree with everything you have said. This is a an accurate observation.



As long as there are computer savvy people, games will never simply disappear. You can find the entire SNES library on the Internet. I don't endorse emulation but its existence proves that that, as long as technology expands, the possibilitiy of every single game ever made making its way into the Internet in the future, one way or another, is huge. Games will be preserve by those who care.

Download-only biggest issue is our digital collections going "Poof" in the future and is indeed a serious one. Many gamers here have expend a lot of money on theirs. The only idea that I can think could work is the ever mentioned account locked collection that should, more than anything, remind the company of what you have paid for and it should be permanent somehow, either by severs transfer or by keeping a copy on your consoles. Nintendo is in a severe need of this, and with the introduction of its own Network, I see it coming soon. This kind of account should assure even if a new console can't (either because of incompatibility or legality) play a game, Nintendo would still acknowledge that that game is yours and you may be able to play it in the future after the problem is solved, or get some small compensation for the lost.

I'm really curious at what Sony would do about PSN collections of games far in the future when they pull the plug on PS3 services, what with the PS4 not playing PS3 games. If enough users keep logging in, would Sony keep it going indefinitely? Would they simply give some free PS4 games away, and act as if those PS3 collections never existed? Maybe recode all the games using the cloud so you can play them again?... Yeah sure. Recode some and ask you to pay for the update?

I have very little digital collections on both Wii and PS3, and I'm not planning on going digital just yet, for me paying $60 to $75 with no refunds, for some code floating on the Internet that you can only download to one device is risky in many levels, with buying Nintendo retail games digital versions completely out of the question. Also, there are not that many "only digital" console exclusives for me and, honestly, you can tell how all companies are still only experimenting with digital distribution, with Microsoft trying to implement it in a very bad way and retracting after consumer backlash, and only PC gaming giving firm steps forward. At least Nintendo thinks things through before even trying them. They may always seem to be one step behind in technology, but as they say in my country: You don't have to get there first, you have to get there right.

I am very curious about the next moves of the big companies towards this kind of service. I specially will be watching Steam's movements very closely.

Edited on by Twilight_Crow

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