News Article

Select Downloadable Games Available for Purchase on Nintendo's Web Site

Posted by Jon Wahlgren

Bypass the spacebucks for select titles

If you've done any game downloading on your Wii or DSi then odds are you've wound up spending more up front than what your game cost thanks to Nintendo's own Point currency. If you're not a fan of having spare points rattling around in your account, or perhaps just prefer having honest-to-goodness real money prices on your games, then Nintendo's latest experiment may pique your wallet's interest.

U.S. and Canadian customers are now able to purchase select WiiWare and Virtual Console games through Nintendo's online store. Once purchased, you will receive a download ticket code to redeem in the Shop channel.

And by select, we mean select, as each service has a mere single game available to start with. Super Mario Bros. 3 is available for $5 USD and Pokemon Rumble is going for $15 USD, both equivalent to their Wii Shop channel price. If you haven't picked up Mario 3 yet (for shame!) then now is as good a time as any.

This is the second instance that downloadable games have been made available outside of a Nintendo Shop channel, with the first occurring last year when Amazon put download codes for World of Goo up for sale.


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User Comments (50)



Xkhaoz said:

Cool. I hope they do this with the rest of the games. Don't really like to have spare points I can't use.



irken004 said:

Hmm, seems pointless imo. Why use a credit card for an online purchase when you can use that credit card to buy the points for the games?



theblackdragon said:

I suppose this means they're finally beginning to listen. Too bad they didn't choose to start with Cave Story; that'd'a smoothed over a lot of the anger over the 1200-point price, lol.

@irks: the point is that this way you don't have to buy more points than you need, you can just pay what you need to pay for those particular games if you want.



irken004 said:

@tbd Ah, I see. Still seems odd imo, but I'm not as picky about this as other people were (which would explain why this option exists now)



Aenaida said:

Having extra points left over from a purchase never particularly bothered me, but this is a pretty good idea nonetheless.



naut said:

PLEASE! Do this with everything! I was just complaining about this the other day. I think I'll buy Mario 3 even though I have the GBA version just to show my support.



Bass_X0 said:

Wouldn't just being able to pay for a lowly 100, 200 or 500 points on the wii shop instead of just multiples of 1000 be a better decision? Or if you're using the WiiShop to buy points anyway, you just pay exactly what the game costs with your credit card.



ueI said:

This is a great idea, although Bass X0's idea might be better. I have SMB3 for the GBA, and I don't like it because I can't replay levels.



astarisborn94 said:

Interesting decision. If I get permission to use Paypal and a pre-paid debit card (I think I'm old enough since I'm fixing to turn sixteen next month), then once I get a job and some money, I'll get Pokemon Rumble. Always wanted that game but never put forth the time.



accc said:

I really don't see why they can't just let you choose the amount of points you want to buy in increments of 100 rather than 1000



Vinsanity said:

Hopefully they heard all that negative feedback from Cave Story's release. I mean, paying 20 bucks to buy it when it was 12 was lame. Maybe this means we're on the verge of some major change? Getting rid of Nintendo points would be awesome. Replacing it with REAL money, and creating an account that would keep track of your VC/Wiiware/DSi games would be ideal - basically, ripping off how the PSN works across PS3 and PSP.

Nah. This is NINTENDO we're talking about. I'm sure accc is right; if they change anything at all, they'll just change the denominations you can purchase at a time. But 100 pts at a time? I suspect they'll never go lower than 500, just because that means you'll still be buying more points than you could probably use. And that ultimately means more profit for them...



aaronsullivan said:

Micro payments are less profitable guys.

Every transaction from a credit card has a fixed charge and a percentage on top of it. If everyone buys $1 games the seller makes NOTHING because of the base charge.

At least, that's how it has been in the past. The last several years things have been transitioning to micro payments using different techniques.* It's not easy to see as the consumer because we don't see the charge directly even though it effects costs indirectly.

Anyway, I'm all for a system that doesn't hold onto a few of my dollars for awhile using them while I can't.

  • iTunes, for instance, charges only every week or some sliding scale of time based on how much was spent so it can charge you less often. It works better for iTunes though because the average user is buying stuff more than once a week. The average Wii Shopper is probably at 0.25 purchases a week, at best. In case you are comparing yourself to this, by virtue of reading this page you are NOT the average Wii Shopper.


BlueFlameBat said:

So even if I don't have any points left over, I don't have to pay $10 every time I want to buy a game that is less than 1,000 points?

aaronsullivan has a point. I learned not so long ago that merchants have to pay a fee for credit and debit transactions made at their stores. I think a deal like PSN where you buy a minimum of 500 points plus however many more points is required would be a much better deal and it wouldn't hit the merchants as hard.



Rebel81 said:

first ban resellers like Saturn in Europe. They dare to ask 14,99 euro for 1000 wii points



blackknight77 said:

I wish they would sell 1,000 point Nintendo cards. That way I could buy two. One for my Wii and one for the DSi.



TLink9 said:

In my opinion I would rather do it in one place than go back and forth, anyways I wont use it.



Fuzzy said:

I just wished they changed the cost of Wii points over here to be more in line with the current exchange rate. So instead of paying $15AUD for 1000 points, we should pay $11AUD.



BlueFlameBat said:

I keep getting error messages when I try to order Super Mario Bros. 3. Maybe it wasn't meant to be anyway. I already have the game on my NES, SNES (All-Stars), computer, and Game Boy Advance.



Egg_miester said:

i heard about this a few days ago and i'll say the samething i did then and that is, this is weird



Hardy83 said:

Just adopt Sony and Apples payment method already! The whole point system is horribly outdated. I'm looking at you too Microsoft!



BL_Donth said:

It's seems unnecessary if you ask me.
We should be allowed to buy the number of nintendo points we want on the wii shop channel instead.



odd69 said:

With more games to choose from, this might be good. Infact if they update it regularly i just might buy my games that way...



Token_Girl said:

I agree with setting a minimum purchase (500 or 1000 points) to keep Ninty from losing money to credit card fees, and then just buying in increments of 100 after that.

Honestly, this just seems to add a useless extra step to the process. As long as I know there's still stuff on either store or confirmed for release that I'll want to buy eventually, I don't mind having a couple hundred extra points kicking around indefinitely.



jbrodack said:

Its nice they are doing this now but I'm guessing its only gonna be nintendo published wiiware and VC games



Omega said:

They should improve the Wii Shopping Channel first. When I last bought Points via Credit Card there were only 1000, 3000 and 5000 points available. They could at least provide 500 and 2000 points options. Or better yet an option where you can freely select the Wii Points you want by typing in the numbers on the screen. Then I am already satisfied. No need for an additional method of buying online games on Nintendo's website.



Sabrewing said:

What a waste. The least they could do is make Doc Louis' Punch-Out!! available to the rest of us.



jorenmartijn said:

@Rebel81: They charge FIFTEEN euros for TEN euros worth of points?! Outrageous! Never would've expected that. I mean, sure, charge 11 euros extra if you must make more profit, but not FIVE!
That's my problem with MS' way of handling things too. I don't know the exact exchange rate for MS Points, but I do know you get less value for what you pay for the Points, which is a real turnoff.
I mean, prepaid mobile phone cards usually hold as much value as you pay for it, and it hasn't really hurt retailers or the phone companies I believe to not charge extra.

Anyway, OT, nice idea from Nintendo, but I hope they expand it to other countries too and make all your purchases centralised across all your systems. Club Nintendo is a great way to do that.



Bass_X0 said:

I haven't bought a card in a long time because they are so much more expensive than just simply buying points on the shop itself. Just got to know how to use your money smarter.



irken004 said:

@Bass The reverse is true for me. If I buy points on the shop, I'd pay a tax, but if I go buy a card, it is tax free (in my region at least).



FantasiaWHT said:

At least it's not like Xbox Live, where the points don't convert easily to dollar figures... Here 1 point = 1 penny. There, 1 point = 1 penny and a quarter of a penny, which is annoying as hell.



shake_zula said:

I hope this doesn't make it to Europe, I like having an excuse to buy an extra game. If I didn't have leftover points I could only justify buying games that I really wanted. :[



vherub said:

I'd like to see a weekly sale, much like MS and Sony. Sega had the one sale, and that's been it. Give people more reason to check in every week and get some more sales for titles that have fallen off the map.



That's a feature I'll definitely never take advantage of.



fixjuxa said:

"Hopefully they heard all that negative feedback from Cave Story's release. I mean, paying 20 bucks to buy it when it was 12 was lame,"

Okay, I'll admit it's lame that you can't buy the exact the amount of points you need to buy something but to say you're paying $20 to buy a game that cost $12 is a little disingenuous. After you buy Cave Story you still have 800 points left with which to buy another game. Basically you're being forced to buy two games when all you really wanted was...which still sucks.



ShadowFlame76 said:

wonder if they decided to do this after hearing about a suit against Microsoft for their MS Point system,.



StarDust4Ever said:

What really ticks me off is if I use a credit card to buy games on the Wii or DSi, I have to pay the same darned sales tax that I would if I'd bought the points card at a retail store in my area

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