News Article

Nintendo "Happy with Virtual Console Pricing"

Posted by James Newton

No plans to cut costs just yet

There's been countless discussions on the pricing structure for Nintendo's Virtual Console service, but the company itself has confirmed to Eurogamer it's satisfied with the way things are.

We're currently pleased with the uptake of WiiWare and DSiWare in the UK (including the Virtual Console service) and believe the content on all these services continues to become more interesting and attractive to people over time. As such, we have no plans to look at changing the pricing structure for them.

It's not surprising to hear Nintendo deny an upcoming price drop, and when it's clearly satisfied with the current sales figures of downloadable games there's little impetus to start snipping consumer costs.

One possible issue leading to the slowing-down of Virtual Console sales is the decreasing number of titles released for the system in recent times. Although Wii still has a comprehensive library of titles going back well over twenty years, its initial pace of new releases hitting the store has undoubtedly dropped off, and Nintendo may need to consider shaving download prices to invigorate the service that looks to have lost a lot of the company's focus since WiiWare's emergence two years ago.


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User Comments (101)



Machu said:

Whilst on one hand I would be pleased, as I could buy more games for less. On the other hand I would be most annoyed, having already bought so many games at their original price. Untitled



GreenSpleen said:

Its been a year and still no SD Card Menu update for the DSi!!!! Come on Nintendo, you made it for the Wii(finally) I need one for the DSi!! Ive stopped downloading games lately because Im sick of the moving and deleting on the card. It should be an easy fix, just do it already.



cheapogamer4life said:

Makes me regret using a NP card in the DSiware shop late last year when Sega was doing their sale on VC games.



Oregano said:

The prices aren't bad at all. I'm hapy with the service.

I want to see some more games(like more Square and Enix RPGs) and a few more Nintendo oldies but I'm sure most will come eventually.



WolfRamHeart said:

I don't really have a problem with the pricing of the WiiWare and Virtual Console games. It would be nice if Nintendo would consider doing weekly sales like Microsoft and Sony do on certain titles. That Sega sale on Virtual Console games last year was awesome!



Burning_Spear said:

I think the price structure is quite fair. For instance, I had never played the original Legend of Zelda, and to get it for five dollars was more than reasonable. That's about the price of a pay-per-view movie and yet it keeps me entertained for much longer. A magazine costs five dollars. Five iPod downloads cost five dollars. Maybe a one-day sale would be nice, but otherwise, the prices seem fine to me.



Stuffgamer1 said:

I think the VC pricing is just fine...they just need to RELEASE MORE GAMES!

WiiWare and DSiWare, on the other hand...especially the former...could use some work. FORCING developers that release games for less on other services to charge more on WiiWare is BS. stares directly at TellTale No developer options for permanent price drops is also BS. GameLoft has done quite a few of those on PSN, but the games on WiiWare are still (relatively) expensive. LAAAAAAAAAAAMEEEEE!



Donatello said:

I think it's fine also, I just wish they'd release more than one VC title a week. I mean seriously, where's my Yoshi's Island and Splatterhouse 3?



Pj1 said:

Let's say this...
If one day the Wii 2 comes out what will happen to VC and Wii-Ware? I love VC dearly and I would hate the day it ends. I don't like in Europe our VC games are dearer than USA and Japan at times, I'm hoping Nintendo will announce a VC service for the DSi at E3!!



TingLz said:

@Stuffy: well if nintendo's rules are so unfair why are developers still making games for Wiiware and DSiware?



Earendel68 said:

The prize should be enough for incentivate the releasing of more classic games. And with the PlayStation Network releasing games for no more than 6 bucks, Nintendo should be thinking seriously in cutting their prizes ...



WildPidgeyAppears said:

I find most VC prices quite reasonable - consider the rarity in aftermarkets of holy grails like Rondo of Blood and several other rare games. I just want MORE VC titles - bring on StarFox SNES, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy III/VI, EarthBound, Castlevania Bloodlines, and more more more!



Shiryu said:

I wish I could be happy with VC, but as stated on a previous comment before on the article about PAL VC games, I just can't justify myself to spend 8 €uros on a 16bit game (that I most probably already own in its original form) and having to play it on my LCD with no filters and no screen ratio adjustement. Nintendo needs to step up in this if they want me to justify investing again on the VC.



Kirk said:

A pity because I really think the VC games are overpriced for sure.



Chozo85 said:

It would be nice if they ran the occasional sale on certain games like Sega did over Christmas. I think such a move would help promote the Virtual console to those who perhaps aren't happy with the prices.



Objection said:

More games is indeed the issue. But I've always felt that VC and (especially) WW games are overpriced.



Lady_Gaga said:

I'm happy with the vc I wish Genesis games where 600 Points like Japan but other than that its fine



naut said:

It's not so much the price of the games, it's how we're forced to buy them. I refuse to shell out ten bucks to buy a $5 NES game.



Terra said:

I'm generally fine with pricing on VC games but of course I would like to see some price cuts. I do think WiiWare is often overpriced though, Devs should be allowed to change the pricing of their games after release



Megumi said:

Only thing I would like is to actually buy the games, instead of buying 1000 points...hate the leftover points. But yeah the pricing seems fine to me.



Gavin_Rozee said:

I'm satisfied with the pricepoints.

I am 100% not satisfied with purchases being tied to the system they were purchased on. All this does is annoy the consumer, and put off many potential consumers.



I think that the prices are OK. If they would reduce the prices that would be nice but I don't mind that much.

But I second what others said: release more games!



Klapaucius said:

Needs more N64 games, and needs more third-party games.
Some N64 games are pretty expensive to buy nowadays. I got Paper Mario on VC; if I'd have bought a physical copy the cheapest I could find was between £50-£70.



TheLonelyGamer said:

I don't really mind the VC prices, though some game prices are rip-off's (such as the arcade Altered Beast).



OverlordMao said:

The only thing I find unfair is the slight price change of Import titles. For instance, almost all super nintendo games are 800 points, but Milon's DokiDoki Adventure has to be just 1 dollar more?
I was SO CLOSE to buying it, but I settled for Vectorman last time I had points.



Aenaida said:

I do believe Sega overcharge us for their VC Arcade games, but other than that, all I ask for is at least one VC game per week.



DarkEdi said:

the Sega promotion in year´s end was pretty good, the bad thing i had DL many of that games months before, and i think puyo puyo 2 at 500 points is more reasonable than the original 900 points (i DL it in the promotion).



FATALITYocarina said:

I'm happy with the prices myself. They're fair. I would easily give up $15AU(1000 Points) to get Ocarina of Time. I bought Final Fantasy for $9AU(600 points) and I havet looked back. $3AU(200 points) to play "I Was Made For Loving You" on Guitar Hero 5; worth every cent.

My point is that other than World of Goo ($22.50 or 1500 points for something while worse on PC is free) and the odd game over 1000 points, Virtual Console is fairly priced.



Megaman256 said:

The prices are fine but I would like to see more VC games. Especially old school NES. Games like the original Tetris, Dr. Mario, Contra, Battle Toads, Tecmo Super Bowl, TMNT 2 and 3. Nintendo still has some good games in the library and it would be nice to have those games available.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@lz: How should I know why people keep developing for it? Most of those who do don't develop for other systems, and those who do more often than not release the same games on all services, more than likely to find better sales on PSN, Xbox Live, or even PC. Some devs probably don't care because they still get paid, not thinking too much about how sales would be better with lower prices. Some devs have trouble selling their games at the set prices and complain to Nintendo about it, for all the good it does them.

As for the import game pricing: Considering they did literally NO extra work on the ROM for the game and released it in a freaking FOREIGN LANGUAGE, that dollar is a complete rip-off. I can play the game translated for FREE using PC emulation...that REALLY makes the $9 VC price look bad! So given the circumstances, OverlordMao is most certainly not deserving of your insults, however sarcastic.



LittleIrves said:

Weekly or monthly sales would be excellent. Obviously lower overall prices would be cool, too, but I'm with most of you on here - the prices don't totally deter me. That being said, I'd probably get twice the VC games I already have if just a couple bucks were shaved off the 800 or 1000 point titles.



Slapshot said:

I actually DO find the prices on VC/WiiWare to be High. Especially on Wiiware where most the games are very short and the games sell for 1000+ point for some. I even have a hard time dropping $8 bucks on a SNES game myself, when for $10-$20 you can get a Full Retail Wii Release and seeing as The Conduit, Madworld, etc are all now $20, it is seriously limiting my VC purchases this time around with my new Wii.

Retail pricing has dropped Big Time on the Wii but yet the VC/WiiWare still stand at the same release prices. Unlike PSN,XBOX who offer weekly sales, Nintendo refuses to drop prices like they are starved for money or something!



WildPidgeyAppears said:

Another point I'd like to bring up. I have two Neo Geo games on my Wii (Samurai Shodown 2 and Magician Lord) and at 900 points each, they're a STEAL compared to the original prices. I never had a Neo Geo, or any games, but to those who don't know, the system and its games ran in the HUNDREDS of dollars. You think TRU marking SNES games up to 70 or 80 bucks in the day was ridiculous, Neo Geo games could easily run $300-$500 because you were paying for what is essentially the ROM cart used inside the arcade machines, but modified for a home console.

And do you guys know how much they ask for in regards to some of the SNES and Genesis games on the service? Sometimes just the cart, in average condition, with no box or manual can run $60 to $100 for rare games.



SilverBaretta said:

I honestly don''t care about the prices, I think they're pretty good. What Ninty does need to implement into the Shop, though, is some sort of refund/exchange service, so you can "give back" the games you don't like.



WildPidgeyAppears said:

@45: Unfortunately, none of the major companies do that. Your space bucks are gone for good once you spend them...and hey, how often do you get refunds in the real world anyway?



XD375 said:

I remember when two VC games coming out instead of the usual three was a big issue here.



MrWarmo said:

All we need for wii is a better online system. Maybe a way to buy exact a exact number of points so you don't have any left?
Oh, and where did the achievement system go? And the ability do download extra Mario Kart tracks ?



Hardy83 said:

Some people know me. Some people know what I think about Nintendo's online pricing structure.

I'm gonna go over and play my 5 dollar Resident Evil and Dino Crisis on PSN, maybe play my 99 cent Dragon's Lair and Duke Nukem on my Ipod Touch.

Enjoy your 5 dollar NES game. lol Well it may be a good game at least.



StarDust4Ever said:

Please nintendo, for the love of Mario, release more games!!! Sales will soon follow. Sales of NES titles went up briefly last fall because of the free vouchers due to the Internet Channel. Nintendo responded to this in crease in sales by increasing the pipline of new games coming in. Now Nintendo has slacked off, sometimes going weeks without releasing games, and sales have slumped to abysmal levels as a result. Geeze Nintendo, advertise, start releasing 3-a-week games again, and people will download.



vio said:

Well, considering how cheap many of these games can be found in their original cartridge form, I'd wager VC prices are a bit high. A typical N64 cartridge goes for about 2-5 bucks yet they're a whopping $10 on VC. Nintendo should seriously consider lowering the price by at least a dollar for all games and start releasing 2 games a week again. That would likely boost sales quite substantially.



Betagam7 said:

I've never had a problem with the pricing of VC's the terrible PAL conversions we suffer that Eurogamer would do better to quiz Nintendo over.



James said:

@Stuff - You could play it for free on your emulator, but not legally. That's a huge difference here.

I didn't realise quite how many VC games had been released until I started on this piece: at last count about 374. That's a pretty vast library for any machine and it sounds like most of you guys are happy with the pricing, just not the speed of releases. Let's hope Nintendo reads these comments and takes some notes!



Sean_Aaron said:

Well, I would think if anyone knew sales figures on VC it would be Nintendo and if they thought there was a problem that needed fixing, they would fix it.

It's nice to want things though!



OldBoy said:

@Betagam7 Your absolutley right. There is no reason why we shouldn't have 60Hz versions of these games.It ridiculous in this day and age. Since getting my LCD tv recently with components this is really starting to bug me (it did b4 but even more so now).Also it would be nice if we seen a few sales now and then and would definetly make me buy more VC games. Won't happen though,even though every other download service has sales now and then



SNK said:

im happy with the VC pricing,but i aint happy with the pathetic 50hz mode for VC games,im GUTTED in fact.



outrun2sp said:

Im happy with all PC engine purchases and super mario bros 2.

The rest just doesnt exist cos 50hz is untouchable. Thanks to all the people out there buying 50hz games and hence supporting it they will never change it either. hmmppphhhh



Sean_Aaron said:

Yeah, I've only got three VC titles on my PAL Wii now, so I have to say I'm pretty much done with the European VC due to the 50Hz issue and pricing differences between Japan and Europe. The overwhelming majority are on my Japanese Wii; the only downloads I get on the PAL one are WiiWare now.



outrun2sp said:

Sucks cos I could have Metal Slug (the great game that is worth over a grand in cartridge form) but will not play a game thats 50hz when it was 60hz on its console and 60hz in the arcade.

Playing any neogeo games at 50hz is a disservice to the machine.



Kevin said:

Personally I don't know why people are complaining about the price of the games. They're pleaseable if you ask me. Hopefully we'll see more new games soon starting Monday.



Ristar42 said:

@outrun2sp Yep, and although the anthology version is 60Hz it is not classic controller compatible.

Weirdly, the version of Metal Slug on 'SNK classics collection' is both 60Hz and classic controller compatible.

I bet Nintendo are happy, but I'm not with their consistent failure to aknowledge the 50Hz issue or do anything about it.



Varoennauraa said:

I have wasted money recklessly into VC and WiiWare. I hope they would reward fans somehow, especially here in EU we have had to buy bullthis sometimes, as there has not been anything good available.



PolarBeer said:

Well, I figure I can't really whine about the pricing because actually finding a hard copy of the game, or waiting and buying a remake would cost a significantly larger amount.

But yeah, more games for the VC, please.



DJ_Triforce said:

Add some sort of trophy/achievement system to these virtual console titles and then they'll have a lot more sales - I can assure you.



The_Fox said:

I agree with those that have mentioned they should have weekly sales. There have to be plenty of titles that people would be willing to check out if they could get for 25% off.

Demos would rock also.



StarBoy91 said:

I was okay with the import titles being 100 Wii Points more (because antecedently they were not released in NA and/or EU) than the usual price.
Star Parodier and DoReMi Fantasy: Milon's DokiDoki Adventure are two of the best $9 I ever spent.
EDIT: I'd like to use the word "antecedently", but I forget if it means previously or not.
EDIT2: Cool, thanks, Stuffy.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@vio: Define a "typical" N64 cart, if you please. Even Super Mario 64 is currently going for an average of $10+, and Super Smash Bros. looks to be easily $15+! Man, I miss when you could look up average sales on eBay for free so I could give you better data...

@Prosody: You're missing the point...the free version, legal or not, IS ACTUALLY IN MY LANGUAGE! If it comes down to a game that's in English anyway, I'll pay for it every time. But I'm strongly opposed to paying a PREMIUM for the right to not understand what the heck is going on in a game. Which is why I made Corbie pay for that one.
And I never finished it either, 'cause the Japanese bugged the crap outta me.

@StarBoy: Antecedently apparently DOES mean "precedingly," which is quite similar to "previously." I did not know that...interesting!



Bass_X0 said:

I play ROMs but I also download a decent amount of VC games too even if I play it a lot as a ROM before it gets released on VC.

Gotta support the VC.



Reala said:

I really don't see the problem with paying a tiny bit extra for an import, previously it would have cost a fortune, not to mention having to deal with region locking, if its an RPG in Japanese I'd leave it alone, puzzle and arcade titles though I would consider, remember they used to be pretty much for collectors only, the fact we can download and play them straight away is great, so much less hassle.



EdEN said:

I've bought 73 games so far between VC and Wiiware and I'm happy with the pricing on all of them. Did the math and I've invested over $500 in games on the service.



EdEN said:

Plus if you link your Wii Shop Channel to your Club Nintendo account you can then ask them to register your past purchases on your account, then do the Post Play survey for 10 coins per download and work towards gold or platinum status. Neither Sony nor Microsoft give you something extra for your purchases so that's a plus by Nintendo. Got instant Platinum by doing so and still have 13 surveys to take once July comes around to work to platinum for the next Nintendo year. And I haven't even registered all my Nintendo games codes on Wii and DS. So far I got Grill Off with Ultra Hand and I'll get the two game and watch collection. I'm hoping for a Super Mario Galaxy soundtrack to be added to the store...



Klapaucius said:

@71 "invested" - interesting wording there. Are you going to be selling your Wii and all its VC and WiiWare games?
Are the games transferable between Wiis?



WildPidgeyAppears said:

If there is an issue I have with import titles, it is the lack of translations. Some games don't need a real localization, such as shooters and platformers. However, an RPG or text-heavy game like DoReMi, it's lazy and unacceptable.

Sounds like Europe gets the shaft with resolutions. Sorry, Prosody and anyone else in the UK.



StarBoy91 said:

I can understand why some people would not be okay with the lack of a translation, but I've never had issues with it. It always gave me an out of this world experience (in a good way) [I'm exemplifying DoReMi Fantasy: Milon's DokiDoki Adventure].



deadly_by_design said:

If they were smart, they would run sales like Valve does on Steam. There is no traditional supply/demand on digital sales, so they need incentives to spike the numbers.



Token_Girl said:

I think what everyone's forgetting is that Nintendo only announces they're not thinking about doing something when they ARE, in fact, thinking about doing something. I mean, they started "not considering" a wii price drop around 2-3 weeks before they dropped the Wii's price. Keep your fingers crossed, and we may be getting some price drops desperately needed to bring Ninty's downloads more in line with every other service. (Though, in many aspects, I'd prefer a little more effort put in, such as not leaving features out of games or translations on imports than a price drop.)



Ruffy said:

I'm happy with the VC pricing.
I'm more unhappy with the lack of N64 titles that have been released, i mean now when you look at the coming soon list there are no more listed to come out.

Come on nintendo, bring some more available???



jazzydude said:

we need MORE GAMES!!!!!
just give more games!!!

btw we need more N64 GAMES!!!! JEEZ



Bass_X0 said:

DoReMi doesn't NEED a translation to play it. Sure, one would have been nice but I can still play it just fine without one. Also, bear in mind that they don't translate VC games. They just don't release them if they are unplayable in the original Japanese language. Not releasing DoReMi on the VC over minor language issues would have been a disservice to all of us. As for the pricing, I'd appreciate a £1 off the cost per 1000 points on the Shop. Any more would be too low.



StarBoy91 said:

I've beaten DoReMi Fantasy: Milon's DokiDoki Adventure six or seven times now, without the aid of a translation. As for the final boss, Amon (my suspicions have recently been confirmed thanks to my widescreen HDTV: Amon's androgynous!!!), the boss can be hard at first, but like Galbalan from SNES Wanderers from Ys: Ys III, Amon can be defeated easily once you follow Amon's pattern. I beat Amon days ago without losing a life (but I did lose a health of clothing during it).
Still, it's a fun game. Best ambient/atmospheric soundtrack I've heard in a game (though I do admit it works best when played in game). I also love the cameo appearances from White Bomberman and Black Bomberman.
I apologize if I spoiled anything.

I agree with Bass that it would've been a complete disservice to us all if the game wasn't released in the West because of a minor issue.



Willy105 said:

We have moved on to WiiWare. Virtual Console was nice, but the new games are more worth it.



EdEN said:

@Klapaucius: I said "invested" because to me having all my Virtual Console and Wiiware on a 16 GB SD card is an investment for the future because it feels like something I'd want to see my kids playing with many, many years in the future. I have them backed up on a PC on a folder in case the SD card decides to die, and have them also burned to a CD in case the PC dies and on a USB unit, and so on. Sure, I can only play it on the Wii I got it but my NES still runs after 25 years and if something were to happen Nintendo could transfer my purchases to a new Wii. Having to someday pay $100 for a new Wii and a small nominal transfer fee doesn't seem like much. They were still servicing NES units until a year or two ago...



Rebel81 said:

I want all NG games in the Virtual Console Arcade as well, ande i am even pay that damn extra import 100 point sfor it to play the damned games without being ruined by 50hz.

I don't know why Nintendo don't allow Hentai, but dares to release games in an heavily ruined condition. Iron Clad being the worse, as the standard language on AES is Spanish (like Neo Bomberman), I want my money back.



StarBoy91 said:

The original Mario Party isn't even on the Virtual Console yet. I played it many years ago with my cousin, and I thought it was very fun, as well as Mario Party 2. Mario Party 3, which I played at a friend's house in Italy, was fun, too.



WildPidgeyAppears said:

@Willy: I would take a VC game that I may have played previously and know what I'm getting into than a lame shovelware WiiWare title that I may find lacking. Many WiiWare games are, sadly, rather poor.



WildPidgeyAppears said:

@Bass: while I do understand that some games don't need a translation (I have Dracula X and Pulseman and no translation is really needed), I feel that with any sizeable chunk of text, I will find myself wondering if I missed something that would enhance the experience. As much as I truly want to play Seiken Densetsu 3 legally, would people put up with a raw Japanese version on English VCs?



Stuffgamer1 said:

WildPidgeyAppears explains my viewpoint on the Japanese text perfectly. Whether or not it's technically necessary to complete the game, I feel like I'm missing out by having to skip past boxes and boxes of Japanese text. And no, I would NOT put up with an untranslated VC release of that game...but I don't think they'd try it, as it would be basically unplayable anyway.



Sean_Aaron said:

@Ristar42: Yeah that does suck, however you can get a CC/PS2-GC controller adapter and that works great (though I needed a GC extension cord as well). I'd love for SNK/Ignition to re-release that compilation with CC support and better menus.



Guybrush_Threepwood said:

Nintendo should just solve the PAL issues and release more VC games (in 60 Hz please) again.

@Willy105: "We have moved on to WiiWare. Virtual Console was nice, but the new games are more worth it."

What a blasphemy! You should definitely play more of the "old" games. There are just too many SNES or N64 classics I would choose over the entire WiiWare catalogue anytime.



rjejr said:

If there is a slow down in sales I think can of many reasons - the recession, the novelty has worn off, people have enough to play with what they have, people running out of space (yes you can use multiple SD cards but it's still an added hassle), the point structure, people not even turning on their Wii b/c they are playing PS3/Xbox360 games (heresy I know but truthful). Lowering the overall prices might help, or just a sale may help, but it's possible VC sales have reached their zenith (like Wii sales apparently) and it's all downhill from here.



EdEN said:

I have yet to get all Star Wars SNES games as well as Indiana Jones Greatest Adventures and another 4 SNES, 2 Genesis and 2 TG-16 games but at the moment my games budget is missing so they'll have to wait until either I get some store credit or get a points card as a gift.



SugarPlum23 said:

Ya i think they are kinda costly but i guess it doesnt matter now what we say because nintendo already made their choice.....thats a no i guess i think if people are buying games on there they should at least give a game or 2 for free once a month or every other month...???



Capt_N said:

I wish Nintendo would fix
1. Pricing -
A: Permanent pricing - devs should have the right to lower/increase prices on their own creations, after all. I do understand, however, that more than likely, part of the contract these co.s/devs sign w/ Nintendo, probably only allows them so many freedoms/limitations.
B: The current pricing scheme - Whether, or not N controls the pricing of other devs/co.s stuff, shouldn't have any bearing on their own creations. I think each VC system is a bit high. If it were up to me, Nes = 3/4.50, SNes = 6.50/7.00, N64 = 8.00, SMD = 6.50/7.00, NG = 6.7.00, SMS = 3/4.50, VCA = 8.00 or less. & Some, not all WiiWare prices are a bit high, imo. It's sorta become unofficial to a certain degree, that 5.00 WW is you-get-what-you-paid-for, whether you like it, or not, while 10.00 seems to be a norm of WW, & 15.00 is extra-high, to me @ least.

2. More than 1 VC/WW title per week. - 3 would be awesome/optimal, 2 would be much better, than 1.



Rerun said:

More content, no less than 1 per week
Limited run discount on VC titles (similar to what SEGA did)
Online poll on what gamers want to see on VC (we can use the Voting Channel for this)

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