News Article

Talking Point: Should Nintendo Regularly Offer Free Games for Download?

Posted by Zach Kaplan

Is continuing in Four Swords' footsteps the answer to the $0.99 download mentality?

As of last week, every DSiWare gamer can download The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition for free. This was originally a full retail title, now with added wireless connectivity, a new single-player mode and bonus levels. Compare that to Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary Edition, which cost $30 more and simply ported an even older game to Wii without any new features, save a bonus book and soundtrack CD that drew some criticism. This, then, is no small potatoes.

Bob Dylan once said of the times that they're a-changin', and the same is true today. A dollar used to go a long way – you could buy a coffee for two quarters or call your friends collect for 99 cents, still leaving you one cent for a shiny new pennywhistle. And today, you can still buy a video game or two just as inexpensively if you know where to look. That place, of course, is the download shop on an iOS or Android device. But that's not the story with the Nintendo eShop, where the good people at the Big N strive to preserve the value of quality software by charging $1.99 at the very cheapest. It's not that simple, though. We now live in a world where consumers expect rock-bottom prices and feel ripped off if asked to pay five dollars or more. For better or worse, the mentality has changed. How can Nintendo stay relevant and still maintain its integrity?

One possible answer is to regularly employ the strategy of the aforementioned anniversary editions of Four Swords, which, of course, comes for a limited time without a price tag. It's a thank you to the fans that have supported the series over the years and a commemoration of a great series. It's also, potentially, a great way to get peoples' attention who think of the smartphone or tablet as the best place to go for affordable software.

If mom and pop don't stand a chance, how can Nintendo expect the average customer to see its logic?

In a world where five dollars is just too much for a download game in the eyes of many, perhaps this strategy, if employed on a regular basis, would offset the potential perception of DSiWare as largely a rip-off. It need not always prove as monumental as this release, as long as the free title is high-quality and has the same type of polish and marketing. Even a few free Virtual Console releases, untouched, every month would do the trick. Largely this is what the Ambassador programme accomplished, though that was a case of no-frills roms whereas here, the more attention-grabbing (and marketable) frills, the better.

There's still, of course, the problem of iOS and Android titles going up in price when they reach a Nintendo console. Zenonia for DSiWare is eight times the price of its iStore counterpart, Burn the Rope is more than ten times as expensive on WiiWare as on its original iOS format, and Surviving High School, $7.99 at the eShop, is $0.99 at the iStore, complete with updates and weekly episodic downloads. But Nintendo's philosophy stands against devaluing software, making the case that these games should never have been available for such a low rate in the first place. While this may be true, placing one product and a possibly improved version thereof next to each other at such a price differential means that to the average consumer, the cost of the Nintendo catalogue is just too high. Whether a game is worth $7.99 or $0.99 is a different story.

From one perspective, Nintendo is preserving the value of video games by making sure that, on their store shelves, they don't cost less than what they're worth. But compare that to any number of examples – for instance, the average consumer will shop at Wal-Mart instead of the local independent “mom ‘n’ pop” store if they can get the same product for a lower price. When a pay check dictates one's life, supporting local businesses and what some would argue as preserving one's morality can sometimes take a backseat to affordability. If mom and pop don't stand a chance, how can Nintendo expect the average customer to see its logic, especially when that person is unlikely to see the human side of such a large, successful international corporation as the Big N? It's not limited to Wal-Mart, either – cheaply made factory goods commonly outsell handmade products, mass-produced fast food generally makes a quicker profit than the locally grown alternative, and lower-quality products that you can buy on the cheap at a department store or supermarket are far more lucrative than those hand-made with care by artisans. We'd all like to say that we buy goods made with care and not on a factory floor when we can, but with the economic reality of budgeting based around payday, a lower price often makes a big difference.

Perhaps the answer is regular temporarily free games in the same vein as Four Swords. If Nintendo's marketing reaches the average person on the street looking for portable gaming, such a promise could sway that person's opinion away from the iOS store and toward the eShop. Other games may seem more fairly priced when counterbalanced by this, regardless of their cost elsewhere. And those consumers, propelled by quality gaming for free, might seek out other titles from the same franchise or studio that they never would have noticed beforehand. Not to mention that once someone is downloading a free title, they've logged into the eShop and might find themselves inclined to browse, especially with Nintendo's updates to its appearance and layout on the 3DS.

Free software isn't unprecedented for Nintendo, either. There's Photo Dojo and Flipnote Studio, for example. This has often felt like a special occasion, and usually is: in past instances, Nintendo has celebrated the launch of the eShop with Pokédex 3D and 3D Classics: Excitebike, while Four Swords marks the 25th anniversary of the Zelda franchise. If the company made this into a regular practice instead of special event, it might turn the heads of those who look at a $5 price tag as asking too much.

Of course, there is a middle ground. It's not uncommon for an iOS or Android title to go on sale for promotional purposes, and Nintendo could easily employ such tactics. A sale connotes a bargain and more than likely would not appear to devalue the game in the eyes of most. Many game companies have argued that the ability to construct their own promotions with a sale price as a factor would help to advertise their games. It would not only give these studios a stronger voice on the eShop and an important control method over marketing, but it would turn the shop into a vibrant marketplace as well, further distancing it from the stagnant feeling of the DSi and Wii Shops of yesteryear. If word began to spread that these sales were occurring, it could be attractive to those for whom affordability is a major deciding factor.

If the company made this into a regular practice instead of special event, it might turn the heads of those who look at a $5 price tag as asking too much.

There's also the argument that Nintendo shouldn’t bother with turning iOS and Android customers' heads. But in the world of digital downloads, the two stores are in competition and shoppers will continue to compare them. The 3DS isn't exclusively a gaming device when you consider applications like Mario Clock and Calculator, the 3DS Video Channel and 3D camera, music and drawing programmes, and the many other examples available for download, while more people are coming to see the iPad and its brethren as legitimate gaming platforms. While gaming is still the primary purpose of Nintendo's handheld devices, there was a time not too long ago when calling people and getting on the internet was by and large the chief function of the smartphone. This overlap in usage translates into the potential for the 3DS to become more and more a multi-function tool, putting it in competition with smartphones and tablets.

In a world where the common view of downloadable software is that it ought to go for under a dollar, do you think that temporarily pricing games for free à la Four Swords is a worthwhile strategy? Or should Nintendo take the middle ground and offer software on sale? Alternatively, should Nintendo stick to its guns and carry on with what it's doing now? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

From the web

User Comments (105)



Dabblemouse said:

I registered an account here to say that I spit milk all over my keyboard when I read the caption for the dog picture.

Also, you guys need to check your math... a $.50 cup of coffee, a $.99 collect call and a $.01 pennywhistle adds up to more than $1 (at least in America =3)



Ernest_The_Crab said:

Though I agree with the idea of sales (some games could use a drop in price, especially if they're old), giving away free games shouldn't be done too often as it could result in some customers believing the games might not be worth paying for if it'll be offered for free soon. Every couple of months might be okay for that kind of thing though.



irken004 said:

It's nice to get free stuff every once in awhile, they could have easily charged 200 points or more for this. I highly doubt they would turn this into a more common practice.



Tasuki said:

I dont mind a free game for an anniversary like they did with Four Swords but having them all the time like they have free games on the Android marketplace I wouldnt like. Personally I really havent downloaded and of these free games on my phone mainly cause they dont interest me. If the 3DS did carry free games like the Android Marketplace all I can see coming out of it is a bunch of shovelware.

Now I wouldnt mind free Demos of games so I can try them before I sink my hard earn money in a crummy title.



Savino said:

Call free for profit! That´s what I have to say!

Maybe, just maybe, Nintendo starting to realize about the huge publicity that free games can offer.
I can see this as a regular base from now on, simply because you make the costumer go to the store... since he or she is already there why not take a look and buy other shiny game in the shelf?

Nintendo must learn about Special Editions too... I can see a 3DS Mario Edition with all Mario 2D adventures installed, a cool case to keep your console and maybe a cool stick or draw in the cover. Or a metroid Edition, Kirby, Zelda... Gosh... Even I will raise some money to pick one or two of those!

Darn... Nintendo has everything on its hands to make pure and solid golden profit... But for some reason they don´t seem to want to!



Ren said:

great article here, and great points. Sales, yes. And free games for special occasions are great. Free credits/points would almost work even better since it gives people a chance to pick anything they want. Why not offer bonus points based on numbers of club coins? any number of models WILL work as long as they start to GET IT that this is the best marketing.
Why are apps so big in general? because of the low/free price points. lots of the content is junk, and many phones had more expensive junk way before apps but the apps are so cheap you just can't look away.
Nintendo NEEDS more people looking, and they will spend there once they are at least looking. Gotta get people in the door and looking first, with free, or stupidly cheap stuff, and theres plenty of great VC games that can do that without long term profit loss. Don't mull it over, Nintendo, just do it and sell that 3D dust collector.



Kiyata_Hamasaki said:

We spent a ton of money on the game system, and it pretty much came with no games, so I believe we should get one free download a month as a "thank you gift" from Nintendo!



ZEROGAME53 said:

I think they should be free for a while, but later they should cost money, so they could get at least some money.



MasterGraveheart said:

Yes, yes, YES. Not only will it encourage use of their eShop, people will become intrigued to snoop around the eSshop and maybe see something else they like.

I also think they need to offer more apps, like FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, and the like.



Etherkon said:

I think it sounds amazing ! Free is always good and I hope they continue the same way.



Expa0 said:

I'd rather pay for quality.
I might as well start collecting trash since it's free.



HugoSmits said:

no, you can't run a company on 'free'. Instead put some real quality in the store that justifice the high price tag. Also advertise alot, so that people know what to expect for such a price tag.

Also, release more games in with the same lenght as Four Swords. It isn't that long, but it's awesome! Making games less big makes them cheaper to produce.



Minny said:

The difficulty I have with Nintendo is the fact they keep releasing games from previous platforms on their new ones. I have purchases some games 3 or 4 times across the many platforms, and simply have had enough. I also feel that the prices are relatively high. I have many games on my wish list, but cannot justify spend $8 on a game that should be less. It would be beneficial to both Nintendo and the 3rd party companies to offer sales on games, whether it is when the game is released or down the road. It is better to sell some of these games for a few dollars less and actually make more sales then for these games to not move.



Raylax said:

"In this diagram, with dogs representing dollars, the black dog at the far left stands for an iStore price while you'd have to spend all the other dogs put together at the eShop, often for the same game"

What are you smoking, Zach?



DarkLloyd said:

maybe what they did with four swords and the reason behind it but being free for the sake of it is not a good idea no matter how much i like free stuff lol



Supervada said:

Always enjoy stuff for free. It telling you that they being friendly. If they was a day call Free Day then I would get every game in Wal-Mart and GameStop! XD Whahaha!



LordTendoboy said:

Yes, it's a great idea. And there are plenty of free games on iOS and Android devices too.

This isn't the first time Nintendo's offered games for free. All those pack in games they used to put out with consoles were free too, obviously.



misswliu81 said:

i don't mind nintendo offering free games on the 3DS or even the wii U. but as Tasuki said, if they did this all the time, i think they'd be doing a disservice to themselves.

it's great for fans yes, but as a company, nintendo mustn't compromise what they have built up for themselves as a video games developer, publisher, as well as a hardware developer.

nevertheless, i think it would be nice to have some free games for say, the virtual console.



FonistofCruxis said:

I think they should regularly do sales especially for old games and there are some games that are priced too highly so this would encourage people to buy some games they originally wouldn't have but I agree with tasuki on the free games, its likely that it would lead to too much shovelware.



wanderlustwarrior said:

There's been a free game for a week?
I check this site and Kotaku regularly, and I didn't hear anything about this until just now. Way to make me care, Nintendo.

More to the point, yes, Nintendo should offer more deals, sales, free stuff, demos, match prices for cross-platform releases, enable more updates, etc. etc. I just doubt they will.

Even more to the point, Dog Diagram is full of win. I expect more of them, Mr. Kaplan.



TrueWiiMaster said:

I'd love some quality free games, for obvious reasons, but that seems unlikely and somewhat unnecessary. What they need is plenty of free demos. That way you get to play games for free, support the ones you like, and Nintendo doesn't have to give anything away (technically it could be called marketing). At this point I see no reason they aren't up already.

I've wanted sales on Nintendo's digital shops for years. I was really excited when Sega had a sale a while back, offering the Genesis Sonics for $5 each (I bought 2). I thought it was a sign of things to come, but I was wrong. They need sales now more than ever due to the lack of exclusivity of many titles. Almost every time a game is available on Nintendo and any other platform, Nintendo costs more. That's a serious problem. Right now on the PS3 you can buy all of Strongbad and Tales of Monkey Island in HD, all 10 episodes, for the price of 3 episodes on the Wii. World of Goo is only $3 ($5 for HD) on the iphone, but it's still $15 on the Wii. There are plenty of other examples too. I understand Nintendo's trying to keep the value of games up, and make a ton of money doing it, but there is a line. Triple the price of competitors is on the wrong side of that line.

Every time I fill out a survey on Club Nintendo referring to what would bring me to the eshop more often, I tell them sales, demos, and Pokemon Red. They really need to start listening.

P.S.- Does anyone else think it's about time for Nintendo to release WiiWare Greatest Hits (lower prices on best sellers)?



komicturtle said:

If it doesn't hurt them, ok.

I'm not going to be selfish like lots of people and say "Yea, they should make everything/most free."

I'm planning on getting into the gaming industry and I wouldn't want to be giving my games away for free because that's going to be my living. That's like Subway giving away free 6' inches every month.

Or someone mowing the lawn for you for free. Sorry. Time is money, and efforts shouldn't go to waste.



daznsaz said:

have these smart android dudes given away 20+games in the space of roughly 4 months?i wouldnt know but im guessing not.



SyFyTy said:

Nintendo has often said the iOs is not competiion, obviously it's denial, however, a sale will bring people into the shop to look around that might never have checked it before... every store in the world uses this tactic: impulse sales. I often bought games for the ipod as they were cheaper than on the DS:.Robopcalypse, Civ Rev,Settlers, wordjong, broken sword etc... they are competition whether N want s to admit it or not. Thinking it different does not make it so in the market place. It's about time Nintendo started listening to someone else besides themselves when on topic of marketing, they don't know everything there is to know about advert., as they would like to think, (even though they are unquestionably well versed) Oh they know gaming, but many games I've seen ( good ones), failed as they poorly advertised them. I only found them on discount racks by accident. That's not successful marketing. A little humble-ness goes a long ways in business too. Admtting where you fall short goes a long ways to change. for the better. in business as well as personal lives.. Undeny-able FACT: Adapting to change is necessary to survival anywhere..



Milkman-123 said:

nintendo ALREADY did give away free games, and they're doing it again before the end of the year. its called..
nuff' said, bro.



darklinkinfinite said:

While I don't see Nintendo ever releasing a monthly free game what I would like to see would be Nintendo's "special event" free games, but make those special events more regular. Xbox has their Summer of Arcade every year. Not a sale per se but it provides great promotion to some lesser known games and is often accompanied by a promotion. Xbox Live also has their Deal of the Week which, while often forgettable, usually means 50% discounts on whatever they're oftering.

Nintendo just needs to make their shops more dynamic. Regular promotions and sales on new and old titles could go along way to changing the idea that the games are just put on the shop and forgotten.



ecco6t9 said:

Maybe next year for the Metroid 25(since Nintendo is holding the party back for the Zelda 25) they should give away Metroid Zero Mission?

I would hope that Konami can still step in this year and offer a free download of a Castlevania, even if it's for a short 2 week stint.



BigBluePanda said:

They should really introduce discounts or sales from time-to-time on the eShop, a bit like Sony does sometimes on the PSN store.



shoopdawoop70 said:

if they keep iOS games the same price as in the store AND ALLOW DEVELOPERS TO PRICE THE GAME HOW THEY CHOOSE i would consider dsiware like cut the rope and burn the rope.



kdognumba1 said:

Free games shouldn't be done regularly however a drop in price in games and the addition of demo's would greatly help sales. The price they charge for older games especially is quite a bit for completely untouched games without any new functions like leaderboards and online multiplayer.



lockelocke said:

I don't really think free downloads are a necessity, but they don't hurt. I agree with @BigBluePanda's comment. What they need are demos (not temporarily available demos of select titles), bundles, and bargains. Specials, price drops. A DYNAMIC MARKETPLACE. it's not that hard.



FluttershyGuy said:

It's just wise business practice to occasionally do something like this, to bring in new customers who'll peruse other games and maybe buy. Especially in THIS economy, about the only way to get some people through the doors is to offer free items and heavy discounts.

The Wii Shop Channel may not be basically dead if they had ever offered such deals there (then again, they're almost pretending the whole console doesn't exist now). I'm glad to see Nintendo start to make some different moves. Too late for Wii Shop, but hopefully they'll have a strategy like this intact when Wii U Shop opens.



Hokori said:

@14 ah they are and more 23 free games for a span of 8 months
They are ExciteBike, Pokedex, 4 Swords, and the ambassador games



Thwiidscube said:

Sure, if the free games are good!

@Bubbab55: Well, if we don't get free games, I agree with you. Demos! C'mon Nintendo! There's WiiWare demos! Why not DSiWare or 3DSWare demos?



Aqueous said:

I like to think sales would help. However free games I think should be rarer but both would help the eshop



pntjr said:

Free is always a good thing. And recently Nintendo has been less stingy with thier money than Microsoft and Sony. We will definately see more free stuff in the future.



ToxieDogg said:

Since when was Zelda 4 Swords on the GBA 'originally a full retail title'?? It was only ever a free added multiplayer bonus game to the GBA version of Zelda: A Link To The Past. Your whole article is based on a misconception....Nintendo never charged for Zelda 4 Swords in the first place. Well, asides from the Gamecube version, but that was a much bigger stand alone game with all new stages anyway.



SteveW said:

I am surprised that the B&W Gameboy releases in the eshop cost more than most brand new games for IOS... okay, maybe Mario for $3.99 is acceptable but some of the releases posted so far should be free or 99 cents at the most.



Pj1 said:

It’s a yes to the Nintendo life question, even if I was running Nintendo at the time of the Mario All stars 25th Wii anniversary edition. I would have done it with a guide book for SMAS and I would have bundled it with Mario 64 (with a guide book), possibly with Mario Galaxy style graphics. They would have sold more than 2 million copies than they did with SMAS, it's weird what they're doing with Zelda though, I'm not knocking Zelda but Mario is a bigger franchise to Nintendo than Zelda. Isn't it surely, I still think they could release a Zelda special edition like they did on the game cube that would include a Zelda Twilight princess game. I suppose whatever Nintendo do won’t please everyone. I’m yet to see the new Robin and Zelda Williams on the tv but I’m looking forward to seeing them. Also I’m hoping to play the nes version of Zelda soon.



Token_Girl said:

Once the free games are downloaded, there's still little incentive to pick up any paid games if you have an iDevice or other smartphone. If you don't have an iDevice or Smartphone, it's probably because you're young and/or poor and don't have the cash - good luck getting broke people to pay $7.99 for a $.99 game.

If they're going to charge more, they have to offer more - sales, free updates/dlc, a shopping cart system to pay for games individually, and...something else...that's all standard on all smartphone app stores. The only advantage Nintendo has now is a lower hardware price point - but that comes without a lot of functionality smartphones have too, so I don't think that even makes up for it.

Don't get me wrong - Four Swords went above and beyond the call of duty and is an awesome way to thank fans. How would any not-fanboys learn about this game, though? I can't see it really being an effective loss leader. Of course, that just means it's a nicer move on ninty's part. Thanks ninty!



shinesprite said:

The first step is more downloadable games
There are literally thousands of 3rd party games out there for Wii and DS that are retail for the sole purpose of higher profits. I agree that Nintendo's download services are overpriced (weekly sales/bundles anyone?), but the biggest problem is actually overpriced retail games!

Assuming the total profits balance out, It is generally better for a developer to sell more copies of a cheap game, than less copies of a pricey game. More people are of the developer's work, and thus are usually more inclined to buy sequels/other games from the developer.



komicturtle said:

Is it really Nintendo's fault Zenonia costs $8?

I believe publishers are in charge of the suggested price. There are $2 games that are quality titles that are even better than Zenonia (value, quality, etc). Zenonia plays too much like a cell phone game with music looping 5 seconds, sound cut outs- I dunno, but that annoys me. And controls are kinda clunky.

Those Abyss games look like they play better and are only $2.



timp29 said:

I haven't put any money on the 3DS eshop yet, just picked up free stuff. Then again, so far they've pretty much put 95% crap original brick gameboy games on the shop.

Yes Nintendo, if you trickle out software, individual titles will have less competition... but if no one wants to download anything from the shop, people will forget it is there.

Sales are good. The occassional free item is good (if there is a suitable occasion). But without the content to make a trip to the shop compelling, what is the point?



Wheels2050 said:

Nice article, it's always good to see some constructive thoughts on the matter!

Free games would be nice, but they'd have to be careful - not getting any money for your game means you don't want to put too much into it, leading to low-quality games. If someone like Nintendo with plenty of resources to expend on a free game did it though, it'd probably be OK.

I much prefer the idea of regular sales, much like Steam on the PC. With things being regularly discounted it makes you want to browse through the cheap games section, and because it's always changing there's incentive to check it on a regular basis.

In contrast, I know which games I want from Nintendo's online stores. I never browse because:

A. The interfaces are horrible (although I hear the eShop is a bit better).
B. I know what price everything is anyway.

As a result, I open the store knowing exactly what I want to buy, do that and get out - not a lot of room for catching my eye with a game that's been discounted and as a result looks enticing to me.

Nintendo needs to do SOMETHING. If the Wii Shop had had a good-quality, free game near its opening - with plenty of marketing - to get people looking, and a good rotation of sales throughout its lifetime, I think things might have gone a lot differently for it. As it is, it was mediocre - some great games, but it never really got close to its potential.



47drift said:

I think what would really help is the ability to pay just as much as the game costs instead of $5-$10 increments.



TheGreenSpiny said:

Having sales would definatly benefit the eShop. Another thing Nintendo could do is give away free apps. Not games like Four Swords, but like the Mario Clock or the Mario Calculator. This can't be that expensive to make and would get people to log on and check out the shop.

Yeah, it seems rediculous that game on the eShop cost tens times as much as iOS.

@True Wii master: Yeah, they should have a WiiWare greatest hits line. A lot of those games sell cheaper elseware (World of Goo) and should have dropped in price by now.



IronMan28 said:

They should make their games cheaper and allow developers to price content how they want to...the average consumer perceives value based on what competition is offering (and in many cases rightfully so). PS2 games on PSN are $10 US....



bub166 said:

Nintendo? Free? Ha!

Seriously though, Nintendo's own content is pretty good. Chances are, if a game is only worth $.99, it's not worth my time. Four Swords is a different story, that is celebrating the 25th anniversary of one of the highest regarded franchises of all time.

Charging 8 bucks for a $1 game, however, is outrageous, and I agree that it very well could stop.



Slapshot said:

Free games will always be a plus on any system, but the true answer to fixing Nintendo's digital woes is weekly online store sales!



Aqueous said:

@TheDarkness - We have gotten 3 free apps on the eshop so far, pokedex 3d, nintendo video, netflix (free to download) and we are suppose to get filpnote studio and I think Japan had spotpass tv, something that also might come in time



slidecage said:

Nintendo could go another route as welll and do a MONTHLY FEE

for xxxx download all of the games you want.. then again they will need more then 2 games per week to make it worth while... say 8 games per month 6 of them will hit around 5 and 2 will be 2 meaning if you grabbed all 8 = 34 bucks..

I wouldnt pay more then 12 bucks for the sevice ... or they could do a BUY 3 get 1 free game....



eddypikachu said:

Oh Oh OH!!!! I have an idea! For kirbys 25th anneversary they should release kirby and the amazing mirror for the dsiware, but I think its unlikely that they will o that considering that they would draw people away from kirbys mass atack



BlazeX said:

Yes of course more free stuff would be much better but only for certain things like the ambassador program, give-aways like the 4 swords and demos and its these things I want to remain free.

We still need to pay for games but atleast we pay for something worth paying like a full game and not a 2 hour demo.



edcomics said:

I don't see how giving away free games would make people want to pay $5, $10, or $15 for another game. I think the big reason mobile games are so popular is not only that they're inexpensive, but that they're often bite-sized. Angry Birds is a perfect example. It's easier to play a few rounds of Angry Birds between classes or while waiting for a friend than it is to trudge through a dungeon in Shantae. Sure, you could cite Mario vs. Donkey Kong as a similar pick-up-and-play experience, but that game costs much more than Angry Birds on the iPhone.

I think Nintendo should offer cheaper games that feature in-game advertising, similar to Anarchy Online and its in-game billboards for random products. I wouldn't mind Pepsi logos in the background of a game I'm playing, or maybe full-screen ads during loading time if it makes the game more affordable. Monster Hunter Tri's loading screen could easily say "McDonald's - I'm Lovin' it," rather than the generic placeholder image. I know that's Capcom, but you get the idea.



sykotek said:

No one will see this, but instead of offering us free games, how about they stop holding back releases and offering us week after week of sorry @$$ed Nintendo downloads. That will surely improve cashflow.



C7_ said:

As a greedy gamer I say yes.
As someone who wants to see nintendo succeed, I'd say only if they're showcasing a feature, as people will buy less if the free games are common and actually better than a LOT of the other games out there.



BenAV said:

I'd pay a lot more for games on the 3DS just for the fact that it has buttons.
Most (not all) games just aren't the same without buttons, in my opinion.

And if I wanted to download iOS games then that'd require me to spend a load of money on getting an iPhone or iPad and that's never going to happen.
I have a notebook computer, netbook, portable gaming device with buttons and a phone with a physical keyboard so I see no reason to spend even more money for an inferior experience.



XCWarrior said:

I just want them to do sales on WiiWare and 3DS shop. Free is great, but even sales would be awesome. That's why I check Steam's store every day. There are sales.



R-L-A-George said:

I'd like a free game once in a while, though one of the things I don't like about 3DS shop is the pennies they took off and the fact most DSiWare thats not worth $2 is still $2.



Warioware said:

When does Four Swords stop being free? My 3DS is in for repairs so I may not get it back for a few weeks



Terave said:

I would agree about the quality of the software, but what did we get on DSi for free? Yeah, only some Flipnote, Internet browser and Transfer tool. (I'm not counting the 1000 free points). This was in like, 4 years. 3 titles is a little bit too less, isn't it? I mean, too much is not good either. But give us at least a few little free titles, which last a little bit. Oh, and sales would be welcome (they're way overpriced)



retro_player_22 said:

Yes, the original Four Swords is available as a retail title but even then it's still free. The actual retail price applies to A Link to the Past, you bought that, it came with Four Swords. Back then the problem with that was that you need another copy of the game plus link cable and some few buddies in able to experience Four Swords.



daznsaz said:

@76 yea they make loads from retail games and some people still try to tell them where their going wrong with the eshop etc. oh they should do sales because thats what so and so do.amazing input there.someone was saying bless the poor people who cant afford a smartphone.but they can afford to pay a proper price for a that class attack doesnt stand up either.i best have a nicotine lozenge



Capt_N said:

Firstly, I don't own a 3DS yet, so I can't judge the eshop.

I do own a Nintendo Wii, & I will say that demos are a good thing, sales are a good thing, & competitive prices are also a good thing. If you have a higher price, you better be ready to justify that price, & even then, some ppl won't pay the higher price, even if the product is superior than the competition.

B/c of pricing, my Wii shop purchases are based more on what I don't already own. Sure, I have d/led games I already own in other forms, but about 1-2, maybe 2, & 1/2 yr.s ago I stopped doing that, & only d/led what I wanted, that I didn't already own. I realized it was a wasteful practice otherwise.

Nintendo also needs to get into halfway decent advertising. For both retail, & digital areas.



RudysaurusRex said:

I like the point increments and not the dollars or cents because it is easier to allocate points and not end up having 3 cents left over.



Nintenzo said:

There are tons of games on the App Store that are 7.99 or more. That's pretty much everything that Square Enix publishes for it



Grackler said:

I think it's a great advert for the service and a lovely gift, but after getting an Android phone in the hopes of some cheap gaming, I'm hoping Nintendo keep costly quality over cheapo quantity in the main arena (outside of special event freebies, natch). There is so little in the way of good, reasonable or even not-complete-trash games on App Stores it's an epic quest just trying to find something to test out, and if the eShop (and co.) went the same way I'd stop browsing them once a week and stick to retail.



Highwinter said:

Discounts would help massively. Just because I don't want to pay £5 for a virtual console/DSi Ware game when it's first released, don't mean I wouldn't pay £2 a few months later.

That's the single biggest reason I own very little on my Nintendo systems, compared to XBLA, Steam and PSN.



SkywardLink98 said:

I'd like to see more free games, like 4 swords. Maybe something similar to the app stores should be done. 1/2 to 1/4 the game should be free, and the other portion should be payed for. Not all games, but some.



lalalalalalal said:

What happens when you have free games, is adds, cheapness, shortness, low quality, and so nintendo should only release free games sometimes (like zelda/mario/kirby anniversaries).



Bassman_Q said:

I love it when I get to buy a new pennywhistle with my spare penny.

But I think Nintendo should really take a look at what Sony's doing with their online marketplace and offer up weekly and monthly sales just like they do. There have been some occasions where I bought a game due to a sale (and positive reviews!) that I otherwise would not have.



jerryo said:

People who complain about Free Games are IDIOTS!

there i said it!

Free games are great! They should have them regularly! and also provide support for for in app purchases. I enjoy lots of really good free games on ipad!

Yes Ray! you are absolutely right! they should add demoslite versions.




Tare said:

I'd much rather prefer sales on a regular basis.
Steam is a perfect example of an electronic distribution system. Regular sales, price cuts, making a game free for a few days.

Nintendo's still playing catchup in this part simply because they neglect it.



N17r0 said:

So like if link is free, that means it sucks, and if Mario cost money its better. A resolution to all this would be to make everything free.



Henmii said:

"Is continuing in Four Swords' footsteps the answer to the $0.99 download mentality?"

No! While we all would love more free games from Nintendo, it is not neccesary. However, asking much more for a game that costs only 99 cent on other devices is just plain ridiculous! Nintendo: You can ask a steep price for games that are EXCLUSIVE to your systems, but games that are also on other devices should cost the same!!!



Nintendude92 said:

The problem with that is there are virtually no good free games on the iOS.. Sales are an okay idea, but I like Nintendo's firm stance on price. But the 3rd party not maintaining value, often having their games on both platforms with the iOS better and cheaper is troubling. Cut the rope and plants vs zombies being prime examples. Retail is a bigger issue. If you want $40 off me, you're really going to have to bring the bells and whistles these days-- there's incredible value on things like steam and other platforms that make it easy to ignore mediocre 3DS outings



Kitsune_Rei said:

I can understand them only doing free stuff for special occasion- the 4 swords was for Zelda's anniversary, and they also offered a lot of games to buy, so I think they were hoping the free game nostalgia would hook you into other games. Likewise I think the 3D Pokedex was insidious- our kiddo got a 3DS for Xmas, and she never cared about Pokemon before. Now after playing with the Pokedex, she wants the games and is obsessed with them! (I'd also really like to see an update to it to include other generations.)

Anyhow, I think Nintendo could still benefit from running sales at least, like a deal or two of the week like Xbox. With other iGames, I think they're just going for quantity over more money on each sale, which can really work. There are more people likely to drop $1 to try a game, than $5. But I think in general Nintendo makes it more expensive and difficult to release games on their platform?
I'm also highly for more videos and demos (though sometimes a demo can tell you if a game you were thinking of is terrible, so can backfire for them.)

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...