News Article

New Super Mario Bros. 2 to Kick Off Retail Downloads

Posted by James Newton

A while to wait

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has revealed that New Super Mario Bros. 2 will be the first 3DS retail game to be available for download.

Iwata spoke to investors at a financial results briefing and said that with user eShop connectivity at a good level — as much as 70% of 3DS owners in Japan and the U.S. have connected to the internet — Nintendo has a "strong feeling" that its digital foundations have been laid out. He said:

In principle, starting from this software [New Super Mario Bros. 2], the company will offer the software titles that Nintendo itself publishes in both packaged and digital download formats so that our consumers can choose the way to purchase them.

So, from August onward you'll be able to download or buy physical copies of Nintendo-published 3DS games.

Iwata also revealed that Nintendo is keeping retailers involved by allowing consumers to purchase their download games at physical locations, with stores generating a 16-digit code at the till point which can then be redeemed in the eShop.

In an unprecedented step for Nintendo's digital strategy, it is giving retailers control over how much they charge for these redeem codes for digital purchases, which means for the first time you can shop around to get the best deal on downloads. However, Iwata did have one troubling statement:

In terms of the fact that the company is offering the value of the software itself, we do not have an idea to act on such a belief as, “digital download software should be sold at a cheaper price point than the packaged software counterpart.”

Looks like if you want a good deal on your downloads, you'll need to use some shoe leather to find it.

[via nintendo.co.jp]

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User Comments (72)

grumblebuzzz

#2

grumblebuzzz said:

I have two issues with this practice: 1.) The file size would be outrageous (my guess is over 18,000 blocks) so it would be impractical for most people to download retail games to their SD cards. 2.) If there is no discounted price for purchasing a game digitally, what would be the point in doing so? Most of the time, digital games are cheaper since there is no cost in manufacturing hardware, cases, booklets, etc. If I'm going to pay the same price, I — and I'm assuming a lot of people — would much rather have a physical copy. But baby steps for Nintendo, I guess. It's a start.

AltDotNerd

#3

AltDotNerd said:

It's nice that they have both options instead of just one. But I agree with grumblebuzzz, it's not like Xenoblade Chronicles where the game will only be sold at an exclusive store, but at every major retailer. I really don't picture that big of a crowd that would want to download it.

James

#4

James said:

@grumblebuzzz Mr Iwata cites the example of Animal Crossing, where it'd be great to have it on your Home Menu all the time instead of switching carts. Anyway, they'll likely be cheaper to buy online — I envision online retailers like Amazon and Play getting on this bandwagon, as they're just generating 16-digit codes. I know that GAME and Gamestation in the UK have been doing something similar with PSN and XBLA for a long time with considerable success.

Aviator

#5

Aviator said:

Depends on the price and what game it is. If Animal Crossing were to be a digital game I would definitely buy it.

It's good to see Nintendo going this way.

grumblebuzzz

#6

grumblebuzzz said:

The code idea is definitely intriguing, especially since Nintendo is letting retailers price them independently, but the idea of entering the eShop from the comfort of my couch and paying $39.99 for NSMB2 just isn't that appealing to me. I could run down to Target or Gamestop and actually have a physical copy for the same price.

But like you pointed out, James, about Iwata mentioning Animal Crossing, some games, like it, would be great to have that convenience of not switching carts. I guess I'll keep an open mind till the games start surfacing and choose my stance on the matter once they do.

KaiserGX

#7

KaiserGX said:

Damn it! I just bought NIntendogs! That's a perfect title for me to have downloaded. Do you think it will become a download title, or only games released after August.

Chariblaze

#8

Chariblaze said:

"as much as 70% of 3DS owners in Japan and the U.S. have connected to the internet"

Such is the power of prompting a connection on setup.

James

#9

James said:

I think Nintendo will release digital versions of retail games bit by bit in a similar situation to what we have now.

Chris720

#12

Chris720 said:

I wouldn't want to pay the exact same amount as for the retail copy. And I'm guessing if you buy the packaged version you'll be able to download it for free... wouldn't this increase the likelihood of more pre-owned copies on the market?

I would love to have NSMB2 on my Home Menu at all times, but at what price? I know for a fact these games aren't going to be small and it looks like I'll have to pay the same amount as the retail version, except for maybe Amazon and Play.com.

Raptor78

#13

Raptor78 said:

@Grumblebuzz, Super Mario Land 3D fit on a 512mb cart so that would make the game between the size of a 256mb and a 512mb cart - approximetly between 2000 & 4000 blocks so I see no issue about downloading it to an SD and regarding price at least retailers can decide on the price which would over time force them to be competative especially when online suppliers will be able to offer them at a cheaper price and with an instant copy on your 3DS.

JustAnotherUser

#14

JustAnotherUser said:

It's already started but I'm going to say it anyway...
STOP MOANING!
You wanted Nintendo to improve their online services and now they are, you are moaning about it.
I'm taking a guess here but the production costs are probably nothing compared to other expenses such as PEGI and development cost.

I wont be digitally downloading retail games as I prefer physical media and the ability to play on another 3DS system.

ChosenOne25

#15

ChosenOne25 said:

This is fair, if the price would be lower for the download games, everyone would go buy them digitally. This way, the retailers would go bankrupt because nobody buys physical copies anymore, get it guys? Plus, a digital copy has the advantage of being always with you meaning you can carry multiple game around with you without additional cartriges. This is not unfair guys. Sony is doing the same.

NaturalGus

#17

NaturalGus said:

like it or not we are at the end of an era and trying to predict what will work best for the next generation is still a lot of guesswork. Nintendo is not known to "follow" any trends, they innovate and they set trends for others to follow. so having both digital downloads and physical media is a great way to test the waters. purists might oppose at first, such as myself, but this is how Nintendo always does it: They drag the videogame industry kicking and screaming into the next generation and we all love it once we experience it.

2-D

#18

2-D said:

I can see this working as long as the digital downloads come down in price as physical ones do. Steam works because stuff gets cheaper after a while, and they don't expect you to pay full price for a 4 year old game.

Nintendo didn't do this with any previous online attempt (save that single Sonic sale, I think?) and my friend regularly complains that XBOX Live Arcade still expects £45 for Modern Warfare 3 when you can pick up a disc for £15.

Chris720

#19

Chris720 said:

@ChosenOne25 This is true, very true. I just hope when retail copies drop down in price so do the digital copies. I'd hate to see a £15 retail version and the download version is still £30.

I prefer having physical copies as I know where they are and I can move them on. But you can't do this with digital copies, however I wouldn't mind the ease of keeping it on the HOME menu for rapid access. I just hope they'll keep both for some of us... best of both worlds. :D

JimLad

#20

JimLad said:

Paying the same price for no box or manual? no thanks.

At least it's a step in the right direction though. If they're allowing downloads of full games then maybe they'll have demos too.

Kyloctopus

#22

Kyloctopus said:

On the Vita, downloads are cheaper by $5.
Anyways, I find this very helpful, considering it took me a couple weeks to find me an Ocarina of Time 3D on shelfs.

GumbyX84

#23

GumbyX84 said:

I agree there should be a price difference between digital downloads and retail copies. Its not fair to consumers to pay "full" price for a game they do not physically own and that can be taken away from them (remember those wonderful licensing agreements we all have to sign our lives away to).

On a side not, I think they should allow us to legally rip/dump our retail games to our 3DS. Its probably not going to happen due to piracy and ownership issues, but it would be nice.

Prof_Clayton

#24

Prof_Clayton said:

Pretty cool idea, everyine is getting what they wanted, Nintendo style. "You want download games, and you want retail games? Here, have both."
No reason for complaints here, Nintendo is just trying to please as many people as possible.

Marios-love-child

#25

Marios-love-child said:

I always prefer to have Physical copies of games.

For one thing if I buy a game and it turns out that I dont like it, if a have a physical copy I can always sell it or trade it on so at least I can get something back for it.

However if I've downloaded it I'm pretty much stuck with it

Its not so much a problem with the Vertual Console games because these are classic games that in most cases I've played before, but if its a new game that i've never played before I'd much rather have a hard copy.

Birdman

#26

Birdman said:

Still buying a physical copy of NSMB2, just so I can trade it in if I ever want to.

SkywardLink98

#27

SkywardLink98 said:

I'd rather get a physical copy of the game, but if I can (somehow) get it cheaper, digitally, I might.
But now the question is how much memory does it take up....

Shworange

#28

Shworange said:

If they are going to start doing this then I hope there are a couple of changes to the eshop.
1. Let us know in the game description page how big the files are.
2. We need to have everything backed up by a user name. If my 3DS breaks, I don't want to run the risk of losing my games!

thefabfour64

#29

thefabfour64 said:

the 3DS only supports up to a 32gb sd card. I wonder if they'll have an update to go beyond that.

Raptor78

#31

Raptor78 said:

@JimLad
the eShop currently has retail demos on the 3DS, although I only think there is small selection. Resident Evil and Metal Gear were good examples of these.

SonyFACE

#32

SonyFACE said:

I will download NSMB2 if , and only if, the price is right. It should be at least $10-15 cheaper.

Reala

#33

Reala said:

Good to see nintendo giving the option, my only problem with it is you can buy retail games much cheaper later on, but nintendo's shopping channel and eshop prices seem to be set in stone no matter what so although I'd prefer it on download personally it'd probably pay to wait and get a physical copy instead, which doesn't really make sense to me since a digital copy is just software but oh well.

Also hope these can simply be bought on eshop without having to actually go to a retailer to get a code to participate, otherwise..... well that's just rubbish.

vdallos

#34

vdallos said:

The eshop is not available in my country or most latin america....how this will work?'(now i have the 3ds configuration as in US but it does not allow credit cards from Colombia)

Samholy

#35

Samholy said:

oh really. then i might consider getting it. im eager to see the price difference between retail and downloaded games.
i like my physical copies, but digital downloads have the huge PRO to be accessible all the time without swapping carts. god i wish my picross DS could be available in the eshop....

Aviator

#36

Aviator said:

@Reala If the past is anything to go by, Nintendo most likely will not drop the prices of their titles for quite a while.

Doma

#37

Doma said:

I couldn't care less for NSMB2 atm, but there are retail games i'd prefer to download instead of buying the carts. However, seeing as this is Nintendo and they've just spout this “value comes from the software” line, i expect the prices will be (and forever stay) at the supposed RRP of £40. Screw that..

Whopper744

#39

Whopper744 said:

I want the physical copy personally, but this seems like a good idea. People will download it. Could help make them more money easy.
It could take up way too much room though, and again, I prefer to have the physical game, with the box and stuff.

AddADashOfSalt

#40

AddADashOfSalt said:

I do have to agree, I don't want to se up my SD card. Yes, I knew this would have to happen. ALthough, I'll continue getting realy cartridges and discs because I am a collector and want the physical part of whatever I'm downloading. If I download Animal Crossing I get... nothing at all. If I get it in real life I'll have the box, manual, CN code, etc. I usually have all my games with me, it isn't THAT much of a hassle to take out and insert a new card. I'm thinking of buing one of those CN 18 cartrige holders, so I won't really need that. Plus, with the growing of the digital market, there will be more eShop only titles, so I'll save my SD card for those titles. i don't see too much convienience, just keep physical games out there Nintendo.

Morphbug

#41

Morphbug said:

Buying the retail version for =>$60 dolars, or the download version for =<$40?

Though choice ;)

MegaAdam

#42

MegaAdam said:

I think it's cool that they're doing this, but for me, I'll stick with physical games when I have the choice.
1. Can play it on more than one 3DS, so if mine breaks, I don't lose the game.
2. Physical cartridge will be cheaper as retailers put it on sale and eventually clearance or bundle it.
3. I like manuals.
4. I don't want to fill up my SD card with just a couple of games.

I don't download full games on the PS3 either if I can get them on disc.

grimbldoo

#43

grimbldoo said:

Look guys. Whenever you buy a digital copy of a video game (most likely via steam) you only purchase the license to play the game, so that is why it is cheeper (also because they are not manufactured). If Nintendo doesn't make you agree a contract stating that they can remove that game without refund for any reason, then buying it full price is reasonable.

grovertheblue

#44

grovertheblue said:

I am stoked to purchase some digital downloads of retail games. It will be awesome to have access to multiple 3DS retail games without having to change out game cartridges or have to carry around those cartridges. Just grab your 3DS go.

rjejr

#45

rjejr said:

Nintendo really rally really needs to come up w/ some new game games, I came in here thinkign this was about the new WiiU Mario game. Which would make sense to DL if the WiiU has some internal storage. It makes NO SENSE WHATSOEVER to DL a handheld game that you are going to have to - guess what - store on it's own SD card!! So, either buy a game card you can share w/ all your friends and trade-in or sell when you are done, OR, DL a game that will be on a SD card that you purchased but that SD card and game will be locked to your system and have no afterlife value what-so-ever. See PSP.
Not to say there aren't exceptions, every rule has exceptions, but overall, no.

Spoony_Tech

#46

Spoony_Tech said:

I know a lot of people have said this but I rather support my local store then to give Nintendo even more pure profit. Not saying Nintendo doesn't deserve it just saying if its the same price then I want to keep the local store in business.

Also what happens when the cost goes down on a specific game. Will Nintendo drop theirs!? I highly doubt it. Not till it hits a certain level years from now and is a greatest hits 19.99 version. Also I can usually save even more money if I wait and buy it used a couple of months down the line.

Yosher

#48

Yosher said:

As long as we can choose, I'm not going to complain, but digital better not be the standard!

HaNks

#50

HaNks said:

will keep buying boxed, physical copies unless download versions are sold at a good enough discount. and they probably won't be...

i mean how big is a 3ds cart to store?

mamp

#51

mamp said:

If it's already on a game cart I'm sticking to that, these retail games are too big and we can only use a maximum of 32 gigs on a 3DS so I'd rather just get them on game carts since I usually tend to play one game at a time anyways. The only way I'll buy digital copies is if: I can get them at a WAY cheaper price than the physical counterparts, if there's no way to find a physical copy at my local stores, or if I want that game so badly that I just can't wait a single second to go looking for it.

TruthBeTold

#52

TruthBeTold said:

It's kinda like digital downloads of CDs. I mean iTunes doesn't offer albums at that much cheaper than the retail version. But, as people have mentioned, there is something about owning a physical copy. We also don't want to put game sellers in a bind, as that wouldn't help Nintendo's current financial....situation. I think leaving it at the same price or just a FEW dollars cheaper is absolutely optimum. Also, about the data, I heard someone say something like 50 % of 3DS games are less than 512 mb? So it shouldn't be too big of a problem. And since storage size is such a foreseeable issue, I wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo made some bigger SD cards and advertised them with the advertisement of the new retail digital downloads. Or something like that. Anyway, this is awesome. Pretty stoked. Nintendo is like a great athlete, when they take a hit, they return stronger than before.

Knux

#53

Knux said:

This is great news! I'll probably just buy NSMB2 via retail, but I might actually download some 3DS games in the future (like SSB3DS for example). Hopefully, we'll also see DS games on the eShop eventually!

mamp

#54

mamp said:

I kinda figured Nintendo wouldn't lower the price on downloadable retail games I mean they won't even let other developers sell their games at a low price an example being cut the rope which is 99 cents on the App store and it costs $9.99 on DSiWare.

mamp

#55

mamp said:

@TruthBeTold
I hope they allow us to use bigger SD cards, didn't Nintendo say that at first, developers would only have access to 2 gigs to make games but eventually they'll be able to use 8 gig carts for game development.

Dodger

#56

Dodger said:

I'm more excited for this then I was. I might be moving to another country for a year or two (might) and this should let me still get new games with an internet connection without a different 3DS. If I do move then I'll get some extra SD cards. I'll get a larger SD card anyways.

Minny

#57

Minny said:

I think Nintendo moving into this area of digital down loads is a great step forward. This gives a platform for Miyamoto to release his smaller games he has spoken about recently. However, if the price structure is the same, it gives no incentive to purchase one format over the other. I also believe the 3DS has a large percentage of owners that are children, going digital would be a major problem, as they won't be able to purchase games as easily. Digital sales exclusively also tends to hurt those who play video games and do not have as much discretionary money and rely on trading games in to play new games.

MDee14

#58

MDee14 said:

I'm happy Nintendo is allowing both options. you can get games the traditional way or the new way.

I find the new way to be beneficial, as you don't have to worry about losing any game cards or need to carry any game cards. It would be a greater handheld experience that everyone is calling for.

You wouldn't have to worry about a game selling out as you can easily download it. Sometimes people don't get the game on day launch and might ignore about getting it later.

Plus SD cards are cheap now, you can easily get a 32GB card for $20-$30, and it SD cards will always get cheaper, which would only benefit us at the end.

But of course this is my opinion.

MDee14

#59

MDee14 said:

@mamp that was the developers decision. A game called Bird Mania 3D is going to be $2. Therefore it's all on the developers

MeloMan

#60

MeloMan said:

It's been said millions of times already here in different ways, but for me, it will boil down to this: How much does it matter to me that I "keep" a downloadable retail game versus sell it back to Gamestop if I had purchased a digital copy. It would be great if we were at the point where we could sell digital media (like if I bought it through a Gamestop digital download, I could sell it back through there, or, if I bought it direct from Nintendo, then sell it back to them toward points/coins/$, etc. toward another Nintendo direct download purchase). Even I can't believe what I'm typing, but this digital stuff opens so many avenues, but leaves so many questions and room for improvement.

My current gaming style is I Gamefly everything unless it's a game I intend to invest constant hours into (Read Kid Icarus: Uprising for it's online, MK7 for it's online, etc.) then I will buy it and keep it til I get sick of it or a sequel comes along. So, let's say MK7 was downloadable as an option-- here I am, playing it for hours and hours and hours, and then Finally here comes MKWiiU. Well, I'm done with MK7 at that point but... I have to just... erase it, or keep it forever, but I get no return on investment. As the example that people have used already, if it's a game that is constantly evolving (I'm making Animal Crossing a hopeful example), then I will download it and have it for a long long time... but then again, one day ACWiiU will come, and now I'm stuck with a non-sellable AC3DS. Meh, I'm sticking to physical til further notice :p

TrueWiiMaster

#61

TrueWiiMaster said:

It's nice to see it offered, but I still doubt I'll take advantage of it often. Though Animal Crossing available at any time from my menu sounds awesome, I would still probably get the cartridge. That way, no matter what happens, I always have a copy.

BulbasaurusRex

#63

BulbasaurusRex said:

In addition to the memory issue, this will also hurt the second hand market. You can't sell or buy used digital copies of games.

Personally, I prefer having the option to wait a while and buy a game used, or being able to get at least some money (or store credit) back if I buy a game I don't like.

3DSLUIGI

#68

3DSLUIGI said:

I'm the kind of person who rather buy my game physically instead of getting it in digital form. Not that I'm against the idea of Nintendo deciding to go ahead and start selling their games to the public via download. But I rather not go through the process of buying a game in digital format, then one day find out that the game is corrupted and can't be played anymore, Whether or not I have the darn game saved to an SD Card would mean nothing because to me, it would just load up a corrupted game. In the long run, I couldn't give a DAM if the download is cheaper that a physical copy or not. I rather get my games in person at a game store.

Rect_Pola

#69

Rect_Pola said:

No thanks, I want that in plastic. Oh, and when you get around to offering the downloads of other past Marios, YOU DON'T HAVE TO ATTACH "MARIO BROS" TO EVERY ONE.

1takauchiha

#70

1takauchiha said:

I won't be buying the game, or any retail games that make you download. I prefer the cases, boxes, and whatever. Where's those awesome special edition cases then? Or the cool pre order bonus? Not to mention how much room some would take up on an SD card. Most people don't have the money for such a size they'd need to keep all the games on one card. I'd end up with a bunch of smaller sized ones, and it'd be exactly the same! I'm very disappointed in this move.

Dreadjaws

#71

Dreadjaws said:

I have to say, digital downloads would be a blessing for me. The price for retail games in my country is too big (at least double the price than in the US), so being able to purchase a game in my country at the same price as retail in the US would be a major advantage to me.

Now, I definitely need to stock up on SD cards, but those are cheap.

Henmii

#72

Henmii said:

"In an unprecedented step for Nintendo's digital strategy, it is giving retailers control over how much they charge for these redeem codes for digital purchases"

If you download, do it without a "proper" shop, because you know they will charge to much for a download-title, just as some retailers did with the nintendo points cards!!

"In terms of the fact that the company is offering the value of the software itself, we do not have an idea to act on such a belief as, “digital download software should be sold at a cheaper price point than the packaged software counterpart.”"

Just as I feared: Downloads will cost as much as "physical" games. Buy the games in physical form as much as you can! Only download when you can't find the title anywhere, or when it is a weaker title that you want at a later date!

But there is a catch: So far it will only count for Nintendo published titles! Hopefully it will count for all titles in the future! Because obscure third-party games struggle the most!!

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