News Article

3DS Retail Codes Being Sold Through Online Retailers

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Codes only, no download card

While most of us wait until mid-August to see the Nintendo retail download machine kick into action, it's already up and running in Japan ahead of the arrival of New Super Mario Bros. 2 and Demon Training this weekend. It's now emerged, courtesy of Andriasang, that as well as download cards available from stores, online retailers will sell download codes that can be redeemed instantly. To summarise, this means there'll be four ways to buy these games.

  • The old fashioned way, by going to a store or online retailer and buying the boxed, physical game.
  • A download directly from the 3DS eShop.
  • Buy a download card from a retailer, which will include a download code to be redeemed within 150 days.
  • Buy a download code from an online retailer, not a physical card, which must be redeemed within 150 days.

These details are for Japan, but we'd be surprised if the same sales avenues aren't used worldwide. Andriasang is also reporting that some online retailers are charging more for codes than boxed copies, with Joshin Web selling the boxed version of New Super Mario Bros. 2 for ¥4,130, and the download version for ¥4,580. We'll see how pricing develops in the coming days and weeks.

[via andriasang.com]

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User Comments (25)

Rocketship

#1

Rocketship said:

Why charge more for the codes? I was hoping through this system online retailers could give discounts over the price Nintendo is charging on the eshop.

kingofe3

#4

kingofe3 said:

I believe it's a mistake or the retailers themselves set this for some strange reason.

ThomasBW84Admin

#5

ThomasBW84 said:

@kingofe3 It's strange, but I resisted reporting on the price issue in too much detail as, to be honest, things need to settle down before we can figure out whether retailers have, indeed, lost their minds.

3DSLUIGI

#8

3DSLUIGI said:

Ha! Yeah sure! Like I really see a lot of gamers going through the option as to getting a download code from someone like say probably Amazon or Toys 'R' US or any other online retailer for a 3DS game they're gonna download digitally through the eShop for more than what it's worth at retail price. Heck, back when I got 3D Classics: Kid Icarus near the end of March this year, I only paid $5 for a DL Code at GameStop physically. Yet another reason WHY I don't see myself probably EVER going for a Digital Download copy of a game.

RupeeClock

#9

RupeeClock said:

@Prof_Clayton
NSMB2 is only 370mb, not too bad all things considering.

I like the idea of getting to keep the game on my system at all times, for whenever I tired of whatever is stuck in my card-slot. Same goes for Animal Crossing 3DS.

ajcismo

#11

ajcismo said:

I know I'm gonna do the download thing once to at least try it. But man, there is still something to be said about the physical game and all that goes into it and its purchase. Boxart, unwrapping it, paging through the manual (yeah, right), arranging the shelf for its new arrival. Its like getting a record or cd, only more interactive. I know its technology and progress, but I hope the carts stick around for a while yet.

komicturtle

#13

komicturtle said:

I'm thinking Amazon would sell codes $5 or even $10 less if they start selling codes online.

Minny

#15

Minny said:

@komicturtle They will not be able to sell them for under $39.99 for a simple reason: Nintendo will charge Amazon $39.99 to sell such a product. This is why certain on-line retailers in Japan are selling the download codes for more than a physical copy of the game (to make money).

argus

#16

argus said:

If Nintendo is being very rigid about the price of digital downloads, then retailers aren't able to lower the price. This will lead to lackluster digital sales, and then Nintendo will think "I guess people don't want digital after all"... when really the problem is that physical copies are cheaper. :/

As far as I can tell, Nintendo is thinking of these download codes as a "gift certificate" worth a specific price. And of course, nobody ever lowers prices on gift certificates. But that's not what these codes are! Nintendo needs to change the way they think about this.

oninowon

#17

oninowon said:

I'm with ajcismo. I would like to experience the very first retail digital offering from Nintendo and will do it just this once.

Korbin64

#18

Korbin64 said:

I'd rather have the physical media. It's more reliable and if something were to happen to my 3DS I still have my games.

stucker1224

#19

stucker1224 said:

The Vita has been able to do this ever since launch. Its nice to see Nintendo stepping up though.

stucker1224

#20

stucker1224 said:

@argus actually you have to factor in the fact that they have to proccess the cases, physical game cartridge, and the factor of retailers, it is actually cheaper to sell digitally, anyways wouldnt a download code being offered through another retailer give the retailer the opportunity to price the object?

3DSLUIGI

#22

3DSLUIGI said:

You know, it's funny that people still don't get that they're risking the chance of possibly having their digital copy of the game get corrupted somehow by accident once they have the game downloaded for some time. I mean, how do we even know that we would be able to redownload the same digital version of a 3DS game we once paid for already digitally through the eShop. Whether the save file of the game gets created on the user's SD Card or not, it still raises the question with me. I still have my reasons for not paying for a Digital Download copy of a game UNLESS I really have to.

LeasTwanteD

#23

LeasTwanteD said:

What impact will this plethora of options have on discounts? Does it mean that games will become cheaper earlier (because when one of 'em gets cheaper most of the others have to follow suit)? Or will it be the exact opposite since shops need less space when they're selling more downloads instead of boxed copies? Personally i'd definitely prefer the former scenario since i'm waiting for price drops on some games (especially remakes). ;)


@Minny(#15): Reminds me of the situation with Nintendo Points cards. But at least some retailers made up for it and sold them for half their price later. :*

Token_Girl

#24

Token_Girl said:

@argus Can't agree with you more. People won't buy digital when they can get the physical cart for cheaper.

@3DSLuigi And what happens when you lose your cart or it breaks? You're even more SOL than if you had a downloadable version. At least with a downloadable version, you can send your 3DS into Ninty for repairs if it breaks or transfer your profile to a new console and just redownload the game for free. Something happens to the cart and all you can do is buy a new one.

I've also never heard of anyone having a downloaded game get corrupted. The only way I could see that happening is if you mod your system - but even then it seems like the whole console just gets bricked. Ninty's QA on downloadable titles seems to be just as strong as retail.

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