News Article

New Super Mario Bros. 2 Retail Downloads Account For 5% of Sales in Japan

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Demon Training hits 20%

Nintendo has recently taken its first tentative steps into retail downloads, providing gamers worldwide with the means to download New Super Mario Bros. 2, taking away the need for a box and game cart. In Japan that also extends to Demon Training, the Brain Training follow-up that encourages short bursts of play to help improve concentration. The question is, are there enough gamers willing to go digital?

Speaking to Wall Street Journal, and as reported by, Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata has shared details on what seems to be a decent start for retail downloads in Japan. Since 28th July retail downloads have accounted for 5% of New Super Mario Bros. 2 sales in Nintendo's homeland, while Demon Training figure is a thoroughly decent 20%; the latter no doubt performing better as it requires short, daily bouts of play.

In terms of what this means in actual figures, it's difficult to be too precise. The Enterbrain charts, released on a weekly basis, do not include eShop downloads in sales figures, but it's unclear at the time of writing whether download codes, purchased from retailers, are applicable. It's also unclear whether these percentages from Nintendo refer to both means of digital distribution or primarily the eShop: are Japanese gamers still buying code cards at slight discounts from retailers, or paying the full amount directly from eShop? These download codes aren't currently available on cards in the West, to our knowledge, so the option here is eShop at full price or a boxed copy.

In any case, the last reported total sales of New Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan were 790,732, while Demon Training has reached 98,088. In both cases, even with uncertainly about what's included in Enterbrain's figures, the retail downloads appear to be well into five figures. It'll be interesting to see if similar details are provided for Europe and North America in the weeks to come, and what those figures will say about retail download progress outside of Nintendo's homeland.


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User Comments (35)



DeMoN-13ruce said:

It's just an option you must have now mostly for retail anyway and digital is better after some years becuase stores then get rid of older games



BenAV said:

As long as I can only play downloaded games on one system, retail will always be better.
Plus I like the gold box.



ThomasBW84 said:

I reckon there'll be a 3DS update later in the year (it's been rumoured, anyway) that will move 3DS to an account system, rather than purchases etc being tied to hardware. If/when that happens, then I'd consider downloading certain types of games. Titles like Art Academy, Animal Crossing, or anything that may involve daily interactions.



Adhrast said:

Quick question: isn't there already some sort of account link?
I mean, with the Nintendo Club site... I bought NSMB2 off the eShop and it was there, along with all the other stuff I've bought.
But I assume that if I linked another console to that Nintendo Club account I wouldn't be able to redownload the games I bought, right?



SirSmugleaf said:

That's not that much. Its weird though, because about half of us at NL seem to want to download it, from the poll on the forums.



MeWario said:

@ThomasBW84 Absolutely agree! My 3DS mysteriously stopped working this year and I had it replaced under the warranty but I lost hundreds of dollars worth of games that I had downloaded. Until Nintendo bring out an account system I wont be downloading any retail games. If they do, i'll probably download the majority of retail games



RedYoshi999 said:

While it would be nice to have an account based system on the 3DS, it certainly isn't a deal breaker for me to download games. I'm not careless enough to lose or destroy my 3DS (in fact it rarely leaves my house) so I don't expect to lose everything I have. That said though, I got the retail version of NSMB2 for a few reasons (1. the gold box is awesome. 2. I got a pre-order bonus for it. 3. It's not the type of game that I really need to download as I won't play it regularly after beating it. 4. It's my birthday present so it would be kinda hard to get the download version as a present.)



Lin1876 said:

@ThomasBW84 Animal Crossing is about the only retail game I would consider downloading because it's so convenient to have sitting there. Everything else I'll keep beying from the shops unless the download is significantly (£10-£15) cheaper.



Chunky_Droid said:

@MeWario: Did you deal directly with Nintendo under your warranty? They should have transferred any info over to the next 3DS, they did that with my Wii that stopped working altogether, so I can't see why they couldn't do it there.



Araknie said:

Good, i this is a lesson for who said till now that when major games hit digital release they do better than retail. DD sucks and has to die now.



Spoony_Tech said:

I can verify that I bought a download code from GameStop. Not sure if anyone else is doing it though!



Rococoman said:

Only Nintendo can get away with selling downloadable games without any account system of any kind.

@MeWario That completely stinks, man. Did you try calling Nintendo? They claim to replace downloads for a stolen system, maybe they would do it for a broken one. Let us know if it works!



Lunapplebloom said:

Wow, that was a bit lower then I was expecting, but could be the fact of retail codes as well. I shall be watching to see how this goes in the other countries.



Hardy83 said:

Considering the restrictions of Nintendo's digital service, I'm really not surprised.

It's the worst service by far, especially when looking at the restrictions (lock to system, when you transfer purchase saves don't transfer, full retail cost, no discount, etc).



DarkEdi said:

The digital game is a steal. While you can buy this game in stores in Mexico at 600 pesos (50 dlls) in the eshop it is available only for 800 pesos!!! (65 dlls aprox).



DarkEdi said:

Another fact: it is unfair to pay a digital game at the same or higher price than the retail game. The digital doesn´t has box, blockets or even the work of designers, store, transporting, etc, so the sales are like 400% higher to the one who is selling the digital game. If the digital game cost like 20 dlls and the retail 50 dlls it could be more fair, but there are countries where Nintendo abuses of this download option (see my comment above).



EdEN said:

I got NSMB2 as a download since I had money in my account, and the double CN coins were a nice bonus. Since our 3DS are already linked to our CN account, Nintendo just needs to do an update were we can "deactivate" our 3DS should it go bad, and reactivate our downloads on a new 3DS with the new serial number. Simple as that.



EdEN said:

@DarkEdi: Sony gives you 10% discount when you buy Vita games digitally. For me, the double coins is a better bonus since I got 120 coins for only $40 (which is 3 times as much as a regular 3DS game will get you).



Spoony_Tech said:

@Knuckles I didn't know you could pre-order the download code?! I paid full retail price but I'm happy with that.

@MarioMan64 I would've just used eshop cards but since I'm charged tax because of where I live I would've had to buy 3 20$ ones since I was short by 29cents. I don't like to put anything on my debit card even if it's only pennies.



Windy said:

If they are taking away the need for a box and a cart shouldn't the digital download be cheaper than the Retail version? hmmmm....Very dissapointed I wont be buying either copy because of this silliness



Spoony_Tech said:

@Windy Nintendo's reasoning behind the price was to not under cut the retail stores. It does make sense in that respect however they stand to make a lot more money off the digital version over the retail. I don't see the price coming down anytime soon. Say like the next 4-5 years! Maybe a sale here and there but that's it. Nintendo games hold their value more then most other companies games do. Well at least the major franchises do anyways.



lanabanana said:

If i ever download a retail game, it will be Animal Crossing. Once I start playing it, i probably won't be able to stop , so I might as well leave that cartridge space for some other game.



Hokori said:

I DLed it to rase the bar for apps, NSMB2 as an app is a very big app, imagine MGS3D as an app, it'll make room for better games



Henmii said:

Ah, only 5%! Even Japanese people are clever enough to just go for the retail-version! That's good to hear!



Henmii said:

Hmmm, I don't think 5 Dollar/Euro is enough! Besides it already is in Europe!

Here in the e-shop it costs 45 Euro, while at retail it costs 50 Euro!

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