News Article

Nintendo Download Sales Increase With 3DS

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Online connectivity rate also on the rise

With plenty of information coming out of Nintendo's recent financial results and briefings, one particularly positive outcome is confirmation that the company's download sales are increasing for the first time since 2010. Considering the fact that Wii and DSi are on the decline due to newer systems, the turnaround can undoubtedly be put down to the big online push that's been given to 3DS and its eShop.

In the 2010 financial year, the last peak of download sales, the half-year total was just short of six billion Yen; there was then a sharp drop-off in the following two years. For the first time since 2010, the recently announced half-year download sales show an increase to around five billion Yen, short of the peak but a welcome increase over the 3.25 billion Yen of sales during the equivalent period last year; you can check out the graphic below.

In terms of retail downloads, there are some reasonably impressive figures to show that their recent introduction is contributing useful sales. Of the retail downloads available, digital purchases account for between 3-10% of worldwide sales, depending on the title, while releases such as Brain Age: Concentration Training account for around 15% of total sales in Japan; Animal Crossing: New Leaf will be apparently be marketed as a title particularly suitable for download. Interestingly, with New Super Mario Bros. 2 as the reference point, US 3DS owners were the most active in buying that particular download, followed by Japanese gamers, with the European and Australian sales being "relatively small" in comparison.

Finally, Nintendo also reported that the percentage of 3DS handhelds connected online is also on the increase, with the worldwide ratio at the end of September being 72%, up 10% on a year before. The connection rate in Japan and the US is now over 80% and continuing to rise, though as with download retail sales Europe is lagging behind with a "relatively mild" rate of increase.

As Nintendo continues to take important steps in download gaming, these results do show that progress is being made. We wouldn't say that these figures represent a huge success, but they're undoubtedly moving in the right direction.


From the web

User Comments (24)



Squashie said:

That's brilliant news! I am a huge fan on the eShop and I am very pleased to see how it has developed so much!



Nardar said:

e-shop has been a big hit. It will only get better when the account system comes.



Linkstrikesback said:

" Interestingly, with New Super Mario Bros. 2 as the reference point, US 3DS owners were the most active in buying that particular download, followed by Japanese gamers, with the European and Australian sales being "relatively small" in comparison."

Well duh. I wonder why the only region where they priced the games at a significant markup over the base retail price is the only region where people didn't want to buy downloadable versions,



Boo_Buster said:

@Linkstrikesback I'd be more happier that the way your government works allows you to purchase physical copies of games and consoles themelves for less than the Japanese and Americans if I were you though. The price of games is the exact same price at Gamestop as they are at Walmart as they are in the "mom and pop" stores in the US (save for used games and store sales) they do not combat for lower prices like they do in the UK (which I think is awesome for those in the UK, as it leads to better deals for you, the consumer) Slashing the price on the eShop would undercut those stores and quite possibly piss them off. I definitely agree with you though, this is just how I think Nintendo views it. Basically, they don't want to cut the prices on the eShop in Europe just because of the way MSRP is handled there, where it seems to be thought of as just that: a suggestion



C-Olimar said:

Of course the number of retail downloads is low in Europe. They want £40 each game. Lunacy.



alLabouTandroiD said:

Much deserved for the eShop exclusives. Best downloadable games on a Ninty platform since the high-time of WiiWare.
If they gave the multiplayer VC games wireless support they'd even get a lot more money from me. Or if they'd only make you pay a fraction of the price you paid for games you already have downloaded on your Wii. Or if they had more GameGear games or supported even other handheld platforms.
So much potential.



Nekketsu3D said:

Not surprisingly, the Eshop is far more attractive in a laptop than a home console that is about to be discontinued as the Wii. I hope that will finally make nintendo release more 3D Classics games and Virtual Console for U.S. Eshop ¬ ¬ (Kunio-Kun/Double Dragon included!)



Hokori said:

@Nekketsu3D Wait? A laptop has an eShop? Or does the eShop have the same online as the wii, therefore it'll be discontinued unless they release more 3D Classics? Sorry that post confused me???



Zach777 said:

Dear Nintendo,

Please allow us to download all of your games for free that we bought in the last year retail because you didn't have your digital push underway and we don't want to spend twice as much just to get the same thing we purchased on the eShop.


Everyone who is probably also an Ambassador.



Cengoku said:

I expected more sales. 3_4 years ago, I bought 3 dsiware games and 5 years 3 wiiware but I said m'y self 'what' s with this crappy browsing system and lack Of memory? Yok can't play games that you copy on your sd card'.. But now eshop has changed everything. I love browsing therefore. There's Just one problem left for me: ehat the Hell we can still not play dsiware games directly from the sd card? I knowttherefore was à previous problem with dsiware hack but Just because Of that, I dont buy dsiware games besides I am interested on some and sorry, copy games onto the sd card, I dont like it. Please resolve this on your next firmware update Ninty



Sun said:

Nintendo Life: 'We wouldn't say that these figures represent a huge success, but they're undoubtedly moving in the right direction'.

And I wish they were much worse so they do not charge us 45€ per download + 8€ for a few more levels. Ridiculous expensive.



Linkstrikesback said:

What? Even for retail versions,we pay significantly more than Americans. As for your claim that prices don't drop over time on retail games, a quick browse of shows that is blatantly untrue.

Even worse, the games in Europe are above the price Nintendo advertises on it's major TV/print adverts. The advertisements all say Around £35 ($56). Virtually all retailers actually sell brand new games for £30 ($48). Nintendo sells them on the eShop for £40 ($64). Very few people are likely to spend that extra £10/$16 for a more limited version that alos means they don't get any of the bonuses from retailer reward schemes, which often allow even more money off.



Tobias95 said:

I like to buy games on eshop so fare my eshop retailers are New Super Mario bros. 2 and Professor Layton and the miracle mask, two of my favoirte 3ds games ^^ as long as you continue like this and dont spam the eshop with stinkers, i will buy your games online. And I save mony this way, the stores has higher prices



Shiromikio said:

Well, considering the games available in each region are different, some numbers could've been higher if they released a few of those much-anticipated games in the other regions. NSMB2 only made it to eShop this year. As for US leading on NSMB2 rather than Japan, the latter probably has other titles to keep them busy (Culdcept, CalcioBit, etc.) than NSMB2.

One of the main reasons I haven't chosen downloads to retail when both are available is because of the downloads being tied to one device. If I were to get an XL and keep the regular 3DS, I'd have to pay to have the same games downloaded on both devices. The retail version allows me to switch between devices and includes cover art. If they address some of the concerns then they could see more people switching to download, even if there's a segment that'll always prefer retail and collect the cartridges.

As for online connectivity rate, people might actually make an effort to connect if they provided more reasons to do it. Little digital freebies via Spotpass (say adding a Mii accessories store to the Mii Plaza and downloading new accessories every season that you can unlock with play coins), overhauling their Nintendo Video app (which has a lot of potential but right now has very limited and boring content), and so on.

So yeah, slowly getting there.



Hokori said:

@Zach777 It would be cool if they did that as well as DS games, including import DS games, I know I'd put Ouendan down for sure also make those DS games connect to the new Nintendo network, imagine Metroid Prime Hunters on 3DS online I played it for hours on my DS Lite, and I'd do the same again



JuanitoShet said:

Sweeeeiiiit! Glad to hear things are turning for the better. Much-deserved. The eShop is awesome.



Ultranintendofanboy said:

eshop games are becoming very good but Retail games in eshop suck they are friggin expencive, they should be cheaper! for example no cartridge needed wich makes things way more cheaper, no pacage=cheaper,no manual=cheaper....
I dont get what is the problem in selling at least 20€ cheaper there is no production cost it is retarded to sell something online for the same retail price, I mean look at steam they are the perfect example of that

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