News Article

Talking Point: Nintendo Takes One Step Forward, One Back With Retail Downloads

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

It's not quite right, yet

During last week's Nintendo Direct broadcast in Europe, one eShop announcement that received relatively little fanfare was confirmation that a number of additional first-party titles were being made available on the platform. These titles stretch back to the earliest months of the system: now available on the European eShop for download are Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and Star Fox 64 3D, with all four set to arrive on the North American store on 18th October. We also know that all future first-party retail games will have a download option, and that Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion will appear on the eShop.

More games means more choice, of course, and overall we'd say that Nintendo is making steady, sensible steps, something that we've already argued in an initial look at the company's early retail download offerings. By making these titles available for download Nintendo is opening up another obvious avenue to raise awareness of these games, particularly useful in the case of Ocarina of Time 3D and Star Fox 64 3D, with both titles released when 3DS was struggling and seeking a bounce from a surprise price-drop. It was the two Mario releases that truly took off during Holiday 2011, so it's good to see these earlier titles have a second airing; they may be remastered versions of Nintendo 64 titles, but there are sure to be 3DS owners that will be intrigued when they spot them in the eShop.

The addition of the upcoming Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion is also very encouraging, as it suggests that third-party publishers are starting to edge towards offering retail downloads as well. The slowly developing list of available games is including new titles and those that have been around the block, and an optimistic and hopeful future will bring a number of less-common or hard to find titles to the service. We've spoken on various occasions about the benefits for publishers to work on download titles and save distribution costs, and the same principle could apply to retail games that aren't widely available on store shelves. There's some complicated business to be done, such as determining the division of sales between Nintendo as the host retailer and the publisher, but Mickey's upcoming dalliance with the eShop shows that progress is being made.

Those are the positives, but once again we must address the negatives to this proposition. The first is the issue linked to the system's architecture, that purchases are tied to a machine and not an individual's account. While system transfer tools resolve the issue if you switch handhelds permanently, losing your device will see your games go with it, which could be devastating if you build a substantial download library. This could prove to be a temporary issue, as we know that the Wii U's Miiverse platform will be incorporated in a future 3DS system update, and it's expected that a future update will also enable user accounts on the handheld in order to match up with the home console's setup. The moment your download purchases are linked to a user account that's in the cloud and not essentially hard-wired to an individual system, that complaint will go away.

The second, bigger issue, is one that will prove to be tricky for Nintendo to solve: pricing. The new titles are all a cool $40 in North America, and a rather lofty £39.99 — the maximum retail price — in the UK. Of course part of the choice with downloads is whether the convenience of playing without a game card is worthwhile, but the maximum cost does serve as a genuine deterrent, despite the offer of double Club Nintendo points or a free retro game. While Freakyforms Deluxe: Your Creations, Alive! and New Art Academy are less expensive to download due to their UK price-points, it seems unrealistic to charge £39.99 for Star Fox 64 3D, for example. There are reasons for this, of course, and though its a fine title we'd wager that not many would argue that this represents a fair price.

The problem for Nintendo, as the company itself and many others have highlighted, is that it can't afford to compete and undermine valued retail partners. It's a dilemma facing retail downloads on a variety of platforms, with organisations as diverse as EA, Microsoft and Sony seeking to make their download offerings compelling without ripping business away from the indispensable retail market, and being obliged to sell at high prices as a result. By pricing high, Nintendo can establish the line that it's merely an alternative on a take-it-or-leave-it basis, making no effort to compete on price and offering rewards that some simply won't care about. Just because it makes business sense doesn't mean that it works for consumers, however, and the prospect of paying more for a download — on a system without a user account system, don't forget — is a decision with a lot of doubts and provisos attached.

If Nintendo is, perhaps rightly, anxious to keep retailers on board, then it needs to get them to the forefront of its retail downloads. Japan already has various download code cards on sale in stores and online, but the presence of these options in the US and Europe is either sketchy and uncommon, or even non-existent in some areas. If the only way we can get competitively priced downloads is through retail partners, Nintendo needs to make it happen as quickly as possible. Everyone wins: Nintendo sells more downloads and gets a cut, retailers have an opportunity to sell more games but with less physical stock, and the choice between downloads and physical game cards becomes more attractive. Much like the deal to bring Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion to eShop, this will need work to organise the practicalities and iron out agreements, but it's fundamentally necessary if retail downloads are to become a major part of the system.

Considering its relatively belated entry into retail downloads, Nintendo is taking positive and small steps in the right direction. Confirmation of previously released titles arriving retrospectively provides hope for a substantial catalogue in the future, while a third-party title joining in is encouraging. For that step forward though, limited availability and premium prices still represent the biggest problem and a step back on each occasion when a release arrives without a solution; also, the sooner a user account system is provided, the better. Retail downloads are about choice, yes, but the choice could be so much more compelling.

What do you think about the current state of play with Nintendo's retail downloads? Are you happy with what the company has done so far, or do you think changes are needed? Let us know in the comments below.

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User Comments (101)



Gridatttack said:

Its nice to see more downloadable titles, but honestly, digital downloads doesn't appeal to me at all.
Some kind of cloud storage, or the ability to have some kind of thing that tells that you bought a digital game would be good, since you could download it again in the given case you somehow lost your 3DS.



Dazza said:

I like the idea of downloading retail games on my 3DS personally, but it just doesn't make much sense at the current prices. I got NSMB2 delivered from Tesco Entertainment 2 days early for just over £25. As something of an informed consumer, I couldn't really justify coughing up £39.99 to download one of these games.

Not to mention your point about the download not being tied to a easily transferrable account. It's great to see Nintendo take this first step into retail downloads, but I think they've got a long way to go yet. Sony are way ahead of the game in this aspect with Vita.



Geonjaha said:

There are just too many downsides to really consider digital downloads if you've put thought into it.
Only being able to play your games on one system, not being able to lend people games, not being able to resell games, having to pay more despite not getting all the physical extras, dangerously having every one of your game in one place, having less room for eShop games, etc.

The only real upside being that you dont have to change the game card - which isnt much of an issue if you just buy a case to store all your games in. Sure it still means you have to change the game card - but once you fill up an SD card with retail games you'll need to do the same thing anyway...



Tobias95 said:

Here in Norway I am lucky enough because its cheaper to downloading em then it would be if I bougth em at the local highpriced gamestop



Hokori said:

What really surprised me is Epic Mickey is a digital DL considering Sony had a though time getting BBS on the GO because of disney, glad to see Epic Mickey as the 2nd 3rd Party title



Ryno said:

Not interested in downloading retail games. They day that is the only option is they day I stop buying new games.



SkywardLink98 said:

The pricing situation in the US isn't too bad, as Nintendo games never get price drops unless they become Nintendo Selects.



idork99 said:

I can see this working for Nintendo when it comes to impulse shoppers. Many of us here on the NL comment boards are genuinely knowledgeable about the games we play because we READ the reviews and get a sense of how people are receiving a game. But there are also gamers out there who HATE to READ reviews and usually go into a video game shop with no knowledge and wanting to play the latest and greatest. With the eShop, Nintendo has taken notes from other on line retailers and have offered game ratings with the twist that you have to play the game for at least an hour before one can personally give it a score. With that said, impulse buyers and gamers with no desire to read reviews like to see which games are hot by looking at their average rating. If someone has money burning a hole in their pocket and have the desire to play one of the latest best games the system has to offer, most of the time they'll buy the highest rated game impulsively, with no pressure from the sales person at the retail store. If the game is retail only, it could disinterest the buyer if the game is not available immediately for download. The downside to all this of course is going to be the pricing. I see Nintendo always offering the downloadable games in the eShop at MSRP.



IsawYoshi said:

@Tobias95 I thought the same thing. The only store in my town is a Brio store, and all the games there cost 599kr (104 US Dollars). Pretty expensive! But the retail games in the e-shop is at 349kr (I think), witch is 60 us dollars. In other words, all download for me



SanderEvers said:

@Gridatttack: You can always redownload the software on the same 3DS. (Except unless if you erease your eShop account (which will destroy your purchase, so DONT do that) or you transfer to another 3DS.



Garo said:

I think the prices for the e-shop releases are decent, excluding the older titles which you can currently get cheaper from retail. Still, I really appreciate the ease of downloading the games and not having to switch cartridges, so if I'm going to buy a game at release in the future, I'll probably get the e-shop version if it's available.



Squashie said:

Prices are certainly a major concern. I am not prepared to pay £40 for a game that I can pick up for half the price online. Also, file sizes may be a problem. This could result in alot of SD cards. And in that case, wouldn't it just be worth buying an actual cartridge with the game on.

Still, this is a brave new move for Nintendo. And they have to start somewhere. I do look forward to seeing download titles progress.



NintyMan said:

The prices aren't so bad, but the big data sizes turn me off. The idea of digital downloads never appealed to me much anyway. I prefer to get the hard copy that I can hold with my own hands that would not get easily damaged or deleted. My internet connection is also not the best, so I wouldn't like to spend an hour or more downloading just one game.

I'm happy that others that can get it easier can do it, but there are those like me that prefer the physical copy and to have less stress.



Tobias95 said:

@IsawYoshi Yeah I agree, My future games will be downloaded exept those I am gonna get to christmas and my Birthday. Too bad I allready own the big titels, moste of em at least. On the other hand, we did realy deserve this since we dont have club nintendo here so we dont get a singel extra star point.



Philip_J_Reed said:

I don't mind the pricing, and rarely sell my games back, so I'm pretty happy with this. My main decision in buying digital vs. retail will be whether I think there's a benefit to having it on my system at all times. Crosswords Plus? Yes! Star Fox 64 3D? Prrrrobably don't need that everywhere I go.



ecco6t9 said:

I don't trust this, nor do I see Nintendo lowering prices on "bad" games.
Steel Diver and Pilotwings pop up on sale for $5-$10 from time to time. I do not see Nintendo allowing games like that to be $5 as they would rather save face and remove the game at $40.



Ren said:

weird policies over at big N. they've always been pretty profit focused with good reason but they're not exactly the only option for that stuff anymore so they'll have to just keep learning the hard way.

Be nice if I could get the download of my starfox and zelda 3d games after registering my physical copies since my train fast pass seems to have wiped the cards clean through my pocket!
All that card space and functionality now, seems like it's a no-brainer to start offering an "install" option or special download deals and such. They could generally lower prices all together especially on older games, since older games/puzzles and phone games are really fighting for the same space now but all the nintendo stuff stays so pricy, it's an old fashioned model and they'll just loose the nerdy adult users until they learn. I won't be paying 40$ for anything I download ever, unless it's some real computer application.
If they were cheaper I'd be enticed to download more stuff more often and end up spending about the same; They have no sales person over there that has figured that out after all these years?



shinpichu said:

Lower the prices, and implement an account system so we can share games between multiple machines. And let us share VC games between the Wii/Wii U and 3DS so we don't have to buy them all over again just to be able to play them on a different machine.



Boo_Buster said:

After reading people's responses: It seems as if prices are a main concern to the UK, and occasionally Americans. I think that is easy to explain as electronics aren't as expensive in those regions as they are in say Norway. I would have to agree with this, being American, as I can go and get the physical game copy at a store for a possibly less, but never more, price. The main upside to this way of thought is having the game on ones 3DS without having to bring the cartridge everywhere. To those who live in countries where it is harder therefore more expensive to acquire these physical items downloading is most definitely the better route, even with the inherent risks such as losing ones system while not having a user account. I think those in the UK and the US would agree, lower the digital prices and we would be more apt to buy a retail release digitally on the eShop. Even $5 less would be nice



Shane904 said:

@Philip_J_Reed I have to agree on that there are some games I would prefer to have on my system, and some not. Crosswords Plus is a good example I must say.

The price for me is a bit of a turn-off. Since here, they're usually the same (or even more!) for a download, I don't like that. If I have to get a new 3DS because mine actually breaks, there's not really anything I can do.



Samholy said:

highly considering mario kart 3ds as a digital download.
but i also highly fear that if my 3ds dies, i wont see it again on another 3DS.

they really should do like sony and mane the eshop store available on any machine. this way it will save so much stress and trouble when switching machines or buying a new console.
They have their nintendo club going good, why not simply registering games there and receive a code of some sort to download it again in these cases. it doesnt require much coding else than a menu on the eshop. and its partially done already with the redeem code menu.

anyway....mario kart 7 always ready to launch



goldgin said:

You are being too kind NL, Nintendo's online pricing is plain ridiculus. I was excited to see the offerings after the NDirect only to discover, as you mentioned, maximum prices on yr old games. A quick search on amazon will get me Mario Land or art academy for less than 20, and they include an efin printed manual!!!



Arianabtd said:

I don't mind the price. But I still will probably just buy Retail games in the store. I like holding the game and putting It in my system.
I have a bunch of old DS game cases and it so happens that my 3DS games fit in them! So i'm glad they are giving the option. But I'm gonna stick with what I have always done.

GameStop here I come!



Cipher said:

I can absolutely see why people don't like the prices of digital versions, but in my personal opinion, I will happily pay £39 for Mario Kart 7 or Animal Crossing. I know it sounds like laziness, but it's just so convenient to have them right on the system. It'll guarantee I'll play them an awful lot more, and for considerably longer, than if I just had the packaged versions. I'll more than likely do exactly the same when nintendogs + cats comes to Nintendo eShop as well.

I appreciate that it's unfortunate that Nintendo has to stick to the RRP, and that retailers in the UK almost always immediately undercut that RRP by about £10, but the very best way they can combat that is by releasing as many download cards in retail stores as quickly as possible.



Hokori said:

@Cipher My reason for eShop DL is 10 years from now we won't play 3DS games on our new system but we will play all our DLs since I don't see Nintendo having a weaker online then DSi-3DS Transfer (I could be wrong though)



HaastMK7 said:

it is pretty expensive but at least the e-shop is making some progress.
I am now happy they have more downloadable retail games!



DarkEdi said:

They need to fix very often the prices. A weeks ago i bought the retail version of Star Fox 64 3D at 30 dlls (400 pesos), maybe in digital it could cost 150 or 200 dlls to be a choice.



AyeHaley said:

A 5% discount would be better. 10% for remakes like Starfox and Zelda. I'm sure a slightly lower price will be better in the long run. Still on the fence if I should buy my Wii U launchgames on eShop or via retail. I like boxes but I don't like swapping games.



WesCash said:

Great article with great points. The price thing is my main concern. There needs to be an incentive for me to buy digital, but at the same time I understand that Nintendo can't just undercut the retail stores.



Kid_A said:

At the very least the N64 remakes should be bargain priced. Considering Ocarina of Time and Star Fox 64 are both available on the Wii Shop Channel for $10 a pop, it would be insane to charge 4x the price for slight graphical overhauls.

The reason I often buy music digitally is that it's cheaper. If it cost just as much as a CD, I wouldn't bother. CDs I'm really excited for, though, I'm willing to shell out some extra cash to have a physical item. Selling downloadable retail games for say, $10 cheaper, would cause me to buy more games. More games sold means more money. This isn't hard, Nintendo.




Maybe Nintendo will give 3ds owners something similar to the wii u digital deluxe promotion for those of us who download a lot. I plan on picking up mariokart Zelda and starfoxn On the 18th



bezerker99 said:

There is no incentive for me to download these games at same price as retail. Cartridges and the boxes they come in are cool, imo. If Nintendo wants me to D/L these games they should lower their prices on the eShop.



Grodus said:

I'm fine with the no account thing since I haven't even scratched a game, and system transfer will let me put it on a new console. I'm in U.S., so price isn't an issue. My only problem is memory space. I have a flimsy 4GB SD card, so that's gotta change. That is my assessment of the cons of DLing.



k8sMum said:

@thomas: are you saying that only those 3DS users who also have a WiiU will be able to have an account that isn't hardware based??



6ch6ris6 said:

biggest problem is:
downloading games like nsmb2 costs 5€ more than buying it from your local store.
W H Y ? ? ? !!!



Zaphod_Beeblebrox said:

I'm very interested in retail downloads for the Wii U because my Wii's disc drive has died after four years of heavy use (whereas I can still play WiiWare and VC games). But I agree the games need to be tied to an account in case your system is stolen (it happens). You should be able to revoke access to the games on the stolen system and grant access to your new console.



IsawYoshi said:

@Tobias95 I actually is a member of the UK club nintendo Never uses it though. But I do not understand why nintendo won't make a club nintendo for us Scandinavians.

PS: I said in my last post, brio is the only store in my town, but I meant that it was the only store that sells games. But I mostly buy games at elkjøp when I am out of town



Mart2006 said:

Considering the fact that I rented Star Fox 64 3D and beat it in a single, hour-long sitting says it all in my eyes. Yes, I know there's a lot more content hidden away in the different paths, but definitely not £40's worth.

I reckon Nintendo should offer a hefty discount for downloads of games that you've already bought at retail, because let's face it, if I've already spent £30 on Mario Kart 7 on launch day, I'm sure as hell not going to be paying another £40 on top, just for the convenience of having it on my 3DS permanently; although if that convenience was made available for a small price - if not absolutely nothing, considering we've already bought the game - would be more than appreciated.

And what happened to the download cards? It's a shame that they're only available in Japan for now, as having retailers set the price, and get a cut of the profits, from retail downloads is a great way to keep everyone happy - both retailers and consumers; and a bigger innovation than Nintendo's been given credit for, in my opinion.



Alienfish said:

Thanks for reminding me how your games are lost if you 3DS gets lost. Mine was stolen a little over a week ago and now I'm no longer an ambassador. F^#$.



TheRegginator said:

Digital download of retails games on a handheld doesn't appeal to me. SD cards (and Sony's memory card) just don't have enough capacity and cost efficiency to work as a storage medium for large games, especially when said games are no cheaper than they are physically.

Until Sony and Nintendo find a good, cost efficient workaround for this problem, digital downloads of retails games is best left to consoles and PCs.



Hokori said:

@Alienfish You should file a police report and send it to Nintendo, they'll restore your 3DS to perfect condition, plus you'll get a brand new 3DS without scratches and junk



ThomasBW84 said:

@k8sMum I'm saying that it's strongly expected that a future update will bring an account system to 3DS (maybe an app that transfers the handheld's details and games to an online account), which will be in line or close to the user account system that'll be on Wii U. I doubt you'll need a Wii U for the update, I'm sure it'll be separate for 3DS.

I've corrected an error in the article. I said that the four new eShop retail downloads were due on 18th November in the NA store, when it's 18th October. I actually meant October when I was writing it, so I maybe had the Wii U launch date stuck in my brain as I typed!



cmk8 said:

They could try a system whereby you buy a retail game, and if you download it to your system to play then the cartridge won't work on any other DS. It would stop people downloading then selling, and it would be up to individual people if they wanted to download for portability or not so they could resell later.



Hokori said:

@ThomasBW84 Yeah Nintendo did say they WOULD make an account based system arout the WiiU launch, I think it'll be a lot like last years Dec 3rd Update, with more puzzles, Miiverse, accounts, Find Mii III, and maybe a way to digitize DS/3DS Carts, well the last ones a stretch, but the other 3 arnt farfetch'D



TheRavingTimes said:

A reduction of $5 or $10 could help Nintendo with this one. Since there's extra cash put into the packaging a fair reduction could help consumers downloads much more satisfying. It would also be nice to have a cheap price for some of the failing titles (i.e. Steel Diver, Pilot Wing Resort, and Resident Evil Mercenaries). I just hope they try this exact method with the Fire Emblem DLC.



WarioPower said:

I'll just stick with physical retail for now. I can always sell the game if I need to and I don't need to worry about how much memory I have..



spamineggs said:

I haven't read all the comments so forgive me if this was already brought up, but talking about a user account, why not beef up clubnintendo?

many of us have our accounts connected to our 3DS which keeps track of our eShop purchases already. with some work i think club nintendo could be a hub for players, their games, and their systems. if you lose your system due to damage, you could register the new system on clubnintendo and all your downloads would be made available for redownload.



Knux said:

It's a cool option but I don't really see any incentive to download games that I can buy from retail stores (or Amazon) at the same price (or cheaper). I might download Miracle Mask just because I can get Donkey Kong: Original Edition if I download it, but that's about it for now.



AlmightyDerek said:

I"m glad Nintendo is doing this stuff, even if the system isn't perfect. I will decide on retail vs download on a game by game basis. If I'm planning on keeping a game forever such as New Super Mario Bros 2 or Paper Mario I'll download it. If its a game that I just want to play and then sell I'll buy the cartridge. Animal Crossing is a very tempting download as its a game you will always want on you. Also download sizes aren't that big of a deal. You can buy a 32GB SD card for $20 and that will save an average of 40 retail games ( 750MB a game seems pretty average so far.)



JebbyDeringer said:

Price isn't THAT bad but I agree about being tied to the system. People get new systems, some people have multiple systems per house (and don't necessarily play them at the same time). Nintendo has a modern offering of downloadable titles but their social/user management is still stuck in the late 90s.

Steam has been offering a great service for years. I've been using the same account since it went open beta and I've played the games I've bought on probably more than 6 different PC's over the years.

The other thing that bugs me is the virtual console games. Those games should not require purchasing over & over again. I understand that owning the original SNES cartridge maybe shouldn't get you a free downloadable copy but if you bought it for Wii it should be available for WiiU & 3DS provided they offer it. Separate the game from the emulation, the game itself doesn't require any coding and if the emulation is good it should apply to most games for that system.



meltendo said:

The only thing I would consider at those crazy prices is a game with long replayibility like Animal Crossing or Mario Kart--something without a definite end that you can play forever on the go. They do need to fix the one machine per account problem. For my PSVita, I plan on purchasing new downloadable games at the retail prices since I know I can re-download them any time even if I lose my Vita.



sinalefa said:

What Nintendo could do is having sales on selected titles, like they do on the eShop. That won't make retailers go out of business (since it won't be for all games) and it encourages you to get the digital copy, as first party games seldom lower price. And also that can have people checking the eShop every week, increasing their traffic.

And definitely work on the account thing. The best thing would be to work with Club Nintendo. So if you have two 3DSs you can register both and prove that both belong to you so you can have your games on either system.

Of course, that will require Nintendo to have Club Nintendo available in each and every country, something I doubt they will do.



ejamer said:

Hmm... I bought Zelda 3DS new at retail for $20, and Star Fox 64 3D new online for $10. Now Nintendo hopes to sell those games for $40 apiece in digital format?

Some people might be happy to download their games, but I'm not sold on that prospect when the cost is so high.



ayylmao22422 said:

I was going to download NSMB2, but you made me realize that if I lose it I would lose the game too.



WaxxyOne said:

Ideally, the games should be tied to an account and not a single system, this is true. However, the whole "if you lose the system you lose the game" argument to me seems a bit silly.

First off, if you lose your 3DS, you're already out the money for the system so the game is really just gravy. Second, you've probably lost the game card that was in the system anyway, so it's not like that doesn't happen with physical software. Third, it's much more likely that you lose a stamp-sized game card than an entire handheld system, and you can't lose the digital download as long as you don't go throwing the whole system in a pond or leaving it behind on a bus, so in a way there's a benefit for you.

The convenience of not having to keep track of and carry around game carts to me is worth the current shortcomings of the digital distribution system. The extra perks you get are a nice thank you from Nintendo for embracing the option. Now, if I were in the UK I too would be upset about being asked to pay more for the game in order to download it digitally. I would expect that the price of the game should as closely match the cost you would expect to pay in the store so that it is truly an option and your method of purchase doesn't change the price too much.

In fact, I think it'd be great if Nintendo implemented a policy going forward that would allow anybody who purchased the retail copy of the game to also download the digital version, so you get the best of both worlds. You wouldn't get some of the perks, but you'd be able to have the game installed on your system while the cart sits safely at home... just in case you can't keep hold of your game console.



aaronsullivan said:

Tied-to-device feels SO backwards if you used ANY other app/game download service ANYWHERE, within the last 5 years. Just saying.

Pricing is also a big problem for Nintendo. It needs to start experimenting. I think Nintendo would easily make up the difference in volume if it would just offer a game at 10-20% less than retail.



aaronsullivan said:

What's confusing? I've been using it since the day it was released, maybe I can help.

As far as my specific point, if you have an iPad and purchased some stuff, and then register a second iPad with the same appleID (itunes account), you can just download any purchased stuff to both. Some developers choose to make different versions for iPad and iPhone/iPod which is annoying, but any "universal" apps/games will work on all devices with the same appleID with no repurchasing.



Hardy83 said:

Until Nintendo fixes (ACTUALLY fixes, not say they will fix) it's horrendous UI (yes, even the 3DS has a horrible UI, just try and find a game to re-download if you have 20+ games) and until they switch from the "since the beginning it's been moronic" system based purchases to an account one (it could be 1 account per system for all I care) I will never claim Nintendo is taking a "step" forward at anything online.

Putting games up there means nothing when everything around it is crap.

I disagree with their pricing strategy as well but that's a different issue.

So I agree with the articles issues, but I will not give Nintendo any credit for anything else. The car may have nice paint, but it still needs wheels and an engine.



Hardy83 said:

@HarmoKnight It's not the issue of redownloading that I have, it's how your games are organized. Having to go through a bunch of pages with loading times each time is just unnecessary in my eyes. There's much better ways of having your purchases organized to me.

Obviously some people may be fine with it, and I understand that, but I personally think it's horribly set up.
Downloading itself works fine, though I would like multi-downloads instead of one at a time aside from the "download later" option.



RedYoshi999 said:

Even the games on the Australian eShop are overpriced, charging $69.95 when most retailers sell for at least $59 (maybe lower.) Nintendo games never drop in price though so you will only have to pay an extra $10 to download. Because of this I won't be downloading many retail games. I don't mind not having accounts yet, I've got nobody to lend games to and I never sell my games and I don't plan on losing my 3DS anytime soon.



Bankai said:

I'm pretty happy with the way Nintendo is approaching retail downloads. It's maintaining a premium price (which I am in support of), and it's surprisingly rapidly catching up to the other three platform holders - It took a year or so from when Sony started offering retail downloads to when games would see a simultaneous retail/ download release.

Nintendo needed to catch up with this and quick because the specialist retailers are quickly headed the way of the dinosaur, so good moves Nintendo. Now just switch over to account-based content and I'll be a happy camper.



TimboBaggins said:

"is a decision with a lot of doubts and PROVISOS attached" there's that word from Aladdin again!



Spooky said:

I have every intention of every first party Wii U game I buy being downloaded provided the most I pay is about £5 more than retail. Booting games from SD or external HDD having them all ready to go is the only reason I soft modded one of my Wii consoles and i'm willing to pay a small premium for doing that legitimately. I have yet to do this with my 3DS as and handheld could quite easily get lost or stolen in comparison to a home console and if the wireless were to break the whole lot is trapped on that console...unless that is that Nintendo do make an account based solution.



Spooky said:

It's really easy to re-download games, just go to 'titles you have already downloaded' I have made tons of purchases and have my ambassidor games and it only takes a few seconds.



Sogeman said:

I planned on buying Luigis Mansion and maybe Layton digitally before the first games came out. Then I saw that they are 45€ which is the price you pay if you buy them from a stupid electronics retailer. Every game shop or Amazon sells them for 40 or less. I'm not paying more and getting less, no way, especially for an older game like these. At least I don't need to buy a bigger SD card now.



Otto-Soq said:

Download games should be waaaay lower in price without the costs of transport, shop rent and shop employees.



tigermask said:

I'm getting a bit fed up with the pricing of games on the eShop. First of all, I'll be damned if I'm going to pay that much more for a digital download, I'd rather get a 2nd hand copy for a fraction of the price. Also, Nintendo doesn't seem to realise there is a difference between the value of the GBP and USD. The pricing of some apps and games are identical to the US as they are to the UK! Sort it out Nintendo!



Sun said:

Prices for downloads in Europe are ridiculously expensive. Download codes could be an easy solution but there are none of them around. Can you charge 45€ per game? Yes, you can. No, we don't like.



gojiguy said:

The biggest stop block for me is pricing. $40 for a download is NOT attractive when I can pay the same $40 for a buy-once-play-anywhere physical copy that looks sweet in my collection.



sillygostly said:

@Mario_Party_Fan_999 : Some retailers even offer first party 3DS games at only $49 or so at launch (as was the case with Mario Kart 7, Super Mario 3D Land and the delivery-only Dick Smith price for New Super Mario Bros. 2).



JJtheTexan said:

Nintendo has an opportunity to be a game-changer here by saying to heck with retailers and offering 100 percent of software via download only. This of course comes with enormous risk; while the company might survive and even prosper by taking this bold step and creating a sort of iTunes for its own games (see what iTunes and similar services did to music stores?), it will of course get booted from every brick-and-mortar and online retailer, and have to sell its hardware through its own channels as a result.

The added problem, and one that I think will keep any game console maker from going download-only in the foreseeable future, is that retailers like GameStop, Target, Walmart, etc. have enormous influence — refusing to carry the hardware would be a bad enough blow, but threatening to stop carrying third-party discs and carts as well would lead to Nintendo's demise should they sever that relationship.

I guess this is all a roundabout way of saying Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft and most if not all publishers most likely really, REALLY want to go all-digital, but they're held hostage by GameStop et. al.



StarDust4Ever said:

Digital downloads today means the demise of retro gaming in the future. Also, Nintendo is not factoring in packaging and distribution costs. Nintendo makes probably less 50% off retail sales, yet makes 100% off download sales. Make the downloads 50% the cost of retail, and a lot more people will D/L the games, and Nintendo still makes more $$$ per unit than retail.




Even if it was 5 quid cheaper than retail, then it would be tempting, but 10quid more than on-line retailer prices is bramy! Also, u can't switch carts bwteen devices or even have the freedom to trade in to finance new games. All important reasons not to download.



Lalivero said:

@tvnewsguy They'd also lose support of all those who live in areas with poor Internet; believe it or not, that's a big worry to many and a reason to keep physical as well.

It'd only get worse as games get larger and the fact that Nintendo's servers aren't exactly the fastest.

It's be a huge turn off to me for those reasons among others and I definitely wouldn't buy nearly as many games as I currently do.



Hokori said:

It may sound weird but I consider a digital copy as my own copy, where as with physical I don't actually feel like I own it because I'm letting friends borrow them, a digital copy is like my own personal copy since my 3DS is mine and the games become my own once it's unified with the 3DS



Windy said:

I will always prefer a physical copy of a game unless they start offering a lower price for digital downloads. I like having a book, case and cover art. You don't get that with downloads. They should be pricing digital downloads at least 10.00 to 15.00 dollars cheaper then I may consider it. If all you can get is a digital download which is about to happen...mark my words then I will have to download.

@HarmoKnight stop loaning your games! Lol loaning out games is actually a good way to lose friends when they dont return them.



Windy said:

@StarDust Yup Ive been telling my friends to buy up all the retro cartridges and any systems they are interested in before people start realize that they can start raising prices on classic systems and games due to digital downloads. The Rare stamp will be put on everything with a hefty price tag so get them while you can guys. Ive been picking up alot of DS games that I never got. Besides it is the best system of all time hands down!



Lalivero said:

@Windy Looks like I will only be playing retro games for the rest of my life then, unless they find a way to give the whole planet access to the best Internet possible and servers that stay up forever.



rayword45 said:

I think they should make downloads cheaper, but also keep them cheaper at places like GameStop with download cards so people will stop saying "then retailers will try to compete with eShop prices"



Windy said:

@rayword45 Downloads should be Cheaper. there is no packaging involved. No artwork for the inserts and no instruction booklet. I'm sorry abut 39.99 for mario in retail is fine but to offer it as a download at that price well rediculous



Windy said:

@sinalefa Nintendo have a sale. Oh my god I can't stop laughing. I'm not making fun at you but at Nintendo. There have been some pretty bad games sitting in the DSi Shop for a very longtime and probably average about 1 or 2 downloads a month and Nintendo refuses to put those on sale or lower the prices in their already higher priced Store. I could list a ton of those games but for the sake of saving space I won't. There will be no way we will see a sale on Retail games which make it to the Eshop with the track record of sales Nintendo Offers. I like your idea and its totally logical thinking. Nintendo seems to think the opposite way though



FJOJR said:

Retail downloads sound great but sharing games is not entirely possible unless you send off the system with it. I'd be more inclined to do it on the Wii U for single player games since the console sits in one place anyways.



S_T_K said:

Is it not true you can get a 128gb SD card to work on a 3DS? cause you could then download a few titles on that xD



8bitforever said:

I won't be buying anything digital from Nintendo until they fix their digital strategy. My 3DS broke, but I kept my SD card which had about $50 worth of VC games. I have no way to restore them by what Nintendo says. I have since bought an Ipad, and I am not sure if I want another 3DS because of this. Basically Nintendo screwed me out of $50 worth of games. I am not happy!

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