One of the biggest talking points at E3 this year has been used games and how publishers and developers are trying to stop them from putting a dent in their profits.
Of course, when buying a used game all of the proceeds are given to the retailer. Several strategies have been conjured up over the years, from online passes to registration fees, but Nintendo seems to be taking a different route: make games so good players won't want to trade them in.
In an interview with Polygon, Reggie Fils-Aime, President of Nintendo of America, said the best way for developers, publishers and console makers to lower the impact of used games on their bottom line is to improve the quality of their content:
We understand that used games are a way for some consumers to monetise their games. They will buy a game, play it, bring it back to their retailer to get credit for their next purchase. Certainly, that impacts games that are annualised and candidly also impacts games that are maybe undifferentiated much more than [it] impacts Nintendo content.
Why is that? Because the replayability of our content is super strong. The consumer wants to keep playing Mario Kart. The consumer want to keep playing New Super Mario Bros. They want to keep playing Pikmin. So we see that the trade-in frequency on Nintendo content is much less than the industry average - much, much less.
Nintendo's strategy does not involve registration fees or any other restrictions. The onus is on itself to create great content so players will hang onto their copies.
We have been able to step back and say that we are not taking any technological means to impact trade-in and we are confident that if we build great content, then the consumer will not want to trade in our games.
During the interview, Reggie went on to say Nintendo will continue to support retailers as they "play a huge role in driving awareness" for its releases. He made reference to Best Buy, which is currently showcasing several Wii U games for people across North America to experience in 100 of its stores. Digital game sales may be increasing year-on-year but Nintendo still sees retailers as an important part of its business model.
Used games are a big deal for publishers and consumers alike. These policies could well affect people's choices, but considering Nintendo has no policy on it whatsoever it certainly isn't doing itself any harm.
Do you think Nintendo is right, or should it be using technological means to restrict used games sales? Let us know in the comment section below.