News Article

Soapbox: Retail Games Cost Too Much To Download From The eShop

Posted by Darren Calvert

Dazza lets off Steam about the cost to download

Nintendo has to be applauded for fully embracing the digital age with the launch of the Wii U eShop. Most retail games are available for download from day one (well at least the ones I would consider buying anyway!) and for some, it’s a pretty convenient way to get the latest game. The 3DS has been playing catch-up as it launched with a modest eShop without the ability to download retail games. But it’s got up to speed now and most new first party games can be downloaded if you furnish your 3DS with a generously sized SD card.

With recent campaigns such as the So Many Games! promotion, Nintendo has been actively encouraging consumers to get used to the idea of downloading retail games to their 3DS. Also as the Wii U is able to support external HDDs with 2TB of storage, it’s practically begging to be filled up with meaty retail downloads.

In my case, downloads are an ideal option with my young family. In terms of the Wii U I have to block off my entertainment unit from my 18-month old son: he doesn't mix well with discs! When I play the Wii U with my daughter after school, it's so easy to simply select the game from the menu and start playing. With the 3DS, it's just that convenience of not carrying carts around when out and about, and with first-party games I know that, realistically, I wouldn't plan to trade or sell them in the future anyway.

But while downloading retail games from the eShop is convenient for some, is it good value for money? I would say that Nintendo could do a lot better in this area. In the UK the prices are astronomically high, for instance New Super Mario Bros. U costs £49.99 to buy on the eShop; it's $59.99 in the U.S. This is the Recommended Retail Price (RRP) — or MSRP if you're in North America — which absolutely no one is conditioned to paying on the high street or online for games, not since time began. At present I could simply buy the disc based game from ShopTo for £36.85. On the high street I would expect to pay more like £39.99.

Now I completely understand that the big N doesn’t want to upset retailers by undercutting them on their eShop, but they could at least be in the same ball park. At least on the Wii U, the Nintendo Network Premium scheme offers a small incentive. You'll get eight points per £1 spent, meaning you'll be eligible for £5 / $5 eShop credit after spending £62.50. In defence of Nintendo of Europe, too, its deal with GAME does mean that download codes can be bought in stores or from the retailer's website; the online option does sometimes have eShop codes a little cheaper than on the system itself. But still, rather than go to that website and set up a customer account and so on, it'd be great to get those improved prices right off the bat in the eShop.

Forgetting famously low-priced platforms such as Steam, it’s interesting to note that Sony has adopted a keener pricing model for games on the PlayStation Store. A few weeks ago I downloaded The Last of Us on launch day for £39.99. Preorder prices from online retailers were only a few quid cheaper when I looked and the digital version had some additional DLC bundled with it for free. In short, I didn’t feel hard done by. How did Sony achieve this without upsetting retailers?

Taking into account the usual arguments against digital downloads, such as not being able to trade the games in and Nintendo’s lack of a modern account-based system for game ownership (in their model digital purchases are tied to your hardware, not an online account), it really needs to be trying a bit harder to be seen to offer value to consumers in my humble opinion.

Do you agree with Dazza's stance on the cost of downloading retail games from the eShop? (562 votes)

Yeah, let’s be honest – it’s a bit of a rip-off isn’t it?


True it’s not competitively priced, but it’s so convenient


Who cares? I’m rich!


It’s not bad value for money as it is – no changes needed


Pah, downloads! I’m old school and will only buy boxed games. I like to smell them


Please login to vote in this poll.

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User Comments (192)



WiiLovePeace said:

Definitely. For example, Assassin's Creed 3 is $89.95 on the Aussie eShop...

Edit: Just checked & it's going for $36 retail...

Also! I just want to say Virtual Console releases are too expensive as well. As in, I don't think it's right to price every NES game they release & every SNES game at the same price. Some games are better than others, like having to pay $6.50 for Balloon Fight (I know it was 30c, I got it) compared to paying $6.50 for SMB2 is just absurd. For people who don't know what these games are they'll have little indication which is the better game & may end up buying a dud & then not coming back to the VC again... I know that's a little extreme but I'd love to see the prices of VC games tiered like the Game Gear games are on 3DS VC. It's only a couple of bucks here or there but it provides me a quick way of comparing the games by their price & knowing which one will more likely have better content etc. than the others. Sorry for the rant



DualWielding said:

yah too expensive, specially since they are tied to your console..... its o.k. if they want regular prices to = RRP in order to not upset retailers but they should make up for it by having frequent sales, credit back offers or just better incentives to go online..... not ALL retail titles are excessively priced though.... Resident Evil Revelations if fairly priced at 19.99 USD in the 3DS Eshop but that's a rare exception



Drobotic said:

Yes.They're digital,so they don't have packaging,disc,manual,etc.So it costs less to put digital games on the eShop than on the retail market.



shingi_70 said:

Digital versions of retail titles should have $5-10 off to make them more appealing, THat or Nintendo should start having sales where we can get games cheaper.



Trikeboy said:

Definitely, since most retailers will lower the price by £10 after the first month or so anyway. eShop games can be £20 more than you can find on the highstreet or online.



DualWielding said:

Another thing Nintendo could do is keep then prices nominally the same but use cell phone service provider tactics... like add $50.00 to your eshop account get $5.00 bonus credit...... so retailers can't complain about being undercut while there will be a better incentive to buy digital



shake_zula said:

I don't understand why Nintendo would care about upsetting retailers. Digital distribution allows for lower pricing than physical distribution, all retailers know this and it's something they have to deal with. If Sony sold The Last Of Us for £34.99 on PSN, what would retailers do? Perhaps lower their prices, but more than likely just grumble and get on with it. They're hardly going to refuse to stock it and miss out on even more money!

I work at Blockbuster, and when Microsoft announced their restrictions on used games, we STILL had an email down from head office saying we had to prioritise Xbox One preorders over PS4, because it was expected to sell better (and has, in our store). Game retailers are aware that they're in a shrinking industry, and they're in no position to start making demands to the likes of Nintendo. High eShop prices are hurting the consumer base, which is where I think Nintendo's priorities should lie.



dizzy_boy said:

Namco managed to drop the price of Tekken tag 2 a few weeks ago, so why can't Nintendo follow suit.



crazyj2312 said:

too expensive and the lack of an account system baffles me. at current, it seems more risk than reward and investing in online purchases seems to be lacking enough justifiable benefits. it would help if they had more frequent sales and actually lowered the price for their older games rather than keep them at MSRP for eternity (some of you know about how peeved I am with Nintendo for keeping MKDS at the same price all throughout the DS's life span)



Inev said:

Will these soapbox blog posts be outright replacing our weekly complaining talking point articles, or are they simply in addition to?

I think the convenience of always having the game on my system makes up for the digital version costing the same as physical.



WiiLovePeace said:

Oh & I'd love it if Nintendo could add the ability to preorder & prepay for games from the eShop before a given games retail release. Imagine being able to pay for Pikmin 3 before its release & at 12:01am day of release it magically starts downloading & when I wake up it's just there, ready to play in the morning I don't know why Nintendo haven't done this yet...



Bass_X0 said:

I don't mind downloading games but why download a retail game when the cartridge is cheaper? I bought Project X Zone on for £24 shipped and recieved it the next working day after release. Its £28 on the eShop.



Windy said:

I've been of the oppinion a very longtime that Nintendo should knock off at least 15 bucks from it's retail line of games in the Eshop. There is no Manufacturing cost to them, No books or cases to print out. To be honest it makes them look a little greedy the way they are currently running the Retail games section of the Eshop. I love the Eshop and the Non-retail games we've been getting. But I wont download a Retail game until Nintendo accounts for the Manufacturing costs and lowers the prices on its Retail games. I think they might find they would sell more Retail copies in the Eshop if they would Knock the prices down. In fact as it stands it's Cheaper to buy games from retailers right now if you shop around. I've got some very good deals from retailers rather than downloading the games from the Eshop. Last week Castlevania was 19.99 at best buy



Prof_Elvin_Gadd said:

I could have voted "Who cares? I'm rich b*tch!" Dave Chappelle style, but I agree. Digital retail games should be at least $5-$10 cheaper than physical retail simply because they lack the cost of manufacturing.



DualWielding said:


I agree with you but Nintendo seems to still thing retailers are king, this mentality is also the same reason why it maintains region lock...... I would say screw the retailers..... but Nintendo overestimates the importance of shelfspace



datamonkey said:

"Retail Games Cost Too Much To Download From The eShop"

I completely and utterly, unequivocally agree 100%.

In fact the price has been the sole reason I have not downloaded any retail games from the eshop yet and will not until they are a fairer price.

Why should I pay twice the amount I can get a game at

Nintendo do not have production costs, distribution and packaging costs so downloadable content should always be cheaper than the retail counterparts. The fact that the opposite is true goes to show how out of touch Nintendo can be.



suburban_sensei said:

@Sony_70: I agree with you on this one. I know I go for every game, if its available. Part of that may be that I am old school (im 26, been gaming since I was like 4), so I just always loved physical carts/discs. However, if there were a discount, be it $5-10 for owning it on that ONE console (since it's linked), I would probably buy more digital. I feel like at least if something happened to my 3DS now, I have my physical carts as back up. If I bought all digital, and something happened and it couldn't be fixed, I would be in trouble.



shake_zula said:

@ferthepoet Yeah, and they're not even getting any shelf space from what I can see! The store I work at has one bay for Wii U, that it shares with Wii, and one for 3DS. I was looking through the games at my local supermarket last night and they didn't have a single 3DS or Wii U item, they had a few Wii games on a stand with old PC titles (Theme Hospital etc) and the rest of the space was dedicated to 360 and PS3.



3DGamer said:

I don't have any problems on the 3ds eshop and I just bought AC:NL yesterday.



ueI said:

None of the games I want are cheaper at retail, but I agree that download prices are too expensive. Even eshop exclusives are priced similarly to retail games. I don't expect many downloads of Shin Megami Tensei IV, a game that costs $10 more than any other 3DS title and comes without the retail version's music CD and guidebook.



StarDust4Ever said:

Nintendo needs to subtract the manufacture and distribution costs normally associated with retail, and subtract those off the price of download-only games. Then when a game has been out for a very long time, and they finally drop the retail price, it's still $59 in the shop.

The situation is understandably worse in PAL Land where most retailers aren't obligated to sell at MSRP.



pepsiplunge said:

You know there's a big pricing problem when 3ds games always cost 5€ more than their physical counterpart at launch. Nintendo is effectively charging more for less.



aaronsullivan said:

I was fully expecting to go digital downloads for most games on the Wii U. Especially games like Lego City where you eventually just wan to visit for a short time. I've only downloaded eShop-only games so far. It's just too expensive right now.

As others have mentioned, the Virtual Console stuff should be priced according to the type of game as well. Some of those NES and even SNES games are really just arcade-style games only good for very short bursts, while games with the same price are Super Mario Bros. 3, Metroid, Super Mario World, Super Metroid. They are just in an entirely different league of value. I really love Ice Climber and Balloon Fight and Mach Rider... but those are all way over priced as of now. (Well, Balloon Fight I picked up for .30 cents of course).

Should be a scale to those.

I do like some of the promotions, though. I wish they were less rare.



Bass_X0 said:

Pilotwings and Starfox still sell for £40 on the eShop. Thats ridiculous and Nintendo should give old games a price cut.



bizcuthammer said:

I will only download first party games from certain series, like Mario, Zelda or Pokemon. Never third party games, cause in most cases i will end up selling those either to afford other games, or at tge end of a gen to afford the next gen console. I also will never download a game in a series like Mario Kart, Smash Bros, Mario Party or Wii Fit, because i trade those in when the next entry comes out, since the old one now becomes outdated and likely wont be played again. And even then, i dont care for downloading retail games because of nintendo's pricing of them and the lack of account recovery if something goes wrong. The only game i've downloaded is Fire Emblem on 3DS, and thats ONLY because stores had shortages and i got tired of waiting for the physical copy. If ninty put retail downloads online at just $10 cheaper than the physical copy, i'd buy a lot more.

Oh one other reason i hate nintendo's approach to this? The fact that their consoles come with pathetic amounts of onboard storage. WiiU Deluxe came with 32GB. Thats awful. PS4 comes with 500GB. Like ninty really couldnt have at least put 100GB on there?! And the excuse that getting extra memory storage is easy and cheap is stupid. If thats the case, why didnt they find a way to easily and cost effectively put 200-500GB on WiiU?! I dont want to pay extra money just to download retail games that i can just as easily buy a physical copt of at no extra expense. Buying just one DL retail game on 3DS ate over half my storage on my 3DS. Thats ridiculous compared to the competition (PSVita aside). My 360 and PS3 came with more memory than i knew what to do with, and both are priced cheaper than WiiU. PS4 is only $50 more, but has 500GB and much better tech under the hood. If ninty is gonna keep WiiU at its current price point, it needs to start offering more memory and probably an extra free game or two. The current value of WiiU does not match its MSRP.



Kirk said:

Personally, I think eShop games should be far far cheaper than their retail counterparts...

If for example a game is $39.99 at retail then it should be something like $19.99 on the eShop imo.

I'd say the both the eShop and VC games are overpriced across the board.



RedYoshi999 said:

I buy my retail games 100% digitally now because Australia gets so ripped off and there isn't a lot of difference in launch day prices. May as well take advantage of midnight releases, the $7 Premium rebate, and double Club Nintendo stars on the 3DS. I don't find it appealing to import games and wait 2 weeks for delivery. Even buying a game online from within Australia still takes 1 week to get to me. So I will take digital every time. But yes, I would like some cheaper prices.



DarkEdi said:

In Mexico happens the same. While a game in store is in $600 pesos, a download (without box, etc) is in $1000 pesos. It is a steal. I preffer to search the retail version.



taffy said:

Can't say that this is surprising though. The Xbox live has regular sales for gold members on both first and third party sales. Both PS3 and 360 had their respective "Platinum" and "Classic" series. Nintendo on the other hand has very expensive first party games (have a look at Pilotwings Resort on the eshop and then look at retail) plus the never had the "player's choice" for the Wii or DS (Nintendo selects don't count as they were only a select few first party)



Sonic_Phantom said:

Cross-buy and cross-saves for Wii U and 3DS would make eShop prices more palatable. If anyone pays £3.49 for say Wii U Balloon Fight, the least they should expect is compatibility with 3DS as well.



hYdeks said:

I'm old school, I hate retail downloads, I prefer a physical copy of everything So, this article is null to me



ricklongo said:

To be honest, they are pretty expensive, but I'm fine with it. I pretty much only buy boxed games (unless they're e-shop exclusives, obviously), and having download versions be cheaper would only accelerate the doom of retail versions. It would become increasingly hard to justify buying boxed copies, and I'd really miss them.



newusername said:

I use the eShop whenever possible. It's convenient and pretty much instant. Couple that with the fact that I don't have to travel with many cartridges and I call it a win. As for pricing, I am fine with it. I'm going to pay the same for digital or a physical copy and both have pros/cons. Also, for the people saying digital doesn't cost anything, I'm sure it costs something for nintendo to run servers to allow you to connect and download.



takyon98 said:

really this needs to stop on all current and nextgen consoles
after 5 months the game has been out drop the price 5 dollars as a easy go then every 2 months or 1 drop the price 5 dollars

or do the thing like spin the bottle have the price go up to a minimum at the beginning then start dropping the price



unrandomsam said:

I won't pay a subsidy to so I don't buy digital 1st party titles. (Probably would pay £40 if the game included all the DLC with it). Nintendo are not copying the best part of the model that the other people use. (You get a goty version with all the DLC for £20 some point down the line).
Game are awful to Nintendo. They don't stock any of the none shovelware titles. Or the junk ones like Fifa or Call of Duty. They had the wii U connected to a SDTV CRT. I realised why it looked no better than a wii but that is not going to help Nintendo especially as the 360 and PS3 were connected to a HDTV. (There is a few retail games I might get at £19.99 like they did for Zelda that once).
Rather Nintendo partner with Amazon (At least Amazon does a reasonable stock of stocking a full range of accessories. Last time I went to game to try and get a wii component cable they didn't stock it (Or any other games I wanted). Amazon seems to do a reasonable job.

I am willing to pay £39.99 for some games but there are not any yet. (Pay it for a Contra (Better than Contra 4) or Star Soldier(Either a new decent one or a port of the PSP one.) or a new Ghost's and Goblins).

I would have imported Kokuga or paid significantly more than it costs without an issue. (Probably get Nano Assault EX when I get a circlepad for something else). Code of Princess I want to play first or get it at a discount I am not sure about it.



unrandomsam said:

@newusername Nintendo could make exactly the same amount of money per sale by selling directly at the price they sell to (Game sells the stuff for e.g £32.99 eshop price is £39.99 - If they cared about the customer they could sell for price - profit. (i.e £24.99 and get the most money for themselves). Carts should be more expensive because they can be resold and with Nintendo first party stuff they hold their value for ages. (e.g on the high street you can get used New Super Mario Bros 2 for - £28 after all this time and most of the copies have likely made more for 3rd parties than Nintendo who made the game).



Eliasson said:

Not worse than sonys psn... and in sweden the prices is actually a bit lower than on the street but more expensive than some webshops especially those on the UK



XCWarrior said:

I want to take my vote back and pick #5. I agree they cost to much, but I buy physical either way.



Warruz said:

They need an account wide system rather then it just being tied to a console.

The Eshop needs to be extra cheap as you also cant resell a game when your done with it. So not only can i get a game cheaper but i can recoup the cost somewhat for the next one.The way i see it, is i will get Download games for games i have no plan on getting rid of. WWHD most likely will be a Downloaded game as i have no plans to get rid of it. I would of grabed Monster Hunter as a Download but it was $20 cheaper by the time i purchased my wii to have a physical copy, but when a Wii U of MH4 is made i will purchase that via Eshop.



TruenoGT said:

It's hard to compare retail markets for PC and consoles because PC retail is pretty much dead, at least in the US. While I respect people's desire for physical games, the retail and publishing system today tends to hurt games and gamers more that it helps them, so I look forward to seeing this go away eventually which should make the games market more sustainable overall. For this reason, I've been leaning more digital, but Nintendo could help this transition with better prices on retail games, and a more robust and universal account system.



Hardy83 said:

@TruenoGT PC retail is dead because PC is doing digital so very very right.
Competition, sales galore, most digital markets aren't a pain in the rear to deal with when it comes to downloading and redownloading your games.

Console digital on the other hand are still pretty out of date for the most part, especially Nintendo.



letsplay said:

Nintendo should look at Steam. Through out the year they have huge discounts on all their games. I wouldn't be surprise if in the future Nintendo starts selling their games on Steam.



Warruz said:

@TruenoGT The problem with Retail going away is while it is harmful its actually helpful . With PC being a open platform it has no issue with this as it has competition within itself thus drives the prices down of games. There is Steam, Amazon,, greenmangaming , etc that all compete for PC sales thus slash prices to get business.

For Consoles however, they are a closed platform. which results in no competition to drive prices down. As far as the Eshop is concerned its competition is no one but itself, it can set the prices to what ever it wants. Its only other competition is retailers but the retail game does not offer the ability to install on the console .

For there to be any fair system , there needs to be outside competition. What we need is the nintendo store to have the ability to accept codes much like steam that can be purchased anywhere.



LeVideoGamer said:

The retail games are not competitively priced at all, but even if they were, I'd be wary of buying them because of the small 32GB storage. I want to put off buying an external HDD for as long as possible, so for now, I'm only buying games from the eShop that aren't available in boxed form. The only exception may be New Super Luigi U, since it's a lot cheaper in the eShop. Even then, I might get the retail version just for the green box.



sinanziric said:

Prices are not the biggest problem for eShop - software being tied to Hardware is the biggest problem!!



ollietaro said:

Retail games cost the same on the 3DS eShop and are much more of a pain to download. I could buy the game I want for the same price from Best Buy immediately (plus get any goodies like pre-order bonuses and limited editions like Project X Zone) vs. paying the same to download a game veerrrryyy slowly that would take me days to get. I don't have a compatible internet connection, so I'd have to download via Wi-Fi which would take an eternity, however I do download smaller games from the eShop no problem because they're reasonably priced and don't take long to download.



Rafx said:

My problem with the prices being the same i that for a real copy of a game the manurfacturing and shipping is included into the price.

If i download a game im still paying for a box, cover art, shipping, and manurafcturing,
All of wich I do not have with the product I bought.



TheAdza said:

My 2 cents is that at launch, these games should carry their RRP, but that it would be a lot easier to swallow that larger sum if a proper account based system was in place. I like having my games on my system without carrying around carts, but I still do anyway. Some games also lend themselves more to being digital than others. I am having a great inner debate about Pokemon X/Y. Should I buy that ge digitally? It's something I will play, but I have so many other Pokemon games, the collector in me is saying buy at retail.

Older games should really be half price by now. Games like Mario Kart 7 and 3D Land could keep making Nintendo money if it was priced below the RRP now that they are not recent games and no longer stocked up much by retailers as so not to upset them.

In a perfect world, I would like a good $10 AUD cheaper than the RRP seeing as there isn't any account based system. If there was, I would deal with the full RRP for a few months, but 6 months later the price should drop. A year later even more. Also I believe Nintendo could offer some kind of system where retail carts could be installed onto a 3DS system. I don't know how this would work but obviously the cartridge would become useless while the game is on a system, but could be restored as long as the game comes off the SD card. They could even monetize that as a way of making money. I would pay a few bucks to transfer Mario Kart 7 to my system. I hardly ever play it anymore but if it was right there on my system I probably would give it more time. But I'm not going to spend $69.95 AUD for the privilege, especially considering the age of the game.

I didn't get around to buying Fire Emblem. Now that its been out for a while, I don't feel comfortable paying full RRP on the eShop for it. If and when there is a good sale on that game I will buy it. So far Nintendo did make OoT cheaper for a while. Perhaps they didnt get the sales they wanted and that's why there hasn't been many other digital sales of full retail games. It was a port of a 64 game that was already released physically, then digitally months later, and then put on sale. Surely they didnt expect sales to soar??

In any case, digital games are too expensive. I would like to see a reduction straight away, and see sales of older games. I'm sure they could extend their evergreen title sales even more if they were a bit more aggressive. Mario Tennis at $69.95? No thanks . $39.95 maybe. $29.95 yeah sure why not.



kivi95 said:

Yeah they are way to expensive for me to even consider downloading a Retail game on Eshop.



Bulbousaur said:

It is ridiculous in my opinion that digital downloads are ever more expensive than physical. You have the manufacturing costs of the cartridge, box art and case, plus it requires shipping to the retailer's warehouses.

You also have the ability to trade in or sell physical games which make them even more value-for-money than downloads. I regret buying Luigi's Mansion 2 because after I have collected all the Boos, I honestly have no reason to go back to it.



Rafx said:

Would like to see what kinda of gross they make on a retail copy vs the download.



defrb said:

i see games for 15 euro in webshops wich are 59.99 in the eshop. they should sort that out



sleepinglion said:

Great article and I agree. Nintendo is aggressively pushing these online purchases but doing little to entice anyone to grab them. Fundamentally, tying purchases to a unit is flawed. Their business model, if translated to the computer industry, would look like this:
1- I got a new computer and filled it with iTunes purchases!
2- 3 years later I replace my computer with one better suited to my needs.
3- I have to RE-BUY my music collection.
Tying purchases to an account log-in is old tech. Amazon's been doing it for a long, long time. I refuse to get serious about purchasing digital over disc until this is fixed.
Secondly, there needs to be a monetary incentive. If I can get a new title for 59.99 on Amazon with no tax and free shipping or buy the exact same title with no case, no disc, no instruction manual, etc. for the same price, I'll get the disc. Not only is it handy and enhances my feeling of ownership to have an actual product, but I can lend it to friends, sell it some day if I go broke, etc. I'd expect at least a 10% price dip for buying discless.
Sales. A few days ago I grabbed Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for Wii U on Amazon for 23.99. It was on sale. When's the last time the eShop had one of those for digital games that weren't eShop originals? Nintendo needs to embrace a sale. Sony does it all the time and some of those sales are amazingly hard to pass up. Why buy a new game on the eShop when I know if I can wait until a good sale at Target I can nab two games and get a 3rd free?
Finally, the good old VC. The prices here are just nuts. NES and SNES classics are WAY overpriced, especially for folks like myself who've been buying them over and over again for decades. At this rate if they EVER get around to N64 and Gamecube releases (and they should) we could be spending 19.99 on a Gamecube classic. And Spleunker should NOT be the same price as SMB2. These prices are a joke. Not only are the prices iffy, but look at the release schedule for VC games. Sad.
End of rant.



Otto-Soq said:

For example: A 3DS game is 45,- Euro in the shop. 40,-/45,- in Eshop.
35,- in an online shop.



Mk_II said:

Nintendo needs the retailers to sell the hardware (and the majority of software too). That's why they don't want to upset them too much; you don't bite the hand that feeds you



Samurairu said:

This is one of the major problems with capitalism in todays society. None of the cost savings through cutting out middle men, tax breaks or advances in manufacturing processes are passed down to the consumer. Trickle down effect does not exist.



triforcepower73 said:

I'm old school. I also like physical books much more than ebooks. There's something about actually turning pages. And driving home from the game store with a game and then opening it up and popping that disk into the system....
I do like smelling games, too.



Void said:

If I can't taste the smell of new plastic in my nostrils when I get a game, it just ain't right, man!
I'll still agree that the prices are rather high, though.



GN004Nadleeh said:

the virtual console pirces have been a rip off since wii! $5 for a nes game? and not even the ones people want. good thing emulation on pc has been around for years. i get to play little nemo in slumber land!



ACK said:

Doesn't really bother me as at least I know digital copies will almost always be available at the original retail price. I appreciate the availability.

I also need to point out that I never buy points cards at their retail price. Every time I buy one I make sure to get at least 15% off. So technically downloadable games allow me to buy at or before launch for cheaper than MRSP. SMTIV, for instance, would cost me $42 to DL right now. Not bad I say.



ouroborous said:

this is what should happen, downloads of wii-u retail games should be at least $20 cheaper. if thats not the case then they should be released alot sooner than the retail version and should also include exclusive dlc, or free dlc, etc. or vouchers for such at the very least.
retail copies should cost $10 more than they do now, but should include the ability to also download the game after purchasing the hard copy.
there's no way at all that the digital copy is worth the same amount as the hard copy. and no one should be penalized for buying the hard copy by having to pay full price for the download if desired at some point.



ouroborous said:

i wouldnt mind having the digital copy of every game, but not at the expense of missing out on the physical material and/or bonus swag to collect and display, or resell if desired. therefore, they are by no means equal and things need to change.



ouroborous said:

you cant tell me that it costs nintendo the same amount to provide digital copies of games as it does hard copies and whatever it costs them to host the game for downloads via servers really isn't the consumer's problem.



TheHunter said:

I don't mind if the price is the same digitally as physically. I'd rather give a bigger percentage to the developer than fill Gamestop's overflowing pockets even more.
Besides, I'm sure a certain amount of the digital purchases go to paying for servers and stuff.



FullbringIchigo said:

it's not just eShop but PSn and XBL too

and there is no need for it as they don't have to cover the cost of manufacturing and distribution with digital games, so why are they more expensive than physical versions

EA are the worst for it, in shops their games are about £40 but digital version are around £55, there's no need (apart from greediness that is)

i think the main problem is that stores sell them cheaper because they have competition between stores but on the respective download shops there is no competition and so the prices are put up as high as possible



LordessMeep said:

Aside from the huge problem of Nintendo lacking an account system, I do feel that prices for digital retail titles are high - especially since they don't really have any manufacturing costs that are in physical copies. Sadly, despite the obvious drawbacks of digital, I'll probably continue buying retail titles from the eShop simply because downloading a game is cheaper than importing a physical copy.



MetalKingShield said:

It's about one thing for me: resale value. There are so few games I know I'll want to keep, I can't justify paying full price for a download of them. I'll buy the cartridge for full price, then I have the option to sell it on. If all games were £20 though, I would go totally over to downloads.



ACK said:

The cost of manufacturing is a fallacy. Discs costs dollars to print, it's not a significant consideration. Otherwise, shipping and distribution cost. Servers cost for maintenance, upkeep, security, etc. Retailers take a cut. Digital distributors take a cut. More than you think, it evens out.

The reality is, producing the in-game content is the most substantial cost (often followed by marketing). Retail and digital are merely vehicles to revenue and, potentially, profit. Publishers need to maximize revenues regardless of the vehicle to push profits. The retail market hasn't been exceptionally lucrative of late. In North America the retail shelves are getting squeezed. Don't expect publishers to relinquish the extra revenue (however large or small) from digital sales until they've established more consensus on how to operate in this unstable marketplace.

I've decided that, all things considered, I'd prefer more money go to the publishers. As much as we curse them, they are generally responsible for supporting the developers we adore. In these dire times why should we ask them to devalue the content they release?

As I understand it, that's what all this complaining is about. The base value of actual content compared to the added value of packaging (which, as all physical materials, will deteriorate over time).

Playing a bit of devil's advocate... Yet there is some substance to both arguments, of course.



xMadxHatterx said:

I believe that they should have the same price as most retailers. With that said if retailers lower the price, Nintendo should the price in the e-shop. This method is perfectly fine. In my opinion it all comes down to people preferences and that's it.
Like for me I love opening up my shelf and looking at all my games. And I still use the Nintendo e-shop to purchase VC games and download only games. Then when I have enough points on my account, I transfer my points to my 3DS and purchase download only games.



ACK said:

One more point about Nintendo's retail relationship: I believe they would prefer we all buy retail when possible.

That is, in a perfect world the retail marketplace would be thriving beyond the need of digital distribution. For older games (such as Mario Kart 7), why drop the eshop price when a deal at retail may entice you to buy several games and/or accessories. Also, it grants more exposure to third-parties (maybe you walk out with something like Monster Hunter). And it presents marketing opportunities (such as discovering and demoing the Wii U).

Nintendo is in a position where they rely on retail exposure to market to a large percentage of their audience. (The fate of the Wii U depends upon this.) Their ultimate goal for the foreseeable future will be to boost their retail fortunes while simply allowing digital to boost sales/revenue. It's the only way they know to survive.



sinalefa said:

I always get better offers on Amazon. What Nintendo should do is to make weekly sales so they don't have to permanently discount the game, but to allow it for cheap for a limited time, giving more traffic to the eShop. Things like that Japanese offer where the first week you get 10% off is a nice start, as is the Deluxe Digital Promotion.

Ultimately, I rather prefer the physical as I can trade, sell, borrow or whatever I want with it.



Peach64 said:

It's ridiculously over-priced. £40 for new 3DS games, or £25 for pretty much any pre-order from the likes of ShopTo. That's too much of a difference to ignore, no matter how hard Nintendo advertise the eShop.



123akis said:

and what about new super luigi U disk version... in USA its $29.99 and in the UK it's around £29.99 this is not fair! the UK price SHOULD be £19.99



Contrite said:

Buying games digitally is almost always more expensive than buying it on disc. At least in my experience, especially if the game was released some time ago. Might just be here where I live it's like that though, I don't know.

In any case, It's silly that a cheaper way of distribution is often more expensive for the consumer.



DreamOn said:

What's the answer if the retailers can't even sell the console let alone worry about software prices?



Slapshot said:

I do not agree that Nintendo has "fully embraced the digital age with the launch of the Wii U eShop", but I absolutely agree that the prices within it are too high.



andrea987 said:

Sorry, old skool here (or just old, probably). I'd never buy a retail game digital, knowing I can't trade it or sell it once I'm done with it. Physical all the way, for me.



TG1 said:

I never buy retail games in digital form from Nintendo ... I like to own my games, not rent them. If Nintendo ever gets adopts an account system this might change.



BulbasaurusRex said:

I agree that it's an issue in the U.K., but it's not an issue here in the U.S. where everybody sells new copies at the MSRP. It may even be required by law. If the e-shop where to undercut those prices, every Nintendo gamer with their own credit/debit card who doesn't have a personal issue against retail downloads (including me) would buy as many of their retail games off the e-Shop as were offerred, except when buying used or older games that have already been discounted. This would make retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, and GameStop very unhappy. They may even have a case for a class action lawsuit.



AndyBurner said:

I bought mario 3d land hard copy... downloaded resident evil revelations eshop.. What the hell was I thinking, I was clueless to game sizes in regards to 3ds... Oh well guess that's 20 bucks for a bigger SD card..



BulbasaurusRex said:

@ollietaro Just go to your nearest McDonald's, and you won't have to worry about a slow Internet connection. It'll still take a while, but you can grab some lunch while you wait. Alternately, most public libraries also offer free wi-fi these days.



FritzFrapp said:

They don't have to worry about upsetting the shops in the UK – increasingly fewer of them, except Game, stock Nintendo products.



R_Champ said:


Rant or no, you make an excellent point. Some games are amazing and absolutely deserve the $5 or $8 price tag in VC (I live in the US)...others...should be cheaper based on low content/popularity. Keeping an eye on retail market prices and basing prices on content for VC would be a great idea. One thing Nintendo has been doing right though is sales. I got both Mighty Switch Force HD and Trine 2 for a lower price than their other-system counterparts and I definitely plan to take advantage of the FE:A + SMTIV deal.



XFsWorld said:

Yeah, those high prices on Star Fox 64 3D, Rayman 3D, Scribblenauts Unlimited & Pilotwings Resort is too high! [I want those]
The best retail game worth to download is Resident Evil: Revelations [$20]

And how dare Nintendo charge $20 for Freakyforms which just use to be a eShop exclusive for $7



KnightRider666 said:

I always choose boxed over digital when given a choice for obvious reasons. But those who take the digital over boxed route should get at least a 25%(maybe even 50%) discount for doing so.



kereke12 said:

I have to agree games cost to much these days. Its not what it used to be before, where bundles. For example the bundle with the Donkey Kong Bongos its cost $50 or $60 and the games where $20 to $30 or $40. Now games cost 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 dollars and bundles now cost $100, 200 or 300 dollars for a single bundle. So I agree games cost to much. Especially on the 3DS E-Shop.....



Sean_Aaron said:

@james_squared : agreed. In my case if I'm buying a Nintendo-published title I can get the download code from GAME online for cheaper than the eShop; otherwise I just buy fewer games. If I'm honest I have a habit of buying games before I'm really ready to play them anyway.

Looking at a monthly gaming budget of forty-fifty quid rather than how much title X costs helps me keep it in perspective.



UTXGamer said:

Yep. Batman is 60 on the eShop.

I can get it for 30 at BestBuy or Gamestop.

They need to do a better job being aware of the prices stores are selling. There is really no benefit to buying digital with the current set up.



crazycrazydave said:

Of course download games are overpriced on consoles. Last time I checked Xbox Live shop, Borderlands 2 was £50 (about a year ago). About that time, the game was being sold for about £30 in shops. As I write this comment, it's £7 on Steam for PC. Nintendo needs to have a summer and Christmas sale for it's eShop games. 50% off for games that have been on the eShop for over a year or two, and 75% off after 3 years. A drop in price could generate interest in games that have sold not as anticipated or with a small amount of physical copies. New releases for Wii U should be priced about £40. I am predominantly a PC gamer (owning a 360 and Wii as recent consoles and planning on getting a Wii U) and part of this is digital games being so cheap on distribution services such as Steam.



UltraUmbreon said:

I guess Nintendo assumes that raising the prices could get them I a lot more cash on the eShop... but be consistent. Why would a game be less expensive in stores and more expensive downloaded, well if you download something you have ownership to it forever which is better that losing your disc or cartridge. I'm kind of a "Buy in stores, Buy new" type of person so I rarely download anything from the eShop even some of the third-party games are a bit overpriced. But downloading (although a good convince) is totally a rip-off.



Ernest_The_Crab said:

@dizzy_boy @Bass_X0 Um...because Nintendo games except for notable exceptions never really drop in value? Have you ever checked the retail prices for Nintendo's first party games? However, I do agree on Pilot Wings and Starfox since their sales aren't particularly spectacular.

Except for the ones that sell poorly or are poorly received they essentially never drop in value. That just seems like bad business to drop your prices if you still sell. For example, Metroid: Other M dropped rather quickly in price but most Mario games (exceptions being the "New" series) don't really drop in price.



Mr_3DS said:

Options 1 and 5 lol. Even though I'm 17 I guess I'm still old-school and like collecting.



NintendoROCK3T said:

I hate how you have to actually buy TWO eShop cards JUST for a game!! There's no point so you should just buy the game at a store! I think all Wii U games should be 20 dollars cheaper(40 dollars) & all 3DS games 10 dollars cheaper(30 dollars)! Plus, the biggest problem is that games take up WAY too much space! Overall, I say just buy the actual game.



SCAR said:

I think they should cost less as well, but they are not going to charge less than what things cost in their disc form. You're ultimately paying for the game, in any form it's in.
In otherwords, digital versions will not cost less until Nintendo can distance themselves from disc, cartridge, casing, and paper inserts within the casing.
If Nintendo went all digital, they'd probably lower the price by $10, then discontinue the Deluxe Digital Promo. Or, like Tekken Tag 2, lower the price by $5, then still include the Deluxe Promo.
When there are 2 different ways to own a game, they have to balance out to what said company needs to make in order to support those different means of distribution.

I'm buying digital because of convenience, and buying on day one basically always means you will be paying full price.
If you want deals from digital, you have to make that your main source for buying new games.
As for VC, alot of the prices are reasonable. Mega Man X is $60 for the SNES cart on eBay, and Earthbound is $100+ on eBay as well. eShop SNES games are $8.



Sunnymj said:

Here in Norway it's actually often cheaper to buy games on the eshop:). New games often costs 400-500kr or more in stores, and only 369 or 329kr to download. The prices in Norway are very high so I guess the eshop prices might be a convertion of euro or something. Buying retail online is sometimes cheaper but I can't do that. I bought Animal Crossing(retail) a few days ago for 349kr,on the eshop it was 20kr cheaper, but I wanted a boxed copy:P. The only game I've bought digitally is New Style Boutique(used to cost over 400 in stores), and I might dowload Fire Emblem 'cause I havn't found it in any stores yet. 1st party games almost never drops in price here, Skyward Sword still costs over 400kr many places and many DS-games have just recently dropped in price.



SCAR said:

BTW, I'm not suggesting discs should disappear, but if you have internet, I think it's wiser to download from there. I say leave the discs for people who don't have internet.
More on VC. NES games usually cost $4-5 at a second hand shop anyway. Not really a big of a deal to pay an extra dollar for a superior digital version of a retro game.



Nictendo64 said:

I think they'll lower some of the prices soon. I do agree though, 60 for Nintendo Land is a bit much. At least take off 5-10 dollars so I feel that they're competing with retail.



SCAR said:

They are meeting the price of retail. Retail games cost more because of discs, cases, and paper.
They expect you to value the game equally in whatever form it is distributed in.
No disc, no paper, no case = no cost for those things in the final sale, but those options are still available, so they have to meet the price.

Once there have been enough digital sales to pay for the physical aspect of disc copies, I think we'll see digital prices go down, and digital purchases go up.



ogo79 said:

hello to the other person who voted "Who cares? I’m rich!"
great weather today



armoredghor said:

This ultimately comes down to convenience. If it's 11:00 pm you could go to one or two places depending how close you are or stay in, wait 10-15 and buy the game here. If you move around your game console and handheld a lot, It's convenient to just pack up the console and drive off; no game cases. If you happen to have a game break or console break down, you still have the digital copy after repairs. We can transfer our games across systems and redownload them if we need space. (@58 that scenario of losing downloads doesn't exist!) That's worth the same price to make the case and the book which is probably a few cents.

As far as the market goes, Nintendo is the only 1st party company to have a free online system; in a few months ps4 will be charged and likely ps3. It costs money to maintain servers for gameplay and databases for buys. They also give money back for online buys.

This is a unique situation in distributing locally and online that Nintendo is in competition with their partners. The eshop is likely the first place people check when looking into a new game. If it's cheaper there than the majority of retailers, we won't get wiius stocked. A drive through town yesterday showed that all first party wiiu games and most major releases were still at $59.99. (Walmart, kmart, target, best buy) This excludes retailers like frys and amazon which are rarer; and plus amazon will cause either a week and a half delay or a discount cancelled out and this removes any convenience.

In short, lowering their prices on the eshop would eliminate some partners and cause more problems/ raise prices elsewhere.



EmcGuy said:

Also showing my age I agree the downloads are great if you've got kids. My strategy is
1. Get digital copies of the game i'll keep and play forever ie Mario Kart, Pikmin3.
2. Traditional AAA games like AC3 that you play through once only I'll get disc and trade in.
In Australia most of the games are priced similar to the RRP at launch ~$79



ToastyYogurt said:

Waiting for the likely-not-coming day where every digital shop follows Steam's lead and has a super sale 2-3 times a year.



MasterWario said:

I'm not going to read all these comments, so forgive me if I've already said this, but...
Great Tagline



SCAR said:

Digital downloads have inherented some of the cost of making the disc, case, and paper in the case. That is why they both have the same MSRP.



MajorBritten said:

To be fair I think Nintendo are getting better, all of their recent 3DS eShop games have been priced at £34.99 now instead of £39.99, while buying the physical copies from places like GAME are a bit more expensive. I think the main issue is with the older games that need a price cut. For example Ocarina of Time, Starfox and Pilotwings are still £39.99 on the eShop, even though they have been out for years they are still more expensive than new titles. If they were lowered to £19.99 they would be much more appealing.



Scissors said:

Agreed though personally I'd rather just buy the disc for Wii U game to save the hard drive space. 3DS is a different thing though I would love to have all my games on an SD card. I bought Animal Crossing digitally and it's so much more convenient than frequent card swapping.



Sgt_Garlic said:

Yea, it really bothers me. Digital versions should be like $5-$7 cheaper than a retail copy. Sony prices their digital PS Vita games cheaper than their retail counterpart. You are LITERALLY getting less for your money when you buy digital. No box, no manual, no ability to trade in or sell? No thanks. Steam is really successful because they price games low enough where people are willing to sacrifice selling rights. Nintendo really needs to change this.



SCAR said:

I'm guessing you're ignoring the outrageous price of PS Vita memory cards and the higher price of the PS Vita to boot.
Even if the PS Vita had as many worthwhile games as 3DS had right now, there would virtually be no way to hold them anywhere memory wise on your console, without buying multiple 32GB cards, or one 64GB card for probably over half of what the console cists anyways.



Sgt_Garlic said:

@SCAR392 Okay? We're talking about high prices on digital downloads. Nintendo prices EVERYONE of their first party games on the e-shop at the same price at retail, at least in the U.S. It's terrible. Sony and Microsoft do it with their consoles, too. So don't act like I'm defending Sony. I only brought up Vita game prices as an example. Oh, and speaking of memory, you know the deluxe Wii U only comes with a paltry 32 GB? You're going to need a $70-100 500 GB External HDD, if you're going all digital. I don't have a Vita, and the overpriced, proprietary memory cards is one of the reasons I don't own one. And I also don't buy digital Wii U games either, for the reasons I've already stated.



Jono97 said:

Here in Australia... the RRP is $70AUD which is $63.41USD as of 14/07/13 [Used to be 1:1]. As you may guess.. on the eshop, it would also be $70. However, after a month, the price would drop and hover around $50-60 and the terrible ones would go down to $40. But my point is.. the eshop price will stay up at $70- a serious ripoff. If you know me... I'l only buy games for $40-50.. Not going to pay an extra 20-30 dollars for nothing.



FineLerv said:

I'm only buying digital with the Wii U. I want to have a collection of games that I can keep forever and don't want to have a bookshelf full of disks.

Despite that, I still feel the pricing is way off. I take advantage of the Sales as much as I can to save money. But they need to accommodate more for the disadvantages of digital (can't lend a digital game to your buddy, can't resell a digital game, the value of the purchase is only ever going to depreciate).



JaxonH said:

Forgive me if this is a tad off topic, but since we're talking digital anyways... What's everyone's take on Nintendo phasing out physical manuals in favor of digital manuals accessible from the UI menu? The first time this happened to me was with DKC Returns on 3DS, and I was SERIOUSLY bummed. I've been getting manuals with my Nintendo games since the NES, so you can imagine my disappointment when one of my favorite games of all time came in nothing more than a plastic case with a black and white precaution insert. "Ok" I thought, "3DS games are going digital for their manuals, but at least I'll always get a manual for my console games, for my Wii U games. I can live with that."... Then I get Game & Wario in the mail from my pre order and whattaya know- there's no manual. This ON TOP OF the fact they're using hollow shells for game cases nowadays, those new "eco-friendly" game cases with the recycle logo cut out of them. I mean my goodness, with little more than plastic frames for cases, missing manuals and who knows what's next on the chopping block, I feel like it's becoming pointless to collect physical copies of games anymore! Does anyone else feel this way? Or has anyone else even NOTICED Nintendo has abolished physical manuals on both 3DS and Wii U? What's your thoughts?



DrRandle said:

Nowhere in that article did it show that there's any -actual- precedent for what you want, though.
You got Last of us cheaper, congrats you found a sale. Sony charged me 59.99 USD for it. They charged me full price for PlayStation All-Stars when I bought that a couple of weeks ago as well.
I'm really glad you found places in town that sell NSMBU cheaper, but that's not the case here. My gamestop, best buy, and others, are all still up at 59.99 USD. It's MSRP. Nintendo's not lowering it below MSRP. If other retailers wanna take the hit, that's their business.
Also Steam does not sell games cheaper at launch. I had to pay 60 dollars for Bioshock Infinite, Resident Evil 6, Remember Me, and any other game I can't think of that came out this year. Full price. Sometimes games come out cheaper by 10 bucks. That's not because it's digital: if you go to Sony or XBOX, it's the same 60 dollar price tag. And if you go into a store, it's 10 dollars cheaper on PC. Why? Because nobody is buying on PC, so they need to lower the price because that's the only chance it has of selling. (
Yes, we all know and love Steam Sales, but they're just that - sales. And anyone can have sales, they're anomalies, not the standard. As soon as this ends, BioShock Infinite, Skyrim, and Tomb Raider all go back to 60 bucks. Never mind the price of season passes up front.
So no, Nintendo's doing fine. They're priced to sell inline with their retail buddies. They even give awesome rebates in the form of the rewards, if you got the deluxe WiiU, and they do have games go on sale time to time. I don't see them doing anything wrong.



SanderEvers said:

@DrRandle So true, except most games in Steam's summer sale won't go up to full price anymore

And also, you don't buy a box, gamecard/dvd/bluray disc, manual. No you buy a license to play a game. You get the container for free.



Luffy said:

Q: "if my wii U breaks for some reason and i ahve 10 games DLC do I get them back when i purchase a new wii U?"

A: ? anyone



Luffy said:

i looked it up and there is and eshop account that you can redownload from. So I'm assuming if I log in with my eshop account with my new wii U i can download them again?



Trikeboy said:

With the case of this year. I plan to download Pokemon X because I'm not in the UK right now. However, I will be in the country a little later in the year. I have been wanting to upgrade to a 3DS XL for a while now so when I am home, I will be picking up Pokemon Y and hopefully a limited edition XL. Pikmin 3 is available this week so I will be downloading it. I just know it will be cheaper when I go home but I also know I will be playing the hell out of Pokemon so it is best to buy Pikmin now.



DrRandle said:

@SanderEvers Not the ones that have already been reduced, no. But that's because after 6 months, nobody wants to pay full price for most games anymore. Except Nintendo games, traditionally, and a handfull of others. That's why I still, to this day, cannot go into a GameStop and find a new copy of Mario Party damned 9 for less than it was when it released. Well maybe now since that new one released what, last year? two years ago? I gave up, but the fact is it lasted for a long time.



DESS-M-8 said:

Pikmin 3 has already been announced as releasing in the eshop at £39.99.
Does this not satisfy your argument and show that now after the launch period the eshop is moving To be more inline and competitive?



NightmareXIV said:


You're right I'm an avid collector of physical games because of the code for club nintendo, but now they just do their post play surveys, and you're given them 7 days after you first play where as the physical code I can just take out copy into the club nintendo website take the survey, and done in a minute rather than a week.



Stuffgamer1 said:

This may or may not have been mentioned already, but Americans ARE used to paying MSRP for new games. NSMBU is still $60 in stores now, barring limited offers. That said, I'm in the camp that thinks the download should be cheaper to make up for reduced cost of sale. Either way, it's kind of a rip-off, which is why I generally prefer physical games.



GiftedGimp said:

Agree that the eShop retail downloads should be cheaper than disc versions. But this problem is universal psn and xbl also.



DualWielding said:


I don't know what you are talking about I've registered both digital and physical games at club Nintendo and both are the same, you get the initial survey for 40 coins and then you get the post-play survey for 10 coins a week later.... Unless outside N/A is different....



DualWielding said:


The reason PC games are cheaper is not because nobody buys them is because in console games the console maker gets a cut, that's why in multiplatform releases pc games will always be US$10 cheaper than console equivalents....



erv said:

Well yep.

Street price for every game starts off 10 euro's lower at launch - and usually, it's available for even less.

Pikmin is a game I can pick up for 40 euro's on launch, where nintendo will probably ask a full 60 for it. No, not going to happen.

That and I've yet to see a 5 euro discount somewhere. Am I missing something?



DarkNinja9 said:

to me recently the way to add funds is what gets to me at times the pricing of the game is just off by a few more dollars and they dont have the $5 add funds options like they did in the Wii shop

to get the luigi DLC was hard enough i had $15 already and had to spend another $10 to get it leaving me with $5 on my account that i probably wont use



FantasiaWHT said:

Even on release date, an electronic copy should be cheaper than the retail, for two reasons.

First, you are getting less product. You aren't getting the case & manual. Small things, yes, but important to some people, and if you are getting less product, you should pay less money.

Second, you are buying a less valuable product, because it cannot be resold (short of selling your entire system with all its downloads). If I can buy a game for $50, and resell it 2 months later for $30, that game really only cost me $20. That inability to sell it decreases its value, and it should therefore sell for less.

For those two reasons - particularly the latter - I will not ever buy a downloaded game for the same price as its retail counterpart. The electronic version's on sale? Then I'll think about it.



XyVoX said:

Personally i think that every retail game you buy you should receive a download code for the eShop so you have the convenience of having the game on your SD card.



SCAR said:

Xbox One tried to do that and everyone flipped, because stricter DMR came along with a feature like that. I, and probably tons of other people probably had the same "copy the physical copy", but Microsoft made people aware that such an idea would end up putting more value on your discs that they would have to control to avoid loss.

As for Europe, I had no clue they get cut prices on games on launch for physical copies. The price is always the same in the U.S.(where I live) for either a digital or physical copy on basically anyday unless you have a store coupon. I could technically use Best Buy or GS coupons and get a $5-$10 discount on an eShop card as well, along with the Deluxe Digital Promo $5, and that's beside the point that I buy games on launch when they're the same price in any form you get them.

EDIT: Also, 3DS digital games now allow data back-up. That can go along way to strengthen Nintendo's DMR in the future.



Gold_Ranger said:

I don't like that there is NO incentive to buy online or pre-order online.
Atlus gives all those extras when you buy the physical. Maybe it should be the opposite.



Doma said:

@SCAR392 "As for Europe, I had no clue they get cut prices on games on launch for physical copies.

That's basically because when/if a retailer over here witnesses a product not selling at the given price, they're smart enough to adjust it to meet with demand, it's basic business. Very few people are willing to pay the silly RRP of £40 for a handheld game in the UK, this is fact. Since Nintendo would never reduce the RRP, the retailers are forced to make the cuts themselves.

In the past i heard Nintendo was heavily fined for price-fixing (conspiring with retailers to stick to their RRP, no matter what). So it doesn't surprise me to see that with retailers out the equation, Nintendo will keep the game prices as high as possible. I think they’d rather see their business capsize than adjust themselves according to market (in the UK at least...).



WiiLovePeace said:

@R_Champ Definitely agree with you about the sales. They've been discounting all the indie games frequently, though that's probably thanks to the developers themselves I imagine. There's just a few VC games I'm on the fence about but would definitely pick them up if they were cheaper. & I hope they make that FE: A & SMT IV deal available in my country when SMT IV comes out, that's definitely an amazing incentive.

@Melkaticox time changes all things Personally, I just don't think Balloon Fight as a game is worth the same value as SMB2, you know?



SCAR said:

Retailers here in the U.S. usually keep the price the same regardless, until things actually call for a price cut.
In reality, euro dollar is worth more than a U.S. dollar, so that could another reason why they are able to have lower prices in that case.
I just think Europeans didn't really buy the Wii U anyway. If the price of a $350 Wii U was as low as $250 from retailer cuts in the U.S., I can tell you right now, that people would be snatching them up WAY faster than the same treatment in Europe.
As for digital copies, there is no doubt some of the "extra" cost is inherent from the availability of physical copies. People say they would buy digital more often if it was cheaper than the disc, but if that includes creating less discs or not making any at all, it's a catch 22.



grimbldoo said:

@suburban_sensei #17
exactly, that's why Nintendo has the same price as target, walmart, bestbuy, gamestop, etc. Because if you could get the games for $10 cheaper, why would you even bother with hard copies?



Bass_X0 said:

Retail games eat up a lot of blocks? You'd have to continually buy SD Cards for each new retail game you buy.



SCAR said:

That's basically the point I was trying to make, but I do think it is important for people to still have discs available to an extent for those that don't have internet.

I can already get $5-10 off using store coupons, then the Deluxe Digital Promo. That's already $10 off, although $5 off it is locked into the eShop.



Squiggle55 said:

Digital releases should be a little bit cheaper to begin with because of the reduced value. BUT I think the even more important part is that digital stores need to be A LOT better at lowering the price of a game in a timely manner. Someone needs to be in charge of monitoring the going rate of games and adjust the eshop accordingly. Otherwise, let's be honest, they're in the business of taking advantage of people that don't do their homework and don't realize they're being ripped off by buying an overpriced version of a game with less value to begin with since it's digital.



SCAR said:

A 32GB SD card for 3DS has around 260,000 blocks, I think. Even if you had more higher memory demanding games, you'd still be able to fit approximately 40 full retail games at 6000 blocks(Animal Crossing: New Leaf).
That's already a $1600 guarantee worth of game memory for even the high memory games. Meaning you will most likely be able to buy at least $1600 worth of games before a $30 32GB SD card doesn't have any free memory left.



Sceptic said:

I'm sure Iwata has some fantastic insight for us as to why tied to the colsole is better and why in fact, eShop should cost more, but they're doing us a favor by offering it for RRP.

Here again, Nintendo is stuck in the past. A eShop needs to be managed, and if it is, it can be a market maker and a driving force. It's not a just a filofax where you list your stuff and people can buy it for the worst price available.

Steam, iTunes and the Play Store are marketing tools as much as they are shops. You hype, you show off, you make people happy they're on your plattform. That's what it's about. Get the numbers up high enough and it feeds off itself. But Nintendo thinks it's still just about having an eShop...



SCAR said:

They also have marketing on the eShop. They have the latest news for their games on the 3DS and Wii U eShop, including trailers and release dates.
One of the big things they mention is that you can buy it right now without having to go to the store.



yttrium13 said:

First of all, Steam does not generally deep-discount games at launch. In fact, major retail games generally start at the same price as the physical version. Discounts come later.

Second, Steam has other download services competing with it. Services like GoG aren't as big, but they still matter. There are many ways to get a game digitally on PC, and they drive each other's prices down. This is part of the reason Steam's sales are so big. Any console platform has only one digital shop and does not have as much outside pressure to lower prices - the only competing digital services are on other platforms, which obviously isn't the same thing.

I do agree that Nintendo should do more sales with all their digital content (not just retail) though.



unrandomsam said:

@yttrium13 Yeah but stuff like Tomb Raider - 4 months old is £7.50 (Good example I know of from the last few days) - RRP £29.99 you never get anything like that from Nintendo. (Ocarina of Time for £19.99 3DS was the best one but it was available at retail for less anyway by that point).



grimbldoo said:

@SCAR392 #155
Yup, I was agreeing with you.
Nintendo should just drop $5 off the retail price for every eShop game, that way it's not a ripoff for those getting it online, and it's not that big of a loss for those who buy solid copies.



unrandomsam said:

Also people like Ubisoft are destroying it for other developers by doing what they are with ZombiU. People will think if it is not by Nintendo regardless of how good it is you will get it for next to nothing if you just wait. Nothing worse than feeling like you have been ripped off as a consumer. (Doesn't matter if it is a pound or a thousand pounds it is not a good feeling).



moroboshi said:

WIth regard to Sony's digital pricing, The Last of Us was unusually cheap. Most PSN downloads of new titles are £49.99, £59.99, or even more for the likes of Assassin's Creed 4. (which is around £65) Given that Amazon sells of these for £35 or £40, Sony's pricing is, The Last of Us excluded, equally insane.

I don't get the whole 'lets not upset the retailers' thing, as game retailing barely exists anymore anyway. It's time to price digital releases sensibly and retire the discs once and for all.



moroboshi said:

@FantasiaWHT You missed the most important reason - digital cuts out the middle men. No distributors and no retailers. They take the lion's share of the cost of a game. With them gone, digital should be dramatically cheaper than physical.



SCAR said:

Then perhaps you don't see the similarities? You can download demos as you can sample music on iTunes. There are "coming soon" tabs, just released, interviews, etc.
If you don't consider that direct marketing, than I'm afraid you don't know what marketing is, resulting in your claim that mismanagement is taking place, TBD, void.



technotreegrass said:

I know that retail downloads need to be competitively priced, but after 6 months to a year, prices start slowly dropping on Xbox Live for digital retail games. I don't see why Nintendo can't do the same with their games. Last month when I went to buy Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning, the eshop wanted $40. Gamestop wanted $30 new. I went straight to Gamestop and bought it new.



McGruber said:

I think packaged games should still come with a cute manual or something ekse sii that you arent just paying for a box...but hey what do I know



DrRandle said:

@ferthepoet If that's the case then, shouldn't -all- first party games from all developers be cheaper? Why is Microsoft still charging 60 for halo? Why is Sony still charging me 60 for Last of us, or Playstation AllStars?



jacksayspurple said:

I think the PSP Go provided a timely reminder for the video games industry of the dangers of undercutting retailers and denying them profits. It's a mistake that proved costly for Sony and I doubt any company would be foolish enough to try any similar scheme for a while...



DaveC said:

Yes download games are a rip. For one you really don't own them, you can't lend, sell used, or use on another console without going online and asking permission to initiate a long tedious transfer process. Too much restrictive DRM. As long as Nintendo insists on their asinine policy of locking games to a single piece of hardware, count me out for download games.



DaveC said:

@SCAR392 "BTW, I'm not suggesting discs should disappear, but if you have internet, I think it's wiser to download from there. I say leave the discs for people who don't have internet."

I have the internet but I still go physical. I like to control my own software and not be at the mercy of Nintendo as to on what console I can play what game. Their DRM is terrible. You need to rely on them to move your games if a console braks etc. In the case of 3DS it is nice to be able to move carts to a different unit at will. Also what happens later when the games/console are no longer supported? If you want to move the games for what ever reason (controller/hardware wear on 3DS etc) you will be SOL.



SCAR said:

That's fine, but there are benefits to digital. Nintendo could potentially let people back-up their entire accounts on a separate memory device. If something happens to my console, Nintendo can repair it, and my ext. HDD is left untouched. The HDD can potentially be my cartridge with 100+ games. That's just as good as cloud. If I go somewhere where there's a Wii U, I can just plug in my ext. HDD just like the good ol' days.

That is what I think is going to happen, and I kind oc expect it at this point. I would be able to share or transfer as long as internet and bith consoles are present like 3DS and Wii to Wii U transfers.

I think the accounts should be better, too, but there are still better ways to have accounts than just saying "dump it on the server" like Sony and Apple do.
I'd rather have Nintendo surpass Sony and Apple instead of meeting consumer expectations(which are usually those).

There will always be a packet of data for accounts, regardless. Then, I can move my account around on the memory devices, with that packet of data to fall back on as a last resort.

When you use an ext. HDD for Wii U, it's tied to it, just like our accounts on the hardware itself. You can't play my games without my ext. HDD.



TonLoco said:

@JaxonH I hear ya. I used to love reading game manuals as a kid. When you buy retail now there is either no manual at all or it's just a few pages. I don't understand why people complain about digital games having no booklet when both options mainly have digital instructions. Aside from some preorder bonus of course.



neoepoch said:

The biggest worry is still the fact that the games are console tied, NOT account tied. So if your console breaks or is stolen or anything, you LOSE those games. Nintendo even stated in a letter that you can find that they will not honor replacing lost digital games. Once you lose it, it is gone forever. That DOES NOT fly in this era of digital distribution.



BulbasaurusRex said:

@DaveC Getting your games back if your system is broken, lost, or stolen is currently a major pain, but it can be done, so there's no real issue with losing your purchases. I trust Nintendo to eventually provide a way to streamline the process whether by universal accounts or some other method. I also trust Nintendo to always ensure that our past purchases are always available on our older systems even when they have to stop selling new copies, while I also expect them to continue offering as many of their past downloadable only games as possible on each new system. After all, almost all DSiWare is available on the 3DS e-Shop, while the entire Wii online store (short of the occasional VC game that had to be removed) is available on the Wii U.

As for cases and manuals, the manuals are still there in digiital form (and usually pretty c***py either way, these days), while cases are absolutely pointless when there's nothing to keep in them anyway.

The inability to buy and sell used copies is an issue, but there are plenty of games that you know ahead of time that you will never sell and can't wait for a decently priced used copy.



MitchVogel said:

I think they should drop prices as time goes on, just as the retailers do. Day 1, it's really just a toss up for preference as the price is the same regardless of where you buy a game. After a few months though, it really doesn't make sense to buy from the eshop when a game can be found for much cheaper physically. I'm confident that Nintendo will fix this eventually.



DualWielding said:


How can it be done? I understand Nintendo sometimes is nice and let you redownload the games but they can also say sorry you are screwed, there's no guarantee that you can get your games back



Dogpigfish said:

I agree, even Sony offers multiple discounts on their store. Typically new games will release for 10% less on download. Why isn't Nindi doing this?



YChung said:

@sleepinglion I so agree with you on virtual console game prices which is why I have not bought any except the ones going for 0.30. They are rip-off prices. And yes nintendo are greedy. All their pricing is on the expensive side. Including wii u games, again why I don't buy many. Rip off!!

3ds games for around £20-25 is worth it. Not £35 as you'll find for first party games.



element187 said:

for third party games I'll remain retail, because lets be honest, most of them have little to none replay value.... I find myself constantly wishing I never sold Nintendo first party titles because I like to revisit them, so I decided starting with Pikmin 3 i'll do download only for first party titles.

But for all the Assassins' Creed, Call of Doodies, the replay value drops considerably over time., so its nice to have the ability to recoup a little bit of cost on a title I don't think I'll ever play again.... on the other hand, I can always go back and play some Mario galaxy, Zelda, smash, etc.



Darknyht said:

Nintendo is dealing with the digital version of the Disk System on the Famicom. Digital is cheap to release on, which publishers like, but they have no leverage now to force cheaper pricing. Cut it and they lose distributors of the physical products (including their own console) along with the publishers may be getting additional sales money for the digital product (depending on what Nintendo's deal is as the digital distributor). Until Nintendo can think of a better method of selling their consoles en mass than retail outlets, this probably is not going to change.



Henmii said:

"Retail Games Cost Too Much To Download From The eShop"

Agreed! You don't get a disc, box or manual, so it should be cheaper! And it takes up a lot of memory space! And when your system dies, your game is lost!

Be wise, buy games at retail!!



Laxeybobby said:

I thought the cost of a game in the retail shop covered the likes of manufacturing of the game. ie the disk, box etc and then some extra pennies on top for the running cost of the retailer, plus their markup to earn a profit.

Download games direct from Nintendo surely dont have two of these factors, manufacturing and retail running cost! So surely they should be cheaper than they are on the eShop right now. Crikey the profit markup must be through the roof on the eShop and I pity the fools who would pay that money when you can get them £10 or more cheaper online or at Game Store.

One way they would be reduced if everyone 'voted with their feet' and didn't purchase these over priced online offerings from the eShop (Retail games only as some of the indie games are very well priced) sending a message to those decision makers of eShop so they will stop and think and then say "Ah I think if we reduce the price, people might buy"



Windy said:

@Darknyht Your probably absolutely right. I have never thought about the Eshop undercutting retail shops with lower prices. that's probably why they wont lower the prices. To me it's still not right, but it makes more sense now. It would be Nice if nintendo would at least lower the prices as the Retailers lower them or sales happen then. that would be acceptable to me anyway. I picked up 3 games on amazon this week for a total of 46.00 dollars. which includes Castlevania 3ds a 39.99 Eshop download. At those Prices I would never download a digital retail game



golephish said:

// good story - I agree - I wish the games were account bound. the only reason im in the eshop at all this week is the $30.00 credit for the 2 games promotion. but the only game I could find was NSMB2 and it was 39. so some VC games for me.



HarveyManback said:

I agree with a lot of the comments here. I know as for me I prefer physical copies of all my media (I still buy CDs, lol). However, even if the prices were reduced (as is the case for New Super Luigi U). I am still waiting to buy the physical copy, because I like to collect.

Also, I completely agree that Nintendo has to change the way digital games are tied to your console. Make it more like other consoles and let it be tied to my Nintendo Network ID, its hard to purchase something even at a discount if you have a fear of hardware failure and losing everything.

Another reason and this is a huge one for me. I live in an area where 3 MB is the most bandwidth I can get. So a 7 to 8 GB game takes me 8 - 9 hours or so to download. When I can just get in my car and drive 30 minutes and get the game at retail for the same price and have the physical game to add to my collection. Always having it available to play and lend to friends.

All that being said I really hope Nintendo in a future firmware update implements linking the virtual game downloads to my account and not my system hardware, this would even entice me to purchase more VC games and Indie games without the fear of ever losing them.



Big_Boy_Chubs said:

if they would lower the prices, I'd probobaly become the eshops best customer. Until then, I only go to gamestop and buy used.



AznBananaz said:

I dont get why you guys want the eshop games to be cheaper. They already are cheaper then buying new retail games(besides a price drop at the store) A brand new game on the eshop is 39.99. A brand new game at a game store is 39.99+tax.



nWoElite said:

I look at it like this. I'm old school, so for me every new game I bought there was the fun of unwrapping it from the plastic, opening the box and taking the cartridge out. The limited edition Golden cartridges/discs with every Zelda release? Perfect. Anybody else remember the rainbow cartridges during the 64 era? Things like that are what make me but the discs/carts. Also, theres no easier way to converse with other gamers and meet face to face than midnight release parties where one can go in and stand with others in anticipation of the new release.

Is the eShop big N's attempt to cut out the resale market?

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