News Article

Nintendo Reports Continuing Improvement in Download Sales

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Pokémon X & Y prompting more players to keep their 3DS with them

Satoru Iwata's Q2 financial briefing focused on three key areas — the strength of the 3DS, the strategies to revive the Wii U, and the continuing growth of Nintendo's download sales and platforms. In that final category, Iwata-san made clear that "a significant expansion of our digital business is required to adapt to the changes in the business conditions and to create new business opportunities".

In this part of the briefing the Nintendo President made clear that he's "confident that our digital business has finally entered a phase of expansion". Download sales in the first six months of the fiscal year have reached 11.4 billion Yen (nearly $116 million / over £72 million), and as the graph below shows that's more than double the equivalent period last year. It was also made clear that connection rates of the 3DS and Wii U are "significantly higher" than DS and Wii, while retail downloads account for around half of the total sales.

In a section mostly focused on Japan, it was explained that POSA (point of sales activation) cards had sold over 1.3 million units, which include eShop codes for download-only and retail games as well as the Japan-only "Photos" AR series — a range of these POSA cards is available from GAME stores in Europe.

The releases of the four new paid StreetPass games was also mentioned as an example of expanding the download offerings on Nintendo systems, with all four accounting for 1.1 billion Yen in sales (nearly $11.2 million) up to the end of September. 75% of those sales have apparently been made in Japan, though the StreetPass Relay functionality and the release of Pokémon X & Y are boosting StreetPass activity in the West.

Finally, we can expect SpotPass to play an increasingly important role in promoting download content and, in some cases, deliver content directly — one example will be the automated download of Wii Sports Club for those with 1.3GB of available space.

We suspect that Nintendo's download platforms will continue to evolve, with plenty of games confirmed and on the way to both eShops; the presence of DLC and free-to-play models are also likely to increase, for better or worse.


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User Comments (29)



kereke12 said:

To be honest here, Nintendo could of avoid this situation there in and just listen to there customer. Stop making family games, and start making more hardcore games. Because they really are slacking BIG TIME. Only us Fanboys are supporting Nintendo, but we need more support. Not just US, but Newcomers everywhere, including the ones that gave up on Nintendo.



maneauleau said:

"Nintendo, whether digital or packaged believe price should be the same, claims once buy digital more likely to buy again digital" by David Gibson (@gibbogame)

This though saddens me a lot. They really think that digital and retail should be sold for the same price Why should price be the same if you can't resell, can't lend or have no way of transferring or re-download your games later on with no account system and no guaranty of the future?



DualWielding said:

Introduce account system and see digital dramatically increase, if they insist with their anti-consumer policies they will never be true competitors in the digital marketplace



Peach64 said:

Am I the only one not impressed with them doubling the figures from a year ago? A year ago there was no full priced retail titles on 3DS or Wii U. You'd think that going from no full retail downloads to every first party game as a retail download would do much more than double the income.

It's a weird situation because Nintendo are pushing it hard with their free game promos, but in Europe, download titles are ridiculously more expensive than physical copies, almost twice the price, and it doesn't matter how good your advertising is, people will go for the huge saving on the physical copy.



erv said:

I love digital, but the price speaks.

So I can buy zombiU for 15 euro soon, which is great. I can also buy most wanted for 70. Or 18, retail. So yeah, digital equals a certain convenience, but only when the prices are matched to the low street prices.

I can't wait for amazon to start selling wii U eshop download games with a discount. Revenue will soar for all involved, and I'll be digital even more.



Emblem said:

@Peach64 I think Its more validation then boasting. If digital sales had not been boosted by the games actually being available online then Nintendo would know their audience is not interested in digital delivery (or at least at the prices they charge).

Hopefully this will push them to speed up delivery of an actual account system which along with the prices is likely the main thing holding alot of people back.




I've been buying digital here and there: Trine 2, Nano Assual, NSLU, some VC games, and recent RER because it was $20.



withoutdk said:

i am also a phydical disc lover... but when a game is only for download.. then i have to download :/



rjejr said:

""a significant expansion of our digital business is required to adapt to the changes in the business conditions and to create new business opportunities"."

Translation - we like digital b/c we don't have to pay for manufacturing and shipping yet we still charge the same price and therefore increase our profit. ie digital makes them more money than physical.



electrolite77 said:

Get your account system sorted.

Get the VC sorted, because it's currently a disgrace.

Until then, Nintendo are crippling themselves when it comes to digital revenue.



Darknyht said:

@kereke12 Nintendo themselves have never been about western style "Hardcore" games, it is always third parties that brought that.

I like the idea of e-Shop and have purchased on it, but I tend to only do it with games I plan on wanting to go back to a lot (Wii Fit U, Wii Sports Club, Zelda, or smaller titles).



Nareva said:

I have so far bought no games at retail. I have six full games, several from the eshop and several vc. That said, price is an issue. If I didn't have the 10% digital promotion going for me, I would likely buy all my full games at retail. Amazon almost always has cheaper prices plus I'll be able to give the games to my nephews when I'm finished with them.



daveh30 said:

The reason Nintendo hasn't set eShop prices for retail games lower is pretty simple... If they undercut the big box stores and cut into their sales, the big box stores will stop supporting them, and right now, thats where Nintendo is moving consoles. The solution to this very simple. And Awesome. Nintendo Stores! I would love to see that happen!



Socar said:


Have you played Donkey Kong Country Returns for Wii?

The thing is Nintendo whether you like it or not, is a friendlier company than the rest that's why their games are focused on a younger audience.



TingLz said:

Plus Nintendo only determines the digital price of their own published games, not 3rd parties



unrandomsam said:

Its not good Game having a monopoly on eshop code sales. (Especially as in the stores their latest policy is to hide that they sell Nintendo at all as well as possible).



unrandomsam said:

@Darknyht Super Mario Bros 2 (Jap) is pretty hardcore. You can never get through a world by luck. They were reasonable in the NES days generally and then started making stuff easier and easier every release. (Somewhere between NES and SNES I think would be good for most people.)



unrandomsam said:

Those same stores don't stock any games new on purpose as much as possible so Nintendo gets absolutely nothing from them. (For the same as or even more than Amazon charges for new).



unrandomsam said:

The US has the same problem that the EU fined Nintendo ~100,000,000€ for so I guess it doesn't matter there. (Amazon tried to introduce a bit of competition to the market and Nintendo stopped them selling hardware).



WebHead said:


Like it or not, Nintendo is a company that makes video games with a family-appeal. And that probably isn't going to change.



Darknyht said:

@unrandomsam That also was a game that was not released outside of Japan for a long time precisely because of it's brutal and unforgiving gameplay. I never said that they couldn't release impossible games (in fact they made Punch Out which I still cannot finish), just that they tend to go easier on you than say a Battletoads, Ninja Gaiden or Blaster Master.



Dogpigfish said:

I noticed that retailers are making it difficult to buy the 'Wii U' version. All the snot faced teenagers that are bashing the Wii U. This is why. They want us to keep buying music on CDs.

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