News Article

Talking Point: Nintendo's Catch-22 With Retail Game Pricing

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Go high, get criticised. Go low, get criticised...

This week Nintendo UK launched its own online retail store, stepping into the market typically occupied by the likes of Amazon, Gamestop, GAME and various others; even the bricks-and-mortar retailers mentioned have an increasing reliance on web sales. It's a more up-to-date, relevant proposition that the Nintendo of America equivalent, while other European nations don't currently have stores of the same style; if it's a trial run, it's revealing.

The reaction among the Nintendo Life community typically revolved around one thing — pricing. The Nintendo Store has opted for the widely-considered recommended retail price, even if that as a concept doesn't exist in the UK and Europe as a whole to the same degree as in North America. Beyond retail terms, it basically means that all of the products are full price, with the exception of one promotion for a discount when buying a limited edition Pokémon X & Y 3DS XL with a copy of either game. That pricing policy, it seems, is widely considered to be a mistake.

Key questions spring to mind, however. What should Nintendo do instead? What are the options beyond selling these products at the prices that the company originally sets?

Its easy for anyone, including us here at Nintendo Life, to bemoan pricing either on the eShop or on the fledgling Nintendo Store. At times we feel justified, such as Ubisoft's decision to price Splinter Cell: Blacklist at $59.99 / €69.99 / £55.99 on the Wii U eShop — that seems beyond what we'd consider to be a standard retail price in Europe, even if $60 can be the norm in North America. Breathlessly ambitious pricing, at best.

And yet, whether with the eShop platforms or, now, Nintendo's own service that delivers physical copies of games, charging the official price seems to be regarded as coming in too high, pushing a rate that in many eyes seems unreasonable. For Nintendo, however, it's difficult to determine the best option — undercut or challenge retailers and you risk alienating them and damaging business relationships, while charging full price doesn't go down particularly well with savvy gamers.

It's a challenging scenario. One argument goes that Nintendo should price competitively to satisfy consumers, and let retailers worry about themselves. While a nice thought that Nintendo has the stature to maintain its market presence primarily off its own brand-power and platforms, that's not the reality; despite troubled times and plummeting profits, retailers are still needed. We'd suggest that it may be the majority, not minority of game console owners that have relatively little knowledge about their hobby beyond what they've decided they enjoy and what's grabbed their attention. To expand on that point, it seems like a reasonable assumption to say that the majority of the hundreds of millions of Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony gamers don't pore over their favourite websites every day. They may like certain genres or brands, and still walk into a store and ask for advice from staff, or simply grab anything with FIFA, Call of Duty or Mario on the box.

Another argument defends the full-price strategy, and there are multiple angles to that perspective. One is the flip-side of that mentioned above, that Nintendo should offer alternatives while maintaining relationships with retail partners, especially with new systems and a raft of high-budget releases landing in time for the Holiday season. In addition, there's a chain of thought that says Nintendo, like its contemporaries in the retail space, should strive to maintain the value of its products — when you lower the cost of a major release, you set in motion a race to the bottom.

It's easy to sympathise with that view, especially as it permeates the whole of the game industry at various levels. Small developers publishing on the eShop platforms and equivalents such as PSN have to face up to the deluge of apps on Android and iOS that are either free or cheaper than a newspaper. Retail games face off against both realities and sets of download-only services, offering increasingly bombastic or impressive experiences — in the case of good games, that is — to justify the investment for the consumer. There's a continual battle against those that say "why should I pay X for Y when I can get Z for less" — that's hypothetical, not a Pokémon reference — and a headache for all concerned.

For its part, Nintendo has flirted with various angles in selling its games directly to consumers. In many cases it charges full price, meaning that less expensive opportunities are available for those happy to browse online retailers or hit select stores out on the street. On occasion Nintendo does run a promotion that could potentially undercut some competitors; Europe had a 30% off opportunity with eShop copies of Pikmin 3 and The Wonderful 101, while in North America there was $30 of eShop credit up for grabs for those that picked up Fire Emblem: Awakening and Shin Megami Tensei IV. There's also been clear wriggle room with retail prices, which we'd suggest is a positive when applied sensibly, but these can be endlessly debated — titles such as Pikmin 3 and Game & Wario have lower asking prices than The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD and the upcoming Super Mario 3D World. Valuing games depending on their audience and content is a sensible, and obvious, thing to do.

The debate can certainly be had about whether retail pricing is still correct — one to tackle in detail another day — as some may feel that the days of requesting $60 for a game are passing. While we all have our opinions, it's not as cut and dried as saying "games should cost less and that's beyond dispute" — there's a whole eco-system to consider in that argument, as consumers demand the best yet want to pay less, when blockbuster HD games cost more to make than ever before, and developers are entitled to make a living. It's an argument with lots of complicating factors, but what is simple is that consumers will always be happy to pay less; that doesn't mean it's the right thing for the retail game industry.

For Nintendo, a perfect pricing model for endeavours such as the UK online store or even the eShop platforms will continue to be elusive. If Nintendo decides a product is worth $60 but Amazon or other retailers sell them for $40, simply lowering its own prices to match aren't the simple answer, as that sets a precedent. When Nintendo releases a brand new major Mario game for a price like $30, the dye is cast and it's difficult to go back.

As gamers, we always want more for less, but it's not that simple. Is it?

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User Comments (75)

Dreamcaster-X

#1

Dreamcaster-X said:

Pricing is another reason why I remain almost exclusively physical disc only!! It's 9 times out of 10 the better value.

tchaten

#2

tchaten said:

It would be amazing if Nintendo's eShop had a way to do price matching like BestBuy does here in the states. More competitive retail pricing would be another way to approach it $40 or $50 launch prices are nice to have

Peach64

#3

Peach64 said:

If Nintendo does not want to upset retailers, then why are they opening a store? It seems kind of crazy to me that they're opening a store and then purposefully charging more than anyone else so retailers don't get offended. Look at Apple, their stores are a huge success, because you'll never get the stuff cheaper anywhere else, but stores still love getting Apple stuff in because it sells. Some of the stuff on the store is insanely marked up compared to Amazon too. £40 for Metroid: Other M when Amazon have it for £5.

datamonkey

#4

datamonkey said:

What bugs me is NIntendo's eshop pricing for full retail games as they are often more expensive than their retail counterparts.

This annoys me as they don't have costs such as packaging and distribution in digital so if anything the eshop pricing should be lower not higher.

That and the fact that there is no unified account system prevents me from buying those games digitally and I will refrain until it changes...

Tasuki

#5

Tasuki said:

I have to agree with Dreamcaster-X in that most cases I can find physical media cheaper than digital. I mean Amazon has some crazy sales from time to time and heck even this week Toys R Us is having a sale. Digital seems to only have sales once in awhile. Also physical seems to get more price drops too then digital.

unrandomsam

#6

unrandomsam said:

Game do absolutely nothing for Nintendo. (Other than make Nintendo lose money as I won't buy from them under any circumstances). People buying consoles will buy from either Supermarkets or Amazon.

When the Wii U first came out Game had it connected over composite to a 4:3 CRT.

They never stock any of the good games other than used or at full RRP.

Don't stock any genuine accessories only gameware cheap china junk.

I would support Nintendo buying retail downloads at £29.99 but I won't support them subsidising Game. (Anybody could set up a website selling codes and with an exclusive distribution like they have couldn't lose).

Senario

#7

Senario said:

@Peach64 Nintendo has one store. In Manhattan. It is not a chain they plan on expanding so thus it isn't valid for they shouldn't worry about retailers.

if you are talking about the e shop, most people still get hard copies. Undercutting as a digital distributor only works when you have no hard copies in stores to undercut (PC)

DarkCoolEdge

#8

DarkCoolEdge said:

It is a very complicated issue indeed. Nintendo shouldn't lower its prices much, 5 € would be enough for 3DS games. And more importantly, either drop the prices after some time has passed since the release (Star Fox 64 3D...) or run sales more frequently, even if they are just 20 or 25 % off.

Dr_Corndog

#9

Dr_Corndog said:

Why should this matter? Nintendo could have never opened their shop, and the situation would be the same. The presence of Nintendo's store isn't changing anything. You can still buy from Amazon or Best Buy or wherever just like you did before, if that's what you want.

Blast

#10

Blast said:

I say... Just make the base price for 3DS and Wii U games just 40 bucks :D

unrandomsam

#12

unrandomsam said:

@Wowfunhappy So would I but this is the Wii U (Running new Super Mario Bros U) next to 360/PS3's connected via HDMI.

Been slightly less bad if they had used RGB scart but they don't stock those or component cables.

It looked absolutely awful. (First time I had seen the Wii U in person.)

Dogpigfish

#14

Dogpigfish said:

@Dreamcaster-X Unfortunately that's true with Nintendo. Why don't they do any digital promos? There stupid deluxe digital promo infuriates me because 32gb is not enough to own many full games and they gave everyone a disc copy of Nintendoland, which just confused me into buying the basic and a harddrive to find out later that you have to have a black console to get a discount. Nintendo apologized, but they didn't offer a resolution. Sony never does this. I hate Nintendo's pricing model; it's designed to be confusing and make people pay full price. That's why it's important Sony keeps them in their toes.

crazycrazydave

#15

crazycrazydave said:

Have a "game of the week" sale like the Apple App Store does on any Virtual Console, download or retail game. If Nintendo won't do it, a 3rd party or indie developer will enjoy the exposure on the front of the eShop. Reduce the price of a game on the eShop after a year, and then again after another year. The 50% off Monster Hunter 3 on 3DS and Wii U is the sort of deal that will sell lots of units from the eShop and encourage downloads. It doesn't need to be low price all the time, but it needs to get reduced around Summer and Christmas temporarily and permanently after a year or two have passed.

As for physical games, accessories and consoles, a similar (although not as much as drastic) temporary sale should be in effect, especially around Christmas and Summer. They should price their merchandise just a little above what most retailers would sell it for, but offer Club Nintendo coins (or whatever the system is, I don't have one myself) in exchange for paying a slightly higher price. You can get it cheap, or you can get coins to spend on cool things.

Speaking of an account, a unified account system with cross download compatibility on Virtual Consoles and some games on both Wii U and 3DS would seal the deal, with Club Nintendo coins being abolished for a monetary value and tied to each account set up.

There you go Nintendo, make like Steam a little, and you might divert me away from my gaming PC for a bit.

micronean

#16

micronean said:

In Canada, I have to pay $67 for a new game. Sometimes the content just doesn't feel like it's worth the price. I wish the MSRP could be about $20 less. And prices online are just ridiculous sometimes! It's such a missed opportunity when its the easiest way to promote your stuff--especially from 3rd parties.

McHaggis

#18

McHaggis said:

The only thing that would get me to pay eShop prices for games is if I could download the game to more than one 3DS. As it currently stands, buying a game download for myself means that I can't share it with my kids, whereas if I buy a retail game card then we can all share it between us.

I get it, Nintendo don't want to undercut retailers, but they should at least try to do something to offer extra value for money.

LeVideoGamer

#19

LeVideoGamer said:

Price has never really bugged me until recently. In the case of the 3DS XL, it's fairly priced, I just can't afford one right now with the games I want. That's fair. However, when we come to things like Wind Waker HD, why in the world should I have to pay £45 for it? I could easily buy it, but why exactly is it £10 more than the average Wii U game?

AJWolfTill

#20

AJWolfTill said:

£30 for major new 3ds releases £40 for major new Wii U releases. While I try to beat these prices whenever possible, there is no way I would ever pay more for a game than that (unless bundled with a golden wiimote...)

Squiggle55

#21

Squiggle55 said:

If Nintendo cared about pleasing the customers, I vote for undercutting the retailers. People unaware of the savings will still buy at retail. And people aware of the savings will give their money directly to Nintendo. If someone like, say, Best Buy stops carrying Nintendo games because they're "upset", then too bad for them. guess what? People will go to Toys R' Us instead. The more likely scenario is they will simply lower their prices to match the NIntendo store. If so many people begin to buy their games and hardware straight from Nintendo that it starts to actually affect retail, then too bad for retail now Nintendo has the customers buying directly from them which is the best thing for Nintendo.

In conclusion: There is absolutely no reason at all for Nintendo not to be competitive with their pricing versus retail. Not all retail stores are going to shut their doors on Nintendo at once. The only reason they have to keep pricing their games high is if they don't care about the number of direct sales, just like their digital shop. Every single full-priced digital sale they get from bad shoppers that don't care about value is a plus in their book.

Maybe the best solution: Price your games at suggested retail. But be a real store and put your games on sale sometime.

jtgillia

#22

jtgillia said:

All I know, is that I would love to buy Tekken Tag 2 digitally, but I couldn't possibly justify it when stores sell it 35 dollars cheaper! I wish they could at least bring it down a little.....

DilMan33

#23

DilMan33 said:

I am more concerned about the quailty of a title and uniqueness I am paying for. A lower RRP price tag usually means less and less in this regard.I hope the days of a $60/£40 price tag aren't passe.

I would happily paid full price for games, as long as they have depth and quailty.

Thoes people that complain thar Zelda WW HD being too expensive, obviously don't see the quailty of the release. Certainly can't compare it to half baked Sony efforts like Jak and Dextar or God of War remasters!

A full price Ninty AAA title is usually worth 5 'AAA' titles Sony can come up with!

Darknyht

#24

Darknyht said:

Wow, the Wind Waker HD pricing over there is an oddity. I when ahead and bought it precisely because it was priced cheaper ($49.99) than the average Wii U game ($59.99).

My biggest gripe is that the game will be deeply discounted retail ($19.99 currently for Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition Physical) but still be sold at full price digitally. Granted Microsoft still reigns as king of this stupidity, but Nintendo definitely can do better.

cdude

#25

cdude said:

Squiggle, Nintendo cant sustain itself through it's own stores. They know that and thats why they dont want to step on any retailer toes. If nintendo made it a point, like youre saying, to undercut other retailers, other retailers could just as quickly--and twice as easily-- stop ordering nintendo product. It's not as if nintendo's driving a lot of foot traffic or in store purchases at this point. In fact many retailers are going out their way to find reasons to stop reserving space for wiiu stuff that, everyones feelings aside, just is not making anyone any money.

Not exactly the best time to try competing with your retailers, much less undercut them. Which, here lately is par for the course for nintendo, sadly.

Nintendo's too small of a company to be this far out of focus. They need new leadership more than anything else. Iwata's done nothing but prove he's incapable since this cluster**** launched last year.

sleepinglion

#26

sleepinglion said:

They should at LEAST have periodic sales and bundle deals. Tekken Tag Tournament is about 20 dollars on Amazon and has been for months. On the eShop? 60. Toys R Us is running a buy 1 get 1 40% promo this week... so why would I use the eShop right now? And they let me pre-order SMB3D and Zelda:ALBW with the promo. Aside from the deluxe club points, not a lot of incentives to go digital right now if Nintendo ignores the current US physical media market.

Dreamcaster-X

#27

Dreamcaster-X said:

@Dogpigfish Yeah I mean Nintendo has made great strides in the e commerce area & I actually love the Wii U's eShop setup as it's well laid out to me but the cost discrepancy is just too high to solely rely on digital although there are tons of people on Miiverse that are all digital for everything. I still like the physical copy aspect as if I don't like a game I can sell or trade it, you can't do that with a digital copy yet. Plus the lack of a unified account system on Nintendo's systems is so archaic at this point. There is no way I'm buying a full retail game until that is rectified!!

zool

#29

zool said:

It is as simple as...are we getting value for money. In most cases the answer is 'no', at least for new WII U games anyway. £45 ($73) for Wind Waker.

Some folks will always pay the asking price to be one of the first to play a new game. I was at one time, but not now. I will wait a few months for the price to drop, if the original asking price is to high.

I can afford to pay the high price, but I want value for money. £34.99 is about the right price for a hard copy of a new game. Once I've played it, I can get 40/50% back if I trade it in.

Other who will pay the full asking price will I guess, not buy as many games as they once did. They will be more picky about what they buy. That is, again I guess, why Pikman has not sold as well as Nintendo thought.

supremii

#30

supremii said:

@crazycrazydave good points and the idea of nintendo coins is really great.

What Nintendo should focus on more is their virtual console as it's stagnating I feel. Also the pricing is completely left to them without being undermined by the "competition".

Squiggle55

#31

Squiggle55 said:

@cdude I actually agree with you partly. My opinion is really closer to my last statement. They should just price their games at suggested retail. But they should also have periodic sales just like other stores. Most of all I think digital prices should be slightly cheaper than physical ones.

This store exists for the same reason they sell digital copies of their games on the eshop at full price. It's not enough to piss off retail stores and every silly customer that buys the game overpriced and directly from Nintendo is a win.

But I also truly don't believe any game store would drop Nintendo completely. They would be crazy not to carry 3DS stuff and I'm sure Nintendo can easily say you can't have one without the other.

Moshugan

#32

Moshugan said:

I'm just parroting, but I want to add my voice to the crowd.
I feel that the eShop prices should be as much as $10 lower, since the digital downloads are inherently of lesser value!
Sure, I understand Nintendo's insistence on maintaining the ''value perception'' of their precious Intellectual Property, but until Nintendo offers a united account system, the digital downloads are very susceptible to be lost in the passing of years and breaking of consoles.

GalacticMario28

#33

GalacticMario28 said:

I'd never really thought about the concept of undercutting retailers and damaging relationships with them until reading this article. I think that's a really good point, as is the fact that Nintendo simply can't handle all of the retail duties by themselves. It would be nice if games were a bit cheaper digitally due to not having to pay for physical material, but it seems like we're starting to see more discounts and bundles as of late, and that's certainly nice to see.

element187

#34

element187 said:

@Darknyht But Nintendo doesn't control the price of Batman Arkham City on the eShop.... thats up to WB... Nintendo can only control the prices of their Nintendo published titles, nothing else.

element187

#35

element187 said:

@zool Nintendo published games don't drop in price for many years... I usually don't buy third party games on launch day because 2 months later it will be $20 cheaper.... but Nintendo published games like Wonderful 101, Pikmin 3 and Wind Waker HD will remain at those prices pretty much for the entire generation.

zool

#37

zool said:

I get what you are saying and that has been true in the past. But Nintendo prices are increasing to the point that their sales will not be as high as in previous years. If Nintendo insist on charging £49 [$73] for a game, I will pick up a used copy from ebay in a few months or buy third party games.

I am happy to play 3ds games or candy crush type games on my tablet. And I think I am not alone in doing this, That is why the Wii u will struggle.

123akis

#38

123akis said:

Nintendo don't have to make their prices lower than retailers, but maybe price them at £5 more than retailers? so 3ds games at £34.99 and Wii U games at £44.99?

yvanjean

#39

yvanjean said:

I'd rather give my money to Nintendo than Wal-mart.
The sooner they recover the cost, more software they can provide to us.
They could also take a chance on new IPs if their margin goes up per game sold.

ToxieDogg

#40

ToxieDogg said:

It's one thing to charge full RRP for their own games, but £24.99 for an 8gb SD card/£34.99 for a 16 gb SD card? Is that some sort of sick joke? Are they trying to copy Sony's model with the Vita memory cards?

My 32gb Sandisk SD card cost me less than £20 BTW. Brand new.

SkywardLink98

#41

SkywardLink98 said:

They get criticized for going low? I've never heard anyone criticize Steam... retailers seemed to have learned to deal with Steam. Then again, I rarely see Steam games as a disc :/

DilMan33

#42

DilMan33 said:

If the quailty is there, expect to pay a higher price. If publishers want to charge more, make sure the work is exceptional.

If anything, there's a opportunity to learn from the Nintendo model, for other publishers. Don't expect everything to be cheap as chips on Steam or where-ever eithier.

unrandomsam

#43

unrandomsam said:

@yvanjean I agree totally. (I won't give money to game.co.uk under any circumstances even though they have a Europe wide monopoly given to them by Nintendo - same as you with Walmart).

Also think it has changed when it comes to new IP's (The ones where they are only available at stupid prices because nobody knew what they were like at the time and there are relatively few copies available. Not like Nintendo are short of money in the short term. Whether I get a download now or 3 years from now at the same price shouldn't make much difference to them).

Williaint

#44

Williaint said:

I'm not sure why you'd want to pre-order a digital download, it isn't like there is a limited number of them.
@SkywardLink98 If they go too low, people begin thinking the software is too cheap/less quality.
Why are people bringing up the "32GB space problem"? That's a non-issue!
I bought Ocarina of Time 3D at the NY Nintendo store, and it wasn't a lower price.
When I got Windwaker HD online, It was almost $60 Canadian. At least I get bonus points on the Club Nintendo site...

unrandomsam

#46

unrandomsam said:

@DilMan33 The problem is the quality is not always there any more. (New Super Mario Bros 2 / 3D Land I think are absolutely awful regardless of price.)

(Cannot do with 30fps for anything that is most fun to play at full speed).

Fire Emblem is the sort of mess that Capcom if it was them would release a rebalanced Japan only version.

Price seems to have no bearing on quality whatsoever.

I like my Dreamcast Gunlord better than the aforementioned 3 3DS games.

And Sin & Punishment Wii / Donkey Kong Country Returns Wii.

I like All Stars Racing Transformed better than any Mario Kart that I have played. (Doesn't just let you win - you have to get better).

There are some that they put effort in (e.g Mario Galaxy - Looks like 3D World will be the same). But for me anyway it is no longer a guarantee that something will be worth it if it is made by Nintendo.

Dyl_73

#47

Dyl_73 said:

Nintendo pricing is stupid. Zelda OoT on the eshop is full price at £39.99. You can get it for about £15 in shops. The same applies to loads of other games. And new games are usually £5 to 10 cheaper in the shops. Digital downloads should definitely be cheaper.

JimLad

#48

JimLad said:

@unrandomsam Yes.
10 years ago I would pay full whack for a Nintendo game no question.
Games like F-Zero GX, Wind Waker and Smash Bros Melee were worth the money. But they haven't made anything that good in a long time.

LordGeovanni

#50

LordGeovanni said:

@datamonkey

I agree with this statement in its entirety.

''What bugs me is NIntendo's eshop pricing for full retail games as they are often more expensive than their retail counterparts.
This annoys me as they don't have costs such as packaging and distribution in digital so if anything the eshop pricing should be lower not higher.
That and the fact that there is no unified account system prevents me from buying those games digitally and I will refrain until it changes...''

DualWielding

#51

DualWielding said:

the best thing they can do its keep the price superficially at real retail price but get around that with sales and promotion, buy 3 get 1 free, x game half price for the next 3 days kind of stuff, or some kind of loyalty program, Free DLC or VC games with purchases could be an option... they should do the same with the eshop keep the price superficially the same but get around by having promotions like add 50 to your account get extra 10 and frequent sales...

ULTRA-64

#52

ULTRA-64 said:

@unrandomsam completely agree man, I hate handing over cash to game. They never have stock of Wii u stuff, patronizing me for asking every time, have no shelf space or launch events for Nintendo products and have three demo units in the hull store all displaying aliens:colonial marines for releasing soon and no other working software. To cap it all off they messed up my pre order on Wii u release night so I had to argue to get my zombie u pack!

Neram

#53

Neram said:

If games retailed at $40 for a console game and $20 for a portable console game it would be more reasonable for consumers plus publishers/developers would still make plenty of money. It would be a compromise, but one that I think would pay off in the long run as more people would be willing to buy new games at those price points, therefore it could break down some of that barrier for customers on the fence about a product. It's a win-win for everyone at those price points.

unrandomsam

#55

unrandomsam said:

@ULTRA-64 I cannot see how they are not a net loss to Nintendo. Good stuff only available used but always kept in stock but at the same price as Amazon etc sell new where Nintendo get money.

Gamestation was good before Game destroyed it. (You could get good imports that would cost £80 each to import at £30 and if you finished it you would get £20 back). Ebay and Amazon Marketplace are no substitute because of counterfeiting.

ULTRA-64

#56

ULTRA-64 said:

@unrandomsam I get my stuff from Grainger games on the high street because a mate works there and they always seem to have stock, the prices aren't too bad ther either. I try to avoid supermarkets because I like to shop at specialist stores for stuff like electronics and games. It's hard to resist 'high street killer' amazon when their prices are so good though, my copy of rayman legends arrived today.....£20:99....boom! =)
Avoiding game does mean we miss the exclusives like extra content they always seem to have for pre orders though =(

uhhhhhhhh

#57

uhhhhhhhh said:

this is a terribly fluffed up article about one thing: people can shop around. big deal

uhhhhhhhh

#58

uhhhhhhhh said:

that said, i will take this time to mention i do a lot of my game shopping at amazon and target. Both have good sales and are convenient.

i rarely go into gamestop at all unless it's a day one or a special edition or something. I CANT STAND the nerds giving me a scripted sales pitch at the checkout. CANT STAND it. The are totally misinformed half the time as well.

WaxxyOne

#59

WaxxyOne said:

I totally understand Nintendo's position with their pricing model — you don't want to undercut your retailers and risk ruining relationships that, for now at least, are vital to their continuing success.

What I would suggest to Nintendo, however, is to do exactly what those retail stores do with their titles — put them on the shelf for full price for the first 3-6 months, then have targeted sales for $5-10 off or buy-one-get-one-50%-off specials, then move them to the bargain bin with a permanent 50% mark down. Why is Sonic & All-Stars Racing still $40 on the eShop when I can find it marked down to $25-30 at local stores? At this point Nintendo would not be undercutting their retailers any more than they're already undercutting each other, and I can't see that seriously hurting them.

Honestly, if they could go all-out ridiculous and do the types of sales Steam gets away with, I think people would jump on board a lot faster, and once you've got people used to buying digital games, it becomes easier to convince them to buy future games that way as well. As that happens, your reliance on physical retailers becomes less and less over time and then this whole argument becomes moot.

DilMan33

#60

DilMan33 said:

@unrandomsam

Of course not everything is good. If you think New Super Mario Bros 2 / 3D Land are 'awful' - you should check out Jak and Dextar on the Vita. PS2 ports that don't even work properly. That's Sony QC for you! That's what I am scared off!! Things could get very bad!

I just want well made quailty games; that's unique and I will pay full price for it. And I think Nintendo is still the place for this.

UgliestSoup

#61

UgliestSoup said:

In my opinion Nintendo should just stop and go bankrupt and go live in peace with the antelopes in Africa

SKTTR

#62

SKTTR said:

I wish I didn't go all digital.

I could have had Darksiders II (14,99€), Injustice (19,99€), New Mario U (39,99€), Batman Arkham City (24,99€), Zelda WWHD (49,99€) and more retail Wii U games for good prices. But instead I got nothing and still watch their eShop prices hovering at 59,99€ or more, and in the case of Darksiders II it just gets removed from the digital library. :(

And when there finally is an interesing deal, like Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate being on sale for 50% off it's just for two days and I miss it. :(

Also, because of living in Germany, games like Ninja Gaiden 3 don't seem to appear on the eShop. :[

Viagro

#63

Viagro said:

In this new age of consumerism I love it that we can give our money directly to the producers of the content we love to consume.

As a rather fussy (but caring!) consumer, I really dislike giving money to a middle man - whether that's music, games or whatever. For example, whenever I buy an album I always make an effort to make the purchase that gives the artist(s) as much of my total spend as possible - i.e. I buy it from their personal website instead of iTunes.

I think Nintendo can capitalise on consumers like me. I personally love to know my money is going straight to Nintendo. I will happily give NIntendo £50 for a Zelda game because a Zelda game is totally worth £50 in my eyes (unlike £56 for Splinter Cell!). And if I buy that game from the eShop or directly from NIntendo I know all that money is going to Ninty itself.

I would never spend £50 on that same game at a different store, however, as it would be impossible to know how much of a cut the store was taking (and I probably don't care enough about the online retailer/game store to want to give them a cut of my money).

ledreppe

#64

ledreppe said:

@Dreamcaster-X

Exactly the same reason I continue to buy physical. I've only downloaded a couple of full retail games; 1 that was the same price as cartridge and the other was New Leaf because it was free from a buy 3 games get 1 free download promotion in Europe.

I set out at the beginning of this generation to go all digital, but the pricing has stopped me. Having read this report though, I can see why we're in this situation with digital pricing.

Luffy

#65

Luffy said:

eshop games should be available at 12am on release day for about 5-8 dollars less. BOOM. After 5 games your external HD is paid for and you get the games earlier by a couple hours. I will however stick with physical discs. I just like the box.

StarDust4Ever

#66

StarDust4Ever said:

Why is everyone saying that the retail prices are cheaper? This may rarely be the case on some games after they've been out for a while, but the prices are firm. Amazon is selling for the same 59.99 as Gamestop and the eshop. Amazon is only the cheaper of the three because you usually get free shipping and no sales tax.

Dreamcaster-X

#67

Dreamcaster-X said:

@StarDust You're joking right? You should check online prices more often. Amazon is almost always $10 cheaper about a week after new releases and after a month some Wii U games are nearly half price while the e-Shop games are still $59.99. The e-Shop is still selling launch titles at FULL PRICE. That's insane!!

TeeJay

#68

TeeJay said:

@Dreamcaster-X
Insane? If I had the means I would pay "full retail price" for those digital eShop games in a heartbeat. Where I live, physical 3DS games, when available, go for an inflated price of $69. You should be thankful you guys only have to pay $40.

erv

#69

erv said:

I wish the amazon deals could be for digital downloads as well as physical ones. I'd buy digital only then.

I always gravitate towards digital because of the convenience. But yeah, there's lots of games that you don't buy in the heat of its launch that end up being 15 euros but show up for 60 or even 70 on the eshop. That, of course, is a no go.

andreoni79

#70

andreoni79 said:

Considering that PS3 and 360 games price usually have a quick price drop, what will happen when a PS4 and Xbone retail game will cost less than a Wii U downloadable game? How will Nintendo justify their prices?

elstif

#71

elstif said:

I still dont understand what Nintendo is doing with the game prices on the eshop, it really seems very stupid.

If a retailer like Amazon is selling a physical copy for 30€ I´m sure they are making a profit so they bought it from nintendo for less. Lets say they pay Nintendo 25€ and Nintendo still has to produce/pack and send the discs to the retailers. So that will be less than 25€ going to Nintendo

Same game on eShop (no disc/packaging) sells for 44,99€ (plus no unified account ...) I don´t think they´ll be selling many games this way
I say remove the middle man and sell us the games on eShop for the sasme price you sell to retailers (25-30€). Nintendo will still get the same money for each copy (or even more) but they will sell a lot more due to games being cheaper. And the money saved on discs/boxes/shipping can go to cover costs and improve online services (that includes the account system we all want)

ToxieDogg

#72

ToxieDogg said:

@GeoCronus Does that justify Nintendo charging extortionate prices for them just because they're in Nintendo brand packaging?

No, I didn't think so.

odd69

#73

odd69 said:

Yes it could be that simple. Im sick of paying Sixty bucks per game.

Platypus101

#74

Platypus101 said:

@Peach64 in the states, it's pretty much moot. Nintendo estore is always full price, there are always sales elsewhere. I actually like download games as opposed to physical, but with pricing the way it is, I have quite a few physical discs lying around.... :(

unrandomsam

#75

unrandomsam said:

@StarDust Think it is because in Europe Nintendo got a big fine for price fixing so they are not able to do what I think they still can in America.

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