News Article

Cross-Buy is Now a Thing on Nintendo Platforms

Posted by Darren Calvert

Buy one version, get another free

Since the Wii U's NNID (Nintendo Network ID) was added to the 3DS in late 2013 we've been yearning for eShop games, not to mention Virtual Console games, to offer cross-buy so you can play on both the Wii U and 3DS at no extra cost. This is par for the course on PlayStation systems, with Another World being one recent example of a game which can be bought once and played on PS4, PS3 and PS Vita.

We did a talking point back in March expressing our wishes to see cross-buy on Nintendo systems. Up until recently, however, the closest we have got to this was through a 30% discount off Pushmo World on the Wii U which would be automatically applied if you had already purchased Pushmo or Crashmo on a 3DS which shares the same NNID.

This week's Nintendo Download, however, brought news of the first true Cross-Buy opportunity on Nintendo systems. If you buy Squids Odyssey on the 3DS, you'll be able to play at no extra cost on the Wii U (you cannot buy the Wii U version and get the 3DS version free as of yet however). We appreciate that on the surface this does not appear to be massive news, but to our knowledge it is the first time that this has been implemented across Nintendo systems. It's worth noting, however, that this is only the case in Europe with this title, initially, but will likely be included in North America in the future.

With more and more games appearing on both the Wii U and 3DS eShop, this is certainly a step in the right direction. What are your thoughts on this development?

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User Comments (192)



0utburst said:

If this happens on Nintendo published games, I'm going to buy a 3DS XXL right now.



WiiLovePeace said:

Awesome! More of this & I may finally link my 3DS to a NNID, but I won't be able to switch between the UK & Aus. eShops anymore.



SanderEvers said:

@outburst There are no Nintendo published games the same on both the Wii U and 3DS.

Even not Smash (@ModestFan93). They might, however unlikely, give you a discount like with Pullblox world.



hiptanaka said:

Cool. The should make a more system-level feature from it, however, for example allowing save transfers in a standardized way.



Prof_Clayton said:

I love The Game Bakers now.
I'd love if this caught on in the VC first. That'd be amazing, honestly.



DualWielding said:

However, you still lost the game forever if your 3DS gets stolen which is a bigger problem than whether games are cross buy.... I don't get why people seem to worry more about cross buy than the ability to retrieve games which is more important



SanderEvers said:

@outburst The problem is there that there are only NES games on both Wii U and 3DS, and they are the cheapest VC games. So it's not exactly profitable for Nintendo. (Cross buy actually means more copies sold)



bizcuthammer said:

I wish Nintendo would do this with VC games at the very least. I will never pay twice for the same game if it offers no meaningful differences between versions. So it'd be nice to have my NES VC games on both consoles instead of just one.

I'd also like for this to happen with Shovel Knight. Love having the 3DS version because i love its portability, but i really wish i could get the game up on my HDTV so everyone could watch its greatness.



Mega719 said:

Hey I just bought Shovel Knight on 3DS does that mean I can get it on Wii U in the future?



Shambo said:

@TimLatshaw Perfect.

And on topic: ALSO perfect. It's possible, and now we know. Even is they'd charge €1 for a second download on the other system, since Wii U and 3ds are completely different systems to program for, it's a great step, and I hope others follow.

Question: is it possible to link multiple 3ds's to one NNID and get the same downloads already? Probably not yet?



sinalefa said:

I hope it eventually shows in the US. Because this side of the pond the Pushmo World discount was nowhere to be found.

I never buy games twice anyway. I go for Wii U to have big screen and Deluxe Digital Promo. Since cross buy would be attached to just one 3DS and one Wii U, I don't understand Nintendo's reluctance to adopt it.



Peach64 said:

So Nintendo can't blame technical limitations. I'd be happy just to see it work for VC releases but I'd be surprised if it happens. Nintendo are notorious for squeezing every penny from the customer.



Jllanos22 said:

@ACK yeah!
that's why I didn't get shovel knight. If I buy it on Wii u, the 3ds version is free? Because buying the same game twice suck.



OneBagTravel said:

This needs to be implemented on all virtual console games. Also adding the ability to cloud sync saves.



gspro15198 said:

I loved crossbuy when I had a PS3 and Vita and would love if Nintendo implemented something similar.



MoonKnight7 said:


That headline is a bit of a reach, given what the article says, don't you think? I mean sure, it's true technically, but it makes us think it's happening for everything and everywhere.



9th_Sage said:

It's a positive step, for sure. Hopefully this starts to happen to more things.



McHaggis said:

This would be a great step forward for Nintendo, especially with VC titles. NES games should be playable both on the Wii U and 3DS without having to pay again for the second platform.

What I'd like them to more seriously give attention to is family game sharing. I've got about 4 games on my XL that I'd like to let the kids play without them having to commandeer the console. It should be straightforward enough for me to just transfer a single game for them, but it's not.



Ootfan98 said:

I saw note on eShop that it was down for outage or maintenance, when I saw this headline I thought that was the reason, talk about tease NL



Kaze_Memaryu said:

Let's be perfectly honest here, this means nothing.
The Game Bakers simply decided to offer a cross-buy deal for Squids Odyssey, nothing more. This has close to no bearing on Nintendo's decisions regarding cross-buy.

I, for one, won't hold my breath until Nintendo themselves confirm it.



MAB said:

It's a good thing that I haven't got Angry Squids yet... Wait a minute, why are Nintendo fans excited about a Smartphone style game



Jock_Nerd said:

Great news. I've been Shoveling with my Knight on Wii U, and it would be groundbreaking to be able to do that on my 3DS for free.



XCWarrior said:

It would be nice to see that the maitenence being done today relates to this news... but I'm not counting on it.

I think this game received good reviews for WiiU. So hopefully same will be on 3DS, this will be offered in North America as well.

And don't worry folks, even if they do implement cross buy, you will all still be able to complain about not being able to cross save!

Hooray for angry Internet gamers!



ikki5 said:

so really, this only works for people who have not yet bought the game.... This isn't a true cross platform buy. The people who buy it on the 3DS get a copy on the Wii U for free but those who already bought it on the Wii U... don't get a free copy? That's kind of dumb. This makes me regret buying it on my Wii U now.



SammytheSaiyan said:

I hope Nintendo does this with VC. It would make sense and would e quite desirable. Perhaps Nintendo will cover this at the forthcoming Nintendo Direct.



gurtifus said:

And what about the downloaded games no longer tied to the hardware Nintendo ?



SilentHunter382 said:

While its not there yet, at the very least it's a step in the right direction for nintendo.

For people who got games free on a system or a promotion this deal shouldn't apply (i.e Ambassador program). For the people that bought the same game on the 3ds and wii u should get a sort of refund for one game or some of the money back.



WanderingPB said:

I absolutely agree with VC games or even indie games that are exactly the same on both versions you shouldnt have to pay twice but what about the other games that have unique features that are to each specific version? I'd be happy with a nice bargain bundle price for those games. But for the VC honestly we shouldnt have to pay to transfer it from the Wii to the Wii U or 3DS to Wii U and vice versa

Still looking at all the eshop discounts and this cross buy…im hopeful that some change is coming



LazyShell said:

This is a step in the right direction, let's see if they will eventually expand it to games published by them.



sillygostly said:

@ModestFan93 : They won't as they're both completely different games designed from the ground up for their respective platforms. They both share certain elements, sure (e.g. the title, the roster), however, the 3DS version will have gameplay modes and stages that the Wii U version won't and vice versa. Nintendo could coax fence sitters by providing a discount on the Wii U version for those who have already purchased the 3DS version via the eShop, however, I doubt that they would just give it away for free.

Playstation All Stars, on the other hand, was identical across both platforms (if I'm not mistaken), hence why the handheld version was given away for free for those who had bought the PS3 version.



Reverandjames said:

I wonder if this will happen for SSB? Would be interested to see if they do it with a title of that high calibre.



Captain_Toad said:

Heh, I thought the only way they're gonna do this if they do this pricing model a la xbox gold or ps...something, hopefully they implement this in future games.....and past ones too...............and has this be in the NA.



Noonch said:

This is barely news. The headline needs "sort of" added to the end. Seeing Nintendo evolve is like watching a baby grow up. This would be on par with saying Nintendo is potty trained because one time it poo pooed in the potty while it was strapped to a toilet all day.



Darknyht said:

Well, there for a second I thought it might actually be worth buying a 2DS/3DS because at least I would have all my VC games to start with. Then I read the article....



Geonjaha said:

I think it's the choice of the actual publisher, and this doesn't really show any improvement on the matter - especially considering it isn't even Nintendo. Call me when the VC actually supports cross platform play when hell freezes over.



gurtifus said:

@noctowl Yes, they are ! As they can be on only one system at a time !
I can't delete a few of them to put them on my daughter's 3DS !



noctowl said:

@gurtifus so what? Buy physical if you want to want to hand them out like candy.

I can't do the same on vita, but that doesn't mean it's tied to hardware.



jjmesa16 said:

Great start! Kind of a deceiving name for the article though but I'm not sure what else you would call it.



Tops said:

@jjmesa16 The article should have been titled "Squid's Odyssey First Nintendo eShop Cross-Buy Title"

Since it isn't this article is just used as click bait, imo



Rect_Pola said:

Odd that it's only one way, but progress is progress. Nintendo continue's it's glacial march to iron out their online quirks. Sometime down the road, I hope they explicitly say, your purchases are backed by your account and not the system.



DualWielding said:


If my 3DS is stolen or is not working and i can't send to Nintendo because I'm in another country. How can I retrieve my games?



gurtifus said:

@noctowl Sorry, I made a mistake : actually, you MUST have ALL of your downloaded games on only ONE system !!!!
I can't just pass a game from my 3DS to my daughter's one altough I can pass some retail games from a 3DS to another without any problem !
So the problem is : If I buy a game on the eshop, I need to buy twice this game if my daughter want to play it ! It's unacceptable !

Maybe you need to think about Steam to see the difference between a good and a bad eshop!

And buying only retail games aren't the solution because not every games are released in retail version.



Yosher said:

Misleading title is misleading. I thought this was now a general thing for Nintendo platforms, not just for one title. Thanks, NL.



Grumblevolcano said:

I know this is probably a ridiculous idea but maybe this has something to do with the extremely long Nintendo Network maintenance that's been going on.



noctowl said:

@gurtifus I can't do that with vita games , iphone games and apps to my wife's phone. So I'm not sure why you'd expect to do that on a Nintendo device. I don't know any digital service that let's you lend games to other people.

That's not what people usually mean when they say tied to hardware. They mean software can't be replaced if the hardware is lost or stolen.

@ferthepoet buy a new system, call Nintendo and they can do it for you. It definately isn't ideal and needs a lot of improvement. But your games wouldn't be gone.



Yorumi said:

Headline got me excited, article felt like a falcon punch to the face.

@ferthepoet because after all when physical games are stolen you can just call up nintendo and get them all sent back to you free right?

With digital games you can call nintendo and they can check their records and transfer them. Now maybe they won't(who honestly has their games stolen on a regular basis?) everytime but you're far more likely to get stolen digital games back then physical ones. Which has always been kind of interesting to me, "there's a chance stolen digital games won't be returned, so I'm going to buy the far less secure ones that come on a tiny cart that's a lot easier to lose than an entire system."



BertoFlyingFox said:

Sounds more like the developers of Squids Odyssey just decided to do their own type of promotion for their game. If anything, this points out that Nintendo let's developers treat their game sales however they want.

More like a cross-promotion deal than an actual cross-buy initiative.



PinkSpider said:

That's such a shame, I thought this was gonna be for everything. Was looking forward to have my VC game on both systems
Nintendo Life how you toy with me grggh



ikki5 said:

@PinkSpider That's even if it will work if you already own the games on one systems. I own squids Odyssey on my Wii U but I will not get a free copy for my 3DS because it is only if you guy the 3DS copy of it, you get the free one.



gurtifus said:

@noctowl Are you kidding me ? Ok, maybe the expression "tied to the system" was not used correctly here,
But look at Steam !! I'm able to download all the games I bought, to several PC so my daughter can play them on her computer meanwhile I'm playing other games on mine.
Why don't every digital services work the same ! Something like Steam is perfect for my family !



noctowl said:

@gurtifus if you're fine with all the DRM on steam and that works for you then that's great. As we saw with the original Xbox one, it's not something most people want on consoles even if it's a handheld.



TheAdza said:

If this deal happens in Australia, I will buy this game to show my support for such features. This should be a thing for every VC game. Hell, even if I has to pay a sub $1 fee for it to happen it would still be better than not having cross buy.



2Sang said:

Thank the almighty reggie. Praise our glorious reggie. No more undastanding.



solcross said:

Not keen on that misleading headline, especially since the paragraph snippet said nothing about this game either. I hope this doesn't become a trend on this site.



gurtifus said:

@noctowl It's obvious you have DRM on Steam because copies of game are easy to do on PC. However, DRM can't keep me from installing the game where I want as I can manage computers I want to install games on and I can start Steam offline.
On consoles, as it's a closed system you can't do what you want on it so it's a kind of DRM !
In that way, I would say there are more DRM on consoles than on Steam !



AVahne said:

Thought this was Nintendo making progress towards the modern age. Misleading title.
I guess this is an inch. Still got many miles ahead of them before they reach the present time.



Yorumi said:

@noctowl the biggest difference between the xbone and pc drm is there's a lot more competition on pc. There's not one single digital store on pc, there's tons of them and some of them are completely drm free. For example gog just sends you an exe installer that doesn't even connect to your account at all.

With the xbone's drm even applying to physical games if they had done something with the drm to screw their customers there were few options. If steam screw their customers they'd be finished because there's dozens of other options for getting pc games. Word would spread like a wildfire and steam would never be able to sell a game again.

Complaining about steam's drm isn't really any better than the very weak argument of stolen digital games on consoles.



DualWielding said:


Its not so clear cut.... You don't normally carry all your physical games with you but you do carry the 3DS with all the digital games... plus its not only the issue of stolen, its also the issue of the system simply not working because you dropped it or something... As I explain if you are in the U.S its easy to say just send the system to Nintendo, their customer support is so nice ect..... but what about those of us in other countries, importers and people who move around.... you can blame us from buying games from the eshop when the eshop does not officially support our countries but we just want to access games at a reasonable price or games that would not be accessible to us at all since they are digital only.... the reality is that if something happens to my PS3 and Vita no matter where am I in the world I know I can buy as new one and redownload my games.... in the case of Nintendo I don't know..... and that for me is unnaceptable I really don't get why they can't simply provide the same service as any other digital store



datamonkey said:

Glad to hear this. Long overdue as well if you ask me!

Hopefully this isn't a one-off and many games in the future will also be cross-buy...

Well done Nintendo another step in the right direction



gurtifus said:

@noctowl I could share "Valiant Hearts" with my brother and a friend on its release day thanks to the offline option of Steam.
What about our eshop games ? We can't even back them up ! So keep it with us and die with them...
@ferthepoet Exactly what I think as well !



dkxcalibur said:

They should do this, but I don't see it happening with these systems. This will happen next gen automatically when Nintendo has one system that is both a portable and a home console.



Yorumi said:

@noctowl I don't even know what you're trying to get at here. People making impulse buys has nothing at all to do with anything I or anyone else said. It's the epitome of grasping at straws. People who use steam do so by choice, not because they're forced to, and buying an entire new console to avoid drm is a tad bit different than just switching what digital service you buy from.

@ferthepoet no one is saying nintendo is perfect, but grasping at fringe cases doesn't help things. Because there's even a chance of recovering digital games(and really the only time it's even questionable is when you can't send the system in) they're automatically far more secure than physical games where there is literally zero chance of recovering them.

The argument of not having all your physical games with you is weak as well. They're not with you in almost any case because you don't care about them anymore. They've been played, beaten and like any other gamer we generally don't care much about them. And even if that's not the case it's rather a wash since is way easier to lose a tiny cart than a digital game.

There are plenty of perfectly valid reasons to prefer physical games. However, trying to argue physical games are more secure than digital is just not in any way supported by facts. It's more like people are trying to justify it to themselves at any cost rather than trying to make a factual case. Much like the rather desperate "at least I play my games" response I started this comment responding to.



Mrclaycoat said:

Nintendo needs to make the jump and have this started with the virtual console. I haven't purchased a VC game in a long time and don't plan on it until Nintendo get's their act together. The day cross buy exists on the VC, I'll start making it rain.



Trask said:

Click-bait-ish article title.

At a casual glance, "Cross-Buy is Now a Thing on Nintendo Platforms" is implying that content will now be available as cross-platform.

The article title should read something to the effect of "new game will be a cross-buy title".



iphys said:

If it is technically possible, there's no excuse why Nintendo shouldn't be doing this for VC.



Stu13 said:

My wife just left me and my children are crying because of this misleading headline. "I thought we were getting cross-buy!", she said. "Daddy, where is our cross-buy?!", the kids wail. My life is in shambles.



bofis said:

They should merge ALL purchases from the same Nintendo ID and let you download or play games on any platform where that title is available, not just as a single-game promotion when you buy the 3DS one, though this is still a welcome idea and I hope it gives us a taste of the future.



Tritonus said:

@ferthepoet This. Games you buy on the eShop should really be tied to your account, and not the console. That is the first step in the right direction as far as I'm concerned.



IceClimbers said:

Click bait title.

Guys, this means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Nintendo won't be implementing cross buy and a full account system until the next generation of systems. Iwata already said that. Face reality people, you won't get it until next generation. This means that Nintendo will have to go through the same drip-dry process of releasing Urban Champion and other crappy NES titles before we get to the good stuff next generation. It sucks, but that's reality. Deal with it.

@Tritonus Games are tied to your NNID. However, your NNID is tied to one Wii U and 3DS system. My Wii U could break right now, and I can call Nintendo's customer service and have them unlock my NNID from the broken system so that I can log in on the new system. Not convenient, but I will get my games back. Save files on the other hand, are a lost cause because you would have to redownload the games from the eShop for free.



biglittlejake said:

Awesome. Question though will Nintendo do it right? They should go back and have games like Rayman cross buy. I really hope cross buy just won't be for stupid non- retal or classics Eshop games.



Yorumi said:

@Tritonus just to illustrate the point you could argue a similar scare story against that. What if nintendo decides to suspend your account, or what if you forget your account name and lose access to the email address it was tied to? Then all your games are gone. When it's tied to the console nintendo can't do that.

I agree they should tie game to your account and let you transfer games around to other systems(kind of an activate/deactivate system so it's only ever active on one at a time). I'm just illustrating a point how so much of this is scare stories than anything realistic.



siavm said:

This is not good news until nintendo does it themselves or more indies do this. Because right now it is just for one game in one region. Now if developers in the US start doing this I will start to think this is something. Shovel knight is a game that cross buy would be perfect for. So the missed opportunity there tells me this is not a thing yet. I hope to be wrong in the future though. I know people would love this for vc.



Iggly said:

Misleading title is misleading. Didn't you guys know Cross-Buy was already a thing on Nintendo platforms before Squid's Odyssey?

Back when 1001 Spikes was released, the discount promotion they had for the 3DS was also available for Wii U since the Nintendo Network IDs are linked. [Though the promotion is done now since I no longer see the discount on my Wii U] Probably should've made this article earlier in June if you guys are gonna react over 1 game having a Cross-Buy feature.



Zach777 said:

No it really is not a thing. One company is giving an exclusive offer to European eShoppers. No one else is doing this. It is simply a deal, not true legitimate cross-buy. When Nintendo announces that they are implementing cross buy then an article like this will be worth posting.



whodatninja said:

Misleading article. I got so excited until i realized it's not really "cross buy".

This may be a tiny step in the right direction, but it's hardly a "thing" yet.



smikey said:

I bought it on release day on wii u to support the developers & because the game looked fun so what do I get out of this deal as a loyal early buyer? oh yeah nothing.

I probably wouldn't even download it on my 3ds if it were free anyway as I'd never play it on there.
But while I can see they are trying to entice more sales at the same time they are going to make everybody wait before purchasing any future games just incase they do this a month or two down the line.

As for the Title while I knew what this was about before opening the article it is a ridiculously misleading headline for those who haven't read the eu ehop release article today



DualWielding said:

@Zach777 to be fair... that's what cross-buy is by definition and what Sony refers to as cross buy..... buy one game get a second version for another platform free.... the other thing Sony has with PSOne and PSP games is not called cross buy because you only buy one game that is playable in multiple platforms



Stu13 said:

Mr. NintendoLife.... tear down this wall.

And by 'wall', I mean 'headline'. It's very bad.



GalacticMario28 said:

That is a somewhat misleading headline, but I suppose its purpose is to give hope for the future. And that's exactly what I have right now. This seems like a "testing the waters" kind of thing. If this works out the way Nintendo hopes, we may very well see a full cross-buy system in the future. I just hope it doesn't take too long.



0utburst said:

@gurtifus @Yorumi @ferthepoet
Yeah so I could just buy all awesome VC, indie, and eShop retail games and download them in my system and to all my friends' system using my account, maybe I'd buy an extra Wii U and sell it to my friend's friends at a higher price for personal profit.

Unless Nintendo implement some kind of DRM/checking changes when installing games on other machines, it could work. Right now with the current system where you can play games on a guess account, it won't be feasible for Nintendo.



Nestalgic said:

Next step would be to link our purchases with our account so we can redownload when our devices fail or are stolen and need to be replaced.



KoiTenchi said:

It's kind of amusing how there's a teeny tiny step in the right direction and no one in the comments can stop complaining regardless.



JaxonH said:

In fairness, we don't really have the right to demand crossbuy when they have to spend money to develop games separately per platform. If we had the right to demand cross-buy for a game on different platforms just because it's the same game, then where's the outcry for cross-buy across platforms like Playstation and Xbox? Buy it on PS, get it free on Xbox? Or buy it on 3DS, get it free on Vita? It's the same thing.

Now, developers can CHOOSE to eat that cost in order to offer cross-buy to consumers, but that's up to them. And if they choose not to, who can rightfully blame them? Separate developments for separate platforms, with separate costs involved.

That's not to say I'm against cross-buy. On the contrary, I didn't like buying Shovel Knight twice any more than the next guy. But the thing nobody's talking about is the fact that without CROSS-SAVE, cross-buy is pretty much rendered useless. Nobody wants to play 6 hours into a title, then start over on their handheld just because they have the game on the go. Of course not. This is why I own Rayman Legends on Wii U and Vita, but haven't touched the Vita version. It's cause I don't want to start over from scratch.

So people should understand, cross-buy needs an ecosystem to support it. There needs to be an architecture designed on both platforms in question that supports the same code, so that games can be developed ONE time for both systems, and there needs to be cross-save via net-based accounts, otherwise, what's the point? And those are things that we just won't see this generation, although it's looking more and more like Nintendo might be going that route next gen.



Yorumi said:

@outburst a simple activation system could do it. When downloaded a game is activated on a system, possibly allowing for 2 activations at the same time to account for families. You can transfer to other systems by logging in and deactivating it on the current system then downloading it to the new one. If you don't have immediate access to a system it's active on you can still download it but it gets a temporary activation that's only valid for 24 hours.

Interestingly lacking drm doesn't automatically mean everyone gets everything free. itunes had a bigger impact on music piracy than any sort of drm. But specifically for games I mentioned gog before and how it gives out drm free exe files. It would be possible for me to distribute all the games I own there to anyone I want(obviously there are laws if they found out about it and tracked me, and even if there wern't I wouldn't do it). Humble bundle is similar except there you can actually choose what you pay, and yet all indications are those groups are doing fine.

In general I agree with some level of unobtrusive drm, it's just interesting that the apocalypse doesn't come when it's abandoned entirely.

@KoiTenchi it's because it's not nintendo doing it it's an individual company essentially using their freedom to set up their own sale to do it.



gurtifus said:

@outburst Obviously, they should implement a lock system like Yorumi explained above.
But, the fact that people share some games with their friends on Steam, thanks to giving their account information, didn't drive Steam to bankrupcy !
I'm sure they're aware of that but they deal with in compensating it with price or other options.
So I'm sure Nintendo won't be affected by these behaviours.
Piracy was huge on DS and Wii but that didn't keep Nintendo from selling more hardware and game than ever !



Yorumi said:

@JaxonH Depends on some factors. Unity for example is designed to run on a virtual machine and so you don't necessarily have to do anything beyond changing the compiler options.

There's even a lot of libraries designed with cross compiling in mind. Basically you set a bunch of compiler instructions to detect the system it's being compiled on and only get the code for that system. The library present one single interface regardless of system, and the compiler commands in the library handle the correct code generation. You have to initially write the library multiple times(once for each system) but the whole point of modular code is to be reusable.

Emulators are in a similar category, once the core emulator is written you only need minor tweaks if any for each game. Making the VC require minimal work to do it.

Some games of course do require a lot of work, port a non-unity game with a completely custom engine between xbox, ps, and nintendo certainly require a lot of work. Even porting a custom engine between 3ds and wiiU would take a lot of work. So it's not to say every game is easy but programers have spent the last 30 years or so figuring out great ways to reduce or eliminate the work load in porting code from one OS to another.



KoiTenchi said:

@Yorumi Except it's Nintendo's consoles and the whole thing is only possible on them because Nintendo made it possible.

It wasn't possible between DSi and Wii. It wasn't possible between 3DS and Wii. It's IS possible between Wii U and 3DS though because Nintendo FINALLY made it possible, a nice teeny tiny step in the right direction.

I understand though that people find it much easier to complain and not even acknowledge that though. I mean, I'm not saying there isn't still room for improvement, because there absolutely is, but it's pathetic how people with intentionally not acknowledge the improvement already there or even outright up and down DENY it just to help try to give their complaints more merit.



Dpishere said:

I gotta admit, I would love to be able to play the NES games I have on my 3DS, on my Wii U as well. I would never purchase them twice just to be able to play on a big screen.



Kirk said:


It needs to be MORE of a thing. One indie game is only the start. Now let's see at least most new first party games support this option where possible. All Virtual Console games should basically work like this already for example imo.



Yorumi said:

@KoiTenchi I don't quite think you understand what's going on here. There are only two things nintendo actually did here, and they were both done long ago. The first was allowing companies on the eshop to make their own sales. They can choose to set whatever price they want for a game and any conditions involved. This was done, really more with the launch of the 3ds and the removing of the restrictions on the wii shop and dsi shop. The other was putting the nintendo network on the 3ds, that was what a year ago or something?

Since download codes can be generated for games technically it was possible on the dsi and wii. And people are complaining more about the headline than anything else. No one company in one single region, in only one direction doing their own internal promotion is not cross buy arriving on nintendo systems.



JaxonH said:


Thing is, Unity helps- it reduces SOME of the work on multiple platforms, but it doesn't eliminate it. Again, that will come down to individual publishers and whether or not they personally choose to offer 2 versions of a game for one price, despite the resources spent developing both versions. I'm not saying it CAN'T be done, I'm saying developers have no incentive to do so at the present time.

3rd parties are going to do what they want. We have no control over them. As for Nintendo- once they can get an ecosystem in place which supports net-based accounts (to offer cross-save functionality) and a common architecture on both their home console and handheld to eliminate the need for separate development, then I would like to see VC games offered via cross-buy. But until those prerequisites are met, I fully understand why this cannot and will not become a reality.

Next generation, when Nintendo launches net-based accounts, and if the rumors of a common home console/handheld architecture prove true, then there will be nothing stopping Nintendo from offering cross-buy on VC titles. Of course, there might still be some barriers such as platform-specific features of each version. Not saying it WILL happen next gen, just saying the conditions will be met to make it POSSIBLE next gen.



Lobster said:

Misleading title for the lose. Clickbait if ever there was clickbait. Nintendo Life, I thought you were better than this.



0utburst said:

@gurtifus @Yorumi
Yes that could work. Maybe limit the download to another system once per year. Going beyond that would require you to send the machine (if it's broken/missing) to Nintendo. I dunno. Let Nintendo figure it out.

Also it might not be a big deal on EU or US regions as they enforce anti-piracy laws. But it would be a disaster in some parts of Asia and other regions. They too have anti-piracy laws but it's broken. You could buy pirated games and softwares on markets and even on malls(shopping centers) ranging from 1$ to 5$! They can even install games/music/softwares on your system/machine for a price.



KoiTenchi said:

@Yorumi it was NOT "technically possible" between the DSi and the Wii because those two eshops were NOT linked like the 3DS and Wii U eshop are.

Also, the 3DS did NOT have NNID's at launch and was not linked to the Wii U eshop until it got NNID's. There was no way before then for the 3DS eshop to know if you bought a Wii U eshop game or vice versa.

Please stop spreading incorrect information. I understand that you're frustrated, but spouting lies actually hinders your point rather than helping it.

Thank you.



Windy said:

I hope they might do this for those of who own a couple 3ds systems. Yes I use them both. Don't ask me why but I do lol. I had bought the original 3ds and then picked up the XL is the main reason I have 2 3ds's. Maybe I'm a hoarder and can't get rid of my old stuff



Yorumi said:

@JaxonH Unity runs in a virtual machine. Any work comes from system specific features, or porting to a system who's hardware can't handle the game. Of course the 3ds doesn't really have a version of unity right now but the point is that the overall universal statement that it take a lot of work to port all games isn't true. The whole point of executing a binary inside a virtual machine is to eliminate differences in architecture and OS. You'd also be amazed what could be done with a proper library setup, but the over all point is it's a game by game basis. Some games take a lot of work, some take none it depends on the circumstances.

@KoiTenchi I said exactly how it was technically possible. The wii is capable of using download codes to get free games, this is how club nintendo works. When you redeem coins for a wii game they give you a code, you enter the code into the wii shop channel and it takes you to the download page for the game with the price set to 0.

It would have been technically possible(technically because it was never done) to attach one of these codes to the download of a dsi game. It doesn't require the actual linking of an account between two systems. Of course there were many more restrictions on both shops back then and given that it's unlikely nintendo would have ever agreed to generate the codes but there's nothing about the hardware that made it physically impossible.

@outburst it's hard to say exactly what the difference would be. I mean really they make a show in the EU and US but realistically piracy laws, for a variety of reasons arn't enforced on the internet. So yeah you don't see pirated material in malls in the west but that doesn't really stop anyone either. It is what it is though and I understand exactly why companies want to protect their property.



JaxonH said:


You're getting off on a tangent by being way too technical here. My point is, it costs Nintendo to develop games for both Wii U and 3DS. Nintendo rarely uses Unity, but even so, 3DS doesn't even have Unity support.

Idk how we even got talking about Unity. 3DS doesn't have Unity, and Nintendo doesn't develop VC games with Unity anyways. Point being, Nintendo has to develop games for Wii U and 3DS separately, with separate costs. What 3rd parties do is up to them. One development for multiple platforms or not, that's up to them. And there's a lot of developers out there. We have no control over what they do.



ogo79 said:

lol someones still going to find something wrong with this, it simply wont be enough. its gonna plant a tree that branches out complaints.



Yorumi said:

@JaxonH you're focusing on one tiny bit and missing the bigger picture here. Lets take the VC. The core emulator is built already. Any tweaks to the core emulator that would be needed for a game would tend to show themselves in testing for any system. They're not rewriting the game's code, the rom is the game's executable binary, the emulator is just telling the system how to read that binary. So for a VC game that's already tested and ready, you take the rom, package it with the other system's emulator, make the tweaks needed(would take a programer a day or two, an nes emulator is pretty small) and release it. The cost involved in that is trivial.

It's similar for a proper modular cross compiling library. The overall point is it's a case by case basis. Some games require a lot of effort to port, some don't.



JaxonH said:


You're basing your argument on a flawed assumption. VC games are not just ROM dumps. Nintendo has stressed numerous times the amount of effort needed to properly develop older games on current console architecture. It is not as simple as "they have the emulator, just put it on the system". Emulators, even on powerful computers, have issues running games at constant framerates without glitches.

All Nintendo VC games have 60fps and are bug-free, with additional features added in such as multiple controller support, off-TV play, and more recently, in-game manuals and resolution options.

VC games are not ROMs dumped on an emulator. That's how modded PSP's work, that's how PC's work. That's not how Nintendo VC works. It's the most common misconception there is concerning Nintendo VC.

The biggest ringer being, Nintendo can develop an NES game on 3DS VC, and will have to start from scratch again when developing for Wii U VC.



hcfwesker said:

@Lobster normally I sway away from making 'clickbait' posts as some do, but this time I agree 100%. It's not just the misleading title and subtext under the title ... but why oh why did they decide to use that picture for the article. Luckily I didn't get my hopes up and knew there was a catch, cause this is big news and wouldn't have just randomly shown up and been available without a notice beforehand. But yeah, NL, the way this article was labeled and dressed up is not what I normally expect from you guys.



Yorumi said:

@JaxonH they say that to justify it to people who don't understand what an emulator is. There's not really any magic in programing, and that's what they're using, an emulator. It's designed to translate a binary created for a 6502 cpu into machine language understandable by a different cpu.

The core emulator doesn't really change, much like math there's only so many ways to fetch an instruction, translate it, and advance the instruction pointer. Many NES games used hacks or non-standard 6502 execution to achieve some effects and so these are where the tweaks come in. They need to understand what those hacks were and recreate them in the emulator. But espectially an NES emulator is a really simple thing.



JaxonH said:


If what you were saying was true- if VC games truly were "just ROM dumps", why hasn't every 3rd party under the sun cashed in on such an easy and cheap endeavor? Oh, they haven't. Because it's not that easy. If it were, you can believe we'd have the entire NES-N64 3rd party libraries available on both eShops as we speak. Far be it from 3rd parties to pass up easy money.



Yorumi said:

@JaxonH that article kind of highlights you don't really understand what you're talking about. One of the main reasons they highlight is that the VC is not a separate category and so they're competing with other big games. Nintendo themselves has said the slow trickle is intentional because if they released them all at once people would be overwhelmed and not buy them.

As programers we have an entire design paradigm called object oriented design and the entire purpose of that is to maximize portability and reusability of code. What you don't seem to understand since you don't know code is that you're actually accusing the programers at nintendo of being terrible programers and you don't even know it.

All these games ran on the exact same hardware, the emulator, as it's name implies, emulates that hardware, so the rom, which is literally the compiled executable binary, can execute. Any programing student could figure out how to use at least 85% or more of their emulator code in every single game from the same console. If nintendo can't figure this out then they're terrible programers. They're not bad, they're good programers they're just choosing to slow drip the games.

Finally there's a bit of a difference between an nes emulator and a n64/gc/wii one. As systems advance creating emulators becomes a more complicated undertaking. This is true because the system itself is more complicated but also because an emulator requires roughly 10x the power of the original system to emulator. The closer you are to that power requirement the fewer even minor mistakes you can make in the code.



JaxonH said:


I would like you to know that have extensive background in PC repair and my current job entails programming CMMs. And while I don't understand software programming as you do, I'm not an idiot and I'm certainly not ignorant. So please don't talk to me with the "holier than thou, you know everything I know nothing" attitude.

Just because you can write code, doesn't mean you understand what it takes to get a game to run flawlessly in 60fps without bugs, on separate platforms, with added features like two screens running simultaneously. Just having an emulator doesn't magically make the game run perfectly. Which again, is why powerful PC's even have issues with 8-bit and 16-bit games.

You're really getting off track here. OBVIOUSLY it's going to be quicker to develop a VC game than say, a retail release. But that doesn't mean there is no work involved! If it was so easy, they wouldn't have had to contract M2 to handle GBA VC. Think about man. I'm not saying it takes years and years, all I'm saying is it takes WORK. MANHOURS. LABOR. It's not "snap your fingers and poof, game appears running flawlessly".

And of course Nintendo is drip feeding them. I never said otherwise. But that doesn't mean they're simple ROM dumps, 5 minutes and voila, all done! These games take work. Again, just getting a game running on an emulator is easy. I can do THAT much. It's getting it to run flawlessly without glitches at 60fps with added features that the work comes in. And getting a game to run flawlessly without glitches at 60fps with added features is going to require separate work on 3DS and Wii U. You can't just "do one and both are done". If you're half as well versed as you claim you are, you should know this...



Yorumi said:

@JaxonH And see here's the thing, you state you don't know as much about programing as me while at the same time claiming you know more about programing than me. Your whole point about the contract for the gba emulator proves you don't understand what I'm saying. They were contracted to build the actual emulator, that's where all the work is, once it's built you can reuse nearly all of the code written. They didn't build a separate nes for every single cart and they don't need a separate core emulator for every single rom(the rom again is exactly what was stored on the nes cartridge, the emulator is the nes itself).

I didn't intend to take this so far off track but you insist on trying to say you know more than a computer engineer who programs for a living and has actually written a crude emulator for the educational value of the experience. The core emulator is where all the work is, once that's done it's just a matter of changing things around to accommodate some of the hacks that were employed, like for example tilting the OOT cart.



Yorumi said:

@hcfwesker no I'm done, it's clear whenever programing is discussed the internet thinks the only people who don't know anything about programing are actual programers.



ZenTurtle said:

Learn yourself some sense for great good:
Although an emulator does require work, most of this is in the emulation program itself. Each game will require, at most, a few lines of code to tweak the program. Nintendo are restricting supply to justify cost, and if the code monkeys at Nintendo HQ put their minds to it, we could have the NES, SNES, N64 or more available in their entirety quite soon. Quite frankly, if it takes as much work as you imply per VC title, then I am beginning to doubt the programmers' ability!



JaxonH said:


But see, I'm not arguing that. I agree with you! That's NOT what I'm arguing> I said half an hour ago myself that Nintendo is drip feeding them. I KNOW they're drip feeding them.

That's not what I was arguing, whatsoever.

What I was arguing, is that the 3DS and Wii U versions require separate work. You can't just make GAME A for Wii U and have it magically run on 3DS too. That was my argument. And as such, it does take work. If it were "just a few lines" to get a game to run flawlessly in 60fps without bugs, with multiple controller support, with virtual saves, with off-TV play, with Miiverse communities, even in-game manuals and resolution options, why is it that PC emulation can't even do that? Why is it that 3rd parties haven't all cashed in from this simple "one line code tweak" and we have hundreds of 3rd party VC games on offer? And that's my point. It does actually take work and resources. They do actually have teams devoted to making VC. Sure, they could be dishing them out WAY faster. Yes, they're holding them back. But it still takes resources.

All I'm saying is that there is separate work involved for the Wii U and 3DS versions. That's ALL I'm saying. Idk how it got so misconstrued into something entirely different.



Gameday said:

This should of been day one ~
So does everyone get a refund on games they've purchased twice ?



retro_player_22 said:

Yes you are getting there Nintendo. I recently bought Shovel Knight on Wii U, would be very happy if I also get to play it for free on my 3DS with my NNID in place.



sleepinglion said:

Cruelest headline ever.
Cross-buy! For one title... in one part of the world...
Don't play with our emotions like that.



Smooty said:

feeling extremely dissapointed, that title doesn't describe the content of the article..



SavoirFaire said:

I thought I had accidently clicked my way to Motely Fool with this clickbait article!

On the topic, I believe cross-buy isn't as critical as an account-linked buying system and not a system based system. If my Wii U breaks tomorrow, I would prefer having a bit of re-downloading on the new system, not a big hassle dealing with Nintendo that has the potential of not going my way.



Aerona said:

It is kind of funny seeing how many people didn't even read the article though...



retro_player_22 said:

@Pixel-Perfect How do you know people didn't read it? Is it because they comment differently? I never guess anyone would actually want evidence to see if we did or didn't read it.



Lan said:

Show some journalistic integrity and stop making these click-bait titles.



allav866 said:

Wow, that title was misleading. Not even the subtitle hinted that it was only for a single game from a third-party developer.



Intrepid said:

A third-party game in one part of the world get's this feature, and the title makes it sound like it affects everything now. Even the subtitle made no clarification about it. Seems a little unfair that NL would allow such a misleading title to appear on one of their articles.

Something like this would have sounded better:
Title: Squids Odyssey to be Cross-Buy on Nintendo eShop
Subtitle: First instance of Cross-Buy on Nintendo Systems

That way, there's no raised expectations going into the article. Just my opinion.



Remisio said:

Yacht Club Games has stated that they're interested in cross buy for Shovel Knight on WiiU and 3DS. I was really unlucky, I woke up today to go to classes and checked my mail in my phone to find the Mighty No.9 special Shovel Knight giveaway... I was so sad... I didn't get the game!! I had a 6 in 9000+ chance to get it!



Vallu said:

This should've been done long time ago, especially with virtual console titles.



Moshugan said:

Aww man! Already got my hopes up, but then it's only one third party company only applying it to one title. :I
Such bait'n'switch, so dissappoint.



Marioman64 said:

...what if i already bought both versions of a game? would I get money back? if they implemented this for games already released before I mean



justinluey said:

@Intrepid I agree. I really like Nintendo Life, but this isn't the first time they've used misleading titles or images to get clicks.

I understand that sites need to make money, but in the long run, great content is more profitable than cheap tricks.

I hope @Dazza responds. It would be nice to know why he chose the title or if there is an editor that made the decision.



ccanfield1 said:

I love cross buy on Sony's platforms. It's one of the reasons Playstation is my console of choice when purchasing multi-platform games. If Nintendo started doing this I might be more inclined to buy games on their system.



Azaris said:

Good now start giving refunds out to people who bought multiple copies of vc games to play them on 3DS and wii u. what you wont? then i have no reason to forgive you,nintendo. i spent over 100 dollars because you didn't offer cross buy.



UnseatingKDawg said:

Yeah, this will occur in North America in the future. The FAR future because they love to take their good old time with this stuff.



piggie_pie said:

This is big news... I love the cross buy function of PlayStation systems... I have quite a few cross buy games on PS systems and there are more to come... I just wish Nintendo would 1Up (pun intended) by allowing you to play 3DS games on the Wii-U via the VC or something like an external plug-in for 3DS games on the Wii-U... Pipe dream probably but they say when you dream you should dream big!



theBluntKnight said:

If they reformed virtual console games so that a game bought exists on your account rather than a particular console meaning that ya only have to buy a VC game once and only once. How many times do they think people want to buy a classic like super mario 3? I have no plans to buy anything on VC until this is addressed by Nintendo, till then I'll just use emulators to play classic games if I can't get my hands on a physical copy.

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