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Talking Point: Deconstructing Nintendo's Retail Releases of Wii U eShop Titles

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Sensible cash-in or lack of focus?

The recent announcement of a NES Remix physical disc compilation coming to North America was the latest in a minor trend for Nintendo, as it is showing an increased willingness to convert download titles into retail releases. It was also surprising, as NES Remix Pack will combine two $15 titles, so presumably will have a recommended price of around $30, half the premium for a top-tier first-party Wii U release. These budget disc versions of eShop content clearly have some business reasoning behind them, yet they also suggest a continuing collision between moving suitable content to the download store while still trying to cater to the conventional market. The question is whether these disc editions are a positive promotion for the eShop, or just the opposite.

In terms of the Wii U this began with New Super Luigi U, though before that 2012 also brought us a telling example on the 3DS with Freakyforms Deluxe: Your Creations, Alive!, a retail follow up to a download-only original from late 2011. In that case the additional value of the pricier Deluxe option was questionable — though both were good games — and the cheaper option was actually replaced on the eShop. It was an interesting move, and an early example of Nintendo looking to take a new IP from its download store onto the high street.

New Super Luigi U was, it should also be said, an entirely sensible candidate for a limited physical release; its status as sizeable DLC for New Super Mario Bros. U meant it was a recognisable sub-brand on shelves, and had enough volume of content to justify a below-standard retail price. Its neat green case also had appeal for those with collector's instincts.

Wii Sports Club has been a more peculiar example, as it arrived on the Wii U eShop in separate parts, spread out over a number of months with a relatively ambitious pricing model. In one of just a few Wii U games that has attempted the approach, these downloads can be limited-time licenses or a permanent download at a higher price, attempting to cater to devotees and those that may just fancy a bit of motion-controlled gaming over a weekend. It's not clear, as is always the case with Nintendo's download content, how well or otherwise these downloads have sold, but we'd suggest the piece-by-piece approach hasn't been ideal. The point can be argued that releasing all five sports together on the eShop, alongside the retail disc, would have been preferable.

We then have — mentioned at the start — NES Remix Pack, still only confirmed for North America and Japan — no Europe as yet — which combines both download titles onto a disc. From Nintendo's perspective this has undoubtedly required little to no effort, save for an adjusted home screen and minor tweaks, and we'd go so far as to suggest that the Japanese release makes a lot of sense. The eShop in Nintendo's homeland, on Wii U at least, is perhaps a little less prominent in the conciousness of fans than in the West; it's a peculiar development in North America however. It'll presumably have to retail at $30 to match its eShop prices, or have a mark-up to accommodate distribution — would it be worth more than $30? We'd suggest the answer to that is no.

There's also the example of Wii Fit U, which had a rather peculiar release. With the incredible sales of its predecessors undoubtedly in mind, Nintendo initially attempted to give incentive to Wii owners to upgrade by launching an offer of a free trial of the download version; it was release before the physical retail edition. Also, buying a relatively inexpensive Wii Fit Meter made that trial permanent, which was a great deal for those following matters closely. Unfortunately stock of the meter accessory was evidently poor in multiple regions and the message for the promotion struggled to get out. On top of that, the standard retail options (disc-only and bundle with a balance board) arrived with little fanfare, could be hard to find and was delayed until after the Holiday season in North America. It was a stumbling, messy launch of both the eShop and retail versions, giving the game little chance of success either within the existing Wii U userbase, or as a vehicle to drive hardware sales.

There's a sense, with some of these releases that have arrived on both the eShop and in stores, that one or the other can feel like an afterthought. Discounting Wii Fit U and perhaps New Super Luigi U, the other titles that have transitioned to stores feel slightly tacked on; in addition, the nature of eShop titles is that they don't get a great deal of conventional marketing, and so far that seems to carry across to the retail iterations. New Super Luigi U did have a marketing push, but Wii Sports Club on disc appears to have arrived with little promotion; it's failed to break into the top 40 in the UK, for example, and has little presence in stores. There's a nagging sense, too, that as download games they're out of place on a store shelf, and struggle to stack up alongside full games.

The NES Remix compilation in the Holiday season for North America is also a case of peculiar timing. If that period is particularly busy in terms of the titles Nintendo is trying to sell for Wii U, so much so that Nintendo of Europe has suggested the region's delay of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is strategic, then throwing this compilation in alongside titles such as Treasure Tracker in NA seems like a flawed idea; will those with limited funds choose that title above higher-profile alternatives?

Perhaps the strategy is sound, in terms of promoting these titles and — even in a subtle way — directing some attention to the eShop. That's an argument that can be made, though the gradual expansion of eShop game cards in stores (as is the case in Europe and Japan, in particular) should counteract that. The real motivation is likely to be simplicity, content with relatively little additional effort required; if it boosts awareness of the eShop a little, all the better. In a few cases, though, its debatable whether notable sales have been achieved; we're sure collectors are happy, though.

That's arguably a problem though. By making some download titles available at retail, it confuses the message a little, and those that would rather pay more for New Super Luigi U on a disc may hold off on first-party downloads, in particular. With the company so keen on talking up the eShop as an important platform, perhaps it needs to stick to its guns and promote its biggest releases on the store more aggressively, in the process supporting other developers by bringing extra eyes to the platform. As it stands, the eShop's marketing is minimal outside of social networks, and the occasional disc version arrives and, arguably, serves a particularly limited purpose.

The examples of Wii Sports Club and the upcoming NES Remix Pack ultimately pose the question — are they a worthwhile release and a good use of Nintendo's resources? Should Nintendo simply go to greater lengths to promote the download originals? We'd suggest yes to the latter, and disc versions don't help that cause.

Let us know what you think of these eShop game retail releases, particularly the most recent examples. Are they a good idea, or an example of muddled thinking? Let us know in the comments below.

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User Comments (84)

Gerbwmu

#1

Gerbwmu said:

I think they are trying to place more "New" games on the shelves for the holidays (and in general in the case of Wii Fit U) and the lack of 3rd party support has forced them to find alternatives.

In the case of Toad, despite their PR I bet someone either within Nintendo or the Rating Board missed something and the PR is covering up what ever mistake was made.

2Sang

#2

2Sang said:

Since it takes no extra effort why not? I prefer physical anyways.

FernandoMachado

#3

FernandoMachado said:

its vile same goes for identical games being released on 3DS and Wii U... when in doubt about which one should I get I end up not getting anything at all x

Tops

#5

Tops said:

I have no issue with it. Deciding to get the physical or retail version of a game is a good problem to have, imo.

jakysnakydx

#6

jakysnakydx said:

If I have the option I always choose the physical package but in the wake of eShop releases LATER getting the retail treatment I feel slightly disillusioned. I do agree with Thomas' point however about whether or not this belittles the eShop. If Nintendo fans find out that they can hold out for a better shinier retail release we may cannibalize eShop sales. Now as Tops said if we from the get go have the option then that's a bit of a different issue, we get to choose. In the event of back tracking, I feel its a great disparity. I like the exclusivity of eShop titles... smaller pieces that are download only. I also feel cheated that I would now rather have retail copies of NES Remix and Wii Sports.

FragRed

#7

FragRed said:

I was half hoping that Nintendo were releasing this in retail here in the UK, which would perhaps account (in some bizarre way) for why Toad was delayed. But nope, doesn't look like it. Just North America.

ejamer

#8

ejamer said:

@Gerbwmu
That's a good point. Retail shelf space is important if you want your console to get noticed... but right now Wii U has virtually no games being released and retailers have very little reason to reserve shelf space for the console.

As for physical versus retail releases, I'd suggest that Nintendo would be wise to cast the widest net possible and offer support for both. What I find problematic is the messaging that Nintendo is currently putting out. Physical releases aren't always available, aren't always announced in a timely fashion (NES Remix retail edition being announced shortly after that game was a Club Nintendo platinum reward is a prime example of poor timing), and sale pricing isn't consistent either.

It feels like they are inadvertently giving gamers incentive to "wait and see" instead of buying games outright.

djcaetano

#9

djcaetano said:

Maybe they should release physical discs on the countries where the eShop is not available?

rjejr

#11

rjejr said:

I have no problem w/ both physical and digital releases. Most people, whether they prefer a disc or a download, like knowing there are options. Sony has done this for awhile w/ PSN releases, usually in some type of bundle form. Minecraft released digitally for both PS3 and Xbox360 before the retail versions hit. (This article really could use some Sony/PSN comparison.)

Nintnedo does a LOT of screwy stuff, but releasing disc versions of previously DL only games seems like something they are doing right for a change.

Darknyht

#12

Darknyht said:

I think that much like the Xbox Arcade Compilation Discs, they are a great value to those that don't put their Wii U online or wish to use the eShop. I know when I first got my Xbox, one of the first things I did was track down those discs because they quickly gave me a small library with variety to go with the two packed in games (Lego: Batman/Pure). I was always on the lookout for the other Xbox bundles too.

I always believed that Nintendo should have a development team dedicated to turning out a Wii U and 3DS eShop title a quarter. Then either bundle all four at the end of the year as a full retail compilation or release two with two games each as a budget retail title. Use the third tier or new properties and allow young teams to be creative. Who knows maybe they will create something as interesting as, I don't know, Splatoon.

millarrp

#13

millarrp said:

I have no objection to releasing a physical copy later on. It kind of sucks for the gamers that prefer physical copies and already downloaded them.

I agree with @Gerbwmu that this might be Nintendo's way of adding more titles to retail shelf space...

ajcismo

#14

ajcismo said:

I used to prefer the physical copy, but have changed my tune these past few years in going almost strictly digital. This is due to convenience and the fact we have a little one in the house who can wreck havoc on discs if not put away properly. Having options is a good thing for consumers.
However... I'm still waiting for the day when all of Nintendo's (1st party) past library, from NES on through the Wii, will be available via download. Like a VC version of iTunes. I think someday we'll see it happen, along with an account system that is much more consumer friendly.

TruenoGT

#15

TruenoGT said:

I think it's great for people who prefer physical games. I'm a digital guy on Wii U so I enjoy the convenience and quicker release, but I'm happy that folks who generally avoid digital (or eShop specifically) still get an opportunity to play these games. I think if Nintendo gets a better account system, they'll get more push on the eShop, but until then, this is a smart move.

Frapp

#16

Frapp said:

I find nothing wrong with Nintendo's strategy in this regard, and am also in complete agreement with Trueno's post above.

SavoirFaire

#17

SavoirFaire said:

I am more annoyed with the fact I used my reward to get NES remix 1, after giving up on a physical release, only to have it show up later. NES remixes have always been on my radar as a phayical hope, and eventually one has to give up. As far as a true Nintendo strategy goes, I think first poster got it: retail space filler upper!

I do believe this gets to the bigger problem with retail vs dl, which is preference for a physical copy that can be sold or kept a long time vs digital copy that may one day become defunct due to a system crash. A true account based system by Nintendo that isn't console bound would likely get a lot more people interested in the eshop. I say that, though, when I have spent over $300 on eshop since wii u release, so perhaps I am not as picky as I should be.

SanderEvers

#18

SanderEvers said:

"Sensible cash-in or lack of focus?"

None of those two. NES Remix and Wii Sports Club both got physical releases by demand from fans. Nintendo really starts to listen to their userbase, which is quite unique for a console holder.

The release of New Super Luigi U was simply to put the green guy in a bit more light for his big year. So that was marketing.

And actually it's NOTHING new to release downloadable games later physically in stores. For instance look at the Infamous Second Son (PS4) DLC that will get a physical release in Europe as well as a download release.

Jake_homs

#19

Jake_homs said:

I also agree with TruenoGT. I too am a digital fan. I've lost too many games, or had scratched discs that were unplayable. If I have a choice, I opt for the digital version, but many don't so it's nice to see them have the option for the physical discs.

Daruncic

#20

Daruncic said:

I prefer physical copies. Additionally, with all of the "Nintendo has no games" press they have been getting, This is a good way to pad out the shelves to combat the Xbox One and PS4 Multiplats

ricklongo

#21

ricklongo said:

I love physical copies of games. There's just something about having all those pretty boxes in my shelf. So not only do I enjoy what Nintendo is doing, I actively hope indies can follow suit and release physical games containing numerous e-Shop titles in one disc (think Super Mario All-Stars for the SNES, for example). I'd be all over releases like that.

SanderEvers

#22

SanderEvers said:

And the preference between Physical and Downloadable really differs with the game for me.

XFsWorld

#23

XFsWorld said:

It makes since to put Wii Sports Club in retail but it doesn't make sense to physically release NES Remix, Captain Toad, and Kirby Rainbow Curse but that's just me.

unrandomsam

#26

unrandomsam said:

I am not bothered whether stuff exists in physical form. I would never take the option (Other than the 3rd party junk that is about £5 physically which I have bought but barely touched). Especially for something like these which I only play in short bursts much rather spend the time playing than swapping disks. I wish the eshop prices matched more closely the current retail prices (Especially as NIntendo is getting the retailers cut so doing better out of the situation as it is).

If the game could be installed with the disk used just for a disk check I might be able to tolerate it more (As long as the fan was off afterwards).

3DS carts is a better situation stuff I am only going to play once that doesn't have DLC I don't mind having on cartridge. (Playing from the cart is no worse other than I only take one out of the house with me at a time).

DBPirate

#27

DBPirate said:

I like Nintendo's thinking. I don't think it's a cash-in. They should do this for Shovel Knight, especially after releasing that accolades video.

DrMatta

#28

DrMatta said:

NES remix 1 and 2 feel like 'multiple-demo' hubs, disguised as 2 games - you get a bite-sized feel of said games, and after a short while they release those exact ones on the eStore. The 'Remixed' challenges are a mixed bag (mostly poor imo).

Extremist

#29

Extremist said:

I've got Luigi U and both NES Remixes, but if this trend continues I will have be more sceptical about buying Nintendo eShop-releases on day 1 as I prefer physical copies. And I don't think that's the way to go for Nintendo.

xj0462

#30

xj0462 said:

i think that they are doing this because one day the eshop server will be shut down, and people who would want the game couldn't get it, so there selling retail copies as an alternative method for that inevitable event...

TheLordAndrew

#31

TheLordAndrew said:

I think this is a good thing, for reasons:

1: Believe it or not, most people I know (even those who consider themselves "hardcore gamers") have no, or limited internet. Which is why steam is so unpopular here.

2: Ninty gets more money to fund Metroid Prime 4

electrolite77

#32

electrolite77 said:

Makes sense to do both but would make more sense to do it simultaneously. With Nintendos hopelessly inadequate Account system there's plenty of gamers who won't touch or restrict eshop stuff-they are potential physical copy purchasers.

FlaygletheBagel

#33

FlaygletheBagel said:

I think the release of a physical NES Remix disc is actually a smart strategy for three reasons:

1) As others have said already, a physical release makes it look like there are more "new" Wii U titles on store shelves than there actually are. That way the public perception is less "The Wii U has a drought of games" and more "Look, Nintendo is putting out a steady stream of new games now!"

2) The product packaging would catch the eye of consumers who grew up playing the NES. Nintendo has a bigger nostalgia factor than almost any other company out there. By putting a game on store shelves that shows Nintendo is still doing things with their old 8-bit titles, they're catching the eyes of adults or parents who may want to expose their kids to titles they grew up playing. Physical copies of NES Remix may not be system-sellers, but they certainly give people more incentive to purchase a Wii U than they might've had before.

3) NES Remix, while it is a good game, had an incredibly quiet release. We got the first one as a surprise at the end of a Nintendo Direct, and the second one came out with little notice or fanfare, too. Honestly, not many people outside of Nintendo fans or Wii U owners are that familiar with it. Putting it on store shelves gives it more public exposure.

gojiguy

#34

gojiguy said:

Nintendo isn't alone in this strategy... Lest we forget DuckTales: Remastered.

outburst

#35

outburst said:

There are console owners (parents mostly who bought it for their kids) out there that don't bother or don't even want to know the technical know-how on how to expand the storage space of the Wii U or use the eShop. It was really a bad decision releasing the console with only little storage capacity. That 8gig basic model is an abomination. They should discontinue it already and release only the 32 gig and higher. Nintendo is trying to cater on those kind of users by releasing retail versions of originally download-only titles. Plus Nintendo is trying to fill those "empty spaces" on the shelves of game stores. That's what I think.

Edit:
Also as mentioned by others, it's more like an awareness campaign to show these games exist. (As I mentioned earlier, some users may not even bother to access the eShop).

Kyloctopus

#36

Kyloctopus said:

I've made a thread about it before, and I'll say it again: The Wii U eShop is lacking on original games - something it's thrived on in the Wiiware DSiware and even in the 3DS eShop does it have original titles.
Dr. Luigi, Pushmo 2, Pokemon Rumble U, Art Academy Sketchpad, Mario VS. Donkey Kong 6 all of it fits in sequels or new variations. Where are the original titles like Harmoknight and the Art Style games? No, it's not vital to the Wii U's life, but I'm not forking my money over to sequels of games I already played because that's not what the Wii U is about.

Grimlock_King

#37

Grimlock_King said:

Now I might get these. For some reason I never wanted them in their digital form. Shovel Knight will probably get a physical release like ducktales remastered.

jrob23

#40

jrob23 said:

I don't have a problem with their strategy. By releasing early on the eShop they are making the game available before its physical version is ready. Never a bad thing. I think that is exactly what happened with NSLU. They were always going to have a physical copy. It was the Year of Luigi after all. I think the NES remix is more about putting games on shelves with the apparent loss of 3rd party support than anything

LN3000

#41

LN3000 said:

It's pretty smart of Nintendo.
Not everyone wants to download, or is able to download, all of these games. So having a physical version of these games just makes sense, to the people who want to play the games, and plain business sense.

Personally, I have my 500GB external drive, and prefer directly downloading my games. I just recognize that not everyone has that same luxury ability.

KodyDawg

#42

KodyDawg said:

I like how they're releasing physical versions of digital games, but I don't like the delay. For example, just after I bought NES Remix, they announced a disc version for the west. As one who prefers physical, you can imagine how disappointed I was.

123akis

#43

123akis said:

I think advertising has always been a weak point for Nintendo, not everyone reads game news online like I and the community on this site do on Nintendolife and the internet. So Nintendo NEEDS to advertise MORE! Maybe Nintendo should make a TV ad and campaign showcasing all the great games on the eShop?

I may be going a bit off topic but, I see a lot of Xbox ads on TV and Playstation but I only see the Nintendo ads occasionally, I know TV ads is a small part of advertising but it does make an affect. @ThomasBW84 It would be great to see Nintendolife write an article about Nintendo's advertising and how they can improve it, I know This article/poll on nintendolife is about Nintendo's advertising but it isn't in-depth and not on how Nintendo can improve it.

Einherjar

#44

Einherjar said:

If you dont have problems, make yourself some...
Seriously, physical releases of eShop titles is a "problem" now ?
Stuff like that happens all the time. Some countrys get digital only releases, some get physical only releases and some even both.
Where exactly is the problem with a physical version of a game, that is already present on the eShop ? Because it arrived later ?
Maybe many people asked them to do such a thing because they dont have a good enough internet connection or any connection at all to get those.
Maybe people asked them enough out of collection reasons ?
Who knows, instead of making it into a problem, why not embrace the fact that nintendo still offers physical copys.
The same goes for the recent online multiplayer discussion. I relish the fact that nintendo platforms focus more on local co op modes. Something, many other devs seem to abandon entirely.

@KodyDawg Play the digital version, wait for the physical one to become dirt cheap. Ive done it with many ratchet & clank games on my PS3 lately.
Although i own many titles in digital form already, i ordered the complete series as physical releases for about 70€ this week.
The physical release of NES remix was most likely an afterthought, the same as with super luigi U.
So i just go with the digital version and should they decide to release a physical one later on, i do the above mentioned.

Emblem

#46

Emblem said:

On consoles physical sells way more than digital so its simple economics.

eltomo

#47

eltomo said:

What would be great if it was just a download code inside the box! Haha!!

KodyDawg

#48

KodyDawg said:

@Einherjar I like your thinking, but this is just my personal preference: I don't really want to pay twice to play twice. Although, since NES Remix on disc comes with both game, if I can get it for $15 or less (since I don't have Remix 2), that's actually a very good plan.

Einherjar

#49

Einherjar said:

@KodyDawg Perfectly understandable :) Paying twice for a game should never be a thing really.
Trust me, i do prefer physical copys myself. I even have a dedicated storeroom full of shelfes to store my games in ;)
So id go for a physical release anyday. But with situations like that, i really dont mind going the digital route.
Back when those games were initially released, a physical copy wasnt planned or announced. If i would stop purchasing eShop content because im waiting for an eventual physical release, i would simply go nuts over time :P
Basicly "Shovel Knight Syndrome": Everyone in my Youtube Subs plays this game, everyone talks about it, i see screenshots everywhere, music remixes...and we still havent gotten it in europe :P
Its like dancing through a minefield of spoilers.

So i just get these games when they are initially released and should a physical copy get released later on, i hunt for it online or in stores for cheap as an added collectors thingy. But like you, i wouldnt want to spend much money on it again. Id aim for half or even less of its initial price. So, basicly just paying for the box and the disc, and not the game content :P

Also: "pay twice to play twice" Play twice ? As far as i know, safe files are the same for digital and physical releases. So even if you started the digital versions and get a cheap physical copy, you wont loose any progress.

A1234

#50

A1234 said:

don't like the double dip, for one reason it costs me more money. the games should be released physical or digital and keep it at that. I will always prefer physical over digital. so this is costing me, which of course is part of Nintendo's business plan. they did the exact same thing with WiiWare games. in the end Wii Sports Club cost me $60 plus tax to have in the prefered physical form.

Pokefanmum82

#51

Pokefanmum82 said:

I personally like this. I prefer physical on games I'm not sure I will like, that way I can always trade it in if I don't like it. So this works for me. Plus I don't have Wii Sports Club, Wii U Fit or NES Remix yet. So it's not really bothering me.

KodyDawg

#53

KodyDawg said:

@Einherjar Really? It even keeps your progress from digital to physical on Wii U? Neat! Also, I know how you feel about Shovel Knight. I'm in NA, but with all these games I want to get, I'm forced to hold out until I get a little extra cash...

MAB

#54

MAB said:

Padding out shelves with crappy old NES games on disc isn't a good look for a new HD system... It's quite laughable, especially for the competition ;)

Ryu_Niiyama

#55

Ryu_Niiyama said:

@MAB it is no different than all the HD remakes and genesis classics and dreamcast classics that ended up on systems last gen. Or Ducktales this gen.

On-topic...I think the physical game allows a larger base to be reached. I know we like to all assume that everyone games the same way that we do as individuals but honestly some folks may not use the eshop or may prefer physical only or they may not watch the directs. I like the fact that I can toss a game in my bag and go to a buddy's house and sell them on it. I also like that sometimes I'll see a used game with interesting box art and I'll take a chance. I've found some gems that weren't internet popular but were very fun for me that way. Who really doesn't like more options?

joey302

#56

joey302 said:

Even though i download plenty of games, The more games for wii u in retail the better! Most people shopping wii u games or the system itself don't have a clue what the eshop has to offer anyway! Or worse yet, that the eshop even exists for that matter!! At least if an eshop game is converted to disc like duck tales & wii sports club they can see the games on store shelves otherwise they probably wouldn't even know the game exists as a download for wii u! The more retail games the better anyway! I'm old school and I'm proud of my collection too!

Ren

#57

Ren said:

it's not a bad idea or a good one either it's just too little too late. Nintendo has always had a lack of good marketing strategy; doing things that aren't bad, per se, but just bizarre and defy any kind of conventional marketing logic.
Often it doesn't matter because the hardware is robust and the software is designed so well that it sells itself. but when it's not up to that usual high standard things bomb pretty hard.
The other consoles often release pretty half baked or cliche stuff but actually have real marketing strategy and dollars at work so they still make the impact they need to.. I wish Nintendo could learn something from them (like get rid of Iwata).

WiiLovePeace

#58

WiiLovePeace said:

Eh, I'm not going to pretend to be an armchair analyst like NintendoLife seem to be acting like & wanting us readers to be. In Nintendo I Trust.

TheWPCTraveler

#59

TheWPCTraveler said:

I'd rather have a physical NES Remix, actually, especially if they give me better value for it. $15 for one is just a bit too much to swallow at the moment.

Now, if this is successful enough, I expect a NES Remix 3 or an SNES Remix! I'm betting that this is just a gauge for future releases.

CaptainToad

#60

CaptainToad said:

In a nutshell this is all down to commercials. Will the time and effort making a physical copy produce more profit? If yes, Nintendo will do it.

Personally, with the exception of VC titles I have zero interest in digital copies. They're more expensive, not cross platform (I can play all the Wii games I missed out on on my Wii U; I doubt you'll be able to play downloadable Wii U titles on Nintendo's next console), non transferable and simply don't look good on my shelf.

I can certainly understand some people's reasoning for them though, and I believe most, if not all titles should be made available in both formats. It should always be about giving consumers choices and options.

Einherjar

#61

Einherjar said:

@KodyDawg As far as i know it does. The save file and game data should be two seperate files on your system / HDD. Which would mean that if the game data is deleted (or not used in this case) the save file will still be there for the disc to use.

Big_L91

#62

Big_L91 said:

kinda ticked me off to be honest, i wouldn't have downloaded if i knew a physical version was coming i much prefer my games that way

Pod

#63

Pod said:

I think they're being smart about it in general. At least from a business perspective.

Nintendo's stuff usually sells best in physical form, yet the eShop allows them to reach their more devoted audience much earlier.

I can see why it would tick some people off, that the physical releases aren't announced sooner.

One month after the release of the DSi XL, when mine was in the mail, they announced the 3DS. I kind of felt I'd been suckered in to buying a product that I may have skipped on had I been told what was coming.

GuyWithTheGames

#64

GuyWithTheGames said:

i use to think that most download only sucked (by major publishers, anyway) but the ubiart games and indies convinced me otherwise. nintendo released some good ones too!

GreatPlayer

#65

GreatPlayer said:

Nintendo makes much more money by having the games downloadable, as it cuts the profits for the middlemen. However, I still prefer physical copies.

It is quite ironic to me that physical copies are often cheaper than the corresponding game on eShop.

amstans

#66

amstans said:

I don't buy physical anymore. I save money because I don't buy games that I can't return. Metacritic tells me if I will enjoy the game. The negative environmental impact of physical games is staggering. I hope they release Super Luigi Bros. as a standalone download because I have no interest in NES Remixes.

suburban_sensei

#67

suburban_sensei said:

I love physical copies, but I just wish we knew in advance that the digital releases were getting a physical version. I bought NES Remix as soon as it was available after the initial Nintendo Direct, and I have yet to buy NES Remix 2 (since I want to gold border every or at least most of the games). So essentially I could buy the physical release, but it just seems counter intuitive and a waste of $15 extra bucks. So ideally, in the future it would be great to hear about these physical releases a lot earlier so we can decide which we want to purchase.

Daisaku36

#68

Daisaku36 said:

Since a lot of gamers prefer physical anyway, it makes sense Nintendo are doing this, it doesn't seem like a stupid move to me.

Naoiko

#69

Naoiko said:

Seems like an OK move to me. I do wish they would have made the GBA eshop stuff cross buy since I don't enjoy playing most handheld games on that giant game pad or a tv. Just looses the nostalgia feeling for me at that point.

Darkness3131

#70

Darkness3131 said:

I usually hold off on eshop purchases mainly because I like physical. Unless I'm really dying to have a game that is download only, (Which has only happened once or twice) I will get a physical disk or not get it at all until there is a disk.

Captain_Gonru

#71

Captain_Gonru said:

@rjejr I was going to bring up the same point, so lets all not jump on Nintendo for this one, as they aren't the only ones.
The odd bit with Sony, though, is the retail sale of download codes for PSN games. They can packaged like a regular disc game (if not even more elaborately, like with Terraria), but just contain a code. XBox is following this trend with World of Tanks. Which is even more odd, as WoT is an online only game.

rjejr

#72

rjejr said:

@Captain_Gonru -DL coes in stores seem weird. But we did buy th ecode fo rPokemon Rumble U fomr Gamestop b/c it came w/ a free pre-amiibo NFC toy.

I really think people forget that there are entire swaths of land that do not have access to broadband and they can't DL GB sized game and they rely on, dare I say NEED, actual discs.

AshFoxX

#73

AshFoxX said:

I got NES Remix free with the club Nintendo platinum award, so I probably won't be chomping at the bit for physical. Had I known one was in the cards, I might have picked another game though.

eShop is fine, but I am constantly worrying about storage space on the HDD and the fact that I am a budget shopper and digital games always have rare sales that usually don't amount to much of a discount over time, at least on the home console services. (although I did pick up some GTA games on my PS3 during a recent flash sale for Rockstar.)

Typically, Steam is my digital store, and Origin occasionally gives stuff away so that's why it is popular with me. Very rarely do I ever buy a game at it's full introduction price unless it's something I absolutely have to get, like Mario Kart 8. Budgeting for my hobby is tough when you have a young child and wife to appease, lol!

OneBagTravel

#75

OneBagTravel said:

First and foremost I go with whichever is cheaper. Then I go with Digital copy first if ti's a small game. If it's a full fledged release then I'll get the physical copy.

skywake

#77

skywake said:

The physical releases aren't for people who already own the console. They're not even for people who are online reading and commenting on articles like this. They're for the average person browsing in the shops. If you didn't know anything about the Wii U other than the fact that it exists you'd maybe walk down the game isle.

"Oh hey, Wii Sports in HD with online. And some remixed NES classics! Nice. Oh look, they've also got a version of New SMB where you play as Luigi. And they're all pretty cheap"

That person? You're not going to be able to market the fact that you can get that content online. No matter how good your marketing is. They won't bother looking, they probably don't really care. They're likely just looking for a console and a couple of games for their kid. We live in a digital and online world now, and that's cool, but a lot of people don't at least not for games. This is who these physical copies are for.

XCWarrior

#78

XCWarrior said:

I like owning games physical, so I'm glad Nintendo is doing this.

I own physical versionf of New Super Luigi Bros. and DuckTales Remsatered.

Plan to pick up physical version of Wii Sports Club and NES Remix.

If people want to go spend an extra $100 on an external hard drive and tie all of your games to your system, go ahead. I like being able to see what I own and I'm not uber lazy to the point I won't get off the coach to change a disc.

Sceptic

#79

Sceptic said:

I would call it a cash-in if I could picture anybody in their right mind buying that garbage at anything near those prices. As it stands though, it just further highlights the lack of worthwhile new releases on WiiU and Nintendo's propensity to massively overprice random old games that have nostalgic value only. :(

MAB

#80

MAB said:

@skywake I don't know how well the shops stock Wii U games in Perth but in and around Melbourne there is no Wii U section... That's why I am fully Digital 4 Lyfe Baby! ;)

HaNks

#81

HaNks said:

should go to greater lengths to promote the digital versions (of everything!) with price cuts, bundles etc. physical options are nice, but nintendo is still years behind with their digital offerings & ecosystem.

Noelemahc

#82

Noelemahc said:

I don't mind the physical editions of download-only games existing. I prefer physical editions. What I abhor is the need to equate physical prices with digital ones. That's not how the economic process works, as the physical-only and digital-only purchasers of equal-availability games don't overlap, and the cost breakdowns for either avenue are vastly different.

timtimdaunholy

#83

timtimdaunholy said:

i wouldn't care if they came out the same time.
i hate waiting but i like physical copies
but i got a luigi for 10 dollars the other day ... so waiting does pay off

eviLaTtenDant

#84

eviLaTtenDant said:

I do think that Wii Sports Club and NES Remix deserve their places on the svelves of retailers.
People who aren't keeping up with gaming might see them in a store, be reminded of the good times they had with the NES or Wii Sports and become interested in a Wii U. These people might also be more interested in the 8 GB model of the Wii U and not too fond of getting an external HDD just to play one or two games.
I don't think this goes for a considerable amount of people but the concept isn't bad.

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