The Switch, when you really think about it, is a machine stuck between two extremes. On one side, it offers a thriving and healthy consumer base for physical games, with not a week seeming to pass without news of a new (and highly collectable) boxed edition of an existing digital release. However, on the other hand, the console is home to one of the industry's most vibrant and well-stocked digital storefronts, populated with must-have downloads. In that regard, the Switch – and Nintendo itself – currently offers the best of both worlds, and that's a situation that, for the time being at least, suits it just fine.
However, the market is changing. This week, we've heard reports that Microsoft is about to launch an Xbox One console which will be digital-only; codenamed 'Maverick', this new iteration will lack any kind of optical media drive and will be aimed at tempting players to subscribe to the company's Xbox Game Pass service, which gives access to all of the company's first-party games (as well as many third-party ones) for a flat monthly fee. While it's not totally confirmed as yet, it's a move that makes sense for a company like Microsoft, which – in the face of less-than-stellar results this hardware generation – is looking for ways to get its content on as many devices as possible. Part of that strategy will involve its much-hyped xCloud game streaming service, which – as has been hinted – could even make its way to Switch some day.
For now, though, Microsoft is clearly keen to reduce the base price of the Xbox One and get more people signed up to its Game Pass service, and this new machine hits both of those marks – and could build a consumer base for the xCloud platform when it launches in earnest. While Microsoft is in a totally different place to Nintendo right now (a fact that makes gossip about a possible collaboration between the firms all the more plausible), it got us thinking: could Nintendo perform a similar trick with its rumoured Switch Lite and ditch physical media?
On paper, it sounds absurd and is perhaps highly unlikely for a number of reasons. For one, Nintendo tends to lag a little behind the rest of the industry and has an arguably larger dependence on physical sales than its rivals. Switch owners love owning the games they buy in physical form (even if, in many cases, the entire game doesn't exist on the game card, and the perks of physical ownership are now almost entirely limited to a plastic case with an inlay).
Sure, physical retail is on the wane, but Nintendo – which lacks a wide 'Apple-style' retail network – still relies on independent retailers to connect with millions of consumers. Going digital-only – even with a cut-down budget version of the console – would create ill-will; the exact same kind of ill-will that Microsoft generated when it first announced its Game Pass service, in fact. Things are pretty sweet for Nintendo right now, so there's no need to rock the boat with such a risky move; Microsoft, on the other hand, has been playing catch-up for the entire hardware generation, and is, therefore, more likely to throw a curve-ball.
Conversely, there are many reasons why a digital-only Switch actually makes sense. If you're anything like us, then the vast majority of the games you buy on your Switch will be digital. While that's not the norm by any means – as we've just said, plenty of Switch owners love having physical copies – but there are many who use the eShop as their main retail channel. While the prices often aren't as good, there are other upsides – you get the game without having to leave the house, and there's no need to swap game cards when you want to load up a different title (and less chance of losing those tiny game cards, too). Granted, you don't actually own the game you're playing, but have instead purchased the licence to play it (a licence which, in time, will be removed when the Switch's eShop is turned off many years in the future), but given that many physical games require additional content to be downloaded before they can be enjoyed fully, it's not as obvious as saying "always buy physical" – certainly not in the modern games industry anyway, where install data dumps and regular patches are a common occurrence.
However, there is a precedent to this situation – the Sony PSP Go. Launched at the tail end of the PSP's lifespan, this digital-only handheld was, in many respects, exactly what we're describing here; it lacked the means to play UMD discs and was wholly reliant on Sony's online store (which, it should be noted, has now closed, rendering the PSP Go pretty much redundant to anyone who doesn't want to hack it). The machine was a dismal failure, with retailers rightly refusing to stock a system which didn't allow them to make money on physical software purchases. Still, it's worth noting that the market back in 2009 was very different to today; consumers are now more comfortable with downloading their games rather than buying them in physical form, and even retailers have embraced the digital future by selling download code vouchers in-store for select titles. There's no reason, therefore, that a Switch Lite which lacks a game card slot couldn't succeed in 2019.
But why would Nintendo want to create a console which effectively freezes out physical game sales? Cost is one major factor here; assuming the Switch Lite rumours are true, the company clearly sees reducing the barrier to entry for its system as a key priority if it wants to keep selling hardware and build that install base. With the 3DS now on its last legs and a legion of younger players ready to step up to Switch, a cheaper price point is essential. And, lest we forget, much of this younger generation will have been weaned on smart devices like phones and tablets which also lack physical media. In fact, many parents might actually find it preferable to buy a console which removes easily-lost and expensive cartridges, especially if they have absent-minded offspring. The smartphone and tablet market has already created this conception in some consumers that buying physical games is old-fashioned, so you could argue that the PSP Go was simply way ahead of its time; the industry, as a whole, should be a lot more receptive to a media-less portable games console today.
We still don't know exactly what form the next hardware iteration of Switch will take, but if Nintendo is serious about hitting that low end of the market and turning the console into a platform capable of shifting 100 million units during its lifespan, then it needs to reduce that price as quickly as possible. Switch hasn't had an official price cut since launch, which is a remarkable achievement (remember the 3DS and the N64?), but it's something that has to change; consoles traditionally become cheaper as they get older, and that goes hand-in-hand with accelerated sales and market share growth. Indeed, just like Microsoft's disc-less Xbox One is set to tap a hitherto unexploited sector of the market, a low-price, digital-only Switch could potentially convince iPad-owning gamers that it's time to upgrade to a portable platform which offers deeper, more immersive experiences than Candy Crush.
Will a scaled-down model remove the ability to load-up game cards, while perhaps bolstering the onboard memory to accommodate more downloads? Maybe Nintendo will follow Microsoft's lead and use this new hardware push to expand its Nintendo Switch Online offering, giving us access to more retro games and perhaps even a free AAA release every month? Your guess is as good as ours when it comes to what the future holds in terms of hardware, but even with Nintendo, you never know quite what to expect. We still can't believe the Wii Mini exists, for example.
Should Nintendo drop physical media on the Switch Lite? (496 votes)
- I'm not sure10%
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Hopefully not. I'd rather lose the joycons and the hd rumble before accepting the loss of the game cartridge slot. Since my Switch collection is 90% physical the loss of the game cartridge slot would be unacceptable.
While I personally buy more digital games, I don't think they should ever replace physical games. There's a reason why a copy of Super Mario Bros is sold for $100k recently.
The only way I could see this working is if it's at the end of the Switch's life, it's an ultra budget release and the next console has been released..
When/If Nintendo stops doing physical games will be the same time I stop buying anywhere near as many games as I do now.
The utmost reason being I like the option of selling my games I beat if I don't feel like playing them again. I usually beat games shortly after release if it's one I'm really looking forward to so I can get a good chunk of my money back if I decide to sell it.
Also, if I buy a game and turns out to be pretty bad...boom up for sale. As far as I know there is no refund window on the eshop like there is with Steam on pc.
Remember the psp go? It was a financial disaster. Having options is always better!
If they plan on going digital only, they’d better give the console way more internal storage from the get-go.
Nintendo makes a lot of income on proprietary cartridges. I don't see them ditching it for an exclusive digital future when there is clear demand (having it both ways) and the company being something of gaming "traditionalists."
Xbox’s all digital box would save Microsoft money on licensing DVD/Blu-ray/UHD, as well as save internal space and heat management. Similar with the PSP Go, that was a way to make the handheld slimmer. I doubt getting rid of the cart slot on the Switch would make much difference, other than a slight cost savings.
I absolutely hate “buying” games digitally. It’s a hard sell for me.
It would only be realistic for Nintendo to introduce a digital only console if it had 500gb of storage plus card slot space. My 200gb card and the 32gb internal is already pretty limiting on the device.
"if Nintendo is serious about hitting that low end of the market and turning the console into a platform capable of shifting 100 million units during its lifespan, then it needs to reduce that price as quickly as possible."
The Switch will be at 55 millions units sold by march 2019, most likely.
No hurry, really
It would never work with Nintendo's caveman like attitude to game sharing
I'm fine with consoles having an all digital version. But the moment they release an upgraded or next gen model that is all digital and no physical option is the moment they lose me as a customer.
If you can rent or distribute games to others, I would switch directly to 100% digital content.
These discussions are pure misdirection. It is about destroying the used games market, thus vastly increasing revenue at gamers and gamer's parents expense. Cartridge slots cost basically nothing. Plus, you're going to have to include a "cartridge" slot for micro SD anyways, unless you want to really limit digital sales. All digital is an excuse for total control, just like always online garbage. Remember, Nintendo is fiercely opposed to used game sales.
I would not buy a digital only switch at all. Similarly push square just posed the same question and I would absolutely on the ps4 side but not for the switch.
As someone who has one physical Switch game (Pokemon LG Pikachu) and is otherwise a digital gamer...I don't think a digital-only model would be worth it at this point.
Moreso that other consoles, digital purchasing on the Switch is expensive due to more expensive games and storage.
Also I don't really see much of a benefit. Switch cards are small, so there's no size benefit. I also imagine the card reading technology is only a small fraction of the manufacturing cost.
Nintendo's digital prices are atrocious. There's no chance I'd buy an all digital console from them.
Retailers will hate the digital-only Xbox One. They will hate a digital-only Switch even more.
I don’t even see this as a good idea for Microsoft. Maybe if they release a disc less version soon they will get some sales, as Gamepass is in it’s infancy. Why am I going to by another plastic box to stream games through Gamepass? Microsoft wants this service on multiple multimedia devices, including devices we already own.
"Switch owners love owning the games they buy in physical form (even if, in many cases, the entire game doesn't exist on the game card, and the perks of physical ownership are now almost entirely limited to a plastic case with an inlay)."
I would love to see where you can find Switch owners that love a physical game that needs to be partly downloaded. Because across several message boards and websites, I've only ever seen people unhappy about this.
Digital is great and sometimes a great convenience...
BUT they should never remove physical as an option for gaming consoles – its part of the sharing of games with others for one thing.
Only a ruthless business decision would make them do that - so they had dictator-like control over pricing - it would not be thinking of the best for gamers. I think Nintendo will know better on this point. Besides the cartridges are so small now that it's totally do-able to fit into a smaller form factor. They've managed to have small form factors with every other portable in the past when cartridge were significantly bigger. So there is no valid reason to do a 'PSP GO' on the Switch.
I would love a Switch mini - but I would never buy it without a slot.
I don’t think it would flop like the PSP Go, since the market is in a very different place than it was 10 years ago, but I think physical game sales make up a higher proportion of Nintendo’s sales than they do Microsoft’s or Sony’s. If that’s true, it would be foolish of them to drop physical media, even if it was only partially. I’d be fine with it personally, as I buy all my Switch games from the eShop and have no physical Switch games, but I think I’m very much in the minority.
Yes they can, but if they do then give us more like 512gb or more storage plus MicroSD slot and not 32gb (I mean even the Wii U had 32gb and that was NOT enough).
But would I be against a digital only switch? Yes and no, yes I would be against it because of how nintendo handles digital content.
But if the did it how Sony/Microsoft/Steam does it I would go for a digital only switch, handhelds are the only systems I still buy a lot of physical media for but on my PC and PS4 it's all digital only (except 1 PC game that doesn't exist digitally).
Main reasons why I don't mind digital only on PC and PS4 is because both handle digital content better than Nintendo does plus the sales are much better and much often (Sony doesn't mind slashing the price heavily on their own games, but unless physical most Nintendo made games won't go lower than 33%, maybe JUST MAYBE 40% off)
But Nintendo won't change on that regard so I keep my physical Switch games.
No Physical, No buy from me.
If players care about longevity of their systems and playing them years down the road, thank Nintendo for at least going with cartridges for the Switch.
If your system doesnt have an optical drive, you dont have to worry about it failing, or disc rot. The early disc gen consoles are atrocious from a preservation perspective. Finding playable PS1 physical copies is becoming a challenge. At least the Switch's physical games will be playable in the future, apart from downloaded-updates that may not be preserved (another issue). Even if your Switch's internal storage fails or your SD card becomes corrupted, the cartridges can be played on a new system with no issues.
Consumers should vote with their wallets now and try and influence what is increasingly going to become a "forever rental" model.
PSP Go: "I did it before it was cool. Too bad not enough people gave a damn".
(Although I suppose people did give a damn - it's the contemporary quality of internet services that didn't)
In all seriousness, I suppose ditching the physical game card reader might shave off less cost than ditching a whole BD drive, but still qualify as one of the few realistic tweaks that could lower the cost without compromising the concept.
Personally, I'm voting no because there's a different problem by now - backward compatibility with some games absent from eShop (even if there are as few as Skylanders alone) or risking absence in future if the 3DS situation with expiring licenses and other sad stuff like that (press F for Project X Zone) ever repeats. IMHO if you make a digital-only console, make one out the gate. But that's my take; the transition from DS Lite to DSi (press F for Guitar Hero) indicates that Nintendo might beg to differ.
I will not spend $60 on a digital game I want a physical copy. If you want to sell me digital only games I expect them to be significantly cheaper.
Nop. Most people still buy physical when dropping $60 on a game.
Just get rid of the detachable controller (thin the ugly bezels) and kill the dock. Make the battery last longer. Call it a day.
There is a side to this that nobody seems to mention and that’s once the parent company pulls the plug on a system that’s really it I had a PSP go cos it suited my work life at the time then Sony pulled the plug I had to use media go as a way of downloading then they stopped you from going on the PlayStation store through media go and it left me with a large library of games that I paid for but have no access to anymore so I’m out if the industry goes this way
I guess it’s feasible, and it could go well, but they really need to include a larger internal memory or bundle it up with an SD card.
”Do we really get that much for our money when it comes to physical games these days?”
No, but physical retail copies can often be found cheaper than the same game on the eShop! A digital-only console wouldn’t be an attractive choice to those who already have a decent physical collection.
@60frames-please Exactly. For digital you pay the same price as physical, but without resale value. You get an inferior product. Plus it takes hours and hours to download. Only time I go digital is if it’s mandatory or if the game is sold out.
That's a horrible idea! If the online service goes down like the wii shop, that would render the console dead in the water, unable to play anything. Plus, that would make less reasons for devs to make awesome collectors editions. Imagine what would have happened if, per say the SNES, was a download only console. Classics like Super Mario World may have been lost to time! It also did do just that when the BSX service shut down, and we lost many sequals to games that technically haven't gotten sequals to this day. Going back to the wii shop, I can't even play multiple exclusive games legally anymore due the the wii shop shutting down.
Okay, rant over.
Idk. I'm not opposed to them making a digital only system, but I dont think its the first thing that should be on the chopping block.
Still, the point is to make it smaller and cheaper and more compact. Dropping the cart slot could help do that.
PSP Go launched ahead of it's time. People are MUCH more inclined toward digital nowadays. Still not sure how well any digital only system would do, but we're almost to the point more people buy digital than physical, at least on other systems. Nintendo fans are still in shock that's how the world works nowadays, but they're quickly acclimating with Switch, whether they want to or not.
I say go for it. Wouldn't be for us anyways. It would be for new customers. And that doesnt include the diehard retail collectors, who already own the system.
So if I have a current Switch for mostly home use, and a physical copy of a game... and I buy a Switch Lite for purely portable play... can I play a digital version of my physical game that I own?
If that could be figured out... plus local "download play" for player two to join without a second copy of the game... I welcome a digital-only Switch Lite for $199.
Otherwise... no thanks.
'Granted, you don't actually own the game you're playing, but have instead purchased the licence to play it (a licence which, in time, will be removed when the Switch's eShop is turned off many years in the future)'
I'm not sure I understand this line. Unless you delete your games and aren't able to redownload them, why wouldn't you still own the eShop games you've bought even after the eShop shuts down? I can still play my WiiWare games with no issue, for example.
Not really, if they want a cheaper Switch lite then it's better to drop the dock and the detachable joy con.
Leave the game card slot alone.
Why on Earth would Nintendo drop cartridge support for a "Switch Lite", that would be absolutely stupid. They've already got many cart based games sitting on store shelves that wouldn't be sellable to the owners of the new system. If they want to design their next platform to be digital media only, that's their option, but not any version of a Switch.
I ended up going all digital on Vita, but only because Sony's digital sales were so generous and often. Nintendo's digital pricing is a joke. £49.99 for Super Mario Bros Ultimate Extra Extended Never Ending Edition Special Max. No thank you.
I think they need to rip off that band-aid and finally go all digital in general. PC releases do solid with digital only, PC game discs are getting rarer to find. Consoles can follow in tow, Nintendo just needs to refine their return policy to be more like Steam so people aren't stuck with a title they didn't mean to download or don't enjoy.
Though isnt Microsoft rumored to be releasing 2 versions of the XBox Whatever? One that has physical discs thats more costly and the Stream/Download only version thats cheaper? Going full stream/download only would remove the key selling point of the XBONE over the others and thats backwards compatibility (Where you can use your original discs, not PSNow which is stream only) and given how much of a wooping they got with the XBONE over PS4 (Compared to 360 Vs PS3), I dunno if they'll take a risk of being flat out stream only.
Nintendo....could maybe do this. It has the IPs and a physical option if you flat out don't want to go download only. However, the PSP Go still rings strong in people's memories. Sure the PSP wasnt a contender outside of Japan but the Go still did nothing to exite gamers and rang extra true about what a PSP is good for.....modding and emulations.
Digital only is not what I want ti see....
On a related note, physical media that doesn’t have the whole game is beyond rediculous and IF that is the best they can do I would rather have digital only.... BUT... It’s not the best they can do.. it’s what they are choosing to do and it’s rediculous, as it’s like they actually don’t understand why people are buying physical in the first place... don’t even get me started on day one patches.
TEST TIL IT WORKS... I work in software development... I know it’s hard, but this culture of ‘works well enough’ and them patching later is a terrible result of the supposedly ‘modern’ ability to connect via the internet and dlc. DLC should be for content.. not for using buyers as beta testers.
Great article, although I think you guys missed a major aspect of the heavily rumored Switch Mini/Lite's appeal: it's supposed to be a lower cost entry to the Switch ecosystem, and thus appeal to gamers on a budget and parents buying a console/games for their kids.
Having a digital-only console would SEVERELY hurt that appeal, since buying games used or buying new games at discounts from major retailers would be much more cost-effective than buying games only from the Nintendo eShop.
In addition, aforementioned gamers on a budget or parents would definitely plan to sell games they don't play anymore to recoup some money back and use it towards future games, which without a physical media slot wouldn't be possible.
TLDR; due to the rumored Switch Mini/Lite's main role of providing a lower-cost entry into the Switch ecosystem, and the fact that being digital only would prevent used game sales and selling old games, I HIGHLY doubt we'd get a digital only Switch model anytime soon, if ever.
Rather than write a book since I'm short on time, I'll keep this...short: While I'd never say never, I don't think a digital-only Switch would be the way to go.
Time after time consumers shun digital only.
PC gamers talk about being digital only as do “game sharers” and those that use stores around the world to get cheaper games like Xbox Argentina but these aren’t proper options they are loop holes.
Being digital only in the Uk on any of the consoles would be sooooo expensive if you want a proper collection. I have 500+ games on Xbox installed, I own 150+ physical on switch and a fair few digital and well over 100 on PS4 (plus obviously retro collection on older consoles) all of that would have been impossible in a digital only environment.
Innovation isn't something you do for a few years and then abandon, it's something that changes the way we play games. Most of what Nintendo does looks to be innovative but turns out to be a gimmick. It looks like the 3ds is going that way.
Nintendo should update the 3ds keep making 3d games and unless they can sell their eshop games at a more realistic price, keep games physical.
The cartridge helps deal with the huge amount of space some of these games require. ...and It would make no sense for Nintendo to go all digital after the library of content they have on game cards.
No no no no no! You don’t buy digital games, you rent them until the servers go down.
Well the last time I looked physical sales were almost four times the digital sales for many Switch games. I hope it doesn't happen either. Also means you can't give your friends games so they can try them too.
@shadow-wolf the reason the Mini Switch has any traction is because the idea is that the Switch game card would fit the Switch mini. That way Nintendo would only have to make one game that would fit all consoles, that's including a possible Switch Pro.
But that's not a good idea.
that argument about the psp go is flawed, the same would happen with any digital only console, it will be rendered useless also especially with how fast nintendo drops digital each console generation, the situation will be even more dire, there is no way i would invest my money into that.
No, I have about 16 physical games.
I think they will make a smaller one oh, but I think it will still have the cartridge slot I mean it's really tiny
I'd be fine with it. I bought a couple physical games (Zelda and Mario) when the Switch first came out but since then I've been 100% digital.
The last thing we need is more encouragement to publishers to NOT make physical versions.
Nintendo in my eyes would need to include more onboard storage. the issue with digital games is the price on the store fronts, granted Sony have plenty of sales and Nintendo are showing signs that there not afraid of having sales. But the price of digital games at launch are horrendous
Nintendo is not a leader in this regard and I cannot see them removing physical media slot. Maybe they'll surprise me, but I doubt that.
I remember all the flak that Apple got when they first removed floppy drives and then CD drives from their desktop and notebook computers. But, Apple is certainly not the same as Nintendo.
If Nintendo did remove the media slot, then there is still a possibility of an external card reader.
In terms of digital games technically being licensed and then being unavailable once a console is no longer supported... presumably (unless the manufacturer is being super unkind), any games downloaded prior to a service closedown would still work? You’d just have to be careful not to delete them, as there’d be no redownloading...
@Actaeon_Cryptus I see what you mean. Chances are you'd still be able to keep playing the games forever but I guess there's always a possibility of the console failing.
Personally, i think it makes sense but there is no way i would do this with a Nintendo system. They price lock their software far too much and retail is usually way cheaper than the eshop. Eshop prices never change and they really should.
Oddly I trust Microsoft to commit to backwards compatibility so if I buy digital now I think they will support that in future consoles. Nintendo, not so much any more, and if they did I'd be charged extra for each game at a rate of one per quarter. Also you can get some great deals on Xbox digital, eshop not so much.
Dammit stop giving them dumb idea. It's bad enough that physical is not widely available anymore, now you want Switch to be the next PSP Go, please don't. If anything the Switch needs more features, not less.
@Gs69 That is basically the future everyone predicts for console gaming. Especially for Microsoft and Sony, they sell their consoles at a loss...they predict that the next generation or the one after it, you will just have a "streaming device" that is basically a terminal for running the game. That way, they can save on designing and manufacturing consoles.
Also, the big companies are leaving money on the table by letting resellers take a cut, you can keep 100% of the profits if you sell digital only through an eStore.
I think Nintendo is a bit different culturally, so we will see them hang on longer. But for Sony and Microsoft, the writing is on the wall.
Companies that just release only digital (where there are a lot of indie developers that do this) do lose a little bit of sales due to people that don't have great internet, or simply don't purchase online or 'download only' titles. Sony tried this with the PSP Go, and it flopped. Nintendo would be in the same boat if they tried it, as the memory cards would become too expensive, and as with AAA games on the PS4 and XBONE, most take up almost 40GB or more.
My opinion is a 'no'. And if these companies did this, then it's time for me to just say 'goodbye' to gaming. I don't even purchase music like that...you don't own it...ever...you're paying high prices to basically rent them. Anyways, I like owning the actual game, having the art work. Imagine paying $60 for a game that's download only, finding out it's glitches or just plain bad, and you're stuck with losing out on that money...not able to trade it in. Sorry, I'm a Sony and Nintendo fan and will not go to 'digital-only' elements. Glad I still have all of my older generation consoles (Atari on up).
Like the Xbox, I see this selling along side the normal switch sku for now. As high speed internet becomes more affordable and available I know physical media will be phased out eventually. Most laptops and desktops no longer have optical drives. I just purchased a 2017 Civic and it is my first car in 20 years that doesn’t have a CD player. It has CarPlay and usb, but music on disc is dead.
Cart and slot reader are so small, no savings in $ or space.
I think there will be several versions of Switch but this isn't one of them.
@Medic_alert Physical media sales are certainly not a "desperately small minority" of game sales. Digital sales continue to grow, but physical sales are by no means a small enough market to completely ignore. Especially for Nintendo.
Personally, I don't think digital only makes sense in the middle of a generation, as many people already have substantial physical collection. I will likely buy whatever the next revision of the switch is, given it has a cartridge slot. At the start of a new generation, I think it would be less disruptive to introduce a digital only system. I would also grumble about it being digital only, but I certainly wouldn't give up Nintendo games altogether because of it.
The argument of a Switch Lite dropping physical media makes no sense. The primary audience of a Switch Lite and it's lower price point are younger players. This has to replace the 3DS as an entry point. And the last thing parents want to do it throw away money on digital games that can''t be resold just 4 weeks after their kids beat the game. Not happening.
I like being able to trade in my old games so I don't really like the idea of digital only. I'd buy way less games
In all honesty, with the way the games industry has been going I've been seriously considering not getting any new consoles at all in the future and sticking with what I have now, so as it stands it's irrelevant to me what format the games themselves take.
@Medic_alert My apologies for that then. Genuine misunderstanding of what you wrote. Re-reading your post makes much more sense - and as you can tell from the ending of my last post - I actually unwittingly agreed with you by saying that I definitely wouldn't give up Nintendo games either if they went digital only. My apologies for the mixup.
Definitely not. I buy mainly for storage reasons
Shhh! Pull the brakes on this article! Don’t give them any ideas! Its always nice to have some stuff physically. I’d be out of a job as a cover artist! Lol
I dunno if it's just me but with the console being only two years old(as of THIS month even), still selling very respectable amounts of both consoles and games(digital and physical)...
... is it me or all the hypothesizing about a Switch mini/lite/etc starting to be... annoying?
Like the only thing that I could see is something like the DS to DS lite. And despite the name the big thing the lite deal was not creating a "cheaper" DS but rather a better one: more ergonomic and more importantly with battery battery life if I recall.
With nintendo having never shown they actually were working on a new Switch but even sometimes going out of their way to confirm there were no plans for one yet(which if you think about it is fully normal: they didn't even know if it would even sell originally so why the hell would they already have had a successor it even update to a product planned until they could see if the current console would even work out? Especially AFTER a debacle like the WiiI?)
It there's to be another model of the Switch, i'm fairly certain it's only just not entering the drafting board now that they have not one but two solid years of sales data to back up making such an update.
Really I may eat crow at E3 but all this speculation about what a new Switch could be or not just feel like trying to force into existence a new console that just... isn't.
@madmatt213 Also it's important to remember that Microsoft sells every Xbox console at a loss. Microsoft actually incurrs more expenses per console then they collect in revenue. So driving down the per unit cost would be a wise move on their part. Nintendo famously sells every console at a profit, so any redesign on their part has to be to either attract gamers who are more price sensitive, or to drive more sales from those Nintendo fans who are tempted to purchase multiple consoles when they are redesigned.
I want to see the "Switch Lite" as the young kid friendly variant of the Switch Line. Give it foam rubber bumpers and a clam shell of sorts for protection. Non-removable joy-cons and download only games. It should be something that can take a beating, but also be travel friently. A Switch PRO, with larger screen, 1080p screen, larger joycons, and Elite Pro Controller. But the kid friendly one should be one that I don't have to worry about handing to a 6 year old.
Digital is not the way for me. (Yes their are good things about having digital only, but their are too many bad things about it to me that makes me say nope.)
As a collector I say no but from a business perspective it makes sense and that is probably the way they should go. The only trick is if they make an all digital system then that base model will be expected to have more than 32GB of onboard memory out of the box (IMO) and should come with a minimum of 256 GB or so along with an SD slot.
@Lone_Beagle yeah it’s quite a sad state of affairs I’ve been into gaming for years and got quite a collection together and for me a physical product is as important as the game itself I know Nintendo have a different stance to Sony and Microsoft but are they gonna get left behind because of it it’s a future that I don’t really wanna be part of
If a new system came out with no physical media, I'd be fine with that. But a hardware variant of an existing console with no physical drive? No way. The biggest reason for me to buy a "Switch Lite" type device would be as a second Switch for my children, but I'm not gonna buy it if it means re-buying all the physical games I own that they would want to play (basically every Nintendo release). I own over 35 physical Switch games, I'm not even looking at a Switch variant that can't play them.
If they wanna go all digital with the next gen, go for it, I won't be one of the ones crying about it, but don't switch mid-cycle.
All of my Switch games are digital, so this wouldn’t affect me...but it would suck for everyone who likes the option of physical. I’d be pretty surprised to see Nintendo do this.
No way! I went 100% digital after launch of PS3. It was the cartridges of the Switch that made me re-convert and reignite my passion of collecting physical games. I even import Japanese releases of physical games on switch that get digital only in Europe. I want physical to be here to stay.
I have a switch,PS4, and ps3. I haven’t bought a physical game since 2012
So I voted no and a year ago I would have been upset to even have this conversation but a lot has changed in that year. We now have broadband rather than dial up, Amazon stopped giving the Prime discount, I bought a 400GB micro SD for $60 that was $250 a year ago, and finally I have young kids that play it more than I do and I was not happy one night crawling under a bed looking for the Breath of the Wild cartridge. I’m really leaning toward all digital on future game purchases. I voted no however because there are still people who prefer physical and may still not have broadband (yes there are people outside the cities). Besides I doubt the chip reader costs that much to manufacture as opposed to the Xbox disk reader.
I do not think we will see the Switch Lite go digital only.
But we might start to see games that will be account locked.
So the games card will just be storage media and you will need to have the game on your Nintendo account to play it.
This will force players to buy the games from Nintendo and the partners are buying pre owned will not longer be possible.
And where will still be need for some form of physical media to give use a way to do quick installs.
Mostly to be sure that you do not exclude customer that may have slow internet.
Then again they could put a game card reader on the Switch lite dock and allow the Switch Lite to store 1 to 5 game copied from game cards
@Gs69 Yep, same here. Seeing all my Switch games on a shelf is just really satisfying, and even if I have to wait weeks for a game to arrive in the mail, I’d still rather do that than go digital so I can get that experience of opening it up and adding it to my collection. Plus then there’s the owning it rather than the license to play it, and taking up less space with many releases, especially with the cartridges rather than discs, and I would hate for the games industry to abandon physical media.
Buying a console like an Xbox just to play everything on a gaming streaming service sounds awful to me.
If Switch mini is supposed to be the budget model then physical media is essential. Who is going to buy a cheaper Switch that then forces them to pay £10-20 more for retail games?
Sure ditch the physical media and I would stop buying the games and pirate them instead.
This is not a PC … this is a console. Physical media is part of the collectors dream.
The big HDs that would be needed for a digital only Switch will be too expensive to be worth the trouble for Nintendo.
But you might see the consoles just be an "external" storage device and the user rights lock to your account
Until their digital prices stop being so disgracefully high, and backwards compatability between console generations is assured, I would not consider buying digital.
A lot of delusional Nintendo fans on here. I personally prefer buying physical for the Switch, but physical media in general is on it’s way out the door. I can see it drastically being reduced in the next five years, and completely eliminated in ten years. I seriously doubt many serious gamers are going to stop buying new consoles. This is coming from someone who has 300+ BDs and 50+ UHD BDs.
@Gs69 I really don't know why people like your comment because it's partly false.
You can still download your PSP games via PS3 or directly to your PSP via wifi, sure you need to change your router it's settings but that's logic because back then the PSP and the DS didn't support WPA2.
But again you can download them via wifi or via PS3 transfer.
So negative... Wait 3 months...
I'll only ever just buy new Zelda and Xeno games if everything is digital.
@cacnea310 agreed it’s your item to do whatever you want to do with it either display play it or sell it digital rules out all that plus my son loves to play on the megadrive and he loves looking at the boxes and carts
Remember when people were against digital songs. Now with exception of a small die hard music community fans, most accept iTunes or other music digital service. I mostly buy digital games now and would not care. I don’t care about resales or whether the game will be downloadable 10 years from now. I will be too busy playing the newest console which will have plenty of games to keep me occupied. But I guess I understand why some don’t want to join the dark side.
@Rayquaza2510 yeah you can but if you don’t have a ps3 it’s then an additional cost and at the time I was working away a lot hence the reason I got the PSP go so I didn’t have to carry everything all the time so it’s always on their terms you can do this but you need this
I hope they don't go all digital, that would really suck.😞
Personally, I love buying physical games, and where I live, physical games are more expensive than downloading and you often have to wait for games to be delivered from online stores, as physical stores are even more expensive and they have a poor selection of physical games available.
Even so, I usually pay more and wait a few days for the physical game. Especially after I just bought my boyfriend a Nintendo Switch and getting physical games let him play them on his Switch instead of using mine.
However, some people might be interested in a digital switch, but I don’t think it’s ever going to be for me.
@Slitth If I get what you’re saying, I think that would turn a lot of physical collectors and buyers off. Having that game to play after the console has stopped being supported is a large part of the appeal for many, and if they can’t play the games without an account, then I don’t see how that would appeal to people when at some point they won’t be able to log into their account anymore. If a machine broke, and you had to buy a new one off eBay 20 years from now, I don’t think you’d still be able to log in to play your games (I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t, but maybe that’s different than the online store, but I doubt it).
Hell no, I mean most of my games are digital on the Switch but buying digital is much more expensive and I do like those small game boxes. You get bargain pre owned games on eBay as well.
@Medic_alert Oh, what it is it then? Paying a flat rate to play games sounded like Netflix or something, so I thought it was like that? Are you able to download a few on the service for a short time or something?
Not NCL. NoA wishes, but they are just a PR branch.
Well, I’m totally fine with digital only future, whether you like it or not, it shall come. Those 16bit fossils (including myself), should accept the fact that resistance is futile.
No , no, no.......just NO!!!!
Is Switch Lite even a thing yet ?
Or just a logical guess of Nintendo’s next move ?
Assuming it happens that is.
My gut feeling is, Microsoft and Nintendo are going to be collaborating on an Xbox format soon.
Same with Xbox content on Switch.
Could they? Yes.
Will they? No. Not yet.
For the record I’m still against digital.
Purely based on the fact it’s an overpriced controlled racket on Nintendo.
Unfair prices, which don’t make sense.
Physical games are often cheaper than a download.
Digital or streaming is RENTING. I don't care how you position it because if you have a failed SD card or the games needs to call out to a server or the network shuts down you game is junk.
Physical media is the key and the console is the lock. You buy the key and use it to unlock the gaming experience. Years from now, just like all of my consoles I will still be able to play my physical media while all of the streamers will be whining about rising monthly charges and add on fees.
They could, but they shouldn't.
Going all digital is basically shafting the consumer for 100% benefit on Nintendo's part.
@Gs69 you didn't read what I said.
So again at THIS moment you can download PSP games 2 ways.
1. Download the game to your PS3 and move to your PSP
2. Connect your PSP to a non WPA2 network (every router supports that mode) and download your PSP downloads to your PSP without additional hardware.
Method 2 still works and only requires the PSP itself.
@Zidentia I love physical media but now I'm going to dissapoint you.
Physical media at current day and age isn't better than streaming or digital.
Why? Terms and conditions are same for both, even better current console generation could if Nintendo/Microsoft/Sony need to block your physical game, not to mention a lot of games get so many patches that without them the physical copy is just a part of the game.
I still have a lot of old physical games but unless it's the PSP/DS/Wii (or older) they could block a physical game because just like with a digital release you buy a license to play the game, but on a dics/cartridge.
People blindly think that they "own" a physical game, that was the case with DS or older, but with current gen because you accept the terms by playing the game no matter of digital or physical it's a license they could revoke at ANY time they wish, it's that they prefer to not doing that because of the backlash it would cause but they do have that power.
Nintendo should do this to create what's effectively a very souped up Gameboy for kids. And sell it like hot cakes.
alright look it at this way, if Nintendo did that with a console where it was digital only, not will people need to buy massive SD cards unless there cool having a few storing a few games on each but remember how much Nintendo charges for a Digital release compare to a physical version? heck it's pretty bad some Wii U and heck 360 games are still as pricey as they were years ago, unless a sale comes around
and what happens if your account gets banned or something? won't be able to use your games... and lets say you missed this console and wanted to buy games for it when it's been discontinued? like buying a retro console today well you got no chance.
Heck the Wii and DSI are only worth playing today thanks to the physical carts... and modding...
if things all go Digital expect more piracy will happen.
I don't see physical media going away anytime soon. Cards are perfect for Switch. Just need to let Capcom know. It's not like folk don't have the option of going full digital.
Just commented on a similar article on Pushsquare. I do not think physical media should be excluded from consoles, especially with the Switch Mini. If anything, digital only is even worse on switch as storage is a bigger issue. For me personally as well, I tend to find the eShop never has good sales on retail games and carrying games is not an issue thanks to the small size of the cartridge.
Let's all remember Digital eShop is tied to your account.
1. No sharing
2. No giving away
3. No Re-Sale value
4. Dies with your account
5. Less storage No case to clutter
6. Loss of microSD space better get that 1tb MicroSD card
7. No carts to break
8. Needs Online service to get eShop if ISP is still there
Now for Physical:
2. Giving away
3. Re-Sale to recoup purchase
4. Not tied to your account
5. Physical are Collector's Value even with Standard case.
6. Become a Showoff to others with your Collections
7. Hard to carry unless you use a Hori 24 case holder unless you have more like me 250+
8. Careful to not break the carts when using them or Lose them
9. Buy game online to be delivered or in-person and let's get Physical... (pun)
10. Physical becomes a "Hot" seller for Indie and Brand name Developers
True, but Nintendo want us to buy the games again in 20 years.
And there is no guarantee that the physical copies will last that long anyway
@Slitth :"True, but Nintendo want us to buy the games again in 20 years.
And there is no guarantee that the physical copies will last that long anyway"
Might remind you - you can still find and play NES games.
Piracy will only lead in 2 directions.
1 more security message like account lock games or always online.
2 the death of the game company that makes the games you like.
True, but my Pokemon red and blue can no longer save.
And things are no long made to last in the same way, they more or less have a expiration date built in.
Companies knows that is better business to make stuff that wear out a few years after the warranty expires, than making stuff that last.
Digital only Switch wouldn't work in many ways, the most obvious of which being that microSD cards are a lot more expensive and smaller memory than external hard drives.
Makes sense to reduce the price in other ways instead like no dock included and non-detachable Joy-Cons.
Get that junk out of my sight!
I don’t they think it would benefit as much by doing that. It’s not like it has a cd drive that eats up battery like the PSP did. It wouldn’t be as consumer friendly to do it.
@Slitth you must play the heck out of the games. I try to conserve my gaming habits to make them last. But I don't constantly take them in and out though.
I would love a Switch Lite with no cartridge slot and lower price. Ofc owner of cartridges disagree. I still think that many Nintendo fans are kinda traditional and old-schooled-fashioned and love physical media. Its been 10 years since the commercial disaster of PSP Go. It worth a try
Big microSD cards are expensive now, but microSD readers are not.
Having 4 or more card readers on the Switch would not cost much.
I think you can get a USB2 microSD cards reader for about 2 $
I did when I was younger.
Even manage to kill two PS2.
The CD drive gave up on me.
And it the battery that kill the safe function on my Pokemon red/blue
@Slitth as of now the 400gb from Amazon NA is pretty cheap but the 1tb is 500USD still out of reach but less then what I expected it to cost. I did buy a 2nd 400gb around 80USD when they had a sale but it's will be dropping just because of the 1tb coming to market. Not long they probably will have a 1.5tb and or 2tb coming and that will drop MicroSD prices even farther.
Betteridge's law of headlines
@Medic_alert Well now I believe it downloads to a hard drive at the moment, but I thought they were talking about also incorporating into other devices so more people had access to their software. I would think to incorporate into devices like smart tv’s they will go more towards a streaming route, could be completely wrong on that one thought. Thanks for the response, definitely going to look into more.
@SwitchForce I dont think you really could break a Switch card unless you really tried. Maybe the case. Taking them in and out will not hurt them. I take it the Switch is your first cartridge console?
@Slitth you know you can replace the battery in your Pokemon game.
And it still works.
I own four switch cartridges. Breath of the wild, binding of Isaac, xenoblade 2, and Ittle Dew 2.
One I got with the system, two were gifts, and the other was on sale.
I honestly prefer digital to a point that I don’t play my cartridge games as much as I should because it’s easiet to just pick a different game that’s downloaded on the system.
Until the day they assure me "with their lives" (XD, just kidding) that my digital games, saved data and other things will NEVER, "NEVER" be erased, that I will be able to use them as LONG as I WANT, then I will accept the discarding of the physical format, not only in videogames , also, in all entertainment options, meanwhile, it is a resounding NO.
They're not simply because of the huge second-hand market in Japan.
Making a digital-exclusive system is like asking most of Japan not to buy it.
I'll always buy physical copies when possible. The benefits outweigh the digital option.
You can sell it or lend it to a friend, you've got a nice collection of boxes on your shelf, special editions with swag are awesome, you need TONS of memory storage if you download everything, if your console dies your digital copies of games might be gone forever, and inevitably the eShop closes one day and you can't redownload even if you still own the license (again, if your console dies and you buy another one).
If you buy physical, you always have it.
Although I know there are some wacky instances of necessary downloads or one game on cart and one game digital only in a collection.
If you were strictly on a budget....and you had to be honest about your disposable income....I think this new Xbox and Game Pass could be a great option for some consumers. Spend $150 on the console and then $10 a month for a huge library of games. It's just not for me personally. I love physical media. I love holding it in my hands, I love seeing it on the shelf, I love trading, I love selling. It's just the overall gaming experience. I love walking through a game store and looking at things I never knew about. An all digital world will destroy all those experiences for me.
The moment consoles go all digital is the moment I stop bothering with new consoles. Because, for me, I like being able to own my games and play them after the servers shut down.
The only time I'd even consider digital is if they were Steam sale prices. Because that's about what I'd value what is essentially a game rental for an indeterminate amount of time.
I don't think Nintendo would ever ditch physical media. There is a sizeable portion of the population who have a crap internet connection for whom downloads are sloooow. Physical media also make much better gifts than an eshop voucher. You can also trade in physical games should you dislike your purchase.
The last point leads into the new Xbox, which will has been designed and marketed around the gamepass service. If you dislike a game on that, just delete and download a different one at no extra cost.
Unlike music and movies than have pretty much completely ditched physical media videogames will probably support downloads, streaming and physical releases for years to come.
I do think Nintendo (and all others) in the end will ditch physical media. Game stores have been on decline over the last few years and even bigger retailers have less game stock these days.
And download sales have been increasing A LOT.
However, I don't see it happening with a Switch lite. The card reader for Switch games isn't that expensive to make.
A Disc drive does take a lot of space from the device, so yeah the rumored XBOX ONE S Discless is something I do see happening.
Everything is going to be digital because of global warming. Not enough resources and space to keep making physical copies. All hail mother earth!!!
Short answer: No!
We know from other media that physical will never die. There is an audience for it.
But that's not even the main reason why a 'Switch Lite' can't drop physical, though. The thing is, aside from the biggest markets, Nintendo has no digital store; most of - if not all - Latin America depends on physical games to play. I wish there was a brazilian eShop, but two years in its life, Nintendo still didn't bother.
PlayStation and Xbox are closer to a digital-only future, and even then I don't believe they will completely drop physical media. That's because PlayStation won't drop it, forcing Microsoft to keep it as well.
I prefer to buy my game licences in physical form
I can't see Nintendo doing an all digital Switch when so many Switch owners already have physical cartridge collections. I own over 40 cartridges already. They're going to want current Switch owners to double dip. Also, I'm sure many families only buy a single copy of a game and share across multiple systems. If they did release a digital only Switch, I don't think it would sell nearly as well as a mini with a cartridge slot. With my collection I definitely wouldn't be interested. If Nintendo wants to do a digital only system, they would have to do it from the very beginning so as not to fragment their fan base.
My fear is that Switch 2 or even 3 will be digital only and the majority of my collection won't be able to carry over. I hope they stick with selling cartridges for a long time to come. Digital is definitely convenient and it's appealing to certain people, but there are so many disadvantages. Especially for families.
I certainly wouldn't be a fan of said switch, but..... CAPCOM would be! 😂
only if there is some way to redeem what games you own physically so you can download them. maybe register them with nintendo? the only issue i see with this is used games. if you go to sell your physical game back to gamestop or something, nintendo has no way of knowing you did and leaves it on your account to download any time you want as if you still owned it. maybe allowing some sort of special re seller accounts where when a reseller obtains the game, they register it with nintendo who then move it off your account? it would basically mean you could never take a game to nintendo without the registration code, but it would theoretically work.
The card slot is such a small part of the overall system size so why take it out? What would you put there in its place? Other than shrinking the bezels, there’s not much Nintendo can do to make a switch lite. Even then without the bezel the screen wouldn’t get any larger, games were designed to still work in handheld mode with that specific aspect ratio and screen size in mind
One thing is for certain, if they did, it would absolutely need to come with a much larger amount of memory out of the box. 32GB in 2019 isn't even a joke anymore. It could be as simple as having a 128GB MicroSD in the box and 128GB built in, but we need in that range to even consider a digital only device.
The community of this website doesn't even come close to representing the reality of the general consumer. I am fairly sure that if eShop games launched at the same price as sites like Base, TheGamesCollection and even Amazon sell them for, then digital sales would be destroying physical sales. I love having boxes on my shelf, but I'm old and cutting down the amount of plastic produced can only be good for the world long term.
I only buy digital if I absolutely have to, and then only when the price has dropped significantly.
Should there ever be digital only I will stop buying new stuff. I dont even have time to play all the physical game I have already stockpiled.
I haven’t read every post here so pardon me if this has been already stated, but until Nintendo decides to put more storage in their system they definitely should not get rid of the card slot.
The current storage size is ridiculously low. I know you can buy your own, but Micro SD card pricing isn’t low enough to get the storage you want for the price. I can buy a 4TB hard drive for my Xbox and spend less than a $100 if a good sale comes up. That same money doesn’t come close to getting me 1TB for my Switch.
I’m pretty much all-digital but I don’t think this would be a wise move at this point.
The moment a manufacturer moves to all-digital and no-physical is the moment I switch platforms.
Thankfully, I have enough of a backlog on my PS3/PS4/Wii U (WOULD YOU PLEASE PORT TOKYO MIRAGE SESSIONS DAMMIT)/3DS/Vita/Switch that if the next console generation goes all-digital, it won't bother me much. I have games to play till I die in 30-40 years...
That, combined with the fact that Sony is the only platform maintainer (so far, anyway) that I actually have some modicum of trust regarding previous digital purchases staying with us for the foreseeable (Looking at you, Wii Shop), makes me leery of an all-digital Nintendo platform, period.
@60frames-please but they are also opposed to draining people's pockets also. This would mean allowing the used games to continue as buying digitally usually has no sells or discounts for a extremely long time if any at all. There's digital games out there that haven't dropped in price in two-3years even.
I'm not sure. I do retail and digital on my Vita, but I would go all-digital with the recently announced 1TB micro SD card on Switch.
@dskatter I am the same way lol. No physical option no buy. I don't do the whole renting thing.
@Handsomistic15 a 400 dollar sd card? Yea sorry just keep the physical.
From someone who's adamant about pursuing physical media over digital, absolutely NOT. We have multiple games from the eShop that have physical versions and absolutely regret it.
For starters, Nintendo can't make a good library explorer to save their lives. The Switch is the most barebones piece of junk in that regard.
Next up you've got the matter of eShop transience.
The Switch plays nothing but SD Cards. It's already a Digital-Only system.
Get rid of physical media. Useless in this age of patches and updates anyway. So you “own” an incomplete game on a cartridge. Whoopie ding. Bring on the Switch Go!
@NinChocolate Call me crazy, but I'd still like to be able to play games I bought whether Nintendo still provides the downloads or not. Even without patches.
My problem with a digital-only approach is that you have no control over the availability of the online service in the long-run. Say, if I buy a game online, will I be able to access my account and download the same game in 20 years if my console breaks and I buy a "new" used one? It has been a little over 10 years since the console release when Nintendo closed their Wii eShop, so any games you bought for your VC can no longer be downloaded. It is understandable that Nintendo has discontinued the eShop due to economic aspects. However, if I own a physical copy, I am not dependent of the economics of the eShop, but can play a game any time as long as the cartridge is in good physical shape.
I think they’ll ditch the screen and make TV only unit.
@sanderev "I do think Nintendo (and all others) in the end will ditch physical media. Game stores have been on decline over the last few years and even bigger retailers have less game stock these days."
This comes from lack of getting out of the basement right. This kinda misleading statements is just that misleading. And have you not notice they can order online and pickup at Retailer saving them time and money. Guess one doesn't get out much. Might do that for a change.
@sanderev "And download sales have been increasing A LOT."
And so have Physical Switch games when they come out they are hard to find especially Collector's or Limited edition.
@Jlander "Everything is going to be digital because of global warming. Not enough resources and space to keep making physical copies. All hail mother earth!!!"
Did one get dropped as a kid. There such thing called the 3 RRR aka RecycleReUseReduce or did you forget that already. Should do your homework before getting caught flat-footed.
@NinChocolate "Get rid of physical media. Useless in this age of patches and updates anyway. So you “own” an incomplete game on a cartridge."
So where did one's knowledge come from not from a sound education right. Might want to think twice as Digital is also a incomplete game as well. Just don't get why people have "foot-in-mouth" disease.
i just repurchased the xbox one and got the X main reasons were the fact i could play some of my games with my switch friend but with way better graphics(palidins and smite) the other reason was gamepass...there are alot of games i wanted that honestly for the price of two games i get access to for the whole year.... 198 games in there you have access to, totally worth it for someone who doesnt want to spend alot on certain games.
@SwitchForce his point was you get the physical copy, when the servers go quite you cant just say in 30 years take the game and pop it in like i do with my old NES games from when i was a kid....there for the game is incomplete and like a digital game anyhow....and you know what he is correct...all theese digital games you buy when the servers finally get taken down you wont be able to download them if you need to for say your hard drive fails(which they all do eventually) same goes for the physical games you buy you will have a incomplete buggy game.
@dskatter my comment is the small fish in this article. Those for physical media forever could gang up kick the crap out of my comment
"(a licence which, in time, will be removed when the Switch's eShop is turned off many years in the future)"
Why does it have to be turned off? The App Store isn't turned off after each new version of iPhone.
I would love to see Nintendo keep the eShop for their next console and foreseeable future. We benefit because we get to keep the games we buy and move them onto the next console and Nintendo wins because they have people who are already invested with dozens of games downloaded.
I'd be okay with this if it meant cheaper digital versions and sales more frequently. But, we all know that's not gonna happen.
Dreadful idea and I can't see it happening. First, Nintendo want to protect their retailers. Most profit for game sellers is from software, and they'll be loath to promote something without a software legacy. We saw this retail boycott with PSP Go already, and any savings in hardware costs would be lost in retailers demanding a higher profit margin from the machine.
Most of all, there's no need to drop physical cards. The slot is so small and simple (unlike PSP discs) so that it wouldn't make the system much more expensive, and removing it means you can't share games with family members. Without the slot, you'd want more storage, which would increase hardware costs either directly with more local storage or users forced to buy memory cards.
So is there any physical game on Switch that hasn't had an update or free/paid DLC?
I wish people would stop coming up with terrible ideas that would ruin a theoretical Switch Mini.
@BooJoh It's like people just can't wait to give away their consumer rights while also paying for their own storage. The price of games won't go down.
I remember when people were talking about the potential price of the 3DS and the internet seemed to settle on $250. Nintendo did price it at $250 and it may have been because the internet was creating reality. Naturally that price really hurt the 3DS and they had to reduce it by 30% within it's first 6 months (if I remember correctly).
Gaming media should stop giving Nintendo bad ideas just because they have to write an article about SOMETHING.
I can easily see the value in that. Personally I have 72 digital games and ONE retail game, and I just got that one to fill out the slot and save that extra memory before I had a 400GB card in there. Again if the price is right, yes. I can understand why some people woud prefer having both options, then again there's the normal Switch for that. And the poll seems to indicate that this is still needed.
@Nutella lol Nintendo wants that subscription money. I do feel digital is pretty much where things are nowadays unless you get a collector's edition. Surprised no mention of how big 3ds digital library was in the article. I liked carrying all my games there rather than a ton of cartridges even without homebrewing for the ds. They'll never rent nor set old games to $1, though I love owning the digital icons if it's worth it
I can get a physical game without leaving the house. It’s called Amazon. (Think NL may have heard of them!)
Well if they do, you at least need a 500gb in build memory
@graysoncharles "If I buy the equivalent of that in physical media, where the heck will I store them? (my room is small and already have a crapload of game cases)."
Gamers find a solution. My room is small and I got over 200 games a quarter of which are Collector's Edition along with Mario Status and Amiibo all jumbo into a 4 shelf hold it all. Not the best looking but it holds them.
Ugh... I’m so old. I cannot at this death of physical media coming quicker than I’d like. Can’t they wait until I’m dead? And I mean in 60 years, not tomorrow when I get hit by a bus.
I do not want download only. Download only does not bring me joy, as Marie Kondo would say.
I do not want buy two games but only get one on the cartridge.
I do not want to buy half a game on a cartridge because the developer couldn’t afford the larger capacity.
I know PSP GO failed well over six or seven years ago and it’s a different time now and I think this would do really well actually. But I want traditional physical media. And I know we have to compromise on that because physical media is expensive compared to digital distribution and I should be happy we still have physical media at all but I’m not. I’M NOT HAPPY. Can’t it just be 2001/2 again and can we just be in the GameCube / Game Boy Advance era instead. Back to the good old days.
As long as they also have the gamecard-supporting version then sure, why not?
@Dogorilla because what you can’t do is redownload them on a different device once the store shuts down and your switch breaks. What you also can’t do is buy 2nd hand games or get a refund easily if the game is poorly made.
@puddinggirl I get what your saying, but that money doesn't go to Nintendo, so speaking in terms of business that has zero value for the company.
I doubt that Nintendo would go digital only on any SKU for the Switch. They rely too much on physical game sales right now.
However, I do think that the writing is on the wall for physical media in general. The current generation of gamers that grew up buying physical games seems to be OK with spending a lot of money to have a packaged game that they can display on a shelf and maybe trade in some day. However, the generations coming up behind are growing up in a different era. They are OK with having their music and movie collections be digital only. They will be OK with their game collections being digital only as well.
Netflix has also changed public perceptions in terms of how much you should have to pay for entertainment. It is only a matter of time before game subscription services push out individual game purchases in the same way that Netflix is killing DVD and Blu-ray movie sales.
I do not own a Switch yet. It is not that I have anything against the Switch. I think it is awesome. However, I have decided to do video games differently from now on. I am going to wait until the Switch is in its twilight years, when I can get one cheap, and then buy all of my games digital only when they go on sale. I have decided that it is not worth paying $60 just to have something that I can hold in my hand when I can have the exact same gaming experience for $20 as a download.
I think it’s very unlikely. The Microsoft comparison fails I feel because Microsoft by Removing the drive save a lot of
The Xbox by design already copies all discs to the console so there’s adequate internal storage. As a result removing the drive carries a direct cost saving.
On the other hand the Switch saves marginal space by removing its very small physical media slot in the scheme of things, and it’ll be debatable as to whether any costs will be saved as they surely can’t offer a digital only console with only 32GB of storage. I imagine 256GB would need to be the starting point at which case you’ve likely lost any cost savings from removing the media slot. The UHD drive in an Xbox is likely a far more substantial cost both for hardware and licensing of the relevant codecs to support movie playback.
If it’s for financial reasons it’ll be because they get a larger sales cut from their online store. This carries extreme risks though given Sony tried this and in some markets major gaming outlets refused to stock the PSP Go and the console all but died in those markets over night, even while other PSP models limped on. Nintendo would be absolutely foolish to at least not sit back and see what the response is to Microsoft’s move and how they will manage the issue of retail presence, in particular the selling of hardware where retailers may not have an ongoing revenue stream. This is at the same time as those stores stock the PS4 which isn’t rumoured to be dropping physical media and is already a more popular product. Stores may well tell MS to take a hike and refuse to stock the console as they did with the PSP Go.
The advantage MS has is it does have its own retail and online sales channel, but it’s not particularly big and any system relying solely on that will likely not get much market penetration.
Honestly can’t see Nintendo doing this any time soon. There’s other ways to possibly reduce cost and other enhancements to make to the console rather than this one which likely won’t save them much money at all (and could even add to the cost) while offering consumers very little benefit.
The switch is going well but it’s not dominating the market to the point that Nintendo can dismiss its retail channel and piss off its partners. Any company going all digital better be sure as hell that it has a very solid distribution channel of its own or they provide some sort of product that ensures retailers can still make repeat sales be it selling cases with codes, USB media drives or whatever.
I still prefer my physical media. For the Xbox One, I said earlier I'd be slightly tempted by a diskless version of the console, but later realised that the savings I'd likely make on it could be made another way - by buying a pre-owned console. This wouldn't help Microsoft's bottom line, obviously, but it then wouldn't lock me out of owning a disk.
Also, I'm no expert, but I'm guessing the gamecard related components are probably going to work out cheaper and smaller (obviously smaller, which is another big reason given for the diskless Xbox) than the Blu-ray disk drive. This price is only going to decrease as time goes on and as more are made. They're also experimenting on larger and larger gamecards, which are going to have a larger capacity than Blu-ray disks. I see lots of cons to them going digital only at this stage and not a lot of pros.
Nintendo could drop physical games for downloadable only, but they won't and they shouldn't. Maybe in the future but not now. I don't think we're quite there yet. I'm not opposed to digital. I went heavy on digital for both the 3DS and Wii U but so far I mainly purchased physical for the Switch. I know I'm going digital for Mario Maker 2. That game screams "buy it digitally" since it will be nice to be able to fire it up without taking carts in and out.
Just to add to my above post, my son's Switch has had problems reading carts. That's another reason to go digital.
If their physical is only going to get worse than it is now, then they can go all digital for what I care.
Some would even say it'd be better for the environment as well.
My game collection on 3DS is probably 2/3 physical and 1/3 digital.
On Vita is more like 2/3 digital and 1/3 physical.
As time goes by I care less and less about the packaging (especially since there are no manuals anymore) and I care more and more about saving money.
I will be curious to see how well the subscription service works for Microsoft. I cannot see them going subscription only. Rather, it will be a model where a game is available for individual purchase only for six months and then it gets rolled into the subscription service.
This is absurd. A switch lite or whatever would have a smaller memory and storage, and digital games take up more space than physical ones. It just wouldn't work.
That would be a sad day for gaming.
Which would be ridiculous if it were true. The used game market doesn't hurt game companies or eat into their profits anymore then yard sales eat into any other type of industry.
@subpopz Yeah well people feared that about ebooks. And yet here we are, with real, physical books still. I can see it taking more prominence in gaming, but never erasing it.
@subpopz Your absolutely right. I mean when was the last time I saw a physical medium for movies, music or books? Oh right, that would be last week when I went into Walmart and Best Buy...and Barnes & Noble! CDs are still there, records have made a come back, dvds and books are still bought, radios still exist.
Furthermore, books, cds and movies aren't very expensive compared to ebooks and paying for services.
Once again. Used game sales don't eat into the gaming industries profits like at all. They got their money already and only a complete control freak of a developer would blow a fuse over someone selling it back to a game store, or online, or at a yard sale, or a swapmeet and try to stop it. They don't care.
But please, keep on speaking utter nonsense.
@RatKing64 "They rely too much on physical game sales right now."
Then you don't get out much do you.
@RatKing64 "However, I do think that the writing is on the wall for physical media in general."
What writing..have you looked around lately eShop have been going Physical. Should do one's homework more before commenting.
@dkxcalibur "Just to add to my above post, my son's Switch has had problems reading carts. That's another reason to go digital."
That's the most absurd thing I heard. This resulted from user abuse that caused the problem to start with.
@Heavyarms55 I plan on getting more storage for the Switch since I'm taking the digital route, but right now, I still have a 64GB card and it's pretty painful. Less than 17GB left.
In the end it all come down to if Nintendo wants to marked the Switch Lite current users.
If they do, then the Lite has to be able to play the physical copies one way or another.
Now if Nintendo started a aggressive campaign to make more people get digital copies, then a pure digital version might happen
@HollowGrapeJ Yeah. Even 64 is not much these days. I recently updated to a 400GB from a 200GB. 150 of which was used.
@Heavyarms55 I'm surprised by how much prices dropped. When Switch released, I remember 32GB being most affordable for like $20 and now 128GB is that price. Somehow, I feel like the Switch might be partly to thank for that, hahaha.
@rpvl Nintendo is not as short-sighted as just caring about their own wallet unlike some "Triple A" developers now. It understands that it can only make more money when the whole industry is thriving.
Yes, the money doesn't go to Nintendo directly but it says A LOT about their brand equity and market value. All of this has the same if not higher ROI compared to the sales number of games.
@HollowGrapeJ The Switch likely drove a bunch of sales, but microSD cards have been getting bigger and cheaper for a while now. I give it 5 years and 1TB cards will be commonplace. And at that point, no device will have an excuse to have so little storage.
@SwitchForce Wow, that's a very judgmental comment! The last time I checked, you know nothing about me or my family. This would be equivalent to me calling you a hoarder because you buy carts. Just to be clear and to inform you of the truth, all of our Switch systems are housed in cases and have screen protectors. All of the games are held in cases. Our house is spotless. We don't travel much with our systems. None of the systems have been dropped even once.
So how did you come up with such an uneducated response? Does Nintendo make a perfect product that never malfunctions?
My last post is valid. Even if we mistreated our systems and games, we don't, it's still a very good reason to go digital.
@dkxcalibur I have and play my games and my nephew plays Portable and Docked and I have no game slot issues. I taught him the proper care when playing on it and no problems. There so many types of stories like this that won't hold water.
@Slitth Ya know you can change the battery in the Pokemon Red and Blue carts right?
also no, Sony did that with the PSP GO a hacker's goldmine thanks to the built in hard drive and just dropped that idea and went back to carts for the Vita over those odd UMD mini discs things PSP used
@SwitchForce I'm happy for you that you've had no issues with your Switch or game carts. I hope you don't. I have taught my family how to take care of their personal property. So again, I can insure you that the carts and systems are well taken care of.
I'm also having trouble understanding why you take it so personal that some people might prefer to download over buying carts. Why do you care so much that you feel it's necessary to insult people and judge them?
Look at this from a hardware perspective.
Removing the card slot from the machine would save virtually no money (maybe a couple of $$), and would free up very little space.
The counter is you'll need MORE internal space (at least double?) - which would cost (probably) more than the cost of the components saved.
So from a manufacturing perspective ... its a zero-sum game. This definitely would not lead to a price reduction of $50 or $100.
The counter is Nintendo makes more off digital sales (flat 30% from 3rd-parties, 100% from 1st-parties) - so this would be factored in.
For the other consoles its a different story - remove the BluRay drive and you save a lot of money, space and size.
Switch "Lite" - there are only two possibilities for a much cheaper console:
1/ Sell the console/screen with no controllers or dock. They could probably halve the cost like this. This would appeal to existing owners who have a spare set of controllers already...
2/ Drop the screen. A console-only configuration could be super cheap (even more so without controllers) - possibly down to $50. Console-only with a wireless controller ... maybe $100 (USD).
That would be a game changer.
@Dogorilla didn't you know, you were supposed to delete those games from your wii when the online shop went down
@dkxcalibur It comes from too many stories of people claiming hardware failure when it was it points back to user caused. Hardware defects exist that is no argument from me but when things like cracked display or broken vent(was obvious dropped) and when people are exposed that what I don't like. People also talked about how the charging port failed that was a user caused as well I plugged in and out and no issue. But then again I don't slam or drop it into the Dock either.
The biggest problem for a Lite would be the Screen. They would have to invest into two different screens and that adds cost. That doesn't lower cost. Also get smaller and try play BoTW on it and you go blind trying to read those small txts. So no a Lite isn't in the end beneficial to Nintendo sales or hardware support. As you get smaller tech it gets more expensive this hardware isn't like a AMD, iNtel CPU where you produce more to make it cheaper. It will still cost more for Nintendo and unless they sold like AMD, iNtel CPU that I can see a major drop in prices but sadly that isn't true in this instance. If that was so true of consoles why aren't the xbox and ps series getting cheaper instead are going up in prices.
I think Nintendo should stay with the physical media. But some day they will ditch it, its unavoidable. Though it surprises me that Nintendo hasn't already done this. After all, 90% of the Switch library is download only. But at the same time more and more Switch downloads also get a physical version...
Its interesting to see what happens with Microsoft. After all, the PSP Go was a flop. Microsoft takes a big risk.
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