Nintendo has had an impressive start across the board in the current financial year, but its digital business stands out as one of the areas that has seen the largest increase year-on-year.
The company has reported that "the growth in sales of downloadable versions of packaged software for Nintendo Switch, as well as the steady sales of download-only software, add-on content, and Nintendo Switch Online, helped to bring overall digital sales to 171.5 billion yen" for the period between April and September 2020.
Compared to that same period last year, 171.5 billion yen represents a mighty 139.4% rise year-on-year. Of course, digital sales have been steadily rising for some time now, but this year's large jump – likely boosted thanks to the effects of the global pandemic – is particularly noteworthy.
Other areas of Nintendo's business have also grown this year, but not quite to the same extent. Hardware sales have increased by 80.9%, for example, with software sales jumping by 71.4%. Nintendo's mobile business, which has so far earned 26.7 billion yen this financial year, is enjoying a more modest 33.9% increase year-on-year.
Have you been buying more digital games than usual this year? Do you still prefer to buy physical copies when you can? Feel free to let us know in the usual place.
I buy digital when the option exists, so much easier when traveling and switching between games
I only got a Switch this year, and went digital on basically everything - Splatoon, Mario Odyssey, Mario Maker, Animal Crossing, and Breath of the Wild (even tho I played it on Wii U). I've now got a little space to show off games tho, and, in combination with dwindling sd card space, I'll probably go physical in future
Digital is awesome for indie games and must haves like animal crossing
From a collector's standpoint, I do love physical, but I have bought digital copies of all the regular games like Animal Crossing NH, Mario Kart 8, Smash Bros etc because I'll be forever swapping out the cartridges otherwise. I suspect the big increase in digital sales is due to covid & ease of access. Decent discounts also help ^_^
Digital only is the only way for me now. No regrets!
My Switch is technically a virgin.
I've bought tons of games this year, but only two of them are physical editions (Luigi's Mansion and Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for the X360). Everything else, which is a lot, was digital. And I'm ok with it
Press F to feign surprise.
I still prefer getting physical games. Sure digital is nice. Makes it easy to swap in and out of games. But I still find the storage media used for switch is not the best for a all digital experience. I still have some digital games but will always gravitate to physical. I just wish we would get sales on games the same physical or digital.
So, what is the balance now? Digital vs physical?
Are we over 50%?
I usually buy physical if I'm unsure about a game, and if I enjoy it, sell it and wait until the inevitable digital sale.
People were lockdown everywhere this year, that accounts for the digital sales. Next year won’t be so lucky for Nintendo as PS5 and Xbox SX are out now, people were holding on for the next generation launch, that’s why Switch was selling so well this year.
I think I am still an even mix but I can see digital sales holding steady into next year. The mainstream user that has learned how to use the eshop will be fine with continuing to do so.
I think the situation with Covid and the lockdowns suits Nintendo very well. With sale figures like these, there is no need to introduce a more powerful Switch any time soon. Despite of what the rumors are saying.
Digital only got more sales cause there are more titles in the digital store front over physical, a large majority of those are indie titles, retro archives, and mobile games anyways which are cheap to buy. For Switch I mostly prefer physical version over digital any day for triple a games and large re-releases but if digital is the only version exist and it's affordable then I would accept that as well. I will never buy any game that offer code in a case (that is unless that game came as part of a collection or bonus inclusion like Bayonetta 1 and Final Fantasy X-2), any game that offer fake physical release will not get a buy from me ever like Overwatch and Wolfenstein Youngblood.
@stinky_t Don`t. It`s not 3ds where saves are on the cart itself and all the updates make buying physical no sense.
I have over 300 games and all but 6 are digital. I wish those 6 carts I do have were on my console too. I can't be bothered with physical games.
I always buy physical editions of games , the only time I buy digital is when they are on sale for stupid prices 🤪
I've gone full digital on Switch for convenience of having all games on the system and because most physical games are unfinished on cartridge and/or require a future patch for improvements (such as Bloodstained RotN).
If i really do love the game, I might buy a special edition like I have done for Ikaruga, Okami and Samurai Shodown.
I got a notification saying they beat quarterly expectations by 1303% and thought that must be a mistake but looking at these numbers...huh.
I started believing in digital this year. Lockdown had me play 4-5 different games a day when I usually played 1-2 different games a month before. Switching between games that are saved on the console is much more practical. I'm not interested in building a collection or reselling. Ecology-wise I'm still on the fence about which is better between physical or digital (haven't really educated myself on this).
I've gone mostly digital for convenience and to save space. Also less likelihood of my two very young boys destroying the whole lot. Being able to scan and boot up any game on a whim has been a big plus this last decade.
This has actually been a big factor in me getting a 1TB for my Switch rather than get excited for the next xbox or PS. They fail to have the instant access and large library bonuses of digital games, while also fail to have the pluses of physical media. The Switch actually does both of these better.
I always buy physical when possible. I even will purchase games I want from Play Aisa if there are not physical versions in NA. I want to be able to play these games long after the switch is old news and the games are pulled from the eshop. Just my personal preference.
Oh yes, because wanting to physically own a game is certainly something that makes me an elitist.
Unfortunately I feel that a lot of digital-only buyers are going to get a nasty shock someday. Not something that I hope for, but I would rather pay a little more in money and inconvenience to secure my investment.
I do not dismiss those that buy digital, I just hold expectation that larger companies still produce physical versions of those digital games.
@graysoncharles I think physical collecting will see a significant decline as we less of people who:
1. are afraid games will disappear. these games aren't going anywhere
2. collect for speculative value. values are only driven by people who have interests in monetizing the hobby (i.e. stores or youtube channels).
The next generations is not going to want, nor pay for, these physical collections.
These are not investments. No physical collectible item is an investment.
I'll buy physical games if I expect to dedicate myself to them, play through over a few days or weeks and not touch them again for a while. I'll buy digital if they're designed to be enjoyed in quick bursts over a long period.
That's the idea anyway. Sometimes sales are too good to pass up.
@graysoncharles I really don't see the point in buying physical on Xbox One or PS4 (and by extension, the series or PS5). Either way, these games need to install to and take space on your drive to play, so might as well cut out the faff of inserting the disc.
It's a good time to be Nintendo
@graysoncharles I'm pretty sure they'd die out quick.
I get in weird phases where I switch from getting physical to digital. At launch I was a very digital freak, but for the last year or so, I've been buying mostly physical.
I always go physical when possible, because I like having the collection and saving on digital storage.
I tend to get digital unless there's a really cool limited edition. Don't have the space for all the games anymore, plus modern games don't have instruction manuals. So I can do without the extra plastic.
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