Nintendo Plans for Digital Distribution of Retail Titles This Fiscal Year

by Aaron Kaluszka - April 26, 2012, 9:13 am PDT
Total comments: 19 Source: http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/pdf/2012/120426e.pdf

Package-less "packaged" Wii U and 3DS software could arrive by March.

Nintendo is planning the digital distribution of their retail titles this fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2013.

Buried at the bottom of Nintendo's consolidated financial statements for the previous fiscal year is the note, "Forecasted sales units of Nintendo 3DS software and Wii U software... include the quantity of the packaged software by means of digital distribution." Nintendo has not traditionally included digital sales in their software sales numbers but is now making an exception for downloads that have a corresponding packaged version.

In reference to development of the Nintendo Network and medium to long-term strategy, the financial statement noted that in addition to add-on content, "for the purposes of adapting to the changes in the environment surrounding the video game market and creating new business opportunities, Nintendo is envisioning the digital distribution of packaged software and is aiming at expanding the digital business."

In the company's previous Corporate Management Policy Briefing in January, Nintendo global president Satoru Iwata remarked that they were looking into such distribution and that the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, and Nintendo Network were prepared for it. However, he said that timing had not been decided and retailer, wholesaler, market, consumer, and technical concerns still had to be met. Iwata further stated that "the significance of this business field will increase," though the scope of their plans is not yet clear.

Talkback

Kytim89April 26, 2012

So does this mean that I will be able to buy games like Kid Icarus Uprising to my 3DS (when I own one) and then store it on an SD card? Honestly, I would much prefer to own physical copies of the top tier titles like Mario, Zelda and Resident Evil, but a digital download service such as this would be nice for games like Pilot Wings and Steel Diver because I do not want to be bothered with the physical copies because those are mediocre titles. I look forward to hearing more about this as information developes.

CericApril 26, 2012

I really doubt Kid Icarus Uprising simply put I can't believe that game wouldn't push the cart size limits and then ask for more.

Pilot Wings though I think be an excellent choice.  Nintendogs as well for that matter.

Kytim89April 26, 2012

Quote from: Ceric

I really doubt Kid Icarus Uprising simply put I can't believe that game wouldn't push the cart size limits and then ask for more.

Pilot Wings though I think be an excellent choice.  Nintendogs as well for that matter.


I heard that Kid Icarus Uprising is near 4GBs, so I would assume that is too big for downloading, but a game like Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem would be better suited for the service.

geoApril 26, 2012

The only way that I will buy animal crossing is if it's a download title.  RFN has discussed this before, but the cartridge space is valuable real estate, and I don't want animal crossing occupying it.  Especially for a game that demands me to keep coming back to it.  I don't want to swap it in and out every time I want to check up on my town.  I'd rather just keep the ONE single player game i'm playing in the cartridge slot and have all street-pass/online games be additional buttons on my menu.

Kytim89April 26, 2012

Quote from: geo

The only way that I will buy animal crossing is if it's a download title.  RFN has discussed this before, but the cartridge space is valuable real estate, and I don't want animal crossing occupying it.  Especially for a game that demands me to keep coming back to it.  I don't want to swap it in and out every time I want to check up on my town.  I'd rather just keep the ONE single player game i'm playing in the cartridge slot and have all street-pass/online games be additional buttons on my menu.


I would be willing to bet that Nintendo has caught wind of this and will have the option of digitally downloading Animal Crossing when it launches later in the year.

FZeroBoyoApril 26, 2012

That's... not a bad suggestion, Kytim. That could make it easier to justify for some people.


I see this being similar to the Games on Demand on XBL; no big-name titles on release day but successful, or inexpensive, titles will be added every other week (and that can be stored on the servers or whatever operates). Games like Steel Diver for a reduced price and digital could be worth looking into, in my eyes...


Also, remember that rumor that New Super Mario Bros. 2 would be released on the eShop as well? Well, maybe that game will receive this treatment. You never know...

nacorious1April 26, 2012

that really neat because i've been waiting for this over a year.THANK GOD FOR NINTENDO :)

Kytim89April 26, 2012

The big question that I have is whether Nintendo will sell DS games through a digital store.

ejamerApril 26, 2012

My first reaction was apathy since I like having the option to buy/sell used games. Why download something that restricts your options unless getting a significant price cut up front?  But the Animal Crossing example is compelling.  Having the software always available with your system would be an excellent feature for that particular game.

motangApril 26, 2012

I hope this means that the Wii U will have a hard drive in it.

DiscostewApril 26, 2012

For me, I think of it this way. When a game is released, both physically and digitally, I check to see how big the size of the game is. If it is small, then I'll probably go digital with it. If big, then go physical.

Quote from: Kytim89

The big question that I have is whether Nintendo will sell DS games through a digital store.

I honestly don't see why not. As it is, DS games on the 3DS are believed to run under virtualization with possibly a little bit of emulation, as well as the GBA Ambassador games.

Since I don't usually sell games, the added convenience of not needing to carry a card with me is very appealing. As a lot of people have mentioned, this would be absolutely perfect for Animal Crossing, and hopefully Nintendo sees that too.

Mop it upApril 26, 2012

As long as there are still retail versions, then I'm fine with this.

joshnickersonApril 26, 2012

With something like Animal Crossing, where you are really only expected to spend maybe ten minutes a day playing it, it's a pretty good idea.

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

Since I don't usually sell games, the added convenience of not needing to carry a card with me is very appealing. As a lot of people have mentioned, this would be absolutely perfect for Animal Crossing, and hopefully Nintendo sees that too.

Alternatively, I hope that we can just copy the retail versions to SD (with whatever necessary security). Win for everybody.

Kytim89April 27, 2012

Quote from: MegaByte

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

Since I don't usually sell games, the added convenience of not needing to carry a card with me is very appealing. As a lot of people have mentioned, this would be absolutely perfect for Animal Crossing, and hopefully Nintendo sees that too.

Alternatively, I hope that we can just copy the retail versions to SD (with whatever necessary security). Win for everybody.


I would be willing to pay about $19.99 per game to have the save data for all of my DS games uploaded onto the memory of the 3DS. How would Nintendo do this? Would we mail the games and our 3DS into them and have them do it for us, or have some kind of adapter here at home?

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorApril 27, 2012

I'm torn.  It's great that the option is there... but if there's a physical version for sale, I'm going to buy it.

Which irks me, because if there was a game like Tetris DS or Animal Crossing, I'd prefer to have it on my DS at all times.  But I'd more prefer to have the physical version.

Which means I'll probably end up buying it twice.

Dear Nintendo,

Please let me easily and at-will transfer my save data from the physical version to the downloaded version.  Thank you. :D

Kytim89April 27, 2012

A digitized DS on the game would look better on the 3DS screen than an actual DS game being played in the cartridge slot. Although the idea of transfering DS game saves onto the internal memory of the 3DS is very enticing, but how would it work?

SMWizApril 27, 2012

While I see why digital distribution appeals to some, I dislike it. I am a collector. I like having my case and artwork. That has been particularly disappointing with this last generation (namely Wii)--the cases are generic featuring three languages (the manuals too), and the manuals do little other than give you the health and safety warning and basic controls. I want a return to manuals with substance--story, artwork, detailed controls, tips from the developers, etc. I would be perfectly fine paying the standard retail price for a detailed game with proper case and developed instruction manual while allowing the "digital downloaders" to pay a reduced fee for their digital copy. That only seems fair.

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