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3DS

3DS Full Game Downloads Tied to System

by Andy Goergen - April 26, 2012, 8:11 pm PDT
Total comments: 20 Source: Nintendo, http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/library/events/120...

The rules for 3DS downloads aren't changing just because the game's also available on a card.

When Nintendo begins releasing full 3DS retail titles via eShop this August, those titles will be tied to the specific 3DS system that downloads them in much the same way that the eShop exists for download-only titles today.

In the recent financial results briefing Iwata said "The digitally downloaded software will be stored in the consumer’s SD memory card and be playable only with the hardware to which it was downloaded so that, unlike how you can share the packaged software which are stored in game card format, the consumer cannot share the software with other Nintendo 3DS systems owned by other members of the family or friends. Also, vacant space in SD memory card is needed in order to store the digital download software."

Whether the System Transfer function on the 3DS applies to these titles is currently unknown, but current eShop downlodable games do transfer to new systems via that feature.

Talkback

I'm fine with this, due to the System Transfer feature. If I get a new 3DS for whatever reason (ahem), I know that my downloaded games will come with me to the new hardware. Since the games reside on an SD card, the System Transfer is just transmitting license files, and the process should be fast.

StrawHousePigApril 26, 2012

I wonder if this will affect the re-sale value of these titles...  ???

I don't like this model, but I sure don't see them following the path blazed by Apple with iTunes and the iPhone / iPad. I can (and do) authenticate a handful of devices to use media and software bought under my account. Super convenient, awesome value added.

I could see that being used for certain 3DS Ware or DSi Ware titles and *should* be standard on VC software, but for boxed, retail games not so much.

At any rate, I'll be sticking with physical carts thank-you-very-much.

What worries me is if my system is lost or stolen, what happens to all of my games? Will I be able to get them back with my Club Nintendo account, or are they lost forever?

TJ SpykeApril 26, 2012

If it's like the Wii, you will be able to redownload them, but it will be a pain in the ass. When I told Nintendo my Wii was stolen, they made me file a police report and send them a copy before they would let me sync my new system to my account and re-download my VC and WiiWare games.

RasApril 27, 2012

Is there any chance you will be able to download for free the digital version of games you bought in the store?  I'd like to always have MK7 available no matter what I'm playing (but I doubt it will work this way).

CericApril 27, 2012

Honestly, I don't think I buy these unless there was a deep discount. Think 50%.

supergttApril 27, 2012

Quote from: Ras

Is there any chance you will be able to download for free the digital version of games you bought in the store?  I'd like to always have MK7 available no matter what I'm playing (but I doubt it will work this way).

from nintendo? maybe in 20 years. even though it is the best solution and everyone wins.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorApril 27, 2012

Quote from: TalesOfFan

What worries me is if my system is lost or stolen, what happens to all of my games? Will I be able to get them back with my Club Nintendo account, or are they lost forever?

If your physical copy is lost or stolen, does Nintendo give you a new copy for free?

ejamerApril 27, 2012

Quote from: Ceric

Honestly, I don't think I buy these unless there was a deep discount. Think 50%.

With a few exceptions, I agree with this.  There aren't that many 3DS games that I want to own permanently. I would make exceptions for Animal Crossing and (probably) Monster Hunter though.


I don't really understand the consumer demand for downloading full retail titles. Is it because "everyone else is doing it" and people want to feel like Nintendo is up with the times?  Is it just the convenience factor, not having to visit stores to purchase new games or carry carts?  (I typically only play one big game at a time so this matters less to me than the overall economics of gaming.)  For people here who are excited, what is the draw for you?

Quote from: Ras

Is there any chance you will be able to download for free the digital version of games you bought in the store?  I'd like to always have MK7 available no matter what I'm playing (but I doubt it will work this way).

I'm betting this will never happen because then you would essentially be getting two for the price of one.  Who would bother paying for a  download-only version when you could buy a physical copy, download the game for free, and then sell your physical game?

TJ SpykeApril 27, 2012

Ejamer, there are a few situations where a digital download would be better than retail. Take Pikmin 2 as an example. Before It was revealed that Nintendo will finally bring the NPC version of the game to North America, the only way to buy the game besides importing was to track down a used copy f the GCN version (which is at least $45). Wouldn't paying $20 to download it instead be much better?

ejamerApril 27, 2012

Quote from: TJ

Ejamer, there are a few situations where a digital download would be better than retail. Take Pikmin 2 as an example. Before It was revealed that Nintendo will finally bring the NPC version of the game to North America, the only way to buy the game besides importing was to track down a used copy f the GCN version (which is at least $45). Wouldn't paying $20 to download it instead be much better?

Hmm... This isn't how I understand the announcement. 

You are talking about a re-release of a rare, existing game from a different console generation (ie: Virtual Console).  Even then, your example  specifies a discount of greater than 50% for buying digital instead of retail - in which case I already said I could understand the justification. Do you really think Nintendo will sell digital copies for less than half of suggested retail rates though?


I was talking about new 3DS games that presumably also exist as normal retail versions, easily available for purchase at stores (such as Mario Kart 7 getting a digital release).


If the only viable way to purchase a game is through eShop then I can understand the rationale.  Heck, I'm a relatively strong supporter of existing eShop content already.  But in this case, there would be no difference from current eShop releases except for file size, so why word the announcement as such and make a big deal over it?

If there are both retail and digital versions of a game available - which is my understanding - then it becomes a much tougher sell (for me) to choose digital copies that can't be sold/traded/loaned to friends and are locked to a particular console unless there is a meaningful price difference right off the bat.  Even then, waiting for retail sales is almost certainly going to be cheaper than buying a digital version.

TJ SpykeApril 27, 2012

I am talking about for the future. If a game is released at retail and on the eShop, the retail release could become rare and expensive. In that case, the digital version would still be there at a cheaper price.

ejamerApril 27, 2012

Quote from: TJ

I am talking about for the future. If a game is released at retail and on the eShop, the retail release could become rare and expensive. In that case, the digital version would still be there at a cheaper price.

Ah!  Gotcha.  In that case, I would appreciate the digital version.  Maybe something like an Atlus-published title (*ahem*Radiant Historia) might be a better example than Pikmin 2?

I wonder how long digital versions remain available though.  In your specific example, we are well beyond the lifecycle of the original console for Pikmin 2. Would it really still be available digitally? With services like WiiWare and others, we've seen downloadable content dropped for different reasons (the most notable being licensing), so buying a retail release still might be the safest way to ensure you have access to the game in the future.

CericApril 27, 2012

On PC buying games Digitally makes sense.  Why?  Because they are tied to an account and you can use it on the different computers you own or upgrade to.  If the company is smart when you download it will be the fully patched version.  Especially a game you already have to be online for (Anything Blizzard, Rift, SWTOR, etc.)

On a gaming system where its tied to that system and there is hoops to jump to move on.  Not so much.

The convenience is the main appeal to me. I like to have a lot of options available to me when I pull out my 3DS, and right now that means carrying around a big thing of game cards. That plus the fact that I rarely sell games these days makes it something I'm very interested in.

I will almost ALWAYS buy physical over digital if I get the choice. But... Animal Crossing...*drool*

CericApril 27, 2012

I've been buying my books digital for while because the price isn't to high compared to the inconvenience of storing and carrying physical books.  Though, again, easily transferred if my device dies.

I, honestly, rather have all my stuff digital.  Its just locking it to one system that stops me.

Kytim89April 27, 2012

With the digital downloading of games I am more inclined to buy B and C level games because I do not have to worry about them cluttering up my shelf or table. I can devote my game shelf to games that I know that I like and keep playing for years on end. Games like Steel Diver, Nano Assualt, Shinobi and Pilot Wings would make great editions on my 3DS, but I would prefer physical copies of games like Kid Icarus and Resident Evil.

RasApril 27, 2012

Quote from: ejamer

I'm betting this will never happen because then you would essentially be getting two for the price of one.  Who would bother paying for a  download-only version when you could buy a physical copy, download the game for free, and then sell your physical game?

Yeah, I wasn't thinking it through.  You could just buy the game and give the downloadable copy to your friend, and vice versa.

YmeegodApril 28, 2012

Actually Pikmin 2 was an greatest hit title---hense it's retail pricing was $20, it's markup of $45 used doesnt' give nintendo an dime anyhow, Big N should have reprinted but they never did.

The big advantage to me is similar to Pikmin's case, rare games that sold limited copies.  You'll going have an hell of a time finding some of these titles and usually there's an insane markup on them.  So finding ole gems will be alot easier and cheaper and the publisher will be the ones making the money--so a win-win for everyone.

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