3DSWiiU

'Majority of Nintendo-Published' Retail Titles Available for Download

by Neal Ronaghan - April 27, 2012, 1:52 pm PDT
Total comments: 36 Source: (Nintendo of America)

Not every game will be available for download, Nintendo of America revealed.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 and only the majority (not all) of first-party 3DS and Wii U games will debut simultaneously as a retail and download game, Nintendo of America confirmed today in a statement.

Nintendo Co., Ltd., the main Japanese branch of the company, announced yesterday during an investor's briefing that retail games will also be available for download. Nintendo of America echoed many of the same points, such as the fact that retailers will offer games as both a download code and as a packaged game to "give shoppers more options." See below for Nintendo of America's full statement:

Nintendo is aiming to significantly expand its digital business. In August, New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the Nintendo 3DS system will launch both as a packaged game at retail stores and as a digital download in the Nintendo eShop. The majority of Nintendo-published Nintendo 3DS games will have the same dual-distribution strategy. Likewise, the majority of Nintendo-published Wii U games will be available both as packaged products and as digital downloads starting on launch day.

These downloadable games will also be available for purchase at participating retail stores and on retailers’ websites. Our customers can visit retail outlets or their online shopping sites, look for the products they want and pay for the product there. The retailers will then provide shoppers with a 16-digit code that can be exchanged in the Nintendo eShop for the game. This will give shoppers more options to find and purchase their favorite games.

Talkback

CericApril 27, 2012

Quote:

Likewise, the majority of Nintendo-published Wii U games will be available both as packaged products and as digital downloads starting on launch day.

Taking the Digital Experience by the horns.  Now if they want to do this right registering the Physical one with your system should get you the download as well on that system.  Also in the Physical Retailer Digital download ones NFC read card instead of plugging in a code.  I know on the web you really have no choice.

geoApril 27, 2012

Looks like I might be getting animal crossing after all!

This is so perfect for AC! My town will ALWAYS be with me no matter what game cart I have in the system!

randomflashbangApril 27, 2012

but if a registered physical copy gets you a digital one, what is to stop holder of the disk to resell it? and then what happens when the 2nd owner tries to get a digital one?

EnnerApril 27, 2012

Quote from: randomflashbang

but if a registered physical copy gets you a digital one, what is to stop holder of the disk to resell it? and then what happens when the 2nd owner tries to get a digital one?

The reselling is unclear at the moment. Nintendo could enforce a CD-key-like DRM, but that seems unlike them. As for the 2nd owner trying to get a digital copy, the key is already used by the first owner. The 2nd owner would have to buy their own digital copy.

TJ SpykeApril 27, 2012

I don't think Nintendo will offer free digital copies with the retail ones. It sounds like retailers will sell a physical copy of a game, and they will sell a download code for the game, but they will be separate purchases.

Bman87301April 27, 2012

Quote from: randomflashbang

but if a registered physical copy gets you a digital one, what is to stop holder of the disk to resell it? and then what happens when the 2nd owner tries to get a digital one?

Who says a physical copy gets you a digital one in the first place? Unless I'm misinterpreting it, this article doesn't say that. What it says is, at retail you will have the option of buying either a code for a digital copy or a physical copy. The two won't be together.

yoshi1001April 27, 2012

Time to buy a bigger SD card...


Not sure about Wii U however-I'd hated to have to have downloaded Brawl-at that point even if I could buy it online, it's more time-efficient to go to the store and buy the disc.

steveyApril 27, 2012

This could possibly be a horrible sign of the death of video games. I much rather always have a physical copy that last forever of a game (and rip it myself with homebrew to have a personal use only software copy). DLC last only as long as Nintendo or its lawyers feel like, robbing the world of is existence.

Quote:

CD-key-like DRM

Good bye video game world, I hardly knew ya... (even if Nintendo not doing it yet, sony and MS are heading full steam in that direction)
Hopefully, Nintendo see the light and implements a better system like physical game downloads that expire every 10 day without reinserting the original game disc/cart.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorApril 27, 2012

As much as I'd like it, I don't see Nintendo giving us free digital downloads with the physical game.

Even if they did some kind of redemption key, there'd be nothing stopping you from buying the game, redeeming the digital code, then reselling the physical copy.

Kytim89April 27, 2012

I bet the digital version of Animal Crossing will sell better than the retail version. This is my point of supporting online retail. It helps B and C level games get better sales and the developer make an easier profit because all the people who will buy the game will due so via the internet and then the publisher does not have to worry about as many of their copies of sitting used on a retail shelf. It is all based on pure profit. This is why games like Zelda and Mario will always sell well as reatil games because their is a higher demand for them.

FZeroBoyoApril 27, 2012

Games that are best played in short bursts, Animal Crossing, high-score/time attack games, etc., are better suited for the digital market. If Nintendo releases any of those, chances are I'll go the digital route because I'm lazy like the rest of you of convenience, and it's nice to have some games instantly available.

Kytim89April 27, 2012

It helps save on fuel costs.

NinSageApril 28, 2012

Quote from: stevey

This could possibly be a horrible sign of the death of video games. I much rather always have a physical copy that last forever of a game (and rip it myself with homebrew to have a personal use only software copy). DLC last only as long as Nintendo or its lawyers feel like, robbing the world of is existence.

Quote:

CD-key-like DRM

Good bye video game world, I hardly knew ya... (even if Nintendo not doing it yet, sony and MS are heading full steam in that direction)
Hopefully, Nintendo see the light and implements a better system like physical game downloads that expire every 10 day without reinserting the original game disc/cart.

+1

Quote from: NinSage

Quote from: stevey

This could possibly be a horrible sign of the death of video games. I much rather always have a physical copy that last forever of a game (and rip it myself with homebrew to have a personal use only software copy). DLC last only as long as Nintendo or its lawyers feel like, robbing the world of is existence.

Quote:

CD-key-like DRM

Good bye video game world, I hardly knew ya... (even if Nintendo not doing it yet, sony and MS are heading full steam in that direction)
Hopefully, Nintendo see the light and implements a better system like physical game downloads that expire every 10 day without reinserting the original game disc/cart.

+1

Yes, the fact that there are more options is clearly a sign that gaming as we know it is about to come to an end. Never mind that this doesn't affect people who want a physical copy in the slightest; the mere chance that this might possibly lead to a future without any physical media years and years from now is a horrible thing and must be fought against.

smallsharkbigbiteApril 28, 2012

Quote:

Yes, the fact that there are more options is clearly a sign that gaming as we know it is about to come to an end. Never mind that this doesn't affect people who want a physical copy in the slightest; the mere chance that this might possibly lead to a future without any physical media years and years from now is a horrible thing and must be fought against.

Life will go on when video games go digital only, so it's not worth getting that worked up over. 

But this is all about a money grab.  Putting more money into the developer and publishers hand by removing the middle man "retail".  This is not about providing more options or the "digital copy" with retail purchase would be a no-brainer, but it is unlikely to happen as it's never happened in the digital realm.  I think it's really hard to argue that the removal of physical media is a slippery slope as you seem to be implying. 

1.  A system was already released that was download only, PSPGo.

2.  PSN/XBox Live/WiiWare already have a bunch of games that are not available in a physical form of any time. 

3.  We, as video game consumers, are constantly berated that we don't buy enough $60 games.  Because we all know used game purchases and rentals are stealing trillions from developers and producers pockets.  Digital is a lock down method to ensure multiple purchases by the same person. 

I like convenience as much as anyone which is what digital offers, but it strips so many benefits that I find it hard to believe anyone would purchase digital given the choice of a physical media. 

1.  Price point is the same as physical media or higher when both are available.  Simply doesn't make sense.  They save money on the physical stuff and on the retail cut. 

2.  Can't take games with you to enjoy with friends.  Sure, carrying a 3DS is probably not that big of a deal.  But if I want to play Mega Man 9/10 with my friends?  No problem.  Either rebuy the game on their system, or lug my 20 pound PS3 over to their house, set it up with their system, enjoy, and then move the system back.  Sure a Wii weighs less, but it's not any less of a pain, and I don't really want to get my systems scratched up. 

Locked to sytstem is brutal.  Have 3 kids?  Buy 3 copies of the game.  Want to play with friends?  Carry around the system. System died and there's a new iteration of the system with exclusive games as a bonus?  Buy the scratched refurb if you want to keep your content. 

2A.  Nintendo is still the worst digital distributer.  Not that I'm a fan of any model, but the content needs to be tied to the account, not the system.  Nothing like having to send a system back to Nintendo to get a refurb as the same cost as new because you don't want to lose hundreds of dollars worth of games. 

3.  Obviously I'll get chasticed like everyone else that tries to bring up this point.  But I have two functioning NESs that I still play today, almost 30 years later.  Now most people think that they won't care about these games in 30 years, that's fine whatever.  The 3DS may still be functioning in 30 years because it's not a disc based system.  But your Wii?  Severly unlikely.  And redownloading the game 30 years from now or servicing the sysetm will clearly not be an option. 

I only buy digital media if it is one of two things: 

1.  Digital Only - nothing else you can really do here.

2.  An amazing deal.  WiiWare never seems to have any deals, but PSN has quite a few games that will go on sale for sub $5.  That's kind of a sweet spot since to get a free game shipped is usually at least $3. 
Have we really reached the time where carrying a few 1x1 inch DS games is a major inconvenience?  I mean the system itself is pretty big and changing a disc takes about 5 seconds.  Guess the benefits of digital download elude me.  Especially when it's bring your own storage and that can cost a chunk of money too. 

smallsharkbigbiteApril 28, 2012

Quote from: Kytim89

It helps save on fuel costs.

Except that shipping is free if you purchase most places on the internet.  Or odds are that you go grocery shopping once a week at either a place that sells games or is a 5 minute walk from the place you buy groceries.  Not to mention sales make physical media much cheaper than the cost of fuel in most instances.  At least a couple buy 2, get 1 free sales each year.  When's the last time you saw that for digital media?  Maybe Steam does it, but Nintendo certainly doesn't.

You make a lot of assumptions there, and say a few things that aren't even universally true with current implementations of digital distribution.

Quote:

1.  A system was already released that was download only, PSPGo.

Which was a colossal failure. I don't think you'll see someone try that again anytime soon.

Quote:

2.  PSN/XBox Live/WiiWare already have a bunch of games that are not available in a physical form of any time.

Nearly all of which would never have been viable as full retail releases. Those games wouldn't exist if not for digital distribution.

Quote:

2.  Can't take games with you to enjoy with friends.  Sure, carrying a 3DS is probably not that big of a deal.  But if I want to play Mega Man 9/10 with my friends?  No problem.  Either rebuy the game on their system, or lug my 20 pound PS3 over to their house, set it up with their system, enjoy, and then move the system back.  Sure a Wii weighs less, but it's not any less of a pain, and I don't really want to get my systems scratched up.

Beside the obvious example of Steam, which contradicts a lot of what you said, Xbox Live has a feature called Recover Gamertag. What that means is if I'm over at a friend's house I can log into my XBL account and play any games or content associated with it, so I could play my game without bringing my whole system over.


It's a young market, especially on the console side, and they're still working through a lot of these things. By the time it's the only way to buy games, which is almost certainly multiple generations from now, it will be a much smoother process, especially the Nintendo-specific flaws you mentioned.

CericApril 28, 2012

The Day that Music became primarily bought Digitally was the day that this shift became unavoidable in the long run.  Games themselves have been Digitally distributed longer then that.

It's one thing to download a 7 megabyte song, and quite another to download a multi-gigabyte game. It's going to be a long time before it makes business sense to cut out the people who don't have the capability to do that. Hell, even as entrenched as iTunes and the other digital stores are, as easy and painless it is to download music, and with the advantages buying music digitally has (significantly more so than with games), the overwhelming majority of music is still available in physical form. The day when people won't have the option of buying a physical product is a long way off.

CericApril 28, 2012

The PC gaming marketed is already moving to that exclusion. More and more major releases require Internet connectivity.  Its more of When then an If now.

The problem I have with a DD only future is that games will become lost completely eventually. Say the next round of systems after the Wii U are all driven by a DD marketplace. What will happen in 20 years when you want to track down a particular title? Sure the most popular ones will survive onto newer services, but a lot could potentially be lost for good. Companies could disappear, publishers may decide to take the DD copy off the service after a few years.

There are lots of problems for DD and any sort of real long term acquisition, especially after a decade or two.

ROiDSApril 28, 2012

Well, this is definitely not the first time Nintendo does downloadable content. Hell, the Super Famicom had the Satellaview that supported downloadable content for the system like BS Zelda no Densetsu/BS The Legend of Zelda (yes, that's the real title).


My only real concerns with digital downloads are the fact that you can't sell, borrow, and rent the games. If the Wii U will tie the games with an account rather than the system; then, I have no real problem with that.

NintendoFanboyApril 29, 2012

Physical media  isnt going anywhere as long as there are data caps.
like the RFN listener in australia, 20 gigs a month was it, really?
Not down loading with that data cap.
No one that i saw mentioned the DISADVANTAGE of getting the download.
If a physical copy and a download code are on the shelf side by side, the price
will most likely be the same, and with a retail copy u can still trade it in.
Game stop  wont sell Mario Universe download for $50 and the physical copy for $60
No resell on download.
Unless game companies change their systems to locking a physical disk to the system
it is  first played on,  Physical media still has value over the little to no Discount u get
with the download version.
And no one gives away digital copies.
Modifier. Someone sneaked in the same thought i had on the prior post. lol

As for the price point, I've been looking into buying a Vita recently, and at least on Amazon the digital download versions of retail Vita games are usually $5 cheaper than the physical products, so they are passing on some of the savings to the consumer.

CericApril 29, 2012

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

As for the price point, I've been looking into buying a Vita recently, and at least on Amazon the digital download versions of retail Vita games are usually $5 cheaper than the physical products, so they are passing on some of the savings to the consumer.

But this is Nintendo so I seriously doubt there be a price change.

Quote from: Ceric

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

As for the price point, I've been looking into buying a Vita recently, and at least on Amazon the digital download versions of retail Vita games are usually $5 cheaper than the physical products, so they are passing on some of the savings to the consumer.

But this is Nintendo so I seriously doubt there be a price change.

That may be true, but I wouldn't have expected it from Sony either. I was kind of shocked when I saw that.

CericApril 29, 2012

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

Quote from: Ceric

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

As for the price point, I've been looking into buying a Vita recently, and at least on Amazon the digital download versions of retail Vita games are usually $5 cheaper than the physical products, so they are passing on some of the savings to the consumer.

But this is Nintendo so I seriously doubt there be a price change.

That may be true, but I wouldn't have expected it from Sony either. I was kind of shocked when I saw that.

True except Sony does have sales and if the PSPGo was a reasonable success Vita wouldn't have physical games.  They would sell the memory cards and units in store.  Sony wants you to buy all Digital.  Nintendo seems to see it as nothing other than an alternative medium.

nickmitchApril 30, 2012

I don't get how you can say that publishers don't feel like they're making enough on $60 retail games, but think it's unfair to release digital games at that price level. The supply chain costs are probably equal to increasing server costs. Then you get to cut out retailers, but their cut is only about 5 to 15% max. That retail piece they get back is what's pushing the profitability up.

If we're talking retail console games, which can be upwards of 5-10 GB in size, the server and bandwidth costs are going to be quite substantial. And for right now, when everything is still going to be available in physical form as well, I can't see the manufacturing/shipping costs decreasing that much, since a lot of that's probably fixed costs.

nickmitchApril 30, 2012

Right, that's what I'm saying. Making a retail game available for download doesn't slash costs just because it there's no middleman. So, pricing downloads at the same level as retail makes sense.

CericApril 30, 2012

Quote from: nickmitch

I don't get how you can say that publishers don't feel like they're making enough on $60 retail games, but think it's unfair to release digital games at that price level. The supply chain costs are probably equal to increasing server costs. Then you get to cut out retailers, but their cut is only about 5 to 15% max. That retail piece they get back is what's pushing the profitability up.

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

If we're talking retail console games, which can be upwards of 5-10 GB in size, the server and bandwidth costs are going to be quite substantial. And for right now, when everything is still going to be available in physical form as well, I can't see the manufacturing/shipping costs decreasing that much, since a lot of that's probably fixed costs.

I have posted here before Bandwidth cost in regards to MS going fully digital.  Make no mistake those costs are not negligible but, I would be lieing to say that I think they are on parity with the cost to manufacture, store, and ship physical games.  I believe that in the end once everything is accounted for (Server, Electricity, Bandwidth, maintenance, etc.)  that the costs would max out at 50% of what it take to go physical.

Now that being all said and done where talking what 50% of a small piece of the actual cost of getting a game to you.  Most of the costs are still there.  The biggest difference being its easier to predict how many units need to be sold digitally to pay for all of the fixed expenses because your non-fixed expenses are a little more predictable.

TJ SpykeApril 30, 2012

Quote from: nickmitch

Right, that's what I'm saying. Making a retail game available for download doesn't slash costs just because it there's no middleman. So, pricing downloads at the same level as retail makes sense.

Retailers get like $8 per $60 game, there is also the cost to manufacture and ship the game, so digital downloads ARE cheaper for the publisher and they should pass those savings (or at least some of them) onto consumers.

ShyGuyApril 30, 2012

Publishers should sell digital downloads for the price people are willing to pay.

CericApril 30, 2012

Quote from: TJ

Quote from: nickmitch

Right, that's what I'm saying. Making a retail game available for download doesn't slash costs just because it there's no middleman. So, pricing downloads at the same level as retail makes sense.

Retailers get like $8 per $60 game, there is also the cost to manufacture and ship the game, so digital downloads ARE cheaper for the publisher and they should pass those savings (or at least some of them) onto consumers.

If Nintendo is also selling the Digital versions of the game at retailers, which they have indicated, that $8 will still be paid.  You wouldn't want to have disparity between the methods of buying digital. 

The next question you ask is why sell digital games in a physical store?  Glad you asked.  Marketing and Bulk sales.  You sell lets say Gamestop batches of download codes.  You don't let them buy them one at a time.  You don't even have to give them any media for them to be on and let them handle that side of things.  You've just cut out the money that went to the making of physical items and shipping them.  Plus you just gotten paid for lets go little, 1,000 wholesale copy of the game.  Money you can reinvest while the games sit waiting to be bought.

nickmitchApril 30, 2012

Quote from: TJ

Quote from: nickmitch

Right, that's what I'm saying. Making a retail game available for download doesn't slash costs just because it there's no middleman. So, pricing downloads at the same level as retail makes sense.

Retailers get like $8 per $60 game, there is also the cost to manufacture and ship the game, so digital downloads ARE cheaper for the publisher and they should pass those savings (or at least some of them) onto consumers.

But we're talking about publishers who don't think they're making enough on their games. That $8 justifies maintaining the selling price more so than dropping it.

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