The lights are on
Nintendo appears to be embracing digital distribution in a big way, with the announcement that future 3DS and Wii U games will be available for download the same day they hit store shelves. Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata revealed the strategy in the company's presentation to investors. The first game released under this digital initiative will be the 3DS game New Super Mario Bros. 2, which launches this August.
Iwata says that customers will have a choice in how they purchase future first-party Nintendo releases on both the Wii U and 3DS. Players who opt for the digital route can download games directly onto their system's SD memory card through either the Nintendo online shop or by inputting a 16-digit code that can be purchased at retail. Iwata says that physically and digitally distributed formats have their own advantages, and that Nintendo wants to give players a choice. It may be more convenient for players to acquire the digital versions of games, but they're locked to the system that they're downloaded onto. Players who do a lot of game swapping with friends will have to stick with physical copies of their games.
Nintendo is also allowing sellers of those download vouchers to set their own prices. Iwata points out that so far, games on Nintendo's eShop have fixed prices, which is something that doesn't necessarily work in a retail environment. Instead, players can expect to see vouchers for specific games to get price reductions after they've been available for a while.
What do you think? Are you surprised to see Nintendo going in this direction? Do you think Microsoft and Sony will fully embrace similar strategies as we move into the next generation of hardware?
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Do not own a 3ds anymore. Good riddance. although I sorta miss Mario
Digital distribution is only world changing when their prices are justifiable. Hopefully Nintendo realizes this and has a solid pricing model for their digital games that is substantially cheaper than physical copies, after all one of the big promises of this format are the reduced manufacturing costs, so why should you be paying the same amount as a physical copy, especially as Nintendo says there are disadvantages to going digital. I know Sony has no concept on how to do this properly, so unless they learn from something like Valve's Steam service, I'll be very happy with a very physical PS4 library.
This is a great decision by Nintendo. Not only does it give gamers a choice in how to play, it also gives Nintendo (and everyone else) a chance to do market research on which way the wind is blowing for digital vs. retail for future releases, and figure out why purchasers do what they do.
This is a definite, positive step for the Wii U as well.
Nintendo innovating on the online digital distribution front? When did I land in Bizarro-world?
Seriously though this is great to see. Glad to know Nintendo can still lead the pack in the innovation department.
i like this idea. this comes in handy for games like super smash bros that will be played time and time again.
Nintendo, this is a step in the right direction in our internet age.
I hate digital distribution. One memory failure and it's gone. The fact that they're still saying "SD card" even referencing the Wii U means we're going to have next to no space to save these games anyway unless we pay through the nose for the largest SD cards.
This is great news and is a huge step in the right direction, but, personally, I'd prefer a physical copy rather than a digital copy. In my opinion, the physical copies are a lot better than the digital copies. For example, one downloaded 3DS retail game will suck up tons of space as opposed to a retail 3DS game.
that's good if your going digital or not cause it depends on which one you choose.
Seeming as though the Vita and many new releases on PSN already do this, yes - both Sony and Microsoft will likely do this (or continue to do it in Sony's case).
The goodness of this idea will depend on the pricing. If they charge more money for digital downloads similar to the way microsoft does, for a method which is cheaper to incorporate than physical copies on disk, then I think it will blow up in their face.
I think this is a great idea, so I won't have to keep swapping out games.
What a brilliant move on nintendo's part. It shows they've been paying attention to the rumors about other systems and reactions from fans. A world where digital download and physical games co-exist should be the future. Hopefully Microsoft and Sony will get on board with this idea for their upcoming systems.
Nintendo has went far with every system it's made. I believe The Wii- U will be as great (maybe even better) than it's predecessors. Nintendo hasn't failed us yet, so no wonder they're already coming up with a next generation system.
That's kind of cool, but I always like getting a disk
This is basically the best way to stop people from buying used games so it is a good strategy without really making the consumer angry like the way sony and microsoft plans have done.
I was getting kind of excited until they said the games are locked to the system...
They need to be locked to an account like all the other civilized online services do it (Steam, XBL, PSN, Origin, etc). If that's how they are going to do it I doubt they have many takers on that.