news\ May 3, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Nintendo will likely price digital and retail games equally

Are digital downloads worth as much as the physical versions of the same games? Some individuals may argue that they're not. After all, when you buy a physical copy of a game, you get a case and a tangible booklet (sometimes). Plus, you can always trade the game back for some of its original value. If you go digital, you don't get those things, so some gamers may feel that a downloadable version of any game should be priced a bit lower.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata doesn't seem to have that same mentality, though. Despite the fact that the PlayStation Vita has boldly featured digital downloads that are cheaper than their physical counterparts, the Nintendo boss argues that downloadable games are in fact worth the same as tangible releases.

"We do not hold such a premise that digitally distributed software has less value," said Iwata. "Different people value different things. Some publishers believe that the digital versions should be cheaper while others insist that both versions must be set at exactly the same price. So, it is not only Nintendo’s idea. Each publisher has various ideas on this point and, among them, Nintendo is now offering both versions at the same price point (the same suggested retail price)."

Is Nintendo making a mistake by not pricing digital downloads lower than boxed copies? The company has certainly made a smart decision by deciding to offer digital and physical versions of major games for both the 3DS and Wii U. But is Nintendo's pricing model a huge step back? I like the idea of being able to have a 3DS without having so many 3DS game cards that can get lost or misplaced. But is it worth it to pay the same price when I can get a tangible copy that I can even trade back for some store credit if I'm unhappy with the game?

Nintendo, you may want to reconsider this strategy.


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