90% of 3DS Users Prefer Retail

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90% of 3DS Users Prefer Retail

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Digital downloads on the 3DS account for only 3-10% of full game sales.

Say what you want about the precarious position of the retail videogames market, but it's not dead just yet. If 3DS owners are any indication, it's actually doing just fine. Nintendo's most recent financial report contained a number of disappointing findings for the developer, one of which is its digital sales on the 3DS. When offered the choice between buying a full-priced game at retail and downloading its analogue, gamers around the world went with the brick-and-mortar option 90-97% of the time.

"[The] world average ratio of digital download sales of packaged software as of the end of September varied from slightly more than 3% to slightly over 10% of the total sales," according to Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo, who gave a presentation on the company's financial standing. Iwata noted that these Nintendo finds these numbers satisfactory, especially since the company made no concerted effort to advertise the availability of full games in the 3DS shop. At least one game, which Iwata opted not to name, achieved 15% of its total sales digitally. "[We] consider it to be a promising start to our new attempt."

One further point of interest: Of all Nintendo's global markets, consumers in the United States seemed the most eager to embrace digital downloads, followed by Japan in a somewhat more distant second. "The ratios in Europe and Australia are relatively small," said Iwata. Digital download sales benefit Nintendo, since more of the money goes directly to the company instead of third party retailers. Sooner or later, it will begin a concentrated push that encourages consumers to download 3DS games, and gamers can observe whether retail games will slowly go the way of the dead tree book.

Source: Nintendo

Permalink

Once Nintendo/Game Freak get Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow onto Virtual Console. Then I'll prefer digital over retail.

3DS owners prefer physical media over digital distribution? This is non-news. Lack of a large hard drive to store whole libraries and the tendancy to use the 3Ds (and other handhelds) in areas where WiFi signals might not be present (on planes, car trips) means that the only way to bring your library along is with physical media.

I'd like to see a similar poll with PC users. I imagine the ratios would be swapped.

The offerings on their digital store is actually pathetic. There are not good games on the store. I look at it regularly and I'm super disappointed every time. The biggest offering tends to be in the area of 3D versions of old games. That is stupid. couple that with the fact that any game you can buy retail can be traded in later. All these super late adopters of digital are still so far behind the times. Steam is integrating a game trading system in their digital store. The consoles are only just getting in there with digital content worth anything, only to fall years behind yet again. Then, in final last place is Nintendo's terrible digital offering. They haven't even moved beyond their idiotic block system for memory counting.

As you can tell, I'm a bit disappointed as a Nintendo fan in their offerings. It's not so quaint right now be so behind the times.

If they had a price drop, then I might consider purchasing one. As it stands, I'm not greatly inclined to drop £40 on a game when they usually are between £30 and £35 physical. Not sure about what happens if your 3DS breaks down but I'd hope there would be some sort of back-up system.

TimeLord:
Once Nintendo/Game Freak get Pokemon Red and Blue onto Virtual Console. Then I'll prefer digital over retail.

Your a TimeLord, tell me. Will they EVER do something like that?

I'd be buying Liberation Maiden right now if it wasn't hard to connect to my university's wireless.

Baresark:
The offerings on their digital store is actually pathetic. There are not good games on the store. I look at it regularly and I'm super disappointed every time. The biggest offering tends to be in the area of 3D versions of old games. That is stupid. couple that with the fact that any game you can buy retail can be traded in later. All these super late adopters of digital are still so far behind the times. Steam is integrating a game trading system in their digital store. The consoles are only just getting in there with digital content worth anything, only to fall years behind yet again. Then, in final last place is Nintendo's terrible digital offering. They haven't even moved beyond their idiotic block system for memory counting.

As you can tell, I'm a bit disappointed as a Nintendo fan in their offerings. It's not so quaint right now be so behind the times.

So what you're saying is that Nintendos new hand held is keeping up with Sonys new hand held?

Capitano Segnaposto:

TimeLord:
Once Nintendo/Game Freak get Pokemon Red and Blue onto Virtual Console. Then I'll prefer digital over retail.

Your a TimeLord, tell me. Will they EVER do something like that?

If enough people keep shouting at them to either do this or an open world full 3D Pokemon game then hopefully.

It's very simple:

When prices are the same, I will go for the more-convenient or more-valuable route. Since digital downloads not only are limited to my own 3DS only but are also unable to be sold AND don't come with an instruction manual, I'd rather get a physical copy.

I go for physical media 100% of the time. This is to the point that I am having second thoughts about buying digital only games like Pushmo, Liberation Maiden, etc. I have some downloadable games on my 3DSs but they're all from the ambassador program. As I've said in other posts though; when I spend money (especially significant amounts) I want something that I can show for it.

...the 3DS has a digital store?[1]

[1] Yes, I know it does, I was making a joke. I never knew how to get onto it anyway.

I imagine it has more to do with their generally lack-luster selection of games on the eShop, the somewhat impractical inferface of the eShop itself, and other assorted problems like storage or internet connectivity.

Seems to me those problems would need to be fixed before one could conclusively prove that retail is preferable to digital sales, since the entire point of digital sales is for convenience and selection, and Nintendo's eShop is not presently offering either of these in abundance just yet.

The results are roughly parelel to the amount off efforts Nintendo has been putting in to actually making people WANT to buy games digitally

chadachada123:
It's very simple:

...We kill the Gamestop.

snekadid:

Baresark:
The offerings on their digital store is actually pathetic. There are not good games on the store. I look at it regularly and I'm super disappointed every time. The biggest offering tends to be in the area of 3D versions of old games. That is stupid. couple that with the fact that any game you can buy retail can be traded in later. All these super late adopters of digital are still so far behind the times. Steam is integrating a game trading system in their digital store. The consoles are only just getting in there with digital content worth anything, only to fall years behind yet again. Then, in final last place is Nintendo's terrible digital offering. They haven't even moved beyond their idiotic block system for memory counting.

As you can tell, I'm a bit disappointed as a Nintendo fan in their offerings. It's not so quaint right now be so behind the times.

So what you're saying is that Nintendos new hand held is keeping up with Sonys new hand held?

Haha, I suppose that I am. Handheld gaming is awesome and I hate the concept of it running behind phone games. But the offerings on my phone are mostly better, with exceptions being the RE game on the 3DS and some of their better remakes.

I count myself fortunate that my campus has decent enough wi-fi. I get plenty of the little digital games like Pushmo and Mighty Switch Force, but they're not that big. I wouldn't be able to store all the games I want to get on the card that comes with the system. Only reason I got New Super Mario Bros 2 digitally is because there is no game store anywhere on campus. It isn't that bad, but I've only gotten one game. I can already see it being a problem down the road.

I've heard that this is because

1) No real sales to speak of
2) No real library to speak of
3) No real hard drive space to store them on

Of course, I don't own a 3DS so I can't verify any of that, but it wouldn't surprise me.

CriticKitten:
I imagine it has more to do with their generally lack-luster selection of games on the eShop, the somewhat impractical inferface of the eShop itself, and other assorted problems like storage or internet connectivity.

Seems to me those problems would need to be fixed before one could conclusively prove that retail is preferable to digital sales, since the entire point of digital sales is for convenience and selection, and Nintendo's eShop is not presently offering either of these in abundance just yet.

This might be exclusive to Europe (or possibly just Sweden/Scandinavia), but one thing in particular that strikes me is that the new 3DS titles are released a lot earlier in physical stores than the eShop. If I wanted to pick up Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance or Heroes of Ruin I have to hoof it to Torp or take the train down to Gothenburg to get them, because the eShop won't sell them despite the fact that they have been in stores for several months.

Not that I would buy them online anyway (me being one of those dinosaurs that prefers physical copies), but as it inconveniences the customer with this the eShop probably won't see much large-scale use until Nintendo changes this stance towards its DD platform.

Ah well, it has at least given me Dillion´s Rolling Western, so there is that. ;)

JoJo:
If they had a price drop, then I might consider purchasing one. As it stands, I'm not greatly inclined to drop £40 on a game when they usually are between £30 and £35 physical. Not sure about what happens if your 3DS breaks down but I'd hope there would be some sort of back-up system.

A friend of mine traded his 3DS with a new one (Zelda edition) and he was able to get all of his software running on it without any problems. The only limitation is that you have to wait a week before you can swap to another system after that. The chance of going through 3 in a week is low though.

OT: Well, the game library on the 3DS isn't very big so I guess I can understand why. I bought New Super Mario Bros. 2 and Professor Layton is being released in hour so I will pick that up tomorrow morning. I like it since it makes it possible to get by without changing cartridges when I want to play my games, downside being that I can't lend them out to friends.

Ne1butme:
3DS owners prefer physical media over digital distribution? This is non-news. Lack of a large hard drive to store whole libraries and the tendancy to use the 3Ds (and other handhelds) in areas where WiFi signals might not be present (on planes, car trips) means that the only way to bring your library along is with physical media.

I'd like to see a similar poll with PC users. I imagine the ratios would be swapped.

gotta agree, any common person could point this out about the 3DS, and as mentioned, if this were the pc it would be flipped, since downloads are so easy now a days not to mention hard drive space a plenty.

I really hope they don't take this to heart "oh noez! don't impliment digitalz!"

that, and they need to lower the digital price by like 5 bucks, i guarantee taht would get quite a few people's interest and they still probably make a net profit compared to what they are making via retail.

I think it's good that they are looking to improve instead of twisting this information to make it look like digital downloads don't work for the 3DS.

Right now digital sales are low because the quality of the product is low; the 3DS store is pretty crappy. Add more full titles, and more virtual titles that people actually want and ask for, and I think it's doubtless they'll see an improvement.

Ne1butme:
in areas where WiFi signals might not be present (on planes, car trips) means that the only way to bring your library along is with physical media.

I agree with the hard drive space being a real problem, but I don't understand this part. You can bring your digital library with you and not have a wifi signal, you just have to download them once and you can then play them whenever you want, offline. Much the same way that you can take your physical library with you, but you have to buy the physical library first.
Personally I think it would be more convenient to take a digital library because that means less to carry, less to worry about losing, damaging, etc.

TimeLord:
Once Nintendo/Game Freak get Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow onto Virtual Console. Then I'll prefer digital over retail.

oh yeah, If I could buy them on my DSi then I would.

Gearhead mk2:
...the 3DS has a digital store?

This was mostly my reaction. Yes including the footnotes.

When you make something unfriendly to your user then of course they're not going to use it. Complete with a very lackluster selection and not alot of backlog. Why would people bother?

Nintendo have a shite online presence, this shouldn't be a surprise.

Marshall Honorof:
90% of 3DS Users Prefer Retail

image

Digital downloads on the 3DS account for only 3-10% of full game sales.

Say what you want about the precarious position of the retail videogames market, but it's not dead just yet. If 3DS owners are any indication, it's actually doing just fine. Nintendo's most recent financial report contained a number of disappointing findings for the developer, one of which is its digital sales on the 3DS. When offered the choice between buying a full-priced game at retail and downloading its analogue, gamers around the world went with the brick-and-mortar option 90-97% of the time.

"[The] world average ratio of digital download sales of packaged software as of the end of September varied from slightly more than 3% to slightly over 10% of the total sales," according to Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo, who gave a presentation on the company's financial standing. Iwata noted that these Nintendo finds these numbers satisfactory, especially since the company made no concerted effort to advertise the availability of full games in the 3DS shop. At least one game, which Iwata opted not to name, achieved 15% of its total sales digitally. "[We] consider it to be a promising start to our new attempt."

One further point of interest: Of all Nintendo's global markets, consumers in the United States seemed the most eager to embrace digital downloads, followed by Japan in a somewhat more distant second. "The ratios in Europe and Australia are relatively small," said Iwata. Digital download sales benefit Nintendo, since more of the money goes directly to the company instead of third party retailers. Sooner or later, it will begin a concentrated push that encourages consumers to download 3DS games, and gamers can observe whether retail games will slowly go the way of the dead tree book.

Source: Nintendo

Permalink

Well yea, but it's only recently that Nintendo began offering actually GOOD games for download (like the Legend of Zelda).

Talk to me in a year or two when the program is fully implemented and THEN I might take your point seriously.

Yeah I can happily say I contributed to this. When I buy I game, I want the game. Not an extended rental that could be lost because of:
Loss of service
Loss of internet
Incompatible new model that cannot be transferred to
A post I leave on a Nintendo message board that the mods aren't fond of
[insert any # of other things here]

I also like video games outside of just playing them, which means I really do want the box and everything to put up on my shelf.

The biggest problem is that there is not an account to tie your purchases to. They are tied to the hardware and cannot be used on other hardware, just like digital downloads on the Wii.

Why would anyone buy a retail 3DS game (Zelda OoT, NSMB2, etc...) via digital download when it is the same price as the physical copy and can only be used on one 3DS?

There's nothing to buy on that store. That's why.

scotth266:
I've heard that this is because

1) No real sales to speak of
2) No real library to speak of
3) No real hard drive space to store them on

Of course, I don't own a 3DS so I can't verify any of that, but it wouldn't surprise me.

As a 3DS owner I can confirm all 3 of these are great reasons why I prefer retail. The console/handheld market hasn't quite yet figured out that digital copies are supposed to be cheaper than retail (or at least go on sale more often). Steam sales have gotten me to try hundreds of games I would have never played because the price was too high. Also when I talk about digital sales I don't mean $3.75 off a game like some meager vita attempts have been.

kir4:
There's nothing to buy on that store. That's why.

Was gonna come here to say this.

Pretty much, there's absolutely nothing of value on the store. Sure there's Zelda: Link's Awakening, but that's just one game.

The store is full of overpriced crap, even the applications are a joke.

TimeLord:
Snip

I just have to say your avatar is awesome. It caught me off guard when I scrolled back past it. Very unnerving...

OT: The 3DS just doesn't have enough space for entire gaming libraries. That and the lack of available games for download makes this statistic no surprise.

I don't even remotely prefer retail, and have a big enough SD for it not to be a problem, but the prices are silly. £10-15 less if you buy the games off amazon. It's just not worth it in any way shape or form.

If you want it to work, cut the price. I don't mind paying for convenience, but 30%+ extra is a no-go.

Mimsofthedawg:

Marshall Honorof:
Snip

Well yea, but it's only recently that Nintendo began offering actually GOOD games for download (like the Legend of Zelda).

Talk to me in a year or two when the program is fully implemented and THEN I might take your point seriously.

So you've decided to ignore reality because in the future it may change?

I think this is a big part due to their crappy estore. Their selection is minuscule, and it feels like Nintendo doesn't care. If they had more virtual console games available, also combined with full games, I could see it getting more popular. Oh, and also their ludicrous system of tying purchase to devices.

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