Hopefully this isnít going to get buried in the current spam-alanche.
I donít know how it is for people in North America, but in Europe you can change your region on your 3DS. Doing that will change the currency used in the eShop. So hereís the kicker: Depending on exchange rates, you can actually save some money doing this.
Usually not a huge amount, but some. And you can actually save a significant amount if you pick up the recently discounted Ocarina of Time (offer ends tomorrow by the way). Not all countries can save money by doing this, as it seems the prizes in pounds are the cheapest. Sorry, all you Brits. Iíll be using the exchange rates from xe.com, which seem pretty reliable. They are usually only 0.02 points lower than what my personal bank uses. And like I said, I donít know how it is for the North American 3DS. Maybe US prices are cheaper than Canadian prices. I donít have access to one, so I donít really know. Also, I don't know if you can do this on Wii U too.
Before I show of the fruits of my investigation, note that previously added funds you have stored in the eShop are not transferrable. Meaning that if you have 20 Euros, you will have zero pounds if you change your region the UK. And if your bank charges you a large fee for buying something in a foreign currency, or has really stupid exchange rates, it might not be worth it.
Now to the results. I havenít done all the eShop games, but a small selection of both first party titles and third party, full retail games, download-only and Virtual Console, which I think is a good representation of eShop prices. Take a look!
Big pic here
First the big one: Ocarina of Time for £19.99, which translates to Ä22.88. Now look at the eShop price for OoT in Euros. Ä 29.99! This means if you live in a country that uses Euros, you can save 7 Euros if you buy from the UK eShop. Maybe that doesnít sound like much, but take a look at what you can get for that amount in the eShop. Mighty Switch Force, Hana Samurai, Pullblox, Link's Awakening all cost less than 7 euros. So if you buy OoT from the UK eShop, the money you save is worth an entire downloadable-only game. Thatís a nice deal, isnít it? Two games for the price of one.
Itís quite strange really. For some reason, Nintendo decided to cut the price for OoT in the UK by 50 % but for other regions the discount is closer to 20-30 %. If youíre from New Zealand you can save 23 NZD. That amount gets you Dillonís Rolling Western or Mutant Mudds + maybe a Virtual Console game. If youíre from Sweden, you can save 87 Swedish kronar (kronas?), which nets you Crimson Shroud. And so on. I havenít compared all the prices, but thereís money to be saved here if youíre willing to put a little effort into it.
As for the rest of the eShop prices, they donít differ that much. On the smaller titles the difference isnít that significant, but you can still save some cash on the more expensive titles. Australians can save 10 kangaroo bucks on full priced first party retail stuff like Super Mario 3D Land if they use the UK eShop. Euro-countries can save 5 Euros on Sonic Racing in the UK eShop. Scandinavians can save 70-80 Skyrim dollars on Zero Escape by using the UK eShop. People in Poland and Switzerland can also save something on Zero Escape in the UK eShop And so on. You just have to be willing to look yourself, because my brain canít handle any more currency fiddling.
Thereís not much to gain for people in Russia, Poland and Switzerland. My general impression is that New Zealanders, Australians and Scandinavians are the ones who can benefit the most from changing regions, but, depending on the title, you can usually save a little even if youíre just from mainland Europe. Regardless, the main thing to look out for in the future are these special deals like OoT. Hopefully we will get more of them.
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