Nintendo keeping digital prices up, hints at mild compensation

Tied to new membership program

Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata addressed the fact that eShop games are priced the same as their retail counterparts despite the cost savings of digital distribution. This comes from an investor briefing reported live by Nstyles and translated by Cheesemeister. According to Iwata, it’s about maintaining perceived value, not unlike why Nintendo retail games are almost never priced down.

“We believe download versions have the same value and should be priced the same,” Iwata said. “Some companies price downloads cheaper due to the there being no used sales or store price reductions. We stress the value of Nintendo software, so we price the same.”

Ok, but that doesn’t necessarily excuse why we should pay the same. Digital has convenience, physical has safer ownership (save for snapping a disc with your fat ass) and saved hard drive space. “We plan to provide some benefit with the new membership service starting in the fall,” Iwata added.

You may remember that Club Nintendo is closing and that Nintendo is starting a new membership program this fall co-developed by mobile partner DeNA. It, “can be deployed on multiple devices, such as Nintendo’s game systems, smart devices and PCs.” Not sure how the service could give added value just to those who buy digitally, though.

Steven Hansen