As we reported last month, Nintendo are planning to offer full retail games for customers to download on both the Nintendo 3DS and the upcoming Nintendo Wii U consoles. Though a starting date hasn’t been set for the service, as the company’s president, Satoru Iwata has been speaking out out about their pricing policy. Speaking to investors about Nintendo’s plans for the service, Iwata mentioned their decision to set the same recommended retail price (RRP) for retail games, whether they are bought in stores or downloaded from the eShop. According to him, it’s all about the software’s inherent value, and they’ve also spoken to other publishers about it. Iwata described their stance:
Different people value different things. If we said, “This is the only proposal we will make, so you have to take it,” it would be a problem as there would be no options for the consumers to choose from. On the contrary, what I explained today is that we are proposing the two formats of sales mechanisms from which our consumers can make their own choices. The needs of society shall be determined by the choices to be made by the consumers.
We do not hold such a premise that digitally distributed software has less value. In fact, as we have discussed this with a number of software publishers around the world, we have found that their opinions are completely divided on the topic of the price points of the digital distribution of packaged software. 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.
Even with that being the case though, retailers will still be able to set their own prices for the physical cards (which will have codes printed on them) that they sell in their stores. Nintendo have made their stance on the issue clear though, so we’ll know what to expect when the service launches later this year. So, what do you think? Let us know in the comments below.