Nintendo Explains why Digital Games are not Less Expensive than Physical

Satoru Iwata explains that Nintendo wants to constantly increase the value of its products for players.

Nintendo's president, Satoru Iwata released some interesting information at a recent Q & A session for investors. Notably why the gaming giant aims for price parity with its digital titles.

"Although the mainstream idea regarding the digital business in the industry before we actually started selling software in both digital and packaged formats last year was that the digital version should or must be priced lower than its packaged counterpart, we decided that, since the contents are the same, the company would offer the software at the same price, be it the packaged version or the digital version," 

Iwata went on to explain that the price would remain the same between digital and physical products because he wants to make sure consumers don't devalue digital games, he wants them to feel that they got their money's worth.

For games in highly recognizable franchises like Mario, or Pokèmon Iwata said that prospective customers see one of these games and instantly know that they will be getting more than what they paid for. 

Pictured here? Your Money's Worth

He said titles like Pokèmon X/Y and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon had strong sales both in physical and digital platforms. 

"Which shows that there are a number of people who believe that digital content holds the same value as its packaged counterpart," said Iwata.

The Nintendo president also said that many consumers tended to notice the convenience of digital purchases, such as not having to carry around multiple game cards, and as such consumers who made one digital purchase were more likely to make another. 

If only they had the eShop a few years back

Interestingly Iwata concluded saying that the company would be open to lowered prices on new intellectual properties, or for games from existing properties with new gameplay mechanics. This would be an attempt to boost sales for lesser known games that may otherwise quickly fade from consumers' consciousness. 

While I applaud Nintendo for using price parity as a form of quality assurance, would it kill them to drop prices every now and again? 

Published Nov. 6th 2013

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