Only digital games - a possibility?

#1 Posted by Chumley_Marchbanks (150 posts) -

So I'm picking a Wii U tomorrow (getting a real good deal by trading in my Wii) and I'm seriously looking at only picking up digital copies of games. I know some people still prefer having physical copies of their games, but I'm pretty much done with them; I've been buying PC games digitally for a number of years now and I'm ready to do the same with this new generation of consoles. But Nintendo have been very slow at adapting to this new invention called the Internet (you may have heard of it) and I'm a little concerned about the feasibility of my plan. So here are a few questions that I'd really appreciate some answers to:

  1. Are game purchases tied to your Nintendo account or just your console? I know latter applies to the 3DS, which is why I won't be buying games digitally on it for the time being, but I hope I'm right in thinking Nintendo have rectified that with the Wii U.
  2. How much disparity is there generally between the prices of digital copies and physical copies of games?
  3. What is the storage management like on the Wii U? I won't be buying too many games for it (mainly first party games), but 32GB isn't a huge amount of space to deal with.

Many thanks.

#2 Edited by Hailinel (25201 posts) -

So I'm picking a Wii U tomorrow (getting a real good deal by trading in my Wii) and I'm seriously looking at only picking up digital copies of games. I know some people still prefer having physical copies of their games, but I'm pretty much done with them; I've been buying PC games digitally for a number of years now and I'm ready to do the same with this new generation of consoles. But Nintendo have been very slow at adapting to this new invention called the Internet (you may have heard of it) and I'm a little concerned about the feasibility of my plan. So here are a few questions that I'd really appreciate some answers to:

  1. Are game purchases tied to your Nintendo account or just your console? I know latter applies to the 3DS, which is why I won't be buying games digitally on it for the time being, but I hope I'm right in thinking Nintendo have rectified that with the Wii U.
  2. How much disparity is there generally between the prices of digital copies and physical copies of games?
  3. What is the storage management like on the Wii U? I won't be buying too many games for it (mainly first party games), but 32GB isn't a huge amount of space to deal with.

Many thanks.

  1. Game purchases are tied to your console. I don't know what the recovery process is like in the event of a breakage, but purchases you make are also tracked on your Club Nintendo account if you register games to it. Download purchases are automatically added to your Club Nintendo account, from what I recall.
  2. Digital versions of games are generally the same price as their physical counterparts at launch.
  3. The Wii U supports external hard drives up to 2TB in size, though it is also noted that only drives with external power sources (i.e.: that do not draw power through USB) are supported.

As far as going digital-only is concerned, I still buy all of my games physically when possible. I do buy digital games, but only titles that I can't buy elsewhere.

#3 Posted by ghostyTrickster (323 posts) -

I have a friend who has had to go through getting games back from 3DS, and he said it was actually surprisingly painless and simple.

Still, I don't trust it and still say go with physical purchases for Nintendo consoles until they make them account linked.

#4 Posted by Chumley_Marchbanks (150 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@chumley_marchbanks said:

So I'm picking a Wii U tomorrow (getting a real good deal by trading in my Wii) and I'm seriously looking at only picking up digital copies of games. I know some people still prefer having physical copies of their games, but I'm pretty much done with them; I've been buying PC games digitally for a number of years now and I'm ready to do the same with this new generation of consoles. But Nintendo have been very slow at adapting to this new invention called the Internet (you may have heard of it) and I'm a little concerned about the feasibility of my plan. So here are a few questions that I'd really appreciate some answers to:

  1. Are game purchases tied to your Nintendo account or just your console? I know latter applies to the 3DS, which is why I won't be buying games digitally on it for the time being, but I hope I'm right in thinking Nintendo have rectified that with the Wii U.
  2. How much disparity is there generally between the prices of digital copies and physical copies of games?
  3. What is the storage management like on the Wii U? I won't be buying too many games for it (mainly first party games), but 32GB isn't a huge amount of space to deal with.

Many thanks.

  1. Game purchases are tied to your console. I don't know what the recovery process is like in the event of a breakage, but purchases you make are also tracked on your Club Nintendo account if you register games to it. Download purchases are automatically added to your Club Nintendo account, from what I recall.
  2. Digital versions of games are generally the same price as their physical counterparts at launch.
  3. The Wii U supports external hard drives up to 2TB in size, though it is also noted that only drives with external power sources (i.e.: that do not draw power through USB) are supported.

As far as going digital-only is concerned, I still buy all of my games physically when possible. I do buy digital games, but only titles that I can't buy elsewhere.

Hmm, that's disappointing. After doing a bit more research it seems to me like it's really not a good idea to buy digital games (at least not expensive ones) on the eShop. I really can't fathom why Nintendo refuses to get with the times; if you buy a game digitally it should be attached to something that they can keep a service record of, just like it is with Steam, PSN, and Xbox Live. I'm not going to risk losing my purchases because my console breaks or something.

Thanks for the quick answers, much appreciated.

#5 Posted by Hailinel (25201 posts) -

@chumley_marchbanks: It's not a matter of "getting with the times" as much as it is having an account infrastructure in place that can provide that level of support. They've shown signs of moving in that direction, and adding NNID support to the 3DS (which will come in a system update next month) is a step in the right direction, but there's likely work that still needs to get done on both the back end of the network and in the console/handheld ends facing the consumers before such is really possible.

#6 Posted by Chumley_Marchbanks (150 posts) -

@hailinel: I appreciate that putting together network infrastructure is not an easy task, but the fact that every other digital game distributor that I can think of offered service records before the Wii U even launched is just unacceptable. Getting access to my purchased licenses at any time is part of the minimum level of service that I expect when I hand over money because at the end of the day I don't want what I paid for to be at the mercy of hardware or software failure.

#7 Edited by Hailinel (25201 posts) -

@hailinel: I appreciate that putting together network infrastructure is not an easy task, but the fact that every other digital game distributor that I can think of offered service records before the Wii U even launched is just unacceptable. Getting access to my purchased licenses at any time is part of the minimum level of service that I expect when I hand over money because at the end of the day I don't want what I paid for to be at the mercy of hardware or software failure.

Consider where Nintendo's service is compared to the Wii/DSi era. It's already taken a number of huge steps, but it needs to go further. I'm not saying that you should buy anything from the eShop; just saying that I'm willing to do so despite the service's limitations.

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