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NES games on 3DS. How do you feel about having to re-buy them? [roundtable]
Hey-oh there, Negative World.

So, I've got a question for y'all. As we all know, 3DS's Virtual Console has not only classic portable games for download, but now also NES games as well. And while I'm pretty sure the topic of having to re-buy digital copies of Virtual Console games we already own on Wii has come up before in various threads, I don't think there's a thread strictly dedicated to it. I wanted to get your thoughts on the subject, how you feel overall about it, and whether or not you've downloaded any NES games yet, or plan to in the future. (Ambassador games don't count, since we got 'em all "for free" anyway)

I bring this up mostly because of the recent (re)launch of Punch-Out!! on Virtual Console. I enjoy this old classic quite a bit. But I've already downloaded it on Wii - I was a little disappointed that to play it on my 3DS, I'd have to buy it on 3DS.

Well, "a little disappointed" maybe isn't the right term. I was actually kind of upset about it. Like seriously, Nintendo? What is this garbage? You really expect me to purchase a game I already own? Why can't I just transfer my Wii VC library to my 3DS library? Is it really that hard? Sony allows Playstation 3 users to transfer their PSOne games to their PSP (and now Vita) and back again at no charge. Why can't you be the same?!? This is ridiculous.

But then I also considered something else. Nintendo has actually given me this game (Punch-Out!!) for free before; it was an unlockable in the Gamecube version of Animal Crossing. Maybe throwing Nintendo an extra $5 isn't all that bad - I mean, they let me play it for "free" before, maybe I can kind of "pay them back" this way? And hey. It's only $5. It's not like it's gonna break me. Right?

Hrm. I guess if I followed that line of logic I could justify the re-purchase in my mind. But c'mon, it's the principal of the thing. Right? And so what, Nintendo gave me a "free" version of the game last gen, does that really give them a free pass at my wallet THIS gen? What have they given me for free this time around?

Ok, well, I guess we can count the pre-loaded games that come standard on every 3DS. The StreetPass Mii Plaza's Puzzle Swap and Find Mii/Find Mii 2 are very fun and very social games that are really addicting. And there's actually a surprising amount of stuff to play with those AR cards. Even Face Raiders is more fun than I care to admit. So there are those. And I suppose we could also count the Pokédex 3D? It's not really a game, but kind of a cool app for Pokéfans. Oh! And we can't forget they gave us 3D Classics: Excitebike for free, too. And The Legend of Zelda: 4 Swords Anniversary Edition - despite the fact they could have charged us all $10 and we all likely would have bought it. .....aaaaaaaaaand I guess we can even count the redeemable codes from Club Nintendo that allow us to download games for "free" from the Wii's downloadable service, as well as the 3DS's. (yeah, they are free. Unless you're going out buying games *just* to earn Club Nintendo Coins, you're just getting rewards for buying stuff you would have bought anyway) And speaking of redeemable codes, I should also mention Nintendo's giving me 3D Classics: Kid Icarus for free next week too. Simply because I pre-ordered Kid Icarus: Uprising - again, something I was going to do anyway. So yeah, there's another free game, and it's not even a simple ROM dump.

And that's all without taking into account the 20 Ambassador games. Hm. Looking at it this way, the $5 for Punch-Out!! doesn't seem all that bad. Right? Or... maybe not?

I dunno. It's kind of a strange situation to be in, personally. I can find ways to make it "OK" in my mind to buy Punch-Out!! on 3DS - even though it's not a 3D Classic entry, which is baffling in and of itself. How is THIS game not in 3D, yet freakin' Urban Champion is? That makes no sense whatsoever. But is thinking this way making me some kind of irrational Nintendo fanboy/apologist? I don't really know.

So anyway, what are your thoughts, Negative World? Are you going to buy NES games on 3DS? Are you upset that you can't transfer your Wii Virtual Console games to it?

tl;dr version: Just answer the question in the subject title!

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Posted: 03/18/12, 04:45:53  - Edited by 
 on: 03/19/12, 05:31:44
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@Hinph I guess so. But I also think "definitive version" is just a tagline to sell more copies to people who already own it. I mean, they're essentially the same games as their N64 counterparts. I don't need a definitive version.
Posted: 03/18/12, 20:30:37
I don't know how to feel about it, but I suppose I like the games better portable.

@Mop it up

The NES screen resolution was actually LOWER than the 3DS (both screens), so it's not like it requires a giant amount of money.
Posted: 03/18/12, 20:36:02
It's 2012. You would have to be incredibly high to purchase a game made in the 1980s at this point. I in no way, shape or form advocate pirating anything close to being a new product (in fact I've honest to God never done it one time, if I want something that came out in the past ten years or so I pay for it, and in the case of GoG if you are going to make it so cheap that going through the hassle of pirating it doesn't make sense I wont then either), however when it takes less than five minutes to download every game ever made on the NES and SNES, the thought of paying way too much money for those games so long after the fact when most any of the ones I want to play I've already paid for at several points in the past is appalling.
Posted: 03/18/12, 20:42:16
@cozzinAh, so it is, my mistake. I thought they were still 256x192 like previous DS systems, but I looked it up and it looks like they are higher.
Posted: 03/18/12, 20:45:35
I don't even consider it piracy at this point... I've purchased Super Mario Bros 3 on NES, Gameboy Advance, and the Wii Virtual Console. I own it several times over. If I want to play it on an emulator, I'm going to, and there's nothing morally wrong with it.
Posted: 03/18/12, 20:47:00
Oldmanwinter said:
It's 2012. You would have to be incredibly high to purchase a game made in the 1980s at this point.
You're on a board full of people who do that on a regular basis. Why are you being a douche?
Posted: 03/18/12, 20:53:56
Guillaume said:
Oldmanwinter said:
It's 2012. You would have to be incredibly high to purchase a game made in the 1980s at this point.
You're on a board full of people who do that on a regular basis. Why are you being a douche?

I'm not being a douche. I'm speaking my mind. I personally think its batshit crazy to keep buying the same games over and over and over again on different platforms. You get my money once.
Posted: 03/18/12, 21:30:44
There are some games I'd repurchase for the nostalgia others games I may have not played or was too young to appreciate. Out of that there are only a handful I'd ever repurchase (for both Wii and 3DS VC).

I feel that the need to repurchase for 3DS AND Wii VC pretty crappy. Despite the modifications for screen resolutions they are milking it. Further I feel that Nintendo is really lax or holding out on a way to double dip yet again with the lack of multiplayer features on 3DS VC games. I can swapnote, play MK7 online... on emulators I can "tunnel" for multiplayer. There's no excuse in 2012 that multiplayer isn't part of the Virtual Console package on 3DS.
Posted: 03/18/12, 21:56:11
@Oldmanwinter But a lot of us never bought a lot of these games in the past. Personally I only owned maybe 10 NES games. When I buy an NES game on VC 9 times out of 10 it is a game that I never owned.

I agree 100% that I shouldn't be forced to rebuy games on 3DS that I already bought on Wii. But to act like there is no reason to buy any of these games in 2012 period... that's just silly. I'm not rebuying games, I'm buying them for the first time... at a pretty respectable price all things considered. Why shouldn't Nintendo/other developers get that money?

I don't really understand where the 10 year limit for advocating piracy comes from. If it's new to me, it's new to me.
Posted: 03/18/12, 22:08:26  - Edited by 
 on: 03/18/12, 22:09:15

I'm buying games from the 80s for the first time. Am I "batshit crazy"?

Seriously, dude, you can speak your mind with more respect. I don't recall anyone calling you batshit crazy when you've repeatedly claimed to have way more games on Steam than you'll ever play, or that back in the day you'd blow through hundreds of dollars in a single evening on booze and cocaine. Don't tell people what to do with their money.
Posted: 03/18/12, 22:11:01

Buying hundreds of games you don't play and blowing any sum of money on cocaine... ever... is batshit crazy. I never said it wasn't. Lighten up, if I want to make a general comment regarding how I personally feel about buying games that are 30 years old, in a thread dedicated to that topic, many of which have already been purchased several times over, I'll make it. Quit acting like I was viciously personally attacking people.
Posted: 03/18/12, 22:23:39
Well... you did use a pretty poor choice of words. Obviously some people will take offense when you call a practice that makes perfect sense to them "batshit insane". It kind of instantly takes the level of dialogue down a few notches.
Posted: 03/18/12, 22:39:40  - Edited by 
 on: 03/18/12, 22:40:03
I've purchased Doom I & II on PC, SNES, 32X, Playstation, XBLA, iOS, & GBA.

I'll likely get it on next-gen systems if I can.

I've got zero problem with this.
Posted: 03/18/12, 23:13:20
@New Forms

Yeah, but we're talking about a whole lot of different platforms, manufacturers, and publishers throughout the years in that case.

When it comes to these Virtual Console games, it's all Nintendo. It would be completely audacious for Google or Apple to ask you to re-buy all of your apps again every time you get a new phone or tablet... it would be completely audacious for Valve to ask that you re-buy all of your computer games on every machine you own.

It's a new age. It's completely audacious for Nintendo to ask me to buy my Virtual Console games all over again. They need to evolve and finally tie all of our activity under one account like every other digital content provider.
Posted: 03/18/12, 23:18:48

It remains to be seen if we'll have to rebuy anything on the Wii U's VC. I'm pretty sure we won't. We didn't have to re-buy DSiware after all.

I can understand Nintendo making people pay for a portable version of games already bought on VC, though, no matter what Sony does. But they'll have a much harder time justifying making people pay to get these games on a new home console.
Posted: 03/18/12, 23:26:38
Nintendo should let you play your Virtual Console games on either platform. Having to rebuy them is absolutely stupid.
Posted: 03/19/12, 00:00:15

Good point.

Having a single account that graduates to newer hardware is a relatively new thing.

Ideally if game code is unchanged and available for older and newer hardware, then yes, one should be able to transfer a recorded purchase from one device to another...provided that the code is the same for both platforms.

I'm just getting used to the idea of a unified account across multiple platforms myself. I'm just coming from a place of long ago accepting that the same classic game would require a repurchases on newer hardware.
Posted: 03/19/12, 00:01:20
This is yet another reason why Nintendo needs a unified network for online play and transactions. Then again I've only bought a couple of games off the VC.
Posted: 03/19/12, 01:13:13
Guillaume said:
I'll say what I always say: I way, wayyyy more upset at these NES roms clogging up the eShop release schedule than I am about Nintendo charging for them.

One classic release a week is already pathetic. When that classic release is something we already got on the NES, then it's as if we had gotten none that week, as far as I'm concerned.

Nintendo can charge whatever the hell they want for them, though. I don't love their old NES games enough to want to buy them again, so I don't.

I agree with this. I would absolutely rather that they allow me to transfer them, but whatever, because I'm not going to re-buy every single VC game I bought on Wii anyway. What bugs me is clogging up the release schedule not only with games that were already re-released on the Virtual Console five years ago, but with games that were already re-released to many of us on 3DS! There is absolutely no reason they should be announcing to the world that Super Mario Bros. is finally available for sale on the eShop when we could be getting games like Wario Land.

If they want to charge for them, just put all the NES games up there now and announce the GameBoy games that haven't ever been re-released.
Posted: 03/19/12, 01:48:29  - Edited by 
 on: 03/19/12, 01:49:21
@Tranquilo It's an interesting point that you bring up, because this is still relatively uncharted territory (though granted, I don't have much experience with the Sony side of things)

"Should these purchases be tied to a platform (handheld/console), or should they be tied to an account?" There are other examples of tying purchases to an account that don't seem to have been too detrimental (though it's a practice that is still in its infancy). With many iPhone games, if you buy a game, you can play it on an iPad. If you have a DS, you can transfer your purchases to your 3DS (even though they're both handhelds, it's an example of these purchases being fluid across devices). And of course, if you use Steam, many games are cross platform between Mac and PC. I can play Bit.Trip.Runner on my PC, bring my Macbook Pro out somewhere, and using the cloud save, I can pick up where I left off.

So I guess it's kind of safe to say that right now, Nintendo is in the minority when it comes to this. Not all iPad games are instantly available on the iPhone (I think), so companies are still tying purchases to platforms, but more and more, the idea of tying a purchase to an ACCOUNT is becoming the norm.

To me, I would think that Nintendo would want to move in that direction. Yes, they lose sales on people doubling up on purchases (NES games for instance)...but it's not like this is a major part of their revenue model, is it? If they're that worried about continuing to make revenue off of Super Mario Bros. and other NES games, then I think they need to start shifting their priorities. In the long run I think they'd be better off syncing purchases across platforms and having a "Nintendo ecosystem" of games. They wouldn't get those double-dip sales, but I think the image of their shop would become much more appealing to the consumer. I know it gets me excited.

I won't agree with Oldmanwinter 100%...but to me, if I'm going to spend $5-$8 on a 25 year old game, then yes I would hope they'd be playable on both the console and handheld. I don't want to sound entitled, but to me it's a lot of money for a game to just be limited to one device.

Also, yes, I agree - these NES games should not be clogging up the eShop. This is NOT what I got my 3DS for. If all of my VC purchases were available instantly on my 3DS, well that would be a different story. IMO, any of the following should happen:

a.) All of the Wii's Virtual Console library should be available off the bat. Sales should happen once a week.
b.) None of the Wii's Virtual Console library should appear until a significant amount of Classic Handheld games have been released.
c.) These NES games should still come out - but not in PLACE of Classic Handheld games. They should be appearing in larger numbers ALONGSIDE these Classic Handheld games.

(In addition, I would hope that the eShop would be much easier to navigate all of this, but that's another story entirely)

I don't see why it has to be an either/or situation. Just throw all the damn games on there and put them on sale now and then. Many of these games are so old - I don't understand why Nintendo would throw away the idea of putting retro games on sale. The volume of purchases will make up for the lower price points.

EDIT: I'm procrastinating right now so I'm just going to say this - this thread, and some snooping around the eShop, really makes me want to make a thread about how fucked up I think the eShop is and how horribly organized it is. Maybe that'll be a future podcast topic for me.
Posted: 03/19/12, 03:20:14  - Edited by 
 on: 03/19/12, 03:52:22
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