What is the most important to you when you buy a game somewhere digitally? Note: Some of these options may not relate directly to Nintendo, but with digital game services in general, so just vote for the option that attracts you to digital game purchases in general.
1.) A reduced price from its physical counterpart - You like to get a great deal, and on some services, sales are frequent. Companies can price games a little lower without the physical overhead costs.
2.) Convenience of not having to use a physical disc - You don't have to put in a disc! Just click and start playing. You don't even have to worry about making room on the shelf!
3.) Having my game tied to a user account - Was your system lost or stolen? Did you lose track of where your disc was? No worries. Your game is tied to your user account, so you can easily redownload it. With your game tied to a user account, there is also the potential that your ownership of a game will extend to future platforms. Or, maybe you decide to get that new phone or computer - all of your purchases can simply be redownloaded after signing into your account.
4.) Playing my game across my current devices - Do you have a PC set up in the office, with your Macbook floating around somewhere else? Are you a Vita user who also owns a PS3? Do you have your iPad for home use, with the iPhone for on the go gaming? Click this option if you like having your games available across your current devices the most.
5.) Immediate game acquirement - Hey, this game just came out. You don't have to wait for it to ship. You don't have to camp out anywhere. Just click a link and it's yours...immediately (or however long it takes your device to download it).
6.) Other - Am I missing something? Feel free to post it here. Please to not say "ALL OF THE ABOVE" here, as I was just curious to see what the one thing is that attracts people most to digital purchases.
Edit: I may have to reword this somehow...I know there is some overlap. Having a game tied to your user account can really encompass many things, from playing your game across many devices, to future backwards compatibility. Let me know if you think I should repost this.
If you want to take a game you own to your buddies house you simply log in to your account on their device and download it. I've done this numerous times with Steam. Or if you trust them just give them your account info and they have access to your entire library whenever they want to use it.
Content tied to user accounts and available across devices should be standard... if Nintendo would offer this, I would buy mostly all of my games digitally. Because they aren't, I'm sticking to retail discs and roms/emulators.
Yeah, the VC situation has me pissed. I spent $5-12 on each of these old roms a few years ago and now they want to tell me I have to do so again if I want to play them on 3DS or Wii U? Oh, but they might be nice enough to offer a discount on select titles that I've already purchased! That pisses me off even more. Not happening. When I bought these games on Wii, I said that it's the last time I'm going to do so, and I meant it. By punishing my honesty, they've lost it. I will resort to emulation from this point on.
Lack of disc is a "convenience?" I DON'T THINK SO. What if I want to take the game to a friend's place, or loan it to somebody, or sell it? What if I want to swap it in the glorious Negative World Game Swap thread? And what if my fridge is full?
What if I don't feel like getting up off my fat, lazy ass? WHAT THEN?
I suppose the convenience factor is the best thing about digital downloads, but it's not the most important factor - or rather, the lure to my purchasing ways. The attraction, or what should be the attraction, is price. I don't have a problem paying full price for something, I just don't like the feeling of getting hosed. And it just seems as though the digital version should be cheaper. Maybe there are not so obvious factors at play that keep its cost matching the retail version, or maybe Nintendo wants to appease and support those businesses and suppliers that sell and distribute the physical copies. I don't know. What I do know is that unless the prices fall to what I deem a more palpable point, I'm getting physical for the foreseeable future - out of principle if anything else. That having been said, if New Leaf's save file can somehow support both the physical and digital versions, then I'll get both, given how Animal Crossing is kind of sort of a daily forever kind of series that screams convenience. If that makes any sense.
@nate38 What if your disc scratches or you lose it when you let a friend borrow it? I'm kind of playing devil's advocate here - there are pros and cons to both approaches. I was saying before that price is big for me - a low price on a game (like getting a game for $5 a couple years after it launches) for me, offsets the ability to let friends borrow games. At low prices like that, I think people would probably need to let others borrow games less, since they could more easily just buy them on their own. And you wouldn't feel compelled to sell them, because you didn't plunk down too much money for them.
Edit: Also...yeah, downloads on the Wii U have been pretty awful for me. For some reason it took me like 5 minutes just to download Balloon Fight (#firstworldproblems, obviously that's not a huge deal haha).
Wait, what? You don't have to re-purchase your VC titles on Wii U to play them. You can just transfer them over to from your Wii. You only have to "re-purchase" if you want to take advantage of the new features the Wii U offers, like MiiVerse and Save States.
@PogueSquadron Yeah I was mostly just contesting the points for fun. I'm not a stickler for either physical or downloads, they both have their inherent qualities worth considering. But it does all come down to price for me, mostly. I've bought so many Steam games since I built my gaming PC last fall...
a.) MS loses consumer/gamer market share to another operating system from Google or someone else b.) MS releases a version of Windows that starts to 'move forward' and put less emphasis on supporting old versions
What does Valve do then? I guess just start fresh? I suppose the advantage there is that buying a copy of Windows 7 is just a click away, and people could still easily keep 'legacy devices' around, while developers decide if they want to retool their games.
Steam aside (the PC is a different beast when it comes to digital), in general physical games are often much cheaper than digital versions because of the need to clear out physical stock. Day one they may be the same price, but wait a month or two and pretty much any xbox 360 game is $30 new or $20 used. And because of the lack of stock issues, there's no real need for sales other than to drive sales.
I'm not saying they shouldn't be cheaper and have good sales. It's just not what I've seen so far from consoles. The only games I've purchased/plan to purchase where I had a choice of format and have chosen digital has been because of convenience.
Sure, I can still play my VC and Wiiware games in Wii mode, and that is certainly nice... more than Sony is doing with PSN on PS4 apparently. But wouldn't it be a show of good will on Nintendo's part to offer these new features to people who have already paid for the content without nickle and diming them? And they should certainly carry over to 3DS. They got my $5 for Super Mario Bros 3, though I could just as easily have downloaded a rom for an equal (or in some ways superior) experience.
If companies want to put an end to piracy, stop used games sales, and get us to embrace digital downloads, they are going to have to meet the customer halfway and make the arrangment mutually beneficial. Steam has succeeded in each of these areas by providing an excellent service that makes people want to buy games digitally, comfortable with plopping down money for an immaterial purchase. People are loyal to Valve and the service is hugely profitable. Companies like Apple and Google have very wisely embraced these standards. This is the bar. Anything below this bar should be treated as unacceptable.
@Hinph Steam also does a great job on the mobile side of things. I can look at my Steam app and check out games, buy them, chat with friends, etc.
@gojira Agreed. On the console side of things, I'm way likelier to find a deal on physical copies of games. Sales are happening all the time at Best Buy, Newegg, Target, and even Gamestop. I just used my PowerUp Rewards coupon to get 3 games for $28 and change. Granted, these are games I can't even get digitally, but even if I could, I doubt I would've gotten them all for under $10 each.
@Xbob42 I buy my friends games really often because I do the same thing you do. I want them to play, so I buy it for them. But I still think lending games to people is better for those of us who have less cash. I am one of those people. Go figure.
EDIT: Fixed a typo that made it look like I run a slave trade :P
@Pokefreak911 I am one of those people who have less cash, hence why I buy all my games super cheap on Steam and GMG. :p Woo 50-60% off games that aren't even out yet! (I bought Borderlands 2 for $32 two weeks before it came out!)