It wasn’t too long ago that Nintendo didn’t offer consumers the option to buy AAA games as digital downloads. With Wii U and 3DS, Nintendo has expanded their digital strategy, and now nearly any game you can buy in stores can be downloaded, if that’s your preference. When asked about the impact, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime explained that retail still makes up a vast majority of Nintendo’s sales, but certain games have more appeal digitally. In the case of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, digital sales were higher than normal because people simply couldn’t wait to play it!
Question: A lot of people in the gaming industry are interested in the trends of physical versus digital sales and when the lines cross. What’s Nintendo seeing?
Fils-Aime: Retail still is the majority of the business for us. But what’s interesting is, game by game and at different points in time, you see a different consumer reaction. Smash Bros. for 3DS, consumers wanted that game immediately. They didn’t even want to spend the time to get in their car and drive to retail to get it, so our digital percent for that game is quite high — about 20 percent of the games sold here in the U.S. were digital, which is a pretty significant piece. Compare that to Bayonetta 2. That’s a huge game, and could take up a large part of the memory in the 32-gig Wii U. That’s a game with a digital percent on the lower side, today about 10 percent or so. Our mentality is, we want the consumer to have the choice based on what makes sense for you, what makes sense for the type of game it is.
If you purchased
Smash digitally, was the ability to start playing immediately a factor in your decision?