Nintendo says 3rd party eShop sales exceeding boxed retail in the US, promises to upgrade Switch eShop for "better discoverability"

A couple more tidbits revealed by Nintendo at their Nindies event at GDC show both great news for Nintendo's digital storefronts, as well as a promise to improve the eShop experience.

- digital sales of third-party games for Switch and 3DS are exceeding sales of its traditional "boxed" games in the US
- plan to upgrade the eShop's UI for "better discoverability"

Categories: Consoles, Portables
Tags: 3ds, eshop, switch


Top Rated Comment
Tue Mar 20 18 06:42pm
Rating: 4

Indies are third parties, by definition. I grow weary of people who not only don't realize that but actively and persistently argue otherwise.

You know what helps me discover on my daily journey through life?
Music. Reeeeaaaal nice music...

Music distracts you from buying.

Tue Mar 20 18 04:23pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

So the eShop's finally going to get categories?!? Good god, finally! Now hopefully this means the rest of the Switch UI will no longer feel like a souless shell. Took a year for a typical day one feature of online stores to be part of the eShop. The Wii U eShop still puts the Switch one to shame though, and it'll take tons to out-do it

I wouldn't plan on it anytime soon though. Remember Nintendo only has 6 people working on UI features. 4 of them are currently working on avatar icons for Smash, Pokemon, and Metroid Prime 4. I wouldn't expect folders, themes, eshop revamp, virtual console, cloud saving, etc. until 2023.

Well, why buy physical when you have to download part of the game anyway

Tue Mar 20 18 06:38pm
Rating: 2

In many cases it's still cheaper, AND you still save some storage.

But the games need SD-cards and they are useless IF you don’t have Internet (if you want to start it up outside, for some reason)when you plug it in and it make selling them in the future when (IF) eshop is dead pointless

All my switch games work fine without an SD card. Not every game requires a download.

Tue Mar 20 18 04:49pm
Rating: 3

I can understand the appeal of having all your games digital, especially on the Switch, but I love having a physical copy of my game. You never know when something can go wrong with your device.

In the days of the 3DS, I'd totally agree. All the save data was on the cart and it was much saver having it on a cart instead of in the system memory. Unfortunately, since they no longer do so on the Switch, it's kinda pointless to buy smaller sized games in a physical form unless it's for the novelty or they include goodies (which is why I like the Nicalis stuff and am excited for Limited Run Games stuff too)

I’ll just redownload my games on a new Switch.

You never know when you might lose a game cartridge.

Tue Mar 20 18 04:52pm
Rating: 2 (Updated 2 times)

I have to say, the Switch lends itself nicely to digital versions of games. When you take the system on the go, it’s so much more convenient to have all your games at your finger tips. Not to mention, with how speedy the UI and game suspension/switching is, it just all ends up feeling really nice and seamless to not have to fumble around with cartridges.

Agreed. I have 32 games all digital. Switch is the perfect platform for it or would be if they made bigger microsd cards. I own a 400 gb micro sd card (biggest on the market currently) and only have 100gb of storage left. Once I buy Crash, Dark Souls, South Park, Hyrule Warriors, Tropical Freeze, Mario Tennis, Wolfenstein 2, and Captain Toad my storage is completely gone. Not to mention I still have Octo Expansion and DK Rabbids DLC on the way too to take up space...

Same for me. I started getting into digital with my PS3...carried it over with PS4...and am LOVING digital with my Switch. I have a few games in cartridge (Odyssey, Splatoon, Disgaea...a few others), but the vast majority of my Switch game purchases are digital. The speed and convenience of loading and sleeping the games is just too good...and having (almost) my whole Switch game library with me...on the go...anywhere and everywhere I go...is something to behold. I NEVER thought I'd be saying this...but...digital is now the best way to go for me (having Skyrim full digital is a dream...never leaves my Switch!).

What a load of shovel. Physical 4 Life!

Become a believer Smile

I know this is an unfortunate inevitability for you but if you stay physical for life, there will come a point (relatively soon) where you no longer can play new games.

Yeah but in 10 years you won't be playing any of the digital games you bought because you won't be able to redownload them Smile

Well I can't play any of my PS1 physical games cause my PS3 is wierd and only shows half the screen and PS4 doesn't play PS1 games.

Couple of things to keep in mind:
Updates and DLC will also be unavailable in 10 years, making your physically copy incomplete...
Cartridges can be easily misplaced, damaged or destroyed...
If you're system isn't working in 10 years, you won't be playing them physically or digitally...
There's always the chance the games are re-released on new consoles, so yeah, you technically will be able to redownload them...

Honestly, there's advantages and disadvantages either way... it's just a matter of what's the better risk...

Oh I will - I’ll just have to re-pay for their super remastered dx turbo versions on the latest system Smile

I used be a physical only kinda guy thinking “I’ll replay all these physical copies someday” - those days never came so I gave up and switched (pun intended) to digital only where possible for the convenience factor.

Sorry but confusion over 3rd party sales or Indie sales? Nintendo would never twist things.

Tue Mar 20 18 06:45pm
Rating: 3 (Updated 1 time)

Pretty sure Indies and third parties the same thing... also pretty sure Nintendo sees them that way.

It's the same thing.

Wed Mar 21 18 02:39pm
Rating: 1

And luckily they aren’t, but you are.

Indie developers are just as much a 3rd Party publisher to Nintendo as anyone else who puts games out on their systems. If it isn’t developed and/or published in-house by Nintendo (1st Party,) then it’s 3rd Party (everyone else.)

Tue Mar 20 18 06:42pm
Rating: 4

Indies are third parties, by definition. I grow weary of people who not only don't realize that but actively and persistently argue otherwise.

I'm curious how close the ratio of physical to eshop sales is close to the ratio of titles available physically to titles only available on the eshop.

Tue Mar 20 18 10:48pm
Rating: 1

I used to be someone who genuinely preferred physical copies, but after owning so many got-dang 3DS carts that I have no convenient storage.. yeah.. digital is just more convenient.

Another factor to consider is that only 1 in 4 games on Switch are produced physically. And over 85% of the games are Indie. The vast majority of them don't get physical releases unlike 1st party games. If you take Nintendo and traditional 3rd parties(e.g. EA, Sega, Ubisoft, etc) out of the equation then it's far less than 1 in 4 games.

Even if the Switch becomes big, I really doubt if third parties are ever going to make games for it as much as they claim to.


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