The digital revolution is currently underway in the gaming world, with some analysts suggesting that gaming could soon go down the same route as music, with nearly everybody buying new entertainment digitally rather than with a boxed copy. Whilst digital game sales are certainly increasing, the relatively high cost when compared to online retail for example means that many more gamers opt for the physical product over a download.
One more example of a publisher failing to take advantage of digital medium seems to be Nintendo, despite hopes that they had taken the plunge into successful digital distribution. Alas it appears that eShop full game downloads will be significantly more expensive than in any brick and mortar retail outlet, let alone online.
In the UK, New Super Mario Bros 2 costs £29.99 at the few remaining Game stores up and down the country. Supermarkets like Tesco and Asda are typically a few pounds cheaper, and Amazon are selling it for £29.97. The official eShop price however will be £39.99. In addition to this, New Art Academy and Freakyforms Deluxe will also be more expensive to download.
Just who in their right mind would pay an extra 33% for the game for the luxury of it taking up space on a memory card? If companies like Nintendo are serious about digital distribution then they should make the prices at least the same as retail, if not cheaper. In the meantime, Sony seem to have got the majority of their pricing right on PSN lately, with Vita games in particular representing fairly good value. All of the console companies have got a long way to go however until they offer as much value as Steam does for PC games.