Nintendo details 3DS retail game download options


With the release of New Super Mario Bros 2 and Demon Training fast approaching (they’re out next week in Japan) Nintendo has issued instructions on just how to buy the games digitally from the eShop.

They’ll be three ways you’ll be able to buy Nintendo 3DS games digitally going forward, at least in Japan.

With each Nintendo release going forward you’ll have the choice of either buying a Download Card, Download Codes for the game or directly downloading the game from the eShop. New Super Mario Bros 2 and Demon Training will go on sale at 9am on the day of release.

Game = Game

The download card is what you would expect. You buy a card containing a redemption code for the game and you can activate it on your Nintendo 3DS.

The second option may include buying a Download Code from an online store such as Amazon, this code would be emailed to you and redeemed there. This means retailers could sell games digitally for cheaper than what Nintendo are asking for on the eShop. Codes will expire after 150 days.

The last method is of course to directly download the game to your Nintendo 3DS. The games will cost the same as they do in stores, this is most likely so Nintendo doesn’t annoy its retail partners. You can of course pick up the game from in store, just like you do now.

For those worried about Club Nintendo points, fear not because as long as your Club Nintendo account is linked to your Nintendo 3DS you will receive the same amount of points you get when you buy a game now.

Nintendo in Japan are also running a promotion for New Super Mario Bros 2 and Demon Training where you will receive more points if you buy them digitally, more again if you buy both. You’ll also get Donkey Kong on the Famicon (NES) as a bonus for buying them together.


Now this of course all only applies to Japan for now, New Super Mario Bros 2 is still a month away from release for the rest of the world so we’ll have to wait until then to see what strategy Nintendo go for with everyone else.

Anyone else excited to be able to buy games digitally for the 3DS and not have to carry around cards or do you prefer a boxed copy?

Thanks to Cheesemeister3k for translation help!


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Daniel Vuckovic
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  • July 20, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Boxed copy =

    Game Card

    Instruction Booklet

    Collectible box

    Value (trade in or sell if you don’t like the game)

    I love the physical copies of games and I hope we will always have that option to choose from ūüėÄ

  • Super
    July 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    With the price online being the same as the physical copies, I don’t think this is going to impact the way I purchase games. Good on Nintendo for setting up this service, though.

  • Matthew945
    July 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    I love the idea of what Nintendo is doing here, but I just can’t buy digital games over physical games. It’s very tempting though and I feel like I might end up buying some games twice…

  • RyanZ
    July 20, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    I love that Nintendo are finally offering this, and, hopefully Europe are also getting the Download code options, so I can buy them at cheaper prices (as long as they are compatible with the Australian e-Shop)

  • spraulin
    July 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    What’s the point of digital distribution when it’s locked to one system only? Would have liked to cut down on having to swap carts / environmental costs etc however until Nintendo finally catches up with the times unfortunately its physical copies for me.

  • Jabjabs
    July 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    It’s an intresting concept that they are going with but I have to agree with others, I will still stick with the purely physical copies for the moment.

  • Ain Soph Aur
    July 23, 2012 at 11:46 am

    With the exception of being better for the environment (which, incidentally, is a good enough reason in its own right), Nintendo have offered up absolutely no incentive to buy a digital copy.

    It is the same price as a hard copy but without the actual case and manual.
    You cannot get it any earlier (not that I have read)
    You cannot trade a digital copy in nor can you re-sell it or swap it etc.
    It is locked to a single system, which relates to the point just above.

    Going digital is a good idea, but this is not how you do it.

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