New Super Mario Bros. 2 not quite striking digital gold in Japan

Posted on August 18, 2012 - 11:00am by Ryan Conway

Selling digital download versions of its newest games is a bold new concept for Nintendo and with New Super Mario Bros. 2 as the first major blockbuster to follow this new simultaneous release model, surely this resulted in the Nintendo Network pulling in a nice additional surplus. Right?

Not exactly.

While company president Satoru Iwata told The Wall Street Journal, "This initial offering going forward, we've gotten a good reaction going," the Japanese sales of the digital copy might be a bit lower than what you or I or more importantly, Nintendo may have been expecting. According to Iwata, the sales of the digital copy only add up to 5% of the game’s total Japanese sales.

But at least this slight setback won’t be forcing Nintendo to reconsider the creation of Nintendo Network, as the company still sees plenty of potential in the service after the digital copy of Demon Training (the sequel to Brain Age) rounded up 20% of that game’s total sales. Although Iwata said this was largely due to the convenience of being able to play the game’s daily challenges without having to swap cartridges.

Hopefully, Nintendo learns from Demon Training’s example and begins to give gamers who buy the digital copies some sort of advantage over those who buy retail. Although preferably, this advantage should be a discounted price, or perhaps a packaged piece of bonus content.

Will the digital sales of NSMB2 be larger in international markets than they were in Japan? Considering the digital copy is selling at the same price (or at a higher one if you live in the UK) as the cart, I’m thinking that’s not the most likely scenario. Although the extra 50 Club Nintendo Coins could help its case.  

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