Having announced a strong push for digital distribution, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has said the company won’t be undercutting retail prices.
In a question and answer session following Nintendo’s latest financial release, Iwata told investors that he doesn’t believe downloadable games have less value than physical ones, and that a price difference isn’t justified.
“We do not hold such a premise that digitally distributed software has less value,” he said, noting that some consumers may find additional value in the ability to download lots of games and carry them in hardware.
“Different people value different things. If we said, this is the only proposal we will make so you have to take it, it would be a problem as there would be no options for the consumers to choose from. On the contrary, what I explained today is that we are proposing the two formats of sales mechanisms from which our consumers can make their own choices.”
Iwata said Nintendo had discussed the matter with a number of publishers and found strongly varying attitudes towards digital pricing.
“Some publishers believe that the digital versions should be cheaper while others insist that both versions must be set at exactly the same price,” he said.
“So, it is not only Nintendo’s idea. Each publisher has various ideas on this point and, among them, Nintendo is now offering both versions at the same price point (the same suggested retail price).”
Interestingly, Iwata noted during his presentation that retailers would be able to sell downloadable copies of games as they would physical stock, meaning they can run sales or lower pricing as they see fit. However, since the costs of housing and transporting stock will be negated, Nintendo expects changes in profit margins.