Nintendo’s attempts to save its hardware business aren’t about to stop at whopping price cuts and free games. It is also going to improve its eShop by introducing something that PlayStation and Xbox users have enjoyed for as long as I can remember: paid DLC.
Nintendo’s president Satori Iwata confirmed during a Q&A session that the company is currently working on a paid download system which will be available to Nintendo 3DS developers by the end of this year, but will also roll out to the Wii U at a later date.
A paid download system will allow players of Nintendo’s latest handheld console, and its upcoming Wii successor, to purchase additional content for their favorite games which aims to prolong the life of their software. For example, you might be able to purchase additional stages or characters for games you’ve already completed — breathing new life into old titles you probably wouldn’t have picked up again.
However, according to VG24/7, Nintendo is expected to be “selective” with the kind of content it will allow:
To maintain good ongoing relationships with customers, Nintendo will apparently block developers from spamming small premium upgrades like stat boosts. Characteristically, Iwata made a negative reference to free to play games, the slippery slope conclusion at the end of that argument.
That means you’re not going to see any ‘freemium’ games for your Nintendo consoles. You may be familiar with this model on smartphones, which allows players to pick up a game for free, but then encourages them to purchase in-game currency and additional content while they’re playing.
Iwata hopes that by introducing paid DLC, eShop sales will increase by at least 10% over the next three years and players will become just as willing to purchase digital content as they are physical releases. However, he promised that physical releases would not be scaled down to make way for digital content.
As a 3DS user, I’m very much looking forward to support for paid DLC and the opportunity to extend the life of those games that currently sit on a shelf gathering dust.
What do you think?