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Digital has been a big part of all game companies in the last decade, so much so that many studios have been releasing their titles digital-only. Rest assured, Nintendo will continue going the physical and digital round moving forward.

Nintendo recently shared their fiscal year results, and that was followed by the usual investor Q&A. During that meeting, Nintendo was asked about their efforts in the digital space, as digital sales continue to grow for Nintendo. While Nintendo will certainly expand their digital offerings as time goes on, they also remain committed to physical software releases as well.

You can see what Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa had to say on the matter below. (Please note that this is a fan translation of the Japanese transcripts of the Q&A, courtesy of Nicolas10111 on Reddit.)

Our basic policy is not to simply increase the ratio of digital sales, but to maximize sales of game software, including sales of packaged software, and this policy will remain unchanged in the future. Under these circumstances, we need to increase convenience for both customers who play the packaged version of the software and customers who play the downloaded version, and we hope to continue to make further improvements and innovations in the future.

[Nintendo president, Shuntaro Furukawa]

UPDATE: We now have the official translation of Nintendo’s comments on this matter, and you can see them below.

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[Reddit]

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Comments (6)

Most Upvoted

zcomuto

I wish Nintendo was more reliable with their online presence, and we didn't have the expectancy that the eShop would just be turned off quickly after the Switch’s life ends. I hope with the Switch 2 looking to be largely the same console, that trend will change.

Kinda ridiculous I still have easy access to games bought on Steam when the GameCube was current, but far newer Nintendo services are dead. Steam has proven more reliable than physical media just about.

hawk

2M ago

I really like that there is still physical media... Hopefully game cards again.


zcomuto

2M ago

I wish Nintendo was more reliable with their online presence, and we didn't have the expectancy that the eShop would just be turned off quickly after the Switch’s life ends. I hope with the Switch 2 looking to be largely the same console, that trend will change.

Kinda ridiculous I still have easy access to games bought on Steam when the GameCube was current, but far newer Nintendo services are dead. Steam has proven more reliable than physical media just about.


Sony, MS and Nintendo will never be anywhere as reliable as Steam is because unlike Valve, these companies are also console makers. Valve is not a console maker and Steam is more or less a client.

Also, Steam isn't as reliable as you think because you actually don't have access to your games on Steam.


zcomuto

1M ago

@socar

What do you mean “you don’t have access to your games on Steam”?


If you read the policy on the Steam agreements, you don't actually have ownership of the game should the Steam servers be shut down. So if the servers do get shut down, there is no way for you to run them without Steam since you need the client inorder to run them.

The only reason that the games are there is because Valve is like..a major big company that isn't a console maker like Nintendo. Same goes for the likes of GOG and itchio.

Edited 1 time

zcomuto

1M ago

@socar

That's a weak argument, because the same policy exists on *any* software you buy, it's not limited to Steam or digital. Article 1 of Nintendo's EULA for all games outright states you don't own any games you buy digital or physical, and Nintendo can withdraw and prohibit you playing them without notice or reimbursement. You do not own any software you buy, physical or digital. Servers being shut down is an impending problem for preservation efforts because there's many physical games out there that don't include the whole game and are unplayable without a download component - On the PS5 especially this is going to be a huge problem in the future.

As for needing the Steam client, both Steamworks and the Steam DRM are optional. Companies have every right to use them, not use them or whatever. There's many games out there with DRM but there's plenty with zero DRM, you can backup your installers and you have them forever, no Steam or internet required. When it comes to requiring the DRM or what DRM is required that's just a "vote with your wallet" moment, many publishers require their own which is its own problem.

The reason I say digital with Steam is proving itself reliable is they have the track record - they never take items from libraries, publishers have no rights to remove anything that's been purchased (outside of legal issues / stolen keys). Even if things are removed from sale they stay in your library for you to download. They work with developers in the case of no-longer-working DRM to push out cracks (See: GFWL shutdown). They're not susceptible to disk rot, batteries going bad, and you can backup installers infinitely. Nintendo has no such track record with their online distribution.