Uh-oh. Downloading New Super Mario Bros 2 from the 3DS UK eShop is 30% more expensive than buying a physical copy online

So let's say you're connected to the internet. Let's say you want to buy a new Mario game over that there internet. Let's say you want to buy New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS. You have two options. One costs £29.99, the other costs £39.99. Pop quiz, hotshot. What do you do? What do you do?

The answer, if you're not mad, or so rich that you'll happily spend a third of the cost of the cheaper option on the novelty of sucking the abstract digital essence of said game down the internet pipes while making gurgling noises to yourself, is that you run laughing from Nintendo's eShop, stopping only occasionally to turn, squint to double-check you have just seen what you've seen, realise that you have, point, and run away laughing again.

Because New Super Mario Bros. 2 costs £39.99 on the Nintendo 3DS eShop. That's £5 more than the RRP. And you can get it at,, and for £29.99.

Above: How awkwardly prophetic this image has become

The explanation for this madness? Who knows? We've seen similar (in fact much worse) digital pricing before on the PSN, but for a company taking brave new steps into the downloadable game arena this comes across as a bit of a disheartening statement of intent from Nintendo. Now there's every chance this pricing is actually part of some clandestine political agreement with retail to not make them sad by under-cutting, but this close to the Wii U's supposed everything-downloadable revolution it's hardly a ringing endorsement for Nintendo's digital future. Let's face it, publishers still need to keep retail sweet at the moment, but in't the whoe point of the transition to digital to eventually take control of quick, easy, cheap distribution oneself?

Look down at your hands. Find your fingers. Now cross the two nearest your thumbs on each hand in the customary superstitious fashion. If you believe hard enough, this may help the Wii U's digital pricing not be rubbish. It might not, but do it anyway. Your obedience will make me feel powerful.

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  • bash street kid - August 13, 2012 3:13 p.m.

    Poor poor form indeed. "But you get twice as many coins!" Don't fall for it. I like the concept of Nintendo coins and a company that is actually willing to give something back for market research (not just skimming your data and selling it on the snide), but in the end you still end up spending $400 to get a free Mario tea-towel. Forget all this coin rubbish. It's smoke and mirrors. The real part here is that you are buying a game that you cannot re-sell and cannot lend to your friends and family. That is a monumental downgrade for me in terms of value. Both me and my partner have 3DS consoles and likewise share a library of games, just playing them at different times. So whilst she's playing Starfox 64 i'm polishing off Ocarina and so & so forth. With download titles the thing is trapped on your machine. Unless we wanted to keep swapping bloody consoles all the time the whole thing is just a pain in the arse. Download games would have to have at least a 50% mark down from the physical retail versions to make them even mildly appealing to me. Otherwise i'm just paying the same (or more in this case) for a vastly inferior product. Companies everywhere are saving a fortune with digital distribution yet are not passing these savings on the consumers. Things like the Humble Bundle are the antithesis of this and make me proud to be a gamer. People don't mind paying for quality but don't take the piss. Otherwise you open yourself up to remorseless piracy... Oh well at least there's Angry Birds coming out on DS at $29.99 (a 99c appstore title) The curtain is falling...
  • NoAssociation - August 13, 2012 2:24 p.m.

    What a bummer! I was really looking forward to obtaining 3DS games directly through the E-shop so I don't have to pay some middle-man like gamestop or amazon and I wont have to swap cartridges. I knew that Nintendo wouldn't offer the titles at a discount... but to charge more is crazy! They save money by distributing the title digitally and 100% of the profit returns to them. For shame Nintendo, for shame. I'll more than likely be ordering the game from Amazon now. The golden pin Gamestop is offering sounds nice, but I'm not a fan of Gamestop and the offer is online only.
  • ray-carter - August 13, 2012 1:59 p.m.

    Who cares how much more!? They are charging Much More Money when it OBVIOUSLY saves them more to do it digitally. No middle man, on their own server, on their own system, no packaging, PLUS there is no chance of used sales and they charge MORE!?
  • TomSJ3 - August 13, 2012 11:13 a.m.

    To be fair, I don't believe he has a PhD. He is more consistently annoying on GR than even that one guy whose profile picture is of Steve Jobs holding the iPad.
  • TomSJ3 - August 13, 2012 11:15 a.m.

    Meant to be a reply to Pinbot95. Sorry about that.
  • fuzzybunny566 - August 13, 2012 11:13 a.m.

    My pop quiz answer was "shoot the hostage"
  • xx_CaPTiiN_SpAiiN_zz - August 13, 2012 8:54 a.m.

    that is not 30 percent. come on its basic math...
  • Thedigitalg - August 13, 2012 9:01 a.m.

    No, it's like 11.9 percent. Do we really need to split hairs?
  • ParagonT - August 13, 2012 9:18 a.m.

    Dear God you both suck at math.
  • xx_CaPTiiN_SpAiiN_zz - August 13, 2012 9:55 a.m.

    i clearly dont considering im right. phd - dont argue
  • oddprophet - August 13, 2012 9:18 a.m.

    It's approximately 30% if you round it up to the nearest 10%, 15% or 30%. MATHS!
  • ParagonT - August 13, 2012 9:20 a.m.

    Thirty percent MORE expensive.....
  • Pinbot95 - August 13, 2012 10:10 a.m.

    Uh Oh, someone doesn't know basic math it seems. Let's see, the game is being sold physically for 30 Pounds (no I don't care that it is actually 29.99) and GamesRadar claims it is being sold digitally for thirty percent (30/100 or 3/10) more. What's 3/10's of 30 everyone (that is to say, 3/10 * 30/1)? 9. Thank you. Now let us add 3/10's of 30 (or 30/100's or 30%) to the retail price of 30 pounds. We end up 39! Within a single pound of 40, the digital price! GamesRadar stands correct. As for the guy with the PhD...
  • ncurry2 - August 13, 2012 11:20 a.m.

    Haha. Mr. PhD must have been looking at it as (40-30)/40*100 = 25% but that is in fact incorrect. It is indeed (30-40)/30*100 = 33.3% ~= 30% Besides the fact that it takes junior high level arithmetics, stating that you have a PhD without specifying what in doesn't make you any more knowledgeable in this field. How would having a PhD in say political science increase your credentials for this problem?
  • dden45 - August 13, 2012 8:34 a.m.

    Way to start off Super Mario Week.

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