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 HMV.com, GAME.co.uk, GameStation.co.uk and Amazon.co.uk 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.

David Houghton
Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.