Nintendo Switch games could be going to download-only content territory. This means that the physical copies of games may not be necessary anymore. Like all other media such as music, television and movies, games may soon come to a download-only content. This may be Nintendo Switch’s next step.
For download-only Nintendo Switch games to be possible, Nintendo has to reinvent. They have to make sure that the hardware can support digital downloadable content. The device should also have sufficient enough built-in storage and an affordable upgrade cost. Nintendo has to learn to get back up from its failure in carrying out its approach in delivering download-only digital goods.
Expansion of Download-only Games
In an email statement sent to Polygon back in 2012, former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said that “Nintendo is aiming to significantly expand its digital business.” At this time, the New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the Nintendo 3DS system was set to launch both as a packaged game and as a digital download. He added that with this at hand, “it is imperative for us to expand the exposure of the digital download products to potential consumers.”
In the company’s download sales trends back in April last year, Tatsumi Kimishima, Nintendo’s current president showed a graph, as can be seen below, on the sales by quarter over 2013 to 2016. 2016 had the highest sales on the digital downloads. “We have focused on expanding the digital business, both to keep up with changes in the industry and as a new business opportunity,” Kimishima said. “This shows that we have made steady progress in the digital sphere,” he added.
Nintendo has confirmed that the Switch will use GameCards but the specifications have still not been discussed. There appears to be no disc slot at the device itself and its docking station. This may mean that this is further evidence that Nintendo will have only downloadable content. Nintendo will give further information on the Nintendo Switch games at the device’s presentation this January 12 and at a first hands-on experience the day after.