The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD’s early launch on digital is a smart, forward-thinking move
The Nintendo news of the day may be dominated by the 2DS and that beautiful-looking Wind Waker HD bundle that’s coming out in September, but there is one detail in the press release that shows how smart Nintendo is getting with its game releases.
“The digital version of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD will also launch on Sept. 20, while the packaged version launches Oct. 4 with distinctive gold-foil packaging, both at a suggested retail price of $49.99,” the release states. “GameStop is also offering an exclusive Ganondorf figurine bundled with the packaged game at a suggested retail price of $54.99.”
The bases are covered here, no matter your preference. The earlier release date gives people who don’t care about the packaging a way to buy the game early, and of course Nintendo would much rather sell a game to you directly for the full price, without the cost of shipping the boxes and giving a cut to retailers. If you want the game now, dammit, you can just get the digital version, and everyone wins.
The “distinctive” packaging and GameStop exclusive will also keep retailers happy, and will give people a reason to go to the store if they care about the physical artifact. Both groups of buyers are incentivized, and Nintendo will likely see a surge of the more profitable digital sales while the standard buyers who drive to brick and mortar stores will feel smug about their fancy box or the figurine.
Nintendo doesn't likely care which decision you make, they just want you to buy. I love the idea of earlier digital releases, since that’s the way I purchase and play most games these days. Nintendo is making some smart moves right now, including the lower-priced 2DS.
It’s nice to see Nintendo fighting.