With so many Microsoft bigwigs uttering so many inconsistencies lately, it’s almost refreshing to find Nintendo singing from the same hymn sheet. Speaking separately in the midst of E3 2013 this past week, both Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime and celebrated Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto have been sitting down to discuss their views on the industry’s latest hot-button issue; that of used gaming.
Drawing upon in-house sales data, Fils-Aime tells Polygon that unlike many of the third-party experiences available elsewhere, Nintendo’s first-party content endures relatively little in the way of trade-in trauma. The reason? A super combo of quality and replayability.
“The consumer wants to keep playing Mario Kart. The consumer wants to keep playing New Super Mario Bros. They want to keep playing Pikmin… if we build great content, then the consumer will not want to trade in our games.”
With as many as a quarter of all Japanese Animal Crossing: New Leaf purchases being made via Ninty’s eShop, the Big N is certainly reaping the benefits of one very specific sort of DRM. Downloadable titles can’t be lent to a friend or sold; a situation that threatens to become the norm should publishers push for greater Xbox-like licensing restrictions. Asked if the company would ever cater to calls for stricter physical media licenses Fils-Aimes remains cagey, insisting on a cautious wait-and-see approach.
Whilst potentially disappointing from a consumer standpoint, Reggie’s argument certainly holds water. Whilst today’s publishers might contend that they “don’t mind used games,” the situation is likely to shift across the coming years, with Nintendo prepared to adapt to it.
Despite echoing Reggie’s sentiments, Shigeru Miyamoto believes gaming’s latest scandal is a near non-issue where his company of choice is concerned. Instead, piracy – of the sort Microsoft is attempting to stamp out as part of its hard-nosed approach to digital property – remains the Japanese company’s biggest issue. The success or probable failure of the Xbox One’s more severe approach to this issue will likely dictate industry practice for years to come. Considering Reggie’s wiggle-room on policy, could Ninty find themselves requiring online authentications of their own in the future?
As an interesting side-note, Fils-Aimes remarks surrounding “annualized” or “undifferentiated” titles may just pertain to EA, a publisher who very publically relinquished their support for the Wii U platform back in May. Will Nintendo, so assured of their own quality experiences consider moving on without monster third-party appeal? Will EA lead the charge for restrictive resale measures once the issue settles down? How might that effect the only next-gen console without their support?
Hit the comments below to give us your thoughts on Nintendo’s attitude towards used games and piracy.