Nintendo: Digital Distribution Will Not Replace Retail

Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has said that while the digital distribution market is increasing, there will always be a need for the extra memory storage that retail games offer.

"[Digital distribution is] a nice added business model, but it's not something that's going to take over retail game sales," said Fils-Aime to VentureBeat.

One of the major additions to the Nintendo DSi is its extra memory capability, including on-board and SD card storage. This has allowed Nintendo to create an online store for the DSi that will offer digital downloads of games such as Brain Age.

"We'll be able to see the sales growth and plan for [the digital download market]," added Fils-Aime. "But I guess similar to home consoles, the consumer will want an experience that's best delivered through physical goods, simply because of the memory size required. There will always be those opportunities for big, in-depth games on retail products."

Resistance 2 creative director Ted Price recently made similar comments about the longevity of retail in an interview with Shacknews.

"I think that digital distribution is here to stay," said Price. "But at the same time, I think that there are enough people who appreciate the fondle factor, having a physical copy of the game in their hands, that games' retail will stick around for a long time too."