GameStop CEO says Nintendo NX will use physical media

Still fancy the look of game cases on your bookshelf? Don't worry; Nintendo does, too.

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After months of speculation and rumors, the fog around Nintendo's NX console's media has begun to thin. While we don't know if it will use optical media or cartridges, we do know it will use some form of optical media in addition to digital downloads thanks to information revealed during GameStop's recent earnings call.

According to VG247, GameStop plans to be intimately involved in circulating games for the NX. "I would say that the fact that there are rumours of that type just confirms for you that this is an important console for next year," per CEO Paul Raines. "It will have physical media, we will play a role in it, our pre-owned business will also play a role. So we’re excited about that."

Executive VP of GameStop International Mike Mauler added that the possibility of NX running on cartridges won't throw a wrench in how the company buys and sells used games. "The only difference would be on the refurbishment and pre-owned side. And actually, cartridges are much simpler to refurbish and repackage."

Mauler added that "there is somewhat a little bit of an advantage if it went in that direction on used," perhaps referring to the notion that smaller cartridges would come in smaller plastic cases, thereby taking up less shelf space and enabling stores to stock more titles.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 20, 2016 12:31 PM

    David Craddock posted a new article, GameStop CEO says Nintendo NX will use physical media

    • reply
      June 20, 2016 12:40 PM

      Seems like a smart play to stay with physical media until the masses are fully comfortable buying everything digital. Physical means the retail guys will still love ya.

      Me? I'm done with physical media. Give me digital all the way.

      • reply
        June 20, 2016 12:59 PM

        Nintendo might also be sticking with physical media because their digital infrastructure still shows scaffolding. Like you, I also prefer buying games digitally. But until Nintendo figures out simple things like registering a new console and re-downloading my games and DLC simply by logging in and accessing my past purchases, I'll buy their games on physical media.

        (I will also spring for the biggest, most ridiculous Zelda: Breath of the Wild CE they offer, so there's that.)

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          June 20, 2016 1:01 PM

          I hadn't thought of it, but quite possibly that Nintendo has struggled with expanding into digital since it can (should?) involve becoming a technology house; which is not their core competency. I guess that's probably the safer strategy since doing it poorly would tarnish the brand instantly.

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            June 20, 2016 1:06 PM

            Yeah. And honestly, buying games on physical media in 2016 is really not that big a deal. Games install rather than run from disc since DVD and Blu-Ray drives are slow enough to become bottlenecks for GPUs and CPUs, so it all comes to the same. And if people still want discs and boxes to show off, that's fine, too. I buy physical media for CEs I want, which is pretty much SoulsBorne and Nintendo games these days.

      • reply
        June 20, 2016 1:00 PM

        There are still plenty of considerations for preferring physical media over just "comfort".

    • reply
      June 20, 2016 1:08 PM

      Curious if they'll go with carts

      • reply
        June 20, 2016 1:11 PM

        I've wanted carts back for so long. Make them flash based carts and they can basically scale to whatever size it necessary. Immediate loading, physically small components, etc.

      • reply
        June 20, 2016 1:16 PM

        If all the thoughts of NX being platform are true, then I would say yes, but who knows.

      • reply
        June 20, 2016 1:18 PM

        Carts would be a better choice than optical media. Flexible storage capacity, faster access times, smaller form factor.

        • reply
          June 20, 2016 2:59 PM

          Yeah, optical media is so bad. Even PS4 and XB1 don't use discs for anything other than installation to local storage and authentication. Optical media is way too slow for anything else

      • reply
        June 20, 2016 1:25 PM

        Carts would bury flash prices.

        Hello 2 dollar 64gb sticks!

        • reply
          June 20, 2016 1:38 PM

          [deleted]

        • reply
          June 20, 2016 1:41 PM

          if every nintendo game was on flash it wouldn't affect flash prices by even a penny. i think you're vastly underestimating how much flash is produced every year

    • reply
      June 20, 2016 1:34 PM

      When vendors make it an option to choose either for ALL releases seems to be the death knell of this business model.

      Though, it's a bit hard to see this happening globally due to the size of initial releases, patch size, and the need for patches to be mandatory for online play. Countries where connectivity is metered or unreliable make this a hard change.

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        June 20, 2016 2:58 PM

        Digital is an option on all platforms, day-one AAA releases included.

        Reselling and trading is an expectation on consoles, which is why I don't think it'll go away. Part of why digital caught traction on PC is because CD keys were such an inconvenience. Tying licenses to accounts made things so much easier

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          June 20, 2016 2:59 PM

          Mandatory dual release on all titles? I'm honestly unaware.

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            June 20, 2016 3:01 PM

            Yeah, all major releases on PS4 and XB1 have had digital launches since they came out.

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              June 20, 2016 3:01 PM

              You're honestly more likely to find more games on digital these days when you take smaller games, indies, and free-to-play into account.

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                June 20, 2016 3:06 PM

                My point is that if its day one all titles the market decides physical or digital.

                Though , I think your point is that it's mostly there now, at least for any titles that have significant market sway.

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                  June 20, 2016 5:00 PM

                  My point is that digital and physical will be side by side on console as they are now. Everything out day-one on digital with physical for people to trade/sell/borrow

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                  June 20, 2016 6:41 PM

                  all titles on PC and the three consoles (and 3ds / vita) are digital now.

                  like, every game released is downloadable on release.

                  at least in the US - i have no idea about weird japanese shit.

                  but yes - if you buy any console or a PC, you are able to consume everything via download if you want.

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              June 20, 2016 6:38 PM

              And I believe Nintendo was first to go day-1 digital. It's been that way for a long time.

    • reply
      June 20, 2016 3:08 PM

      This is dumb. I didn't really expect Nintendo of all gaming companies to go all digital. They can't even get their online structure up to Live or PSN standards.

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        June 20, 2016 3:13 PM

        It's dumb even tho they did exactly what you expected?

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          June 20, 2016 4:51 PM

          No, it just seemed like a dumb statement by the CEO guy.

      • reply
        June 20, 2016 6:40 PM

        I wouln't expect anybody to go all digital any time soon after the epic shit-storm MS found itself in when they tried.

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          June 20, 2016 7:27 PM

          yeah, except that microsoft didn't try to go all-digital at all.

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            June 20, 2016 9:10 PM

            Lol. Call it whatever you want. "A collosal p.r. fuck-up" is what I call it. And good luck trying that again for the forseeable future.

            The Xbox One would require a persistent internet connection.

            The Xbox One wouldn't play used games - you'd put in a disc, install it to the console's hard drive, take out the disc and it would effectively be useless.


            http://www.techinsider.io/how-microsoft-bungled-the-xbox-one-launch-2015-8

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              June 20, 2016 9:13 PM

              Yeah it was basically the Steam model, where the disc just saved you the download and all that really mattered was the game key.

    • reply
      June 20, 2016 4:48 PM

      Yep, gotta maintain that Wii U (and presumably Wii) backward compatibility somehow. That feature alone is a huge selling point for many folks.

    • reply
      June 20, 2016 10:17 PM

      Digital lets me use a game on two consoles at the same time. Physical does not. Physical loses.

    • reply
      June 20, 2016 10:29 PM

      Nintendo will soon have their fourth online game out. It works on that Internet thing somehow. Redeem those club points, get your stars!

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