Tuesday, January 17, 2012

3DS Ambassador Games for General Release

Initially I naively assumed that all Ambassador NES and GBA games would be released "at some point" for the rest of us to purchase.  After searching a bit more the initial word is that this isn't the case.  From what I can tell some or all of the NES games will be released, but not the GBA games.

[Begin Rant]

In Seth Myers style:  Really Nintendo?  Really? 

I completely understand and wholeheartedly agree with releasing these 20 games for free to those that purchased early.  I may not be familiar with all of the games, but from what I've seen and read, these are some serious classic games and not just a pile of leftovers with one or two good ones thrown in.  Kudos to Nintendo on that.

I also understand not immediately releasing them for purchase by the general public.  Sure, let the ambassadors live it up, perhaps generate some good buzz and make these games a commodity that we must then purchase.

Though the part of not releasing all of them for general purchase is very perplexing and as you can tell is really pissing me off.  Do they not want to open this revenue stream up at all and what the hell kind of decision is that?  How does this even remotely benefit their stock price?  Are they afraid that VC GBA games will somehow affect retail GBA?  (does that even still exist in something other than 3rd party used market?)  Is this just a gift to Ambassadors to feel superior and act overly smarmy?  What use is it for my buddy BitNick or GamesAndBiz to mention how cool one of the games is if I can't then go fork over my money and also experience it?

Are they holding off to create a $40 retail "bundle" of these games?  Perhaps they have plans to do more 3D "remakes" and don't want to cannibalize those sales just yet by releasing the standard 2D versions.

What I'm hoping is that they're just bluffing to generate buzz and will drop all of them on the eShop within the next 6 months or so.  While the 10 NES games are very good, in all honesty I probably wouldn't purchase any of them.  I already have SMB, LoZ and Metroid on Wii VC and really don't need titles like ice climber and Balloon Fight.  Though I've never played any of the GBA games and like an addict I'm jonesin' for some of them.  Maybe that's the angle they're going for so when they do release it can be for an inflated price?

That would be a shame though.  Let's hope we don't see LoZ: The Minish Cap (this would be my first purchase) for something like $12.  Remember Nintendo, 20 games for the $80 the Ambassadors "paid" is only $4/game.  Lets be reasonable here.

While I'm still on this rant, where are the TG16 games?  What about the NES, SNES and other libraries on Wii VC?  I'm not saying bring the entire thing over now, but what's the deal?  How can someone not see that bringing a game like A Link to the Past over to tie into the Zelda timeline would be a massive hit?  Guys, for everyone like myself loving every minute of Link's Awakening DX you know we would all purchase LTTP overnight, don't you?  You know we've also been playing Four Swords with the retro levels and that we're baited  and ready.   Or do these games not port very well on the 3DS?


What are your thoughts on the Ambassador program either game-wise or for general release?


  1. Yes, I agree with you completely. It's insane that Nintendo hasn't confirmed that the GBA will not be covered by the Virtual Console releases. The 3DS is clearly capable of it, so why isn't Nintendo offering these games for purchase?

    I can't think of a single good reason, assuming that Nintendo is taking the 3DS eShop seriously. 

  2. I recall when I first read the offer and that the games were being tabbed as exclusive for the Ambassadors.  I think you hit it on the head - give it to them early, give it to them for free, but not offering them for sale at all is a bit foolish.  I suspect that eventually they will come out as purchasable - like you said, maybe in a bundle or just individually, but it makes no financial sense to sit on some of those great titles, since the legwork is already done on them, when they would obviously sell copies.

  3. On another note, it is so annoying that the Wii and 3DS Virtual Console game's don't link together. I buy a PSOne Classic game, and I have it on both PS3 and PSP - just the one purchase.

    Meanwhile, were Nintendo to start selling SNES or NES virtual console games, I would need to buy the same game twice.

    This is why locking downloads to hardware, not an account, is a bad, bad idea.

  4. I'm glad I'm not the only one miffed by these 3DS omissions.  Like you said Chalgyr, all the legwork has been done.  The only thing I keep coming back to is that there is some other plan for the games in general or to charge us non-ambassadors more. I'm hoping this doesn't fall into a price gouging situation.  The idea is to reward the early adopters and not punish the rest of us.

    GamesAndBiz : 
     I've been thinking about those crossplatform VC releases lately and certainly agree.  Both my Wii and 3DS are linked to the same Club account so they can easily see what was purchased on each device.  I suspect this may mean some consolidation or revamp of the Wii's points system to make things fair.  eg: I buy LoZ for 500 points on Wii and they're selling it for $4.99+tax on 3DS.  Naturally I'm going to buy on Wii and let the license flow over to the 3DS.

    Having approved/compatible/whatever titles be available on both systems without re-purchase would be huge and I believe would actually stimulate purchases.  The way it is now I'm obviously going to throttle back my purchase decisions since they're locked to one system.  eg:  Do I really need LoZ in portable form?  Well, not really, but I would give it much less thought and just buy more titles in general if I could play them in both places.

  5. I expect an E3 reveal that GBA games will join the Virtual Console. It stinks that non-Ambassadors aren't able to enjoy the ten games that Ambassadors do.

  6. I definitely agree with you on this front.  It would be very nice to see those titles bounce from one system to another as a single purchase as I get a lot of mileage out of that with my psp and ps3 and those PS1 titles.

  7. Well color me excited as Super Mario Bros was released on the eShop for us lowly non-ambassadors today!  It's not something I plan on buying, but is a good sign of things to come.