Sunday, June 9, 2013

Animal Crossing - the Digital Push

Skipping my epic lack of posts, I've been considering Animal Crossing: New Leaf a good bit lately and beyond the decision of buying it in general I'm also left considering retail vs digital.  Nintendo is pushing the digital version fairly hard based on the genre angle and I have to admit that it might make more sense than other titles.  Lets run through pros of each option.

[edit] Spoilers: Ended up ordering the retail version over the weekend; should arrive on the 19th.


Ease of access:

This appears to be their primary marketing strategy in order to easily access the game at all times.  Since you'll be "playing it so much" having it digitally means you can carry another game at the same time and pop in to AC:NL quicking during a holiday or event without swapping cards.

Honestly that isn't a bad argument at all.  While I'm not a long-term AC fan, I can see how you might want a quick AC fix and digital is very convenient.  That is after your initial blast of time with the game.

At the moment I keep all my carts in a small case which goes with me on trips.  It's not a big deal to change games, but I admit that out of laziness I'll either play what's in there instead of getting up or just pick one of my digital games.



While I'm not adverse to digital at all, the idea of trading or reselling is attractive.  This is especially relevant if  I end up not liking the game.  Like I mentioned I'm not a long-term fan who has enjoyed the previous games so sinking $35 into an unknown is a bit of a risk.  

Don't get me wrong, the game looks interesting and I like what I've seen so far.  Just hate to lock $35 onto a device if I'm wrong about the game.


Yep, the standard retail vs digital situation here.  It's still a lot to bite off with the pricing the same as retail.  It's also far more than I've spent on any other eShop game which has me concerned.  Honestly if they offered a retail version where you paid a bit more and got a digital copy I'd be all over that.  eg: $40 vs $35.



Along the same lines of resale there is also the factor of friends or others in the house also playing the game on a different device.  My kids aren't quite there yet and while I still have my original 3DS, I haven't decided if I'm hanging onto it or not.


Clearly I'm on the retail side of the fence at this time.  As much as I'd like to go digital for ease of use, I'm compelled to keep the price a bit lower [wait for a sale] and have the option to trade.  I'm not picking this up tonight (just released on the eShop!!!) and will continue to consider my options.  What about you?

What are your thoughts on going digital for AC:NL and are you planning to pick it up?


  1. I'll be getting the digital version when it releases in Australia - I try and avoid the physical releases wherever possible now, because I do like that convenience of having a big library sitting there on a single SD card for seamless play.

    Especially for stuff I do want to just pick up and play, like Art Academy and this!

  2. I went digital. Resale is not an issue for me generally, but especially for this game, but I can see why someone may want to sell it eventually.

    For me, AC has been the kind of game that 'lives' in a console it is on. And the fact that every entry until now required a cartridge (N64/DS) and or a disc was a minor detail. The game concept is very much in the 'living sim' category and being a digital game that you can have in your 3DS is a perfect thing.

  3. That's a good comparison with Art Academy; another title I've been considering. (confession: I am horrible at drawing) Neither are traditional games, more like experience/learning/sim software and lend themselves to quick access via a digital copy.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Good point; Living sim seems like an accurate description. I think digital is definitely the way to go, though the cheap side of me (hi coffee, chime in here) keeps looking at retail as an escape chute if it turns out to not be my thing. Still it's only $35.

    Another factor is not wanting to wait for a sale for either version and be able to visit other towns right away as your friends are starting to build up. Good marketing Nintendo. :)

    Thanks Dexter!

  5. So, I burned my eyes earlier when I poured coffee in them after I thought they were seeing a post here. Now, post coffee calluses, it appears my eyes were correct!

    "Honestly if they offered a retail version where you paid a bit more and got a digital copy I'd be all over that. eg: $40 vs $35"

    Like the newer thing with DVDs and Blurays, where they offer a physical and digital copy (sometimes a DVD/Bluray and digital copy).

    As for the game, we only have the Wii version, and I never expected it to be played as much as it was when I purchased it. Seriously had no clue how addictive the games can be.

    On the digital side of it, I do see their argument, but like you...I'm cheap. Cheap. CHEAP. So the option of having a physical cartridge to trade/loan out is probably what I would go with.

    Can't say I'm planning on picking this up though (no 3DS), but had this released before Mother's Day, I might have been tempted to get Mrs. Coffee a 3DS and this game, because of how much she played the Wii version.

  6. I don't blame you for hot-flushing your eyes, I can't quite believe it either.

    I had forgotten about the DVD/blu digital copy thing they do, but yeah, that would be cool.

    That's interesting that Mrs Coffee was addicted to City Folk. Did you ever give it a spin or just watch from the sidelines? I remember hearing about it supporting Wii Speak and it seemed like a great idea, just a poor implementation.

    Another pro-retail item I didn't mention was the inherent re-playability by friends or others in the house on their own devices. My old 3DS situation reminded me about that and while my oldest isn't ready for real gaming (especially on a breakable handheld) it's certainly a new consideration for me to factor in.

    #OverThinking #CheapClub

  7. "Did you ever give it a spin or just watch from the sidelines? I remember hearing about it supporting Wii Speak and it seemed like a great idea, just a poor implementation."

    Oh yeah, I played it as well. A LOT more than I expected. Mrs. Coffee though was really into the game. Even making weekly weekend trips to the coffee shop in the game to listen to all the songs.

    As for Wii Speak, we tested it out in Animal Crossing with our neighbors once or twice. It was okay for that type of game, which wasn't very "action" based, but still had room echo problems...which was Wii Speak's general problem.

  8. I am usually retail on games, if I have the option. I'll do digital if there's a REALLY good deal, or a rare impulse buy for me, but I prefer not to a) have to use up storage space and b) I like the resell option.

    Good to see you posting!

  9. Thought you would be in the retail boat with your constant churn of games along with others in the house. I think Steam has really spoiled me on digital and matching the retail price just isn't doing it for me.

    thanks for stopping by!

  10. I'm kind of shocked about how much you played it, not sure why.

    Yeah, for $20 it had to be pretty low-end and too bad it didn't get picked up very much by other games.

  11. Post updated; ended up ordering the retail copy, should arrive in a few days. Still a bit iffy on full-price digital, so we'll play it safe for now.

    Now the hard part, a town name...

  12. Naturally now that I bought it for $34.96 from Amazon on Sunday, Newegg is running a daily promo for $31.99.


    Code: EMCXPWM229

  13. I hope you missed the sales on it here recently....WHAT IN THE WORLD it was cheap!

  14. Fortunately I notice most sales on Amazon, Newegg, Bestbuy and a few other sites. Unfortunately... yeah, it dropped to $26 10 days after the game arrived then down to $23 a few days later.

    ...but really it's all good. I already have plenty of 'value' out of my $34 so it's a few more bucks to big N.