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Nintendo’s pricing structure up leaving a lot of casual gamers out in the cold, and I think that’s the point.

Content of the article: "Nintendo’s pricing structure up leaving a lot of casual gamers out in the cold, and I think that’s the point."

This is a thought I had after watching the Detective Pikachu movie and thinking "That looks fun, maybe I'll try the game." I do have a 3DS, but I can go half a year without playing it. I just don't think about it that often and most of the games I buy are on PC. But I still have it and thought about picking Detective Pikachu and checking it out.

It was a bit of a surprise when this four year old game was still being sold for $40 by Nintendo, and that used copies were $30. I didn't understand. The game seems fine, but it doesn't exactly seem like the kind of game that everyone had to play or an unexpected cult hit that is hard to find anymore. Yet it's still going for full price for a digital copy. To me, someone who plays a Pokemon game about once a decade, this seemed too steep a price for something that honestly I wasn't all that interested in.

Then the thought occurred to me, maybe part of Nintendo's price scheme is to keep away the fair-weather fans and the idly curious. Sure, they could probably make more money if they dropped prices on their digital goods after a couple years and would also attract more gamers, but would the kind of gamers they attract with $5-10 Nintendo games end up being "true fans?"

With Nintendo games, it's pretty much all or nothing. You have to buy their consoles, which are almost exclusively populated with Nintendo games (the Switch has changed this slightly recently), and you're going to be paying full price for those games whether you buy them release day or in two years time. If you don't want to do all that, then your option is to not play Nintendo games at all.

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In a way, it's almost cult-like. You can't dip your toes into Nintendo without a big commitment. I know Sony and Playstation are like that too but usually their price drops after a while and they are starting to allow their exclusive titles come to PC.

So I didn't end up getting Detective Pikachu. For me, the math just doesn't make sense. I'd probably play it for a bit, lose interest, and not think about it ever again. And Nintendo is probably happier without me.


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