Download or cartridge?

New Super Mario Brothers 2 arrives in one week. In fact, it will be apparently be available at 12:01 AM early Sunday Morning! Here’s a question for those planning on buying: are you going the download or full retail route?

Myself, I’m definitely downloading this one straight to my 3DS for 4 reasons:

1) I can’t wait to play it.
2) I like handing over my funds straight to Nintendo instead of a certain retail chain I won’t mention.
3) NSMB2 sounds like a great title to have permanently installed on my SD card to play anytime (and I won’t have to remove Kingdom Hearts from the cartridge slot).
4) This digital release is a historic moment for Nintendo. I want to vote with my wallet.

How about you?

33 Responses to Download or cartridge?

  1. Lord Lemmy says:

    I support the idea of having it available both ways for those who prefer, because I definitely prefer physically owning a copy of my games, yet I know plenty of people who would rather download it. Even though I think it’s much better to physically own games, I actually really like the idea of Nintendo having it available in stores and digitally. It will most likely cause a greater amount of sales.

  2. Ben says:

    I don’t like this situation. I have to choose between digital download and buying a physical cartridge/card/CD, etc.

    I think games should only be available one way and NOT both ways.
    A game that you can buy physically should NOT be available as a digital download and a game you can download straight to the 3DS (or whatever console you may own) should NOT be available as a physical copy at a store.

  3. Richard says:

    @ Ben:

    I’m curious: what are your reasons? What’s the disadvantage of having it available in both forms?

  4. wakko1337 says:

    I’m actually just dead tired of New Super Mario Bros, but when Luigi’s Mansion and Paper Mario come out, I’ll definitely invest in digital copies of them!

  5. Ben says:

    @ Richard

    I guess it’s my mentality. If I buy the game one way, I’ll regret buying it the other way at some point. It’s too late for me: I already preordered a physical copy awhile ago.

  6. Richard says:

    @ Ben

    Actually, I totally understand; for the buyer, there’s a pro and a con for each version. Between the two, you’ve probably made the best choice. I’m downloading for convenience. By purchasing the cartridge, you’re getting a physical, collectible object that doesn’t just exist as data inside the 3DS.

    One way or the other, I think the game’s going to be a blast!

    @ Wakko1337:

    I’m still hooked on Mario platformers, but I, too, am looking forward to Luigi’s Mansion 2 and Paper Mario as the real stars! 🙂

  7. Ben says:

    Thanks for understanding Richard. It sounded like you were telling us why we should get the digital copy and not the physical one.

    Maybe next time you should balance the article and provide reasons for both sides of the argument.

  8. Hitokiri_Ace says:

    ? It’s never to late to cancel a pre-order. I completely agree with you Richard. The idea of not having to swap/carry around other game carts is wonderful.

    It would be nice if buying the physical copy entitles you to a DL code.. but since nobody does that, it’s not like I feel we should get it.

    The only thing that might bug me, is not being able to share the game with friends. Not that this happens often, but it’s always kinda sad to think of things you can’t do with one media format over the other.

  9. Warren says:

    You know, I’m fine with giving money to Gamestop. They have helped a poor gamer game without having to sell blood for money. So when I do buy a new game (Something I don’t very much) I buy it from Gamestop without a feeling of guilt so many seem to have…

  10. disco says:

    Physical all the way, going to buy mine next week…
    And there are other stores besides Gamestop you know!

  11. Juja says:

    You guys should really stop shopping at GameStop. Aside from all the annoyances I had with them, they were pretty damn rude to me when I tried to return a game (with the receipt), so that was the last straw and I finally decided to be done with them.

    As for New Super Mario Bros. 2. I’m the kind of person that definitely likes to have physical copies of something when possible. Double the coins for the download is tempting, but newegg had a $10 off pre-order deal for New Super Mario Bros. 2, so I think saving $10 outweighs the 40 extra Club Nintendo coins.

  12. Jared says:

    Does downloading it lock it to a single 3DS, though?

  13. The Adza says:

    Yes and no. You can transfer it to another system, along with everything else. You can’t play it on two systems even if you own both of them. Kind of unfortunate.

  14. Kaherka says:

    Soon I will have two 3DS systems. Is there any advantage to having two copies of this game?

  15. GameCollector44 says:

    Physical for me. Can’t beat having an actual box to hold your games in.

    @Kaherka: You can play co-op if I remember correctly.

  16. EdEN says:

    I was going to get the retail release until Nintendo tempted me with 100 coins for not having to walk to the store. I’ve got $60 on my eshop account after trading some Gift Cards for 3 $20 eshop cards two weeks ago, which made the choice even easier. NSMB2 is the king of game I can see myself replaying over and over again after I finish it. And lets not forget the DLC!

  17. EdEN says:

    @Juja: Well, the $10 discount is nice, but it is actually 40 coins+10 intend to buy+10 for buying it during the 1st 4 weeks and registering the game to your Club Nintendo account and answering the survey, and the game is automatically added when bought at the eshop, so there is no need to enter a code and we only need to answer the survey. The double coins is as if you got to register a game for free, which is almost like a $40 discount, much better than the $10 you mention.

  18. Blue says:

    I am getting the physical version for two reasons:
    1. So my son can play it on his 3ds and my daughters on their ds lites.
    2. I believe it is a part of a 3DS XL package I am buying. Although that might just be a digital copy. Colour me confused.

    I guess I’ll know better when the release date arrives.

  19. Archaic says:

    It’ll depend on the price differential when it arrives here in Australia to some extent, but I’d probably be looking to get this particular game as a physical copy. It’s a sharing thing. Mario isn’t a game I’m likely to be keeping to myself. If it was something like Pokémon, where there’s only one save file, or some other title I knew my family members wouldn’t share my interest in, I’d have no hesitation in downloading.

  20. wakko1337 says:


    This is a 3DS title, you can’t play it on a DS Lite. Sorry.

  21. Janush says:

    Definetly the cart, the misses can play it as well on her 3ds! (was thinking pro’s and con’s and nearly wanted the digital copy, but play on multiple 3ds-es ftw!)

  22. skeptical says:

    Not interested in the digital release.

    I’m not confident that New Super Mario Bros 2 is a game I’ll be interested in replaying, and the first NSMB wasn’t worth keeping in my collection. So losing resale rights isn’t appealing.

    I also feel like prices will drop quicker for the digital version than the downloadable copies. I’ll be able to save significant money by buying used, taking advantage of trade-in deals, or waiting for a sale.

    Finally, the convenience of having it “always available” doesn’t matter to me for a Mario game – especially when there are dozens of other Virtual Console, DSiWare, and eShop games already on my 3DS waiting to be played.

    Vote with my wallet indeed. (Of course, when Animal Crossing comes out I’ll be making a different choice.)

  23. Richard says:

    From this discussion, it seems the issue boils down mainly to:

    PRO DIGITAL: Convenience and extra Club points

    PRO CARTRIDGE: Sharing, in-store discount offers and eventual resale

    Awesome comments, everyone!

  24. monkat says:

    I won’t be buying it at all, but I wouldn’t trust Nintendo with digital sales. Chances are, they’ll lock it to the one 3DS, so if you ever trade up to that fancy XL, you’ll be SOL, save for a huge ordeal dealing with customer service. Additionally, you can get a physical copy of the game at a retailer for about $10 cheaper.

    Meanwhile with Sony, you can download the game on any viable console with you account, and the games are almost always cheaper than their physical counterparts.

  25. Kaherka says:

    There’s one other PRO for digital, which is that digital delivery is better for the environment.

    If they did it like Apple does, where one purchase allows you to play it on all your iOS devices (including future devices), downloading it would definitely be the way to go.

  26. Mohan says:

    Download for me. 🙂

  27. EdEN says:

    @Monkat: You can transfer your eshop purchases from a 3DS to another 3DS (up to 3 times), so no problem with getting an XL.

  28. nickerous says:

    Cartridge for me. I don’t like collecting digital games if I can help it.

  29. kai says:

    You can re-download books on other e-readers. You can transfer songs to multiple iPods. Until Nintendo re-thinks this, (and a full system transfer x3 doesn’t cut it for me.) it will always be cartridge.

  30. MrCairo says:

    I know this is an old thread but another advantage of digital downloads is that you can download it again to the same 3DS that purchased it (unless system was transferred). If you have a physical copy and loose it then too bad. With that said I would only do a download for a game that I really like and want to always keep a copy (Super Mario Bros. 2, Zelda, etc.). Games that you sorta-like but might get old you may want to consider buying a physical copy since you’ll likely want to get rid of it some day.

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