Posts Tagged ‘eShop’

Digital game lending, should Nintendo consider such an idea?

Before digital game purchases were a thing, people could only acquire them in physical form.

I remember my school friends wanting to borrow games that I had, and in exchange I would borrow games from them that I’ve never played before. It was a win-win situation because it allowed us to play games that we’ve never had a chance to try. If the game was really fun, I’d ask my parents to purchase it for my birthday etc.

This was also the case with game rental stores, as I’d rent a game for a day or 2 and it if was really good, I’d ask my parents to buy it. With Nintendo games being in cartridge form, you didn’t have to worry about anything going wrong with the borrowed physical media unless you smashed it with a hammer etc.

Things are different now with digital game purchases since they are tied to your online profile. There’s no way to allow friends or family to borrow any of your games unless you purchased a retail copy. The only option, apart from them buying their own copy (new/used) or borrowing a physical copy, is to come down and try the game on your system.

Many people live on a budget and can’t afford to buy all the games they’d like to play, which is why game rentals / borrowing was such a great thing (unless the focus of the game was playing online, like PSO). Being able to help a friend or family member out by letting them play through a game they might not normally be able to was rewarding.

I was thinking, what if Nintendo were to implement some kind of game borrowing system. All your NNID’s are in their system anyway, along with the digital purchases you have made. You could be assigned a borrowing limit of 3 games. This means you can lend out up to 3 games and borrow up to 3 games from different people. There’d be a secondary limit allowing only 1 borrow / lend per set of NNIDs.

The borrowing period could range from a 1 day minimum to a 14 day maximum. The person lending out the game would pick the duration. What would happen is that the lender’s system would be flagged as having that game lent out and that game would become disabled from launching during this period. The lending process could be initiated from the Nintendo eShop, in the user’s Account area.

The person borrowing the game would then have the set duration to play the game. The user could choose to return the game early if they wanted and have the system delete or disable the game on their console at that time. The benefit of disabling the game would be incase the person ended up purchasing their own copy. The borrowed (disabled) copy would be unlocked and no longer disabled. If the game gets re-borrowed, then the system is updated to allow access to that game for the new duration period.

To avoid people changing their system clocks to extend the borrow duration, the system would call home to verify the remaining duration. If the console was offline, you would be allowed 3 launches. On the 4th launch, the system would disable launching the game until it can verify how much time is left for the borrow duration. I’m sure there would be a few kinks to work out, but this seems like a plausible idea.

What is your take on the idea of digital game lending / borrowing? If you could give a friend the opportunity to experience a great game they normally wouldn’t be able to, would you?

Should the Wii U get classic computer games on the Nintendo eShop?

Video games have come a long way over the past 30+ years. Characters such as Mario, Link, Kirby, and even Donkey Kong, have stood strong against the test of time. With each new game that gets released, gamers rejoice and happily open their wallets to experience Nintendo’s newest creation.

Space QuestKings QuestThe Secret of Monkey IslandLeisure Suit Larry

What ever happened to iconic characters such as Roger Wilco, Sir Graham, Guybrush Threepwood, or even Larry Laffer? Sure these characters are from famous Point & Click Adventure games released for PC decades ago, but they provided a level of challenge you just don’t get in many games today. This is just the tip of the iceberg though, as there are a TON of excellent games that were released for PC over the past 2-3 decades. Why do you think many of the players go back to playing these games again & again, because of the lack of a satisfying challenge / story in many of today’s games.

Castle of Dr Brain Castle of Dr Brain Castle of Dr Brain Castle of Dr Brain

Besides Point & Click Adventure games, you have puzzle games such as the Dr Brain series. I used to play Castle of Dr Brain on my Amiga and it really tested your ability to solve various kinds of puzzles. You had binary puzzles, math puzzles, robot programming puzzles, and an actual puzzle just to name a few things you had to solve. Games like these challenged your analytical side and when you solved a puzzle, you got that feeling that you actually accomplished something great.

The Wii and Wii U could easily handle these type of games. We don’t necessarily need remakes of the older games, although that would be pretty sweet (especially with enhanced graphics). For Point & Click style games, the Wiimote is your mouse and you just click at your options on the screen. For the Wii U’s case, you also have your Gamepad in which you could utilize the touch screen for Off-TV gameplay. A new game in the Monkey Island series was released on the Wii as a WiiWare title a few years back, but unfortunately suffered from framerate issues and poor loading times.

Typhoon ThompsonTyphoon ThompsonTyphoon ThompsonTyphoon Thompson

There are other great game examples as well which are not Point & Click based, such as Typhoon Thompson. This was quite a fun game back in the day where you controlled the character’s craft by mouse movement. This would work perfectly with Nintendo’s motion controls in the Wiimote / Gamepad. Your character would move according to the direction you tilt your controller, utilizing the buttons for firing etc. We don’t need a fully rendered 3D world to utilize such controls, even a pseudo one such as this is a good example on how to make a motion-controlled game.

Speedball 2 Chuck Rock Lemmings Dungeon Master

There’s other examples such as Speedball 2 by The Bitmap Brothers. This was an excellent sports type game that I spend many hours playing. There’s racing games such as Nitro and Test Drive, platformers such as Twinworld and Chuck Rock, puzzle games like Lemmings and Push Over, adventure games such as Dungeon Master and Ultima… I could keep going, but you get my drift.

There are many quality PC games from the 80’s and 90’s that deserve to be experienced by today’s gamers. Sure there is emulation, but that’s a copyright-related topic for another day. Many of these great classics are being ported, remade, or continued on mobile devices by 1 such video game company out of France, DotEmu. If you want to see quality classic games brought to the Wii U, then you need to let your voice be heard! Reach out to DotEmu (and other gaming companies) and let them know on their Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ accounts that you want to see classic PC games brought to the Wii U eShop.

Dot Arcade available in North America on the Wii U eShop starting March 26th.

Step up and experience the brilliant 8×8 light cabinets of Dot Arcade! You’ll enjoy a collection of 3 FULL COLOR GAMES, right on your TV or Wii U GamePad™!

Each dot game is focused on a different core of fun gameplay in its most simple form. Stunning “cabinet art” frames the game screen with the designs of featured artists… you may discover additional hidden designs too!

Have you become a local legend for your dot game skills? Take it global and share top scores on Miiverse. Friends everywhere are ready to have a Dot Arcade showdown with YOU!

Mr. Snake – Become a galactic snakeback rider on a rip-roaring ride through the asteroid belt! Gobble up cosmic gem fruits, and try not to crash!

Dodge Club – The fans are going wild! Put on a show for them as you guide your dancer about a dangerous disco floor — how long can you go?

Rally Driver – You’re in the driver’s seat of the fastest Formula D racer on the road. Overtake the other cars and become the speed master of Rally Town!


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