Oct 4th, 2013


Dan Adelman, the ever busy manager of licensing at Nintendo of America is at it again, this time with talks of cross-buy for the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS. He says there has been some internal talk at the company for some form of cross buy for the two system, but that nothing has been decided on yet.

For those who don’t know, Sony currently employs a cross-buy system for the PS3 and the PlayStation Vita, where if you buy a game released on both consoles on one device, you get it on the other for free. This would most likely be implemented in the virtual console side of things for Nintendo’s Wii U and the 3DS.

“We don’t have anything new to announce on that, but I believe that the idea’s been talked about. So it’s something we’re definitely up to considering if there’s enough demand from developers, but nothing to announce for right now.”

Many fans have been asking for cross-buy for ages, since many early NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, and even Nintendo 64 titles would be perfect to play on the handheld, once purchased from the Wii U virtual console. For many, even just paying an extra dollar or two for cross-buy would be worth it. What do you think?

local_offer    dan adelman  Nintendo  nintendo of america  wii u  
  • X3Charlie

    I think this is definitely the right direction. It is inevitable that the lines between portable and home console will be further blurred in the future.

  • Adam

    I would buy a lot more VC games if there were cross buy and cloud saves. I would be buying them like crazy!

    • palomino blue

      ME TOO!

      • Adam

        It’s limiting, as I want to play games on my wii u at home and on the road on my 3ds, not be limited by which system I can afford them for. It generally makes me not want to buy them as I can’t decide which one to get it for. Having it on both even without a cloud service would be amazing. I’m also waiting for the original pokemon games from r/b/y-g/s/c. I like them better than the remakes

    • JuleyJules

      Plus think of it – they’d go from having 3.5 million Wii U owners buying VC games to 37.5 million 3DS and Wii U owners. And if there were more games that were cross overs between both some people (like me) who don’t have 3DS might actually buy one if you could bring it back to the Wii U and keep playing.

  • Please Please Please. I don’t even want refunds for the games I have bought twice but please think of your loyal fans and give them the option to buy once and use on any compatible device.

  • AlienFanatic

    Seriously, it’s about time. When I can buy an app for between $.99 and $5 from the Google Play store and it appears on all of my devices (my phone, my tablet, etc.), it seems ridiculous that I have to buy separate versions for my 3DS and my Wii-U.

    Like it or not, Google and Apple have their sights set directly on Nintendo’s (and Sony’s and Microsoft’s) market and if these companies don’t adapt, people will simply drift away and use emulators to get the experience without a dime landing in Nintendo’s pockets.

    I am a very ethical guy who always pays for what he plays, but I’m becoming extremely disaffected with Nintendo due to the snail’s pace with which it embraces these new paradigms. Its online policies are hopelessly outdated, its patch process is slow, and it simply isn’t releasing games fast enough to keep the market interested. It’s time for someone to wake up Iwata and tell him that if he doesn’t fix things soon, he’ll never get another chance.

    PS. there’s also no reason Nintendo can’t manage all of the games through the Club Nintendo profile so that users can easily migrate from one system to the next. Their bizarre method of transferring games from the Wii to the Wii-U and from one 3DS to another is ridiculously archaic, sloppy, and error prone. Embrace The Cloud, Nintendo!

    • Well said, I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said. I love Nintendo and the attention to detail they maintain with their game releases. I’m often more satisfied with Nintendo games than others I play, but at the same time their delivery system is almost draconian.

      There’s no reason for the 3DS NOT to use Nintendo Network ID. There’s no reason for the 3DS and the Wii U NOT to share Virtual Console titles. Nintendo would make MORE money by combining these two through happy customers than it would through anything else.

      • AlienFanatic

        I think they also lack a focus on Big Data. Look at how Google and others are using their extensive products to mine consumer data so that they can offer them new experiences tailored to their needs. Nintendo, on the other hand, relies on INCREDIBLY mundane post-play surveys which are undoubtedly largely ignored by all but the most ardent Nintendo fans. The data they’re getting is a tiny subset of their market, and necessarily so because the more casual players are unlikely to ever fill out a survey, no matter how many coins you promise them.

        By embracing and expanding the Club Nintendo system and then, perhaps, providing multiple user accounts, Nintendo could quickly see exactly what titles players are playing, how long they’re playing them, their ages, and other data that consumers are almost patterned to share anymore.

        I truly think Iwata is the wrong man for Nintendo at this time. He’s hopelessly traditional in his viewpoint, as perhaps are many older Japanese companies. They need to realize quickly that there is a quickly-changing dynamic out there that they could embrace and who would embrace them warmly in return. Reward the loyalists. Make the experience as easy as possible. Give people the most customized experience possible. And learn from the examples that Google and Apple are setting to enhance the entire experience instead of wrapping an old experience in a new tablet shell.

        • Tim van Broekhoven

          But don’t forget Nintendo has Miiverse now.

      • AlienFanatic

        One more thing, Ashley. Obviously, you got my dander up with this. Unless things have drastically changed since the days I worked at Nintendo (I was in customer support years ago before Reggie came in and turned the place into a soulless marketing machine), guys like Adelman don’t call the shots. They’re there to take the marching orders from Japan and then parrot some boilerplate garbage to the press to mollify them.

        The real decisions have always been, and probably always will be, made in Japan. When Nintendo started to have marketshare problems in the late 90’s, Yamauchi clamped down on NOA with a firm hand. He replaced his son-in-law Arakawa–the nicest guy you’d ever meet–with the bulldog Lincoln and then later with an interim NOJ loyalist and finally Reggie. The hand of NOJ is FIRMLY on the tiller at NOA.

        Until Iwata is gone and Nintendo employs someone not bound to their staunchly conservative, traditionalist views it will be incredibly difficult for them to embrace technology shifts like this one. Heck, look at the spasms that virtually all of the old-school Japanese companies are having. Capcom is a shell. Square/Enix routinely struggles. About the only company I can point to that is even a fraction of its former self is Konami. The decisions begin and end with Iwata and Miyamoto and until they either change their minds or leave the company, little will change.

        Dan’s a shill and a pencil-pusher, nothing more.

        • TheAquacharger

          You know the board of execs also makes a lot of decisions and until recently the guy who made Nintendo into a videogame business had the most say in what Nintendo did, right? Because through Japan ideas you listen to your elders, even in business. Also he had the most shares in Nintendo so what ever he said went. I’m about 75% sure he was the reason Nintendo has been held back in many business ways (cross purchase and such). now that he’s gone I expect in a year or two for some decent to big changes. Depending on how everyone reacts could lead to even bigger changes.

          • FutureFox

            Can I interject and ask how do you explain Sony’s ability to stay ahead of the curve? They’re japanese too and yet have the business know-how to know when and how to include and adapt to new technologies (i.e online infrastructure). Maybe Sony is somehow more progressive in their thinking?

      • Wayne Beck

        Nintendo seems to have this persistent delusion that if someone can access these games on both of these consoles at the same time, they will not buy both consoles. They don’t seem to understand that people will be more likely to purchase both if they share software. I think they are just afraid that the 3DS is too successful and it will hurt the Wii U.

      • TheAquacharger

        there is a reason, but it’s not a good one.
        Nintendo had two different hardware teams (this year they merged them into one finally) ever since the GB came out. The handheld team wouldn’t know what was really going on with the console team. This time it really bit them hard as the handheld team just did a universal FC while the console team made NNIDs.

        That’s the reason why there isn’t a NNID on the 3DS. They 3DS team didn’t know the Wii U team was making a NNID.

        • Even still, the brass at Nintendo should have said, “Okay, Nintendo Network ID is our online presence” and then worked to incorporate that with the 3DS handheld team. Seemingly they’re doing that now by merging the two divisions, but it has taken way too long.

          The Wii U has been available for nearly a year now and there’s no clue when the 3DS will be brought under the NNID umbrella.

          • TheAquacharger

            Technically the 3DS is now under the NN umbrella, with one of the updates. They say they’re working on bringing NNIDs to the 3DS, which makes sense with how they want to bring Miiverse to the 3DS.

            but yeah, they should’ve done that but the problem was it wasn’t a Nintendo company move. It was just something the Wii U team thought to throw in. It hasn’t been said when it was thrown in either (early or late in development).

    • AlienFanatic

      Also, “…if there’s enough demand from developers?” This has NOTHING to do with developers but rather consumers. Nintendo could even do this for just its own titles. Nintendo needs to listen to us for a change instead of relying upon the ever-fickle development community, which rushes from market leader to market leader without any loyalty to Nintendo or its consumers. Develop the systems, put them in place, and show them how it’s done, Nintendo. If companies see that doing so increases sales, they’ll jump on board faster than a grasshopper with its legs on fire.

    • Marcus Navarro

      What if you already use emulators to play retro games? Would you have any incentive to buy the games?

      • AlienFanatic

        I think it depends upon the person. I still find that touch screens suck for gaming. Sure, you can buy bluetooth controllers but now you’ve got to put your device on a stand. I still think Nintendo provides the best form factors for portable gaming, and nothing will ever replace the tactile controls of a good d-pad/analog stick and buttons.

        If you give people the chance to buy VC titles for a decent price (I think they need to go down to $1.99 for NES titles and $2.99 for SNES), I think they could curb a lot of the piracy that goes on from the emulator crowd.

        But make no mistake, there will always be people that are more than happy to steal what they can’t afford. The idea is to reward your loyal fans, who continue to pour cash into your coffers, by making the experience easy and by offering them the games they want at a price they feel is justifiable.

        • Marcus Navarro

          You think I use touch screens to play VC games? LOL!

          I really hate your logic involving using emulators. “…there will always be people that are more than happy to steal what they can’t afford…” Ummm…VC is a PRIME example of artificial profit, hello? Unless the games give me more than I would normally get if I just copped it from site. That’s why I got LoZ Oracle of Ages. Give me something like that I won’t get otherwise. And no, being able to play Pokemon Crystal on a 3DS or Snowboard Kids on the Gamepad don’t count.

          $2 for a NES game is too expensive. $3 for a SNES game(unless it’s a rare game or hard to get the physical copy IRL) is too expensive. I think Earthbound is worth $10. I still think it’s too expensive. You want a bang-for-your-buck deal? Make N64 games run perfectly on the Wii U then, and make it $6 or less. To this day(with one key exception), I have not seen anyone make a N64 game run perfectly on their rig. The key exception is a custom build for Project64, but that build is very specific to one computer.

          You want a bang-for-you-buck deal? Make the Gamecube emulation on the Wii U outmatch the functonality of Dolphin and sell the GC games for $10 or less. Things like that will make people like me potential buyers.

          • AlienFanatic

            I’m sorry, but if you pirate now I have a hard time believing you’ll stop pirating just because Nintendo delivers the experience in the way you’re expecting it to.

            Your kind always justifies their behavior by dismissing a company’s efforts as somehow lacking. In your eyes, there will always be something missing, or not quite right, which will justify you playing an emulated version because the company doesn’t “deserve” to keep making money from flawed software.

            Sorry, I’m just not buying your excuses. You don’t buy VC games and you never will. Stop lying.

            PS: the reason N64 games don’t run well is because the patents are still in force. As soon as the patents expire, the pirates will copy the source code and emulation will improve. That’s just the way it works. Nintendo can emulate the N64 perfectly even on old Wii hardware because it has the technology patents

          • Marcus Navarro

            Excuse me?

            I have LoZ Oracle of Ages on my 3DS. That’s the only VC title I have. I played it with a friend and it was fun. I feel as if my money was well-spent on that because it gave me an experience I wouldn’t get if I got the game elsewhere.

            And what the fuck is it with this “your kind” talk? If the game’s not making the company a profit anymore or is not being re-sold in the same market, then it’s shareware. Plain and simple. “Excuses?” Fuck you. I don’t get a better experience from buying the game than I would getting it for free, then I’m not getting it. I got LoZ Oracle of Ages, and I feel as if the payment was justified. What else is there to say?

            You can’t fucking “pirate” a game that’s not making money in the industry. Is Nintendo selling any of the underrated gems for the NES/SNES? 1/2 of the good N64 games? Any of the GC games worth playing? No? Then shut the fuck up. It’s shareware. End of story.

            Keep up your ad hominem bullshit. It’s not gonna help your argument in the slightest. Here’s the bottom line: Give the player an experience they wouldn’t have if they got the game elsewhere and it will warrant a worthy purchase. Just because I can play Street Fighter 2 on my Gamepad doesn’t make it any more with it than playing the same game on my laptop with a USB controller for free.

          • AlienFanatic

            Control yourself. At least you are aware of the words “ad hominem,” which leads me to believe that you’re able to either understand higher concepts or at least ape what others have said and use it in your own arguments.

            If the game has entered the public domain and the copyright has expired, by all means you have every right to it. If, however, it’s still copyrighted and you choose to play it either because a) you’re too cheap to pay for the VC version or b) you refuse to pay for a used copy you are stealing. I know it’s all the rage these days to use the justification that because one can find and download a title you have every right to it, especially when Nintendo can’t justify making a legitimate VC title available, but to play a game without owning the ROM when the copyright is still in effect is stealing.

            Woo, you bought ONE game so therefore you’re covered? Puh-leeze.

            PS. An ad-hominem attack only lacks teeth when the entire argument is focused on the individual and does not address the point they were making. I may have poked a finger in your chest, accusingly, but I also backed up my argument with facts. You have only responded with your opinion based upon your belief that you have every right to play games via an emulator that you do not own. I am simply calling that argument false. I have bought a number of VC titles. I have a pretty decent library of old NES, SNES, N64, Game Boy, GBA, and DS games. I spend my money to support the company and if I don’t think the game is worth paying for, I won’t play it (emulated or not.) It’s called ethics and you’ll be darned sure I’ll call people out when they don’t practice them.

          • Adam

            You are much better than I sir. I will play illegally until I have the means to get the game (a console, not moneywise) Once I have the console I have myself buy it to pay nintendo back, even if I don’t play the game again

          • Marcus Navarro

            An ad hominem attack also doesn’t address the substance of the argument either, so it’s in vain regardless. Maybe it was a unnecessarily strong way to describe your high-horse galloping and misdirected ire, but it’s somewhere along those lines, so a change in terminology would change little outside of clarity.

            If it’s still under copyright but is not being sold or distributed by its owners(already on the market and is not gaining any revenue for its owners) OR making revenue, then it’s shareware. Period. It’s like if cars were 3d-printable, but everyone owns the 3d printer and the code was sold as hardware once upon a time. As soon as the code is not being distributed AND stops making money for its creator, then it’s shareware once it’s been introduced to the public forum. If the code’s being sold as a promo deal via digital distribution for cheap in the midst of it already being available for free, then it’s an attempt to engineer profits where you normally wouldn’t be getting any. Therefore, getting the code for free is NOT stealing. Same applies for retro video games, SPECIFICALLY. Your point would make more sense if it was directed at modern video games available for digital distribution, but as it is directed at retro games, it doesn’t hold as much water.

            I bought the one VC game that gives me something different from the regular ROM. I’m not trying to use that as a ladder to mount the horse you’re riding. Stop making it seem like I am. If there are more VC games like it, direct me to them and I will GLADLY throw down the money for them, depending on the game and new features.

            With digital distribution, supply is essentially infinite. You gotta better define “stealing” in this sense. If it cuts into revenue, then it’s by all means stealing, but even then the circumstances surrounding the term in this sense apply. If someone downloads Call of Duty 4 30yrs after it’s released and Activision(granted they live that long) re-released it for digital download, then would it be stealing? No. Artificial profits. If someone downloads GTA5 4 days before(or even after) the game is released, then is it stealing? Hell yeah!

            I’m not a “pirate” in any sense. Hell, I saw the magnet links to GTA5 for the X360(which I still have btw) and didn’t even bother. I have yet to play that game, and I probably won’t be any time soon. I have every single reason to cop it(whether from a store or for free), yet I don’t. I would like to get it, but there are things higher up on the list. When the time comes, I will buy it. That’s why I hit the “ad hominem” switch. Maybe it was premature because you thought it appropriate to draw pre-conceived notions of a random stranger. Idk. I really do believe your ire was misdirected. Maybe something got lost in translation or my hypothesis is correct.

          • Nathan DeFalco

            It’s not infinite. By having more copies out in the digital wild, it drives down demand, which screws up the pricing and sale of the game. That is Economics 101. Also, it’s what the law has interpreted it to be and you will not find a single economist or ethicist that would disagree.

            You may say, well they are not worth the price and you may be right, but what kind of mixed message do you send by stealing their game anyway? There’s demand but not enough?? They’re response is going to be “We need to support the crackdown on pirating so demand will go back up.” They’re response is not going to be to lower the price. The only way they will get that message is if you don’t buy AND don’t pirate.

            Well, enough of the econ lesson. Besides all I really had to say was there is no justification for stealing entertainment- digitally or otherwise. You have yet to show us how it can be justified.

          • Guest

            Thieves will always justify thieving. And you’re one of the worst at it.

    • dasapolis

      Well, parts of the world still don’t even have Club Nintendo. I know Scandinavia doesn’t, and there are probably others as well. If they’re going to manage shit through CN, they would have to expand it quite a bit first. It’s probably easier to just make a few changes to NNID and build on that.
      It would still be nice to get Club Nintendo in Norway, though. There are some really sweet prizes on there.

  • Zuxs13

    Why does it have to be demand from the developers? What developer would say “hey lets give a way a free version of our game instead of forcing them to buy two!”

    how about us consumers that would, oh i dont know, buy BOTH systems so that way we can play your games at home and on the road!

    • Patrick Francis

      Because they lose money when you buy a system and gain money when you buy a game.
      You buy a 3DS and a Wii U. Nintendo loses money.
      You buy games on the 3DS and Wii U, Nintendo starts making profit.

      • Zuxs13

        Unfortunately that’s not true (not entirely at least) and he isn’t specifying “Nintendo ” developers. So if Nintendo loses money on a console it has nothing to do with Capon selling us monster hunter on 3ds and Wiiu.

  • Daniel Gonzalez

    They should go for it. They have nothing to lose at this point.

  • NintenFan2013

    SSB for wiiu/3ds cross-buy. My idea. Dont they work with each other any way?

  • Διονύς84

    I’d rather play these games on my PSP emulators. Sorry to be cynical, but I’m not gonna wait on when Nintendo decides to do simple stuff

    • Michael Jurado

      isn’t that illegal or is it selling them??? i dunno

      • Διονύς84

        Nobody’s gonna arrest you for it

  • discuss

    I would get a 3DS.

  • The True Gamer

    I can’t see almost anything other than VC and smash bros. Taking advantage of this. 3DS should have been a little bit more closer to psvitas power in my opinion. I graphics just seem a little too pixelated, and some Wii u and 3DS games could have been cross buy.

  • Michael Jurado

    more games for my 3ds I say let’s make it happen 😀

  • MYCO


  • MYCO


  • Andrew W Garttmeyer

    I just want to play that new Zelda game for the 3DS on my Wii U, will that happen, because I am NOT buying a 3DS.

  • Mr. Berzerk

    I’m tired of paying just one more dollar….. The way you are nickle and dimed these days, its like airlines.