Pre-load feature coming to Wii U this year, 3DS next year - Nintendo Everything

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Pre-load feature coming to Wii U this year, 3DS next year

Posted on October 29, 2014 by (@NE_Brian) in 3DS, News, Wii U

Pre-loading is coming to Wii U this year, Nintendo has announced. The functionality will arrive towards the end of 2014.

There are also plans to bring the same feature to 3DS sometime in 2015.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed the company’s new pre-order plans during the company’s latest investor briefing.



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  • Jpgg0

    What is that?

    • wsedrftg

      downloads data before release. Can only play on release date and onwards.

  • Operative

    is that like when you download a game ahead of time, but get access to it on the night it releases? If so that’s great! Xbox One and PS4 just got those features

    • TalesOfBS

      It is pretty great, specially for people with shtty internets.

  • I wish someone could explain this feature to me in a way that makes any sense. The game comes out on Friday morning at midnight, but I download it on Thursday and am not allowed to play it until Friday. What’s the point of the release date?

    To be clear, I’m fine with pre-ordering and auto-downloading. If it comes out on Friday and it downloads overnight without me touching anything, that makes perfect sense. The pre-loading thing just sounds like it’s pushing the release date back.

    • Kallumsmarties

      You can pre-order a game, download it and then play it when it’s launch day. guess it saves you from doing all that waiting, but then if you don’t buy much stuff on eShop, probably won’t mean much to you. What my impression was.

      • Right, but that’s not “pre-loading” per se. That’s just automatically downloading it midnight on release day so you can play when you wake up/get home/whatever.

        • the idea of pre-loading is that you can play the game at like, 12:00am midnight on the release date instead of waiting for it to download and “play when you wake up/get home/whatever”–a lot of people don’t want to wait and want to ACTUALLY play it at midnight, so yeah. pre-loading is convenient and it does mean people can access the game a tiny bit earlier than ever before, but it’s not like it’s pushing the release date back. it’s just a convenience and such.

          • “A lot of people don’t want to wait” – that’s my point. You do have to wait. The real release date is Thursday. The game was rushed to be finished on time and it’s on your system. Why bother waiting til midnight? You literally have the complete game. Why not play it at 10pm?

            How is it not pushing the date back? It’s giving less time to the dev to finish.

            I don’t see how I’m the one being obtuse about this.

          • phayroent

            Because the game won’t be playable until Friday. it will be pre-loaded onto your system so you can just start playing on release day instead of going to the eshop, then buy it, then wait for it to DL. Why is that so hard for you to comprehend? You can’t play a game on Thursday if the release date is Friday. You can save yourself the time of downloading then playing on Friday because you already have the game downloaded on Thursday.

          • Or I could download it on Thursday and play it because that’s when it really came out. What about this is complicated?

          • you seem to be under the impression that the game is finished and gets released like, right after. In actuality, games usually complete development at least a month, if not a few months beforehand. Indie games might finish only a few weeks before because they’re smaller and it takes less time to distribute and market them, but that’s not the case with bigger games.

            The concept of a release date is rather strict in the gaming industry: a game must be released on a certain date. Breaking that is looked down upon and even punished by publishers (e.g. when retailers sold Fire Emblem: Awakening or Pokemon X/Y early). There’s also a matter of marketing and timing the release.

            Therefore, a game that is supposed to release on a specific date must release on that date, but the TIME that it releases is a variable. It can release at any time on that day. For lesser games, that just means whenever the store opens. For others, it means having a midnight launch because the earliest the game can legally be sold is 12:00am that day in that timezone. Now, there is a delay between picking up and downloading your game and playing it, and this delay can be negated through pre-loading, which lets you play the game as soon as legally possible, 12:00am that day. Just shifting the release date back a day is impossible in terms of how the gaming industry works.

            The gaming industry just couldn’t function without the order set by things such as release dates. There’s a process to everything and pre-loading is just a convenience for the customer that doesn’t break the standard process for game publishing in the industry.

            If that doesn’t explain it, then I’m afraid there’s nothing more that can be said or done. No hard feelings. =)



    • Operative

      I think the main attraction is downloading a big game days in advance, and being able to play the second it’s released at midnight. Rather than waiting until midnight, then waiting a couple hours for the 10 GB game to download

      • But technically it’s ready before it’s “released” and the midnight release date is arbitrary. It’s like buying a sandwich at 11am and the restaurant not letting you eat it until noon.

        • Operative

          Indeed, but by getting that sandwich at 11, you won’t need to wait in the line when the restaurant opens at noon

          • No, the restaurant is open. They made the sandwich. They brought it to my house. But they delivered it in a lockbox and said “you can’t eat it, please wait an hour for us to bring the key.”

          • Operative

            No the restaurant is not open. I feel silly talking about it like this, but the whole point of this is not needing to wait for a large download the night a game releases. There are people that would rather download a game that isn’t out yet now so that they don’t need to sit there waiting for it to download the day it releases.

            So people can buy the game now, download it, and play it at midnight on release day, or buy it on release day, wait a few hours to download it, then play it later on in the day.

            it’s just for convenience, simple as that. The game may be ready to play, but can not be released until the specified day by the publisher.

          • Right so instead of waiting 2 hours for the download, you wait an extra day.

          • Operative

            Uh no. Instead of waiting 2 hours to download, you play right when it releases. there’s no extra anything. The release date is the release date.

          • Which they have to move up to accommodate pre-loading.

          • kthanxyousuck

            No they don’t. Games are finished before their release dates all the time. How do you think retailers do same day shipping if they didn’t have the stock ahead of time?

            Smash U is coming out Nov 21st pre-loading or not. That doesn’t mean the game isn’t finished until Nov 20th, it’s probably ready now.

        • Glommo

          Games are always ready before they are released.

          By your logic anything done after a game is ready to be released, and before the actual release of the game is “dishonesty”.

          That is a ridiculous standpoint.

    • Glommo

      Release dates are arbitrary dates which are set for publishers and the like to control the release of a game to maximize profits.

      There is no logic to a release date to a consumer. A preemptive download is used so consumers can play faster, but more importantly, for publishers and developers to sell copies before release with no chance of returning said copy and to reduce stress on download servers, since some of those consumers will have downloaded the files beforehand instead of all at the same point in time.

      There is no reason why the “key” that “unlocks” your ability to play what is already downloaded on your system and which you already paid for has to be tomorrow rather than today except the discretion of the people in charge of those dates.

      • Remember how Wind Waker, Luigi U and Sports Club were available to download before they hit shelves? That makes more sense than this.

        If I can download the game on Thursday, I should be able to play the game on Thursday. Basically they’re delaying the release date to Friday when 1) I’ve paid and 2) the game is complete.

        Server stress is an unrealistic excuse. Traffic spikes are the nature of the internet and this is the laziest way of reducing them.

        People are asking for this like it’s a benefit to them. It’s smoke and mirrors, not a feature. If the release dates are arbitrary, let them be arbitrary, but let them mean “when the game is available to download.” Auto-download is a time-saving feature for the consumer. This isn’t.

        • Glommo

          I don’t see your problem.

          So what you’re saying is you don’t want preemptive downloads because you can’t play the game before release anyway.

          Well without preemptive downloads, this fact stays the same.

          It is used to give customers the chance to play the game the second it releases. You might not find this a very appealing “feature”, but some do. And those people aren’t necessarily wrong.

          It is not smoke and mirrors. The facts are clear from the start. Buy now, get the download out of the way, play the moment the game releases without having to wait for the game to download.

          How are they selling this under a guise of anything?

          • Do I have to talk about sandwiches again? The “do not open til xmas” thing is dishonest. You can’t seem to grasp the difference between not being able to play and not being able to download. I have the game on Thursday. I could play it, but for some bizarre reason I’m not allowed. The actual release date was Thursday. That means everything the dev and publisher did, years of labor, was working up to Thursday. I pre-ordered it on Monday. It’s on my system on Thursday. Explain to me the benefit of having to wait another day, or another week or whatever they decide is best for me to wait while the game languishes on my system.

            They’re selling it under the guise of consumer convenience. Except I can’t find anything that’s convenient for the consumer, and no one’s pointing to it. My problem is this doesn’t make any sense.

          • Glommo

            The game still comes out on Thursday. You can just download it on Tuesday so you don’t have to download it on Thursday and wait for the download to finish before you can play it. You then get access to that download on Thursday.

            This isn’t rocket science.

          • No, the game comes out on Thursday, cf. my first post. The completely arbitrary release date is Friday.

            No, it’s not rocket science – it’s CYA marketing. That’s why it doesn’t make any sense. You’re being tricked and you don’t even care. That’s fine, just admit that.

          • Glommo

            Why would I admit something that you just made up?

            You apparently believe that the release date is moved up to accommodate this new preemptive download.

            This claim is yours to prove. Not mine.

          • Then explain the benefits to the consumer. No one has been able to so far.

          • Glommo

            I already did.

          • Of course you’re being tricked. You’re told you don’t have to wait for the game to download on release day. But you do. Just release day is a day before. You can’t play it immediately. You play it when they tell you.

          • Glommo

            So it’s a conspiracy theory?

          • There’s no conspiracy.. that’s how it works. That’s how you just explained it to me, isn’t it? You said the benefits are that you don’t have to wait on the release day for the download to finish.

            But you do. All they did was change the release date.

          • Glommo

            Then prove your claim?

          • Normally the game is only available to download at midnight Friday morning. That’s the first time you can download it. But under this system, they need to make the game available earlier. Let’s say they put it up Thursday at noon, and your console is given 12 hours lead time to download it.

            Now either they prepared the game to be complete and playable for Thursday instead of Friday, or they can travel backwards through time.

          • Glommo

            You really think game developers are done developing the game on the midnight of its release?

            You do realize that games, like Smash Bros, or digital only releases, are usually done weeks if not months in advance?

            The release date is the date by which consumers can play the game.

            The internal deadline is separate from the release date.

            The game has always already existed on servers weeks beforehand. You now just get the ability to download it in advance.

            If you really think the development of Smash Bros. is affected by the fact that consumers theoretically have access to the data one day before its release, and this somehow shifts the actual release date to the day before, are you blind to the fact that there are stores that have copies of that same game weeks in advance inside of a plastic case with manual, which also had to be manufactured, sealed?

            Like I said before, games are always ready before they are released. “release date” means nothing more than “date by which customers are allowed to purchase the game”. It doesn’t mean “date by which the game must be completed”.

          • Yer moving the goalposts. There’s no difference between twelve hours a week before and twelve hours that night. It’s all part of the process and it adds up. If you think this feature reduces wait time for the consumer, you’re being tricked. I’ve made my point.

          • Glommo

            How am I moving the goal posts….?

            Not only that, where exactly have I claimed this reduces wait time?

            Who are you even talking to?

    • ronin4life

      When you purchase a game, you are NOT buying the digital code that runs it, but a non-transferable license to access that game. Nintendo is allowing you to pre download the CODE that ckmes with your license and only allowing the license to be used at the agreed upon time of the release date.

    • TalesOfBS

      It pre-load like, 99% of the game files, then when Nintendo release the game you just need to update it to start playing. Better wait for a 10mb patch to install than a 4gb game right?

  • JuleyJules

    I’d much rather see us be able to buy retail games and download them to external hard drive so you don’t need the disc everytime. E-shop games are too expensive in Canada compared to deals online to preorder during E3!

    • Glommo

      So then what happens if I buy a copy of the new Mario game, download it to my hard drive, sell it to a stranger and they also download it to their hard drive?

      You just want cheaper downloads.

      Which is understandable. Nintendo charges ridiculous prices sometimes.

      • JuleyJules

        I guess that’s true that we’d all just download it but if we sell games anyway at GameStop or something what’s the difference? Doesn’t Sony have this feature on PS? I thought it was on PS or Xbox or is coming. On PC that’s what you do with Steam. Once I put a game on I don’t need the disc to launch it. In Canada games are $5 more than the US. Pre-orders during E3 are very enticing.

        • Glommo

          But the disc then becomes useless. So really, the disc is just your “key” to download the game off of the service.

          I mean, I agree with you. It would be a nice feature to have. But as far as I can see it, it’s impossible without just turning the disc into another digital download. In which case there no longer is any difference. (except price obviously)

          And the difference between selling your game to GameStop and selling your game to a stranger is this:

          >You sell your game to a stranger for $20.
          You: +$20
          Stranger -$20

          >You sell your game to GameStop for $20 and then GameStop sells your game to the same stranger for $25.
          You: +$20
          GameStop: -$20
          Stranger: -$25
          GameStop: +$25

          -20 + 25 = 5

          $5 profit for GameStop. GameStop uses its power as a retail store to create profit.

          Physical games directly benefit retailers like GameStop, because they are the “place” you go to get or sell your games. If your game is but a download, GameStop doesn’t need to exist any more, because downloads can’t be returned in most places in the world, and where they can, (mostly Europe) this can easily be done on various places on the internet.

          • this is all right and all except one thing

            GameStop will give you like, $5 for your game and sell it for $20, usually, lol. if they’re giving you $20, they’re probably selling it for like $40. =P

            just nitpicking GameStop’s trade values and pre-owned prices, don’t mind me lol

          • Glommo

            Hahaha, true that.

        • On Steam you activate it by key. So you can’t sell your game.
          On PS4/XBOX ONE you still need the disc in order to start the game (for protection)

          • JuleyJules

            Maybe one day then it will be like PS4/Xbox One then where you need the disc but just for protection – perhaps to have better load times? Is that why they have you download it to the HDD?

      • TalesOfBS

        Your first sentence is pretty dumb, do you realize it? Of course something like this would use some type of DRM do prevent that.

        I am not sure if Nintendo could implement such feature by now, unless they start selling retail versions with special discs that need online activation before they could be installed into your console’s external drive. Anyway, Online DRM, i don’t like this.

        What the Wii U really needs now is a feature that has been available for years on MS/Sony consoles and is used by many developers: Disc installs. They allow games to install their files into the hard drive for faster loading, less disc wear and also enable game developers to do quick texture loading/unloading which means they can make better use of the available system memory by loading textures when it is actually needed instead of being kept cached due to slow disc access. And much more.

        • Glommo

          Who are you even talking to?

          I was giving an example to the person I was replying to with an example of why their imagined system wouldn’t work.

          That’s about it. I’m not particularly interested in getting into an argument about what they should or shouldn’t do, since that isn’t what I was talking about in the first place.