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Nintendo: Physical media is here to stay

It's what consumers want.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Despite our increasingly online-enabled world and the rise of digitally distributed games, Nintendo has insisted physical media is here to stay.

"We have been very clearly communicating for a long time that the packaged software or retail market is the one that's going to drive the mass market," Nintendo of Europe's MD of marketing and PR, Laurent Fischer told Edge.

"We have never seen any link between growth in the mobile gaming market and decrease in the normal software market. It's two different markets, two different topics. We couldn't find any evidence of those two markets being linked."

Fischer's comments echo those from Sony Computer Entertainment boss Kaz Hirai, who in August last year insisted that a digital future is over 10 years away.

"We do business in parts of the world where network infrastructure isn't as robust as one would hope," Hirai said.

"There's always going to be requirement for a business of our size and scope to have a physical medium.

"To think everything will be downloaded in two years, three years or even 10 years from now is taking it a little bit to the extreme."

Last July saw a watershed moment in the rise of digitally distributed games, when NPD revealed that US PC game digital downloads were reaching parity with in-store.

And in October Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick predicted that in three years' time 40 per cent of the Grand Theft Auto company's sales will be digitally distributed titles.

For Nintendo's Fischer, though, it's all about the high street.

"People who talk about the end of physical media don't share the same daily reality as most consumers," he said.

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