Slowly but surely, Nintendo is making its way into the digital age.
Nintendo hasn't exactly been the most Internet-savvy of games companies, but it is getting there. With the introduction of the Nintendo 3DS in 2011, the console manufacturer finally caught up with Sony and Microsoft by launching the Nintendo eShop, an online store for purchasing digital games and game content. While the eShop isn't quite as fully-featured as either the PlayStation Store or Microsoft Store, it provides a clean, simple interface for browsing and buying games on all current Nintendo consoles.
What does the Nintendo eShop sell?
The Nintendo eShop is technically three different storefronts: a Nintendo 3DS game store, a Nintendo Wii U store, and a Nintendo Switch store. Each is largely independent of the others, with its own catalogue of games specific to each console. However, you still log in with the same Nintendo Network ID on all three storefronts and your funds balance, payment information and other personal details are shared between each of them.
All three versions of the Nintendo eShop sell similar digital content for their respective systems. Full games are the main draw, with the majority of new releases on 3DS, Wii U and Switch available for digital download. Some games are exclusive to the eShop, too, and cannot be purchased at physical retail stores. The eShop also features downloadable content for games, along with a variety of free content like game demos, trailers and media applications such as Netflix and YouTube.
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How do digital downloads work on the Nintendo eShop?
Nintendo being Nintendo, its approach to digital downloads on the eShop is significantly lacking when compared to that of Microsoft and Sony. Unlike its digital storefronts, the Nintendo eShop ties all purchases to the system they were made on, meaning you can't download and play a purchased 3DS game on multiple 3DS systems even if you log into all of them with the same Nintendo Network ID. This also means that if your console breaks, you'll lose all the digital games you bought for it, so bear that in mind before dropping hundreds of dollars on downloadable Switch games.
What currency does the Nintendo eShop use?
So long as you're accessing them from within Australia, both the Nintendo eShop and the Nintendo AU website list all prices in AUD.
What is the Nintendo eShop refund policy?
The Nintendo eShop does not support refunds for any purchases.
Nintendo eShop FAQ
If I buy a game on one Nintendo device, can I play it on another?
No. Nintendo eShop purchases are tied to a single device and cannot be shared among multiple consoles.
What is Club Nintendo?
Club Nintendo is a now-defunct loyalty program Nintendo ran for the Wii U and 3DS where buying games and consoles earned you Nintendo coins you could then redeem for various physical and digital items. Nintendo discontinued the program in 2015 and replaced it with My Nintendo.
What is My Nintendo?
My Nintendo is Nintendo's current loyalty program, the follow-up to Club Nintendo. By purchasing Nintendo games, linking social media accounts and using Nintendo's mobile apps, you earn different types of Nintendo coins you can exchange for rewards like 3DS themes, Nintendo eShop discount offers, and even full 3DS and Wii U games.
What is the Virtual Console?
The Virtual Console is Nintendo's name for its classic games platform on Wii, Wii U and 3DS. Virtual Console titles are emulated versions of games from systems like the SNES, the N64 and the Game Boy repackaged to run on modern Nintendo consoles. The Wii U and the 3DS also support save states for Virtual Console games.
Can I browse the Nintendo eShop from my computer?
Unfortunately, no. In Australia, the Nintendo eShop can currently only be accessed directly from a 3DS, Wii U or Nintendo Switch console.
What payment methods does the Nintendo eShop accept?
To make a purchase on the Nintendo eShop, you must first add funds to your Nintendo balance. This can be done using the following payment methods:
- Nintendo eShop Card
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