Wii U won't block pre-owned games, Nintendo exec hints

Nintendo's says the Wii U will play nicely with pre-owned titles -- good news for bargain-hunting gamers.

A spot of good news for bargain-hunting gamers -- Nintendo has said it doesn't have any plans to stymie the second-hand games market.

In an interview with CNET's sister site GameSpot, Nintendo marketing exec Scott Moffitt said pre-owned titles are a "reality in the marketplace".

"I don't know if we have a formal position on used-game sales," Moffitt said, when quizzed about other publishers' use of DLC promotions and online passes, which aim to kill the second market and push gamers to pay full-price for games.

"We haven't incorporated any features that will discourage used-game sales at this point," Moffitt says. "We're not trying to circumvent that."

Nintendo's comments follow rumours that the  PlayStation 4  (possibly called Orbis) will offer games on Blu-ray or in download form, with disc-based games  locked to a single PSN account , with online authentication required before you're allowed to play.

The news that Nintendo doesn't have any plans to try and shut down second-hand sales is good news for gamers who like to wait before picking up titles, to get them a bit cheaper.

Recent blockbuster titles like Batman: Arkham City keep certain elements of the game (the Catwoman bits) back until you cash in the one-use code that comes with the game. If you want the full experience from a second-hand version, you'll need to pay to download that chunk of the game separately.

Other big names like Battlefield 3, Uncharted 3 and Mass Effect 3 (heavens, the games industry is so creative these days) require you to enter a one-use code before you're allowed to play online. Previously I've written that publishers' apparent disdain for the second-hand market could see the traditional games industry losing ground to smart phone games on Android or iOS kit .

Nintendo's man said he's not fazed by the rise of mobile gaming, saying that while iPads and their ilk might satisfy some, "There are other gamers that want a deeper, richer, more immersive gaming experience that can't be had on a device that wasn't really designed as a gaming device."

Tough talk from a company that's had to cut the price of its 3DS handheld, but I'm happy Nintendo doesn't have plans to eliminate the pre-owned market for now. That should also help ailing high-street shops like Game, which do much of their business on trade-ins.

What do you think of Nintendo's strategy? Tell me what you'd do differently in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.


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