I know I haven’t talked much about the recently released Nintendo DSiXL … well, that is because it is a DSi that is bigger, and I already did a DSi Review last year. There have been plenty of other reviews, but today from GameStop there was some news that should make owners of existing DSi systems take pause if they are considering buying an ‘upgrade':
You cannot take your DSiWare purchases with you.
This isn’t entirely a surprise. Last fall Nintendothat DSiWare games / software are locked to the physical handheld you buy them on. They did that when introducing the new color DSi systems to make sure people realized that if they wanted to continue with Asphalt 4 racing or other DSiWare titles they’d have to buy them again.
Sunday’s launch of the DSi XL raised the prospect of Nintendo might offer some sort of solution to let players transfer their DSiWare content to the larger-screen model or download it again for free. No such luck, according to a Nintendo of America representative.
“No, the games and applications are specific to each system, not each user,” a spokesperson told GameSpot.
Gamers have become very used to digital downloads being locked to an account rather than a piece of hardware: PC gamers using Steam can re-install an infinite amount of times across loads of computers, but can only play while they have an active account logged in; PSP gamers can re-download on up to 5 different systems; XBOX360 systems can re-download so long as you are logged into your XBOX Live account … and so on.
But as one friend said to me “well, good thing most of the DSiWare is crap anyway, so it is no big loss if you can’t get back to it”. While the quality argument might be true – and likely the sales numbers correlate well – this is not something that is going to be popular with customers as Nintendo hopes to keep their DS juggernaut rolling!