Nintendo Selling Physical Gift Cards at Best Buy for a Product that Hasn’t Even Launched

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

In a move that shows how the digital world is still grounded in the real world, gift cards for Nintendo’s yet-to-be-launched 3DS eShop have been spotted by gamer publications at Best Buy Stores. The move shows how gift cards can lead a marketing drive for all kinds of goods.

Joystiq and its readers have spotted Nintendo 3DS Prepaid Cards on sale at various branches of Best Buy, including Merced, California and New York City.

In a separate publication, the gifts cards are seen as a sign that Nintendo plans to anchor its games in real world currency rather than developing a digital currency all its own.

As noted in our mammoth 3DS FAQ, the eShop will ditch Nintendo Points in favour of a cash-based system, where game prices will be displayed in the region’s local currency. Best Buy is currently taking pre-orders for $20 cash cards to top up the eShop’s eWallet, though we’re still awaiting price details for games downloaded from the 3DS store.

A commenter from the second article, which can be found here: http://3ds.nintendolife.com/news/2011/04/bestbuy_lists_usd20_3ds_cash_card_for_the_eshops_ewallet, noted that the gift cards give gamers without credit cards a way to buy games in the 3DS system. Mercator has explored this idea and the business of selling digital gift cards in a research note: “Real World Prepaid Cards Drive Virtual Goods Sales.” http://www.mercatoradvisorygroup.com/index.php?doc=Prepaid&action=view_item&id=598&catid=16

Read the full story at: http://www.mcvuk.com/news/44290/Prepaid-3DS-cards-spotted-at-retail.