From a period of the Wii U’s launch of November 18th to December 31st, 2014, all downloads of digital games will result in a 10% discount via the Wii U’s digital store. Every 500 points will be redeemable into $5 worth of credit in their eShop, which will be usable on either the Wii U or 3DS. For example, New Super Mario Bros. U will cost $59.99 in the store, and will be worth 599 points, minus 500 for the $5 rebate.
The deal will only count on the deluxe edition of the Wii U, which comes in black and comes with 32GB worth of internal flash storage (instead of 8GB for the standard edition), a copy of Nintendo Land, and a set of stands for the console and the Wii U controller.
Analysis: This is not as nice a deal as it looks initially. For one, there will always be a point surplus, just like any other proprietary point system. It’s not quite as nice as Sony’s system (“Hey, give us $50 a year, we’ll give you a lot of big discounts at the register, and hey, have some free games to boot!”), but it’s much better than Microsoft’s, at least (“Pay us $60 a year, then go screw yourselves. You want a gift? Have an avatar hat for $1 off.”)
My problem with this stems from the fact that even the “Deluxe” edition’s 32GB storage isn’t worth anything. I have a 250GB drive in my PS3 and I’m going to have to upgrade it soon as I only have 32GB of storage left. 32GB isn’t much, especially for what appear to be larger games on the Wii U; Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is going to run 16.7GB, which is over half, even more when the space necessary for things like the operating system, paging file and everything else are taken into account. Having support for external drive storage is going to be a life saver, but even for those that choose to go that route, they’re going to need to buy a LOT of games to see savings; Newegg has external 500GB drives for $70, which means gamers will need to spend $700 on games just to make back that investment.
I’m not saying this is a horrible thing, and that Nintendo sucks for doing it, but it’s certainly not a reason to run out and buy the Deluxe edition.