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Unlike its rivals Sony and Microsoft, both of whom have made paid downloadable content (DLC) a staple of their business models, Japanese game giant Nintendo has stuck with the old fashioned way of releasing game upgrades – through expansion packs, new releases, and separate games entirely.
However, it appears that the company is changing its mind, and bringing its online strategy well and truly into the 21st century. Nintendo announced recently that it would start bringing extra downloads to the 3DS this year, starting with in-house series Fire Emblem. Downloadable extras are also due to arrive on the Wii U, allowing Nintendo’s home console gamers to enjoy downloadable upgrades, for a small additional fee.
Despite complaints from gamers, particularly about the true value of downloadable extras, the small upgrades are proving to be a major revenue generator for game developers. Trinkets and overpriced extras like Oblivion‘s controversial horse armor pack are making way for real game upgrades and full-featured expansion packs.