Nintendo has just announced that Wii Sports Club is finally getting a physical release and all I can think is, it’s about time. While Wii Sports Club has been around since November 7, 2013, I think it’s only after its physical edition launches on July 25, 2014, that it will actually succeed as a game.
Why? Well, a big part is because a lot of Wii U owners probably didn’t even know Wii Sports Club existed. Despite Nintendo creating ads for the five-in-one sports game, some of which even aired on TV, it was an eShop exclusive. Many of the people who enjoyed the original Wii Sports did so because it was a pack-in with the Wii. They’re children, parents, and older people who may not be terribly familiar with the whole digital distribution model.
So while Wii Sports Club was easy to find in the Wii U eShop, a large portion of the Wii U’s audience may not have even known where to look for it. Putting the game on a disc eliminates that need, while also giving people a nice package they can see on store shelves.
Even if someone did find the digital version of Wii Sports Club in the eShop, even buying and playing it was confusing. It’s $1.99 for a one day pass to play all five sports in the game, and $9.99 to get access to a single sport forever. Which means some people may have actually paid $49.95 for the entire game. The physical copy is going to be $39.99 at launch, making it a much better deal. (Especially since people could then sell it used later.)
Putting Wii Sports Club on a disc is yet another smart move from Nintendo. It’s really going to open up the audience for the game and get people playing. Let’s hope this is the first of many as we head into E3 2014.