So, you have gripes about some of Nintendo’s eShop policies? You’re certainly not alone. The legal snafu between the Norwegian Consumer Council and the House of Mario continues.
Now, it’s news to nobody that Nintendo have always been a little behind the times when it comes to online gaming. They’ve always been keen to push local play and couch co-op to the hilt, and it’s only in recent years that they’ve felt forced to actually embrace online gaming. Have we embraced their embracing of it? Well, judging by the sorry situation of Nintendo Switch Online, that would be a firm no.
Regardless of your feelings about NES games, it’s clear that something has to be done here. The biggest Switch game of the moment, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, is being held back by its shonky online functionality, and that’s not a situation you want to be in.
It’s not just about the online gameplay itself, though. Another area where Nintendo have typically struggled is the storefront side of things. With the Switch’s unique status as a hybrid handheld, it’s an excellent candidate for a digital-only sort of system, but some of Nintendo’s eShop policies are proving to be a real problem there too. In terms of pricing, but also in terms of pre-ordering.
The eShops’s handling of digital pre-orders is what's landed Nintendo in some legal trouble this year. The issue is, as Nintendo Life explains, the company doesn’t offer the chance to cancel an order once it’s been placed. Or get a refund, for that matter. This practice, the report goes on, is considered by the Norwegian Consumer Council to be illegal.
This July, the NCC brought their case to the powers that be in Germany, Nintendo’s home country in Europe. At that stage, they didn’t want to commit to making any decision, but now the NCC are turning up the heat again. Authorities in Germany seem to be on their side, and Nintendo haven’t made any effort to change their stance on the matter.
In around a month or so, it seems, the case will begin. As reported by Eurogamer, it looks as though it’s going to be Nintendo’s claim (that the ability to pre-load a game to the system prior to release means they’re breaking no laws) versus the NCC’s assertion (the statement that ‘all sales are final’ clearly states that they are in violation of the law). Who’s going to win out? We can only wait and see.