Nintendo’s Wii U and 3DS are getting their first cross-buy game in Europe, but this won’t work in America.
If you buy Squids Odyssey for the 3DS in North America, you won’t automatically get it for the Wii U as well. That’s different from how it will work in Europe, where Nintendo and developer The Game Bakers give you both versions of Squids Odyssey if you buy it for 3DS. This is called cross-buy, and it’s something that Sony has long offered on its PlayStation platforms. While it’s a good sign that Nintendo of Europe is supporting cross-buy, The Game Bakers says Nintendo of America cannot do the same.
The Squids Odyssey developer said that Nintendo of America “could not support this operation yet,” according to an interview with Siliconera. We’ve reached out to Nintendo for more details about why this is the case and whether it will change, and we’ll update this story with any new information.
“We did ask [Nintendo of America],” a spokesperson for The Game Bakers told Siliconera. “We really like this promotion and wished to make it happen for all gamers, but NOA could not support this kind of promotion.”
That makes it sound like some kind of technical limitation, which is a possibility. Nintendo did not have unified accounts across platforms for a long time, and it only recently began associating everyone with one Nintendo Network ID. It’s possible that Nintendo of America’s backend system is lagging behind Nintendo of Europe’s.
Cross-buy is something that has helped Sony’s PlayStation Vita console. People can purchase a game for the PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4, and they know they’ll also have the portable version as well. Nintendo has a large number of games available for both the Wii U home console and the 3DS portable. This includes recent releases like retro-style platformer Shovel Knight and a significant number of classics in Nintendo’s Virtual Console library. For now, gamers will have to continue debating whether to buy these games for the 3DS, the Wii U, or (for twice the price) both.