Nintendo 3DS Physical Game Cards’ Save Data Transferable To Downloadable Versions Early Next Year?

Apparently, beginning next year’s spring, Nintendo 3DS users will be able to convert their physical games’ saved data to the downloadable versions if they also purchase the games via the Nintendo eShop. For example, if you own a physical game card of Mario Kart 7, you can transfer all its saved data, including unlocked characters and courses, to your Nintendo 3DS’ SD card, which means you’ll no longer have to carry the game’s cartridge along with your handheld.

Update: For this to work, you’ll need to have purchased both the physical copy of the game and the downloadable version from the Nintendo eShop.

100 thoughts on “Nintendo 3DS Physical Game Cards’ Save Data Transferable To Downloadable Versions Early Next Year?”

    1. My answer : if I already own the cartridge- NO!!!!! lol .

      But I may download some retail games in the future. But they better not put up games like pilot wings for £30 when I get it for £10 from the shop.

        1. Then what , I sell the cartridge and lose money ?? and then buy the game for full retail price which I have already done ?

        2. Are you suggesting this process destroys the physical copy and makes it useless ??? that would suck ass …..

          1. It means you can buy a physical copy and convert it to digital without worrying about download times. This pretty much gives people more incentive to buy physical copies.

            1. no, according to nintendoeverything you are going to be able to use your save data from a physical copy with a digital version if you purchase it from the eshop

          2. We need to be given some type of incentive.

            Here are my thoughts on this:

            People who own physical copies of the games should be able to register their games with the Nintendo eShop by entering a code provided in the packaging in order to show proof of purchase. Doing so will create a system lock that will disable any user from using the Game Card with any other Nintendo 3DS system (unless System Transfer is performed). While the Game Card would still be usable (with all save data intact) it can be transferred an unlimited amount of times between the eShop download (as the data will be tied to the system after registered, this prevents people from using this method to make copies).

            Of course, Joseph’s idea with Club Nintendo syncing between the Nintendo eShop is viable as well.

            Either way, if Nintendo can find a way to make us happier when purchasing the physical version of a game (rather than double dipping and paying $80 for an experience that should be half that price), then they could shove it in everyone else’s face that they were the first to pull that off in the console/portable gaming world.

            1. …or they could use activity log data as proff. I lost my KIU cart so if they allow me to buy a download version of that with activity log data as proof I’d be happy even though I’d have to start afresh.

        3. no, i have it.. i only transfers the data! you have to buy the game TWICE! i can’t believe i can’t turn a card version into a download….. :-/

      1. i know to bad they arent doing what EA offers for its retail pc bussiness where you can download it for free with the purchase of the physical copy.

        weve seen EA port nfs nitro as an dsi exclusive by EA & @ their own cost albeit.

        it may clear up issues the press had with games you couldnt reset the save on by offering it as a download

        only poblem id have is the size of the file each game is.

      1. No you don’t! You just move the data over to the sd card. I mean, who would seriously pay for the same 40-pound game twice?

      1. THIS!!! my point exactly . Why the hell would we do that , I have money , but I don’t like wasteing it or destroying it .

        I will download games that I don’t already own , no problem although I prefer physical . But as for re downloading for a second fee , no effing way …

      1. It’s miss reported. It is intended if you purchase the eShop version of the game and you “double dipped” on the product, meaning owning both the digital and physical. So you can move your save data for the virtual copy and sell off the physical.

    1. You have to purchase the game from the eshop, then you are able to transfer your SAVED DATA, not the whole game. So in essence you would be returning a used game with no save files back to the retailer.

    1. this^^

      I see sales of software slow down by a large margin and nintendo scarying off developers becsuse of it. Unless the Cartrige is locked to the 3DS itself.

    1. This isn’t what you think it is. Read the source article and you’ll see that it’s refering to the save date that’s store on the physical game cart. For example, i bought NSMB2 physical. If i go now and buy the digital version, i won’t be able to access the save file/game progress because it’s tied to the cart. The tool will allow you to transfer the save data, not the actual game. Ths wasn’t an issue with the PSP or PS Vita because the save files were saved to the memory card or system memory already.

  1. People, this is not completely reported. Basically Japan is getting virtual versions of OOT 3D, Pilotwings, Mariokart 7, Super Mario 3D Land and a few others. Nintendo is saying if you DOWNLOAD the virtual game (like NSMB 2), then you will be ABLE to transfer your save data off the cart and onto the SD card to work with the digital version of the game.

    1. True example you have 2 3ds but 1 mario kart your brother want mario kart but you dont want to unlock everything again so you transfer the save and give the card to your brother

  2. That doesn’t sound accurate at all. Just read the source article and it’s clear that they’re talking about game data like save files and maybe DLC, not the actual game. There would be WAY to many issues if they did wha this artcile states

  3. Would that make biying digital completely pointless though? Although i guess if you can store them all on a SD card its the same thing

  4. if this turns out to be true then i cant wait! wonder if therell be settings to stop one cart being transferred to several 3dses?

  5. WOW!!!!!!!!!! :D You’re telling me if I spend retail price to get the game AGAIN I can transfer my save data from my perfectly fine physical copy to a digital one?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! No thanks ¬.¬

    1. It’s a high charge convenience apparently. Now if I get to download it FREE or get a serious discount or huge incentive, then I may consider it. Otherwise, why not just flush your money down the toilet.

      1. Exactly what I am thinking. I don’t wanna have to spend 80 dollars (in America) to play the digital copy of a game I have beaten. If the game is discounted, maybe. If it is free and it uses Club Nintendo to check, then yes, I am so on board for this.

            1. That is exactly what I meant. If Nintendo can give everyone this tool (the tool to allow the transfer of SAVE DATA) and can allow all those who have already purchased the physical copy of the game and linked their Club Nintendo account and eShop account, to have the digital copy for free or heavily discounted, I (and I am sure many others) will be very,very happy.

  6. I think you will have to use your ClubNintendo account and it will only work with games yo have registered. That’s my guess

    1. No. As per Kamek’s and my posts above, this only allows you to transfer the save date from your physical cart to your SD card so that if you’ve purchased the digital version you can use the save file. It doesn’t allow you to transfer the whole game as stated in this article.

  7. So what it is saying is. we could install it on the 3DS if we had the space for it. I like doing that on my Xbox cause it makes it run faster. so interested to see how it does.

  8. Yes! Example games that are good for a quick play in between my comute in the city like SSF43D, REmerc.3D, Mario Kart 7 & so on, but I wouldn’t do this for big data games like, MS3,Resident Evil Revelations or Kingdom Hearts 3D.

  9. The link for the source of this information only mentions transferring save data, not the entire game itself. So you’ll need to buy the digital version of the game in order to transfer the save data.

  10. Alba obviously doesn’t even read articles before posting on this site. Just click on ‘apparantly’ on the header and you will see. She should be banned for spreading garbage she/he pulls out her ass.

  11. For mario kart 7 I definately would so I could whip it out anytime for multiplayer with other 3ds owners. Tbh mario Kart is probably the only game I would download simply because I could play it everyday without worrying about losing the cartridge.

  12. I think you guys are reading it wrong. From what I understand, games that save data to the game cartridge will be transferable to the system’s SD card like saves and stats. I think RE Revelations saves to the game card, but this would make it so that the game saves to the SD card instead.

    1. NINTENDO:


  13. My interpretation: We can legally download the cart data onto our 3DS?
    If the answer is “yes,” then fuck yeah!

    I would love to transfer my physical copies to digital files, as long as there is no additional charge to do so!

    This could be an epic move by Nintendo.

    PS: Did I read something wrong? Why are so many people flipping out over this in a negative way?)

    1. Because the only thing you can transfer is the save file. Not the game data itself.

      And for this to work you need to have both, the physical copy, and digital copy. (Both paid)

      That’s why.

    1. I see you adjusted the title.
      You’re human, and I forgive you.
      I’m all for a good “creative” headline to attract readers, but WTF?! ;-)

  14. How lame. Now give me the option to install the game on my 3DS SD card from the physical disc and we’ve got something special. Ask me to buy the game twice? No. Just… no.

  15. I’d be up for this idea if you got a free digital copy seeing as I and many here have a retail version of the game. It’s only data from the game so that kinda sucks but cool at the same time so you don’t have to restart from the begining. I would hate to lose my Super Mario 3D Land and NSMB2 file with no lives lost. I don’t want to buy the same game twice, now if I were to get a discount or a free digital version of the game, then I would be up for this, but first I would need a bigger SD Card first. Wonder what’s the maximum size capacity the 3DS could read.

  16. So… If I buy a digital version of a game I already have in physical copy, I get to transfer all the save data for free. Thats cool I guess, tho honestly if I already bought the game then they should really just let us download the digital copy for free or at least for a discounted amount.

    1. I totally agree. I register my games with Club Nintendo. Can’t they magically see that since I also have a registered 3DS that I’ve earned a digital download? They’re embracing digital… but not with both arms open.

      1. Their point of Clubnintendo is for you to both make you buy more games and more importantly, enter the survey. If the system is auto, you may not had have entered the survey.


  18. *Buys Luigi’s Mansion 2 after selling spare snes at car boot*
    *Notices save data transfer tool on eShop*
    *Notices that you need to buy the digital version too*
    Me: Fuck this! £80 to transfer Luigi’s Mansion 2 saves!
    *Tries downloading digital version with Luigi’s Mansion 2 inserted*
    *Doesn’t Work*
    Me: Nintendo you sly rip-off merchants!

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