The virtual Nintendo 3DS eShop which went live last week took its design ideas from High Street stores.
Designers who worked on eShop, which allows 3DS owners to purchase downloadable games such as Super Mario Land, said they wanted to create a fun shop for browsing – a place where users could go even if they didn’t “have anything particular to do”.
Nintendo’s eShop application director Kazuto Nakaya said in an Iwata Asks interview: “I got the task of making the shop a place you just stopped into to browse and casually pick something up. That wasn't easy to figure out.
"The screen designer had trouble, too. He often went to real video game stores, general stores and book stores to get hints for designs and ideas."
Nintendo’s global president Satoru Iwata added: “I remember saying in a meeting that we should make shopping more fun so that the shop was a place you would go even if you didn't have anything particular to do.
“Until now, the shops have been places where you went for a particular purpose, but this time, we wanted to make someplace where you could window shop.”
Games have various prices on the 3DS eShop. Super Mario Land costs £3.60, Link's Awakening costs £5.40 and Plants vs Zombies is £7.20. It can be downloaded today for £1.79 on the Apple App Store.
Iwata previously criticised the App Store business model and said smartphone manufacturers don’t value video games as much as they should.