Nintendo has decided to go with the most literal nomenclature imaginable for the successor to its fan-lauded Club Nintendo. During an investor briefing this morning in Japan, the company announced the upcoming Nintendo Account and related My Nintendo service.
The new account system is designed to be easy to create and use. Nintendo plans to support traditional logins, but also access via Nintendo ID, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus for those that prefer to link.
The service will support online purchases for 3DS and Wii U, and also display purchase history. It’s not clear if this implies that Nintendo is moving to an account-based licensing system instead of the current hardware-centric approach.
Currently, Nintendo does not allow you to easily download software to a new or different device. Your purchases are tied to a specific piece of hardware rather than your user account.
With the Nintendo Account comes a new point system that will tie together console and mobile purchases. Just as with Club Nintendo, players will be able to redeem points for digital and physical goods.
The service will also be used for transferring data between mobile and console devices. The implication is that there will be connections between upcoming smartphone games (like Miitomo) and console experiences. Nintendo plans to expand the service to offer benefits at theme parks, retail stores, and movie theaters.
This sounds like Nintendo is moving to an account-based system, which would be good news indeed. Transferring licenses from one 3DS or Wii U to another is a painful process. And given that you need the old and the new hardware and can’t do it more than once in a week, it’s about time that Nintendo makes things easier.