Nintendo Network Announced, Details Revealed

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Nintendo has today revealed the first details regarding their answer to the PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE, the Nintendo Network.

The service, which has already seen its named used in Mario Kart 7, will replace the very basic Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, and cover both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.

“Unlike Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, which has been focused upon specific functionalities and concepts, we are aiming to establish a platform where various services available through the network for our consumers shall be connected via Nintendo Network service so that the company can make comprehensive proposals to consumers,” stated Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.

“For example, competitions and communication among users, as well as the sales of digital content, will be covered within the Nintendo Network.”

The Nintendo Network will introduce a whole host of features already seen on the PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE, including personal accounts. Does this mean Nintendo will finally have their own version of PlayStation Network IDs and Xbox LIVE gamertags? It hasn’t been officially confirmed yet, but let’s put it this way, we wouldn’t be surprised if it happened.

“With this, for example, the ease of using a video game system when the hardware is shared by multiple family members, which has been a challenge we needed to tackle, shall be improved, and we will also be able to construct and offer the system by combining a variety of different services and content,” explained Iwata.

“Whether it’s our first-party titles or third parties’ titles, for a number of games, we will actively attempt to achieve compatibility so that our consumers can enjoy our online services that we will deploy under the name of the Nintendo Network.”

The service will also cover the sales of DLC, with Japanese 3DS title Tobidasu Pricla Kiradeco Revolution being first in line, followed closely by Square Enix’s Thearhythm Final Fantasy.

“While we are on this subject, when we discuss anything relating to add-on content, our remarks are very often reported by the media by their attaching such modifiers or notes as “the ones used for social games.” Please note that Nintendo, as a software maker, does not plan to deploy businesses where our consumers cannot know in advance which item will appear as the result of their payment and they have to repeat the payments and, before they know it, they end up spending a huge amount of money in order to obtain the items they originally wanted to purchase,” said Iwata.

“As a software maker, Nintendo believes that its packaged software should be sold to our consumers in a form so that the consumers will know in advance that they can enjoy playing the software they purchased just as it is. We believe that our consumers will be able to feel more secure if we offer our add-on content as an additional structure in which those who love the game will be able to enjoy it in a deeper way for a prolonged play time.”

Expanding on digital content plans for the Nintendo Network, Iwata added:

“For the digital sales of the content, we are also considering the future possibility of digital distribution of packaged software, which is often referred to as “software download sales.” This concept was built into the design of the Nintendo 3DS, and we already have the necessary infrastructure. We will prepare the same infrastructure for the Wii U. However, we have not decided the concrete timing of when we will start it. The decision must be made by taking into consideration such factors as the relationship with the wholesalers and retailers, and the best way to be embraced by consumers, as well as the environment surrounding the market and consumers, such as the required memory capacity on consumers’ SD memory cards. However, as an option for the future, the significance of this business field will increase.”

Whilst they might be a little late, it’s nice to see Nintendo are trying to get improve their online presence and deliver a more robust, enjoyable experience. What do you guys think about this news? If they nail it, will the Nintendo Network become your favourite online service? Let us know via the comments section below.

Joint Editor-in-Chief of this wonderful place. Over 10 years of games industry experience on all sides of the fence and more! Huge Metal Gear fan and all-round geek.

@AsimTanvir

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