Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has introduced the company’s new online network during an investor’s meeting. The Nintendo Network will be available on the 3DS and the upcoming Wii U. You can think of it as Nintendo’s answer to Xbox Live Marketplace and the PlayStation Network, as it is to be a structured and branded online service.
According to Iwata, the aim of the Nintendo Network is 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.”
What sort of “comprehensive proposals”? Downloadable content is one example but it’s unlikely to stop there. There are also plans to offer full-retail games as downloadable, digital versions.
On top of this, the Wii U will utilise individual user accounts that are not tied to the actual console; those accounts will be connected to the Nintendo Network so it sounds like you’ll be able to access your Wii U user ID from any console so long as it is online.
Primarily, at the moment, the Nintendo Network’s primary focus is to be a means of enabling developers (both first party and third party developers) to create and offer DLC for upcoming games. This is something that previous Nintendo consoles and handhelds have been without. According to 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.”