Nintendo is planning to launch a unified account system for the Wii U and the 3DS, according to David Marshall, a Nintendo customer service representative. In an e-mail response to a customer, David Marshall stated:
“A unified account system will be implemented later this year with the launch of the Wii U. Eventually this same account system will be made compatible with Nintendo 3DS systems. At this time we have no additional details to offer and nothing to indicate how or if this will work outside the United States and Canada. In the meantime, if the system has a problem, taking it to an Authorised Service Center will maintain the Nintendo eShop account. If the system is stolen, we can transfer the account to a new system once we are provided with a valid police report.”
In addition, it was revealed by Marshall that the digital version of New Super Mario Bros. 2 would be limited to the United States and Canada in North America.
“Of course, you asked this question because of the upcoming launch of New Super Mario Bros. 2 in retail and digital formats. What you need to know is that the digital format will only be available in the United States and Canada. We have nothing to announce regarding Latin American availability.”
Analysis: Offering a unified account system is a step in the right direction for Nintendo in their bid to catch up to their competitors on the digital service front. With any luck, potentially, this could lead to gamers being able to exchange content between their Wii U and 3DS, similar to what the PlayStation Network does with the PlayStation 3 and PSP/Vita. Plus, the fewer accounts I have to remember and keep track of, the better, I always say.
Although the news that New Super Mario Bros. 2 will not be available digitally in Latin America is unfortunate, it is most likely due to some Digital Distribution Law. My concern, however, lies in the fact that Nintendo still relies on a police report if your system is stolen. Essentially, if you lose it, you’re done for, and that’s something Nintendo has to solve. They need to find a way for customers to be able to switch their account to a new system and be able to transfer their games and downloaded content to the device.
Apple, Sony, and Microsoft have all been doing the same, and Nintendo has to evolve and stop sticking with their dated guns. It’s the Internet of the future, Nintendo, and although introducing a unified account system is a step in the right direction, now is not the time to rest on your laurels.