Account registration is now open for the Nintendo Account system, the digital service which is likely tied to Nintendo’s upcoming NX and mobile platforms.
If somewhere in Nintendo’s main office there’s a board listing areas of their major platforms in need of work, online services is probably high if not at the top of that list. The Wii U and Nintendo 3DS both made large steps for Nintendo online, providing reliable online multiplayer and even account-based services for online purchases, but they were lacking in features. Ask anyone who has ever tried to transfer their digital purchases from one 3DS or Wii U to another and they’ll reply with a haunting tale of despair.
With Nintendo on the verge of launching an all new platform, currently code named the Nintendo NX, in 2016 or 2017 and their mobile platform as well, expectations for a reliable cross-platform online account system is a must. Today may be the first evidence that Nintendo is executing on those expectations, as registration has gone live for the Nintendo Account service, which previously went live for Japan in late 2015.
So far, the Nintendo Account has no functionality; uers can simply create their account and reserve a nickname. From there, users will be able to tie different online services to their account, including Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.
The question remains then what Nintendo does plan to do with Nintendo Accounts. The most likely culprit for such early registration is March’s launch of the My Nintendo rewards program, which, like Club Nintendo, rewards users for their Nintendo purchases and in-game achievements. Coupons and virtual goods are just a few of the things Nintendo has teased, which implies a service perhaps on par (or at least approaching) with Xbox Live or PSN.
From the concept of players tying their Nintendo purchases through Nintendo Accounts, it’s not too far of a leap to speculate that all digital Nintendo purchases will be made through a Nintendo Account. And not too far from there to assume that Nintendo game purchases will potentially be cross-platform. One could even take things a step further and speculate that the NX will allow players to stream games from a console to mobile platforms, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
The only assumption we can make is that Nintendo has plans for their new online service and no one can guess what the limitations of that service will be. Assuming Nintendo will aspire to the structure of their competitors’ online services has proven false in the past, and it’s likely to prove false here as well. However, Nintendo likely tying their mobile releases to their account system is a perfect example of how unconventional this whole service will be.
It’s best for fans to register a Nintendo Account today, ensuring their nicknames will be reserved for the future. Then everyone will prepared for whatever surprises Nintendo has coming down the pipeline.