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There has been one super major complaint about the Wii U, and I'm not talking about all the silly Nintendoom and gloom that we see all over the place based on ridiculous rumors and misinterpretation. There is one specific complaint that I wholeheartedly agree with: Nintendo needs a unified account system for their digital titles.
Thankfully, Iwata and crew have been listening to our cries and they have decided to roll out a plan for a unified account system for digital goods across Nintendo's platforms. In other words, Nintendo is welcoming in the 21st century with open arms.
First up, the big complaint about a lack of a unified account system ties into Virtual Console games being stored on the console, not a user's account. This means that any and every digital game you download from the Nintendo store isn't attached to a singular account system, and if your console tanks so do your games. Nintendo's new plan is to be more like Steam: take your account anywhere and take your games with it.
It's outlined in a Nintendo's Management Policy Seminar, and a translated version is available courtesy of Reddit user MercilessBlueShell, where they detail the following...
“ Our future platform will connect with our consumers based on accounts, not devices.”
The wording makes it sound as if a lot of the new account unification features will be available out of the gate in Nintendo's next device, or platform. It's not entirely impossible to implement that feature into the Wii U, but it's hard to tell if that's what they're aiming for (I hope that's what they're aiming for).
Nintendo goes on to describe how they're trying to “manage relationships” with consumer to better leverage the “Nintendo platform”, which I hope translates into: You'll be getting Steam-like account management soon so if your console crashes you still have access to all the digital content you paid for.
As noted in the seminar...
“I feel that how we will take advantage of smart devices is an extremely important question to answer. However, in order to be absolutely clear, let me emphasize that this does not mean simply supplying Nintendo games on smart devices. Taking advantage of smart devices means connecting with all consumers, including those who do not own Nintendo’s video game systems, through smart devices and communicating the value of our entertainment offerings, thus encouraging more people to participate in Nintendo platforms. I will elaborate on this point later.
The top half of the quote seems to reiterate Nintendo's stance on not putting their brands on smart devices, which is a wise move indeed. Having a unified account system – so people can buy and store games, moving them to whichever system they please – is a super right move by the Big 'N'.
I do fear that if the feature isn't made available for the Wii U soon, they could lose out on a lot of potential consumers who are sitting on the fence based on features like this.
On the upside, the company is investing in providing DS emulation support on the Wii U, so you'll be able to play older DS titles on the big screen... or tablet screen in full HD. That means classics like The World Ends With You will be but a few button presses away on your Wii U.
Adding DS support is a great way to further extend the library of the Wii U, and if they can just get that account management system in place I think the Wii U will be an easy-sell to both hardcore and casual gamers alike, especially when the eventual price cut happens later on in its life span.