Nintendo plans to introduce a new global account system meant to tie-together a player's experiences on mobile, PC, 3DS, Wii U, the upcoming NX platform and even theme parks, recently promoted Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima said this morning during a briefing.
The new Nintendo Account will allow players to log in with a Facebook, Google or Twitter account, as well as with a traditional email address and password or even the Nintendo Network ID currently being used on the company's platforms, he said.
No date has been set for the roll-out.
The decision to create a new universal Nintendo account is driven by the company's desire to expand its reach on gamers, and enlarge the community of gamers itself, by using the company's cast of colorful characters outside the core console experience.
The Nintendo Account will tie all of these experiences together, he said, as well as providing new membership services."By increasing the number of people who have access to this Nintendo IP or video game characters, music and world view, and by increasing the value of Nintendo IP, we aim to further expand the gaming population," Kimishima said. "More specifically, we will provide people with new applications on their smart devices by utilizing our Nintendo IP. We are also planning to offer new attractions at theme parks by using Nintendo IP. Further, by using Nintendo IP in a variety of other ways, such as licensing and commercializing this IP for visual content and merchandising products, we are planning to maximize the value of Nintendo IP, which has traditionally been used mainly for our dedicated video game systems."
Under the new account system, players will be able to purchase digital software for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS on NIntendo's official website.
"When you find an interesting title after seeing articles or videos introducing new games through your PC or smart device, you can buy it on the spot, and the purchased software will be automatically downloaded to your Wii U or Nintendo 3DS," he said.
That new account system will also track a member's purchases and play records and use that information to send notices and gifts.
"For example, an Animal Crossing character called Isabel may send some information or a present to those who are playing with that game, Mario Kart players may receive a notice about add-on content and we may also send a message that enables the recipient to purchase some software at an attractive price point on his or her birthday," he said.
The account system will also tie into a new point program, called My Nintendo, which was also announced during the briefing.
Finally, Kimishima noted that the accounts will still allow people to make friends through the accounts. Eventually, he added, the service will allow game save data to be stored in Nintendo's cloud system so that you can transfer information between Nintendo's dedicated game systems and the games they make for mobile devices.
"This is also a plan for the future, but we are going to provide our membership service benefits in other real-life facilities such as theme parks, movie theaters and retail outlets," he said.
It's unclear when the new account system will be released, though the new point program is scheduled for a March, 2016 release.