A detailed document Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has issued to investors outlines a number of initiatives to be put in place this coming year, with possibly the most interesting being that of an overhaul online service, freshly titled the Nintendo Network.
This new online service will completely replace the current Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service across 3DS and the upcoming Wii U. Iwata stated that they are "aiming 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."
This means that the service will offer "competitions and communication" between service users, along with offering a platform for digital content sales. This is already underway, with two 3DS titles – Nintendo's Tobidasu Pricla Kiradeco Revolution and Square Enix's Theatrhythm – poised to offer DLC in the next few months.
Nintendo have already started branching out into relatively unfamiliar territory (for them) in the online space, with Communities introduced on the 3DS specifically geared towards clan support for Mario Kart 7.
The company is also looking into microtransactions as a part of the new service, particularly on Wii U, which will be made possible by a Near Field Communication (NFC) function to be built into the tablet controller. "By installing this functionality,"Iwata said, "it will become possible to create cards and figurines that can electronically read and write data via noncontact NFC and to expand the new play format in the video game world. Adoption of this functionality will enable various other possibilities such as using it as a means of making micropayments."
Iwata also announced that personal player accounts will be integrated into the Nintendo Network, to allow for better distinction between players on shared consoles.
"Also for the Wii U, we are planning to introduce a personal account system compatible with Nintendo Network. With this, for example, the ease of using a video game system when the hardware is shared by multiple family members, which has been a challenge we needed to tackle, shall be improved, and we will also be able to construct and offer the system by combining a variety of different services and content."
All of this, of course, remains to be put into execution, but it's good to see Nintendo talking the right talk. Let's hope they can walk the walk too. [Nintendo]