Nintendo developing Nintendo Network for Wii U and 3DS

Nintendo is stepping up its online game with the future launch of a “Nintendo Network” for the Wii U and 3DS. Announced by Satoru Iwata in the company's latest financial report, the Nintendo Network will takes its lead from existing online services such as PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, and offer Wii U and 3DS owners access to Nintendo DLC, enhanced community features, and the opportunity to download complete games at some time down the road.

“Unlike Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, which has been focused upon specific functionalities and concepts, we 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,” explained Iwata.

For Wii U owners specifically, Iwata said Nintendo will introduce a personal account that will allow multiple users to access the Nintendo Network from the same console. As for its DLC strategy, Iwata said Nintendo will only deal with add-ons that enhance the original game, not those that offer something that should have come with the original purchase, noting, “As a software maker, Nintendo believes that its packaged software should be sold to our consumers in a form so that the consumers will know in advance that they can enjoy playing the software they purchased just as it is. We believe that our consumers will be able to feel more secure if we offer our add-on content as an additional structure in which those who love the game will be able to enjoy it in a deeper way for a prolonged play time.”

Japan's Tobidasu Pricla Kiradeco Revolution will be the first 3DS to receive DLC through the Nintendo Network. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy will also be receiving downloadble content in the near future in the form of addition songs. As for full-on software downloads, Iwata said Nintendo is waiting until it has a solid grasp of the market and its technical limitations before moving forward with that Nintendo Network component.

The Wi-Fi Connection has already laid out the groundwork for what the Nintendo Network hopes to achieve. Are you confident Iwata and team will make the upgrades needed to bring it up to par with its console competitors?

Matt Bradford wrote news and features here at GamesRadar+ until 2016. Since then he's gone on to work with the Guinness World Records, acting as writer and researcher for the annual Gamer's Edition series of books, and has worked as an editor, technical writer, and voice actor. Matt is now a freelance journalist and editor, generating copy across a multitude of industries.