Nintendo Announces "Nintendo Network" For Wii U

by Matt Helgeson on Jan 26, 2012 at 02:58 PM

There have been rumors circulating regarding Nintendo's online network plans for its upcoming Wii U console. Today, president Satoru Iwata announced the first details about the service -- which will have many of the features gamers have come to expect on services like Xbox Live and PSN. The Nintendo Network, as it is called, will be compatible with both 3DS and Wii U.

You can read Iwata's full statement on Nintendo's site, but here are some of the highlights:

-- The Wii U will have a "personal account system" compatible with the Nintendo Network. Iwata said this would make it easier on families that have multiple users of a system in one house. Hopefully, this will work exactly as it does on PS3 or Xbox 360, where you login to your identity and are instantly signed into the network.

-- Post-release downloadable content for packaged games: Iwata said that Wii U games will be supported post-launch. Already, some 3DS titles like Square Enix's Theatrhyhythm will feature downloadable tracks post-launch.

-- Iwata pointed to Mario Kart 7's community functions -- which allow you to organize groups and sort different match types in multiple groups -- as a model for some of the Nintendo Networks functions.

-- Nintendo is also "considering the future possibility of digital distribution of packaged software" for Wii U.

Iwata also said the company would release the system in time for the holidays. He commented, "For the launch of new hardware, it is regarded as a sort of requisite not to miss the critical year-end sales season. The company is aiming to firmly complete the development of the entire system and prepare sufficient software so that the Wii U will be at its best at the time of the launch." Iwata reiterated that Nintendo had "learned a bitter lesson from the launch of the Nintendo 3DS."

Via: Andriasang