Nintendo Digital Purchases Through PC And Phones Coming This Year

By Sato . July 30, 2013 . 4:55pm

Nintendo, have been struggling with less-than-stellar financial results for some time now, and to climb their way back up to the profit ladder, they look forward to expanding their digital business. A NicoNico News report gives us a closer look at their plans.


One of the biggest reasons smartphone games have found success in the market is largely due to their social networks that allow friends, acquaintances, and strangers to interact and share information. Those same functions are available through the Wii U’s Miiverse network service. Miiverse is one part of Nintendo’s plans.


Upon turning on the Wii U, you’ll immediately see the “Wara Wara Plaza,” where plenty of Miis gather to share information and show off the latest games they’ve been playing. This is an example of one of Nintendo’s way of following a similar structure of social networking features found in smartphone games.


In addition to the Miiverse, Nintendo is currently working to further expand their “digital business,” as quoted by president Satoru Iwata.


“It is crucial for expanding profitable opportunities,” Iwata says, and reiterates that Nintendo plans on strengthening download sales of the company’s software. While it may sound like a simple idea of just having the same product of the packaged version in a downloadable format, it creates exposure to other products found on the Nintendo eShop. In fact, there’s already data to suggest that people who’ve downloaded a title are very likely to download again, and NicoNico News’ report reiterates this as well.


Furthermore, Nintendo’s popular life simulation game, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, boasts a quarter of its total sales from downloads after half a year since its release, which shows that the way games are being purchased has in fact changed.


Nintendo also provided some other interesting information. For starters, currently, the Wii U’s Internet connectivity rate stands at 80%. For the Nintendo 3DS, Japan has an 87% connectivity rate, and the US sits at 83%.


By the end of this year, Nintendo will be adding a new system that allows players to manage their Nintendo Network accounts through smartphones and PC, where they’ll also be able to make their purchases. This is a part of Nintendo’s plans to further enforce their downloadable sales, while showing players what else there is in store for them.


Read more stories about & & & on Siliconera.

  • Magnumsally

    less than stellar financial results? maybe but at least they make profit again

    • Iwata himself likes to use the term “Nintendo-like profits,” so going by their own past records, they aren’t doing great just yet, despite the fact that they’re profitable again.

      • Magnumsally

        whatevs lol

  • Hmm, if they’re allowing this and the ability to manage your account through the PC/Phone, does that mean they might be finally making the account itself universal across any Wii U/3DS system you’d sign it onto?

  • SwiftWind

    Instead of doing this, maybe they should focus on making a legitimate account system instead of just linking your purchases to the system.

    • ronin4life

      This really helps pave the way for that. So I doubt it is far off.

    • mirumu

      I suspect they’ll end up doing that anyway to make this new system work. I mean if you buy a 3DS game from your phone it wouldn’t make any sense to link it to the phone. Your 3DS will have to be able to download and run the game even though it’s purchased on another device. Hopefully they’ll take this opportunity to fix their system properly.

      It is possible they could still link the game to the first console it’s activated on, but if they do that they deserve every complaint they get.

    • “By the end of this year, Nintendo will be adding a new system that
      allows players to manage their Nintendo Network accounts through
      smartphones and PC, where they’ll also be able to make their purchases.”

      I don’t know, but when I hear “manage their accounts,” I think of exactly what you’re hoping for.

    • drproton

      I’m going to be disappointed when they don’t unify Virtual Console purchases across platforms, but at least this is a start.

      • Auvers

        This is something I want more than anything from Nintendo right now (along with actually re-releasing games at a better rate). I really don’t understand why they decided to set this up totally different from every other big digital store.

      • garf02

        cause maybe they havent ported a game to work on WiiU and 3DS?

        • drproton

          I’m understanding of the need for ports, but for the Virtual Console specifically, it’s just a ROM packaged with an emulator. If the Virtual Console game is available on more than one platform, the purchase should carry over.

      • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        Kid Icarus on the WiiU and the 3DS is different.

        Earthbound cant run on the 3DS either.

    • Shane Guidaboni

      I’m not entirely sure what’s been taking them so long to create an account based system. Are they trying to remain stubbornly different?

      • Nintendo has fewer employees than Ubisoft. The stubbornness is in retaining their massive profit:employee ratio, not minor stuff like keeping up with the new guys they outsold last gen.

    • Lusankya

      Wouldn’t you need an account to purchase anything via your PC?

    • garf02

      Linking is not the best thing, but N consoles have the lowest breaking/dying rate compared to other like PS3 and Xbox.

      Also calling costumer service can help you recover your games in case something happen to your console

      • Solomon_Kano

        Whether Nintendo consoles break frequently or not or if they have some nice customer service agents, the current setup just isn’t ideal.

        There’s a reason Sony, MS, Apple, Google, Amazon, etc. do it the way they do.

        • The reason Google, Amazon and Apple do it is because their files are readable on countless platforms.

          Sony and MS do it because $$$. If I can sell someone a game that they still own after they sell the system that plays it, that’s more money for me. It’s a pretty clear “no used games, EVER” policy.

          Your MS and Sony accounts are worthless now, considering they both specifically denied backwards compatibility. And if your PS3 breaks in 5-10 years, once production ceases? Too bad.

          • Solomon_Kano

            Though if my PS3 breaks, I can get it all back on a new one, hassle free. That won’t be the same if my Wii U or 3DS break. Now I’ve got to make calls to Nintendo and get them to do what I should be able to do myself.

            Backwards compatibility? I could care less. I want the games on my current system to be easily accessible to me if something happens to my current system. That’s not the case on the Wii U and 3DS at present.

          • Eh, I’d rather have savegame insurance than game insurance. HDD’s the only thing that ever broke on my PS3, and the saves for disc games were the only thing I missed.

            I’m more concerned with getting more for the console than $100 after I spent more than that on digital games alone. My PS3 isn’t good for much other than netflix nowadays. If I can kill the account with an email to Sony, the games have zero resale value. Because of that, I’m wary to sell it, and I have no interest in playing Braid for the 3rd time.

            To me, the accounts are useless if games aren’t both transferable and usable on another platform. If Sony or MS get there (fans wouldn’t let MS, who wanted all or none before folks were ready), I’d whine about Nintendo.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Buying digital isnt really sound whatsoever. Its just something people fooled themselves into believing

          • Solomon_Kano

            I mean, if it doesn’t bother you, cool. But I’d like to know that I can easily get my games if something happens to my current system. If I can’t play them on the Wii U2 or whatever down the line, fine. I’m not worried about that, I’ll keep my Wii U to play those games.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            But if theyre is an apocalypse and the servers go down you’re shit outta luck anyway

          • Solomon_Kano

            If there’s an apocalypse, I probably won’t be thinking about my games.

    • TaintedSeraph

      If a person’s Nintendo Network ID is removed from the system then the purchases on the system won’t work. The only ones affected are those dumb enough to not format the system before reselling.

    • artemisthemp

      Wii U digital Purchase still bound to Wii U system?

  • I find it funny that the spam-bot actually took my comment…

  • piichan

    “allows players to manage their Nintendo Network accounts” that’s great and all but living in a country that’s not covered (Philippines), I hope they do something about that as well. I made a canadian account just so that I can use my local credit card, prior to that I was using the mexican eshop and there was no option to link a nintendo account.

  • garf02

    Slowliy but surely N is getting his way on the just wait for more great games

  • mewcus

    Just make digital purchases cheaper than their physical copies.
    This will provide incentives to their customers who are willing to keep playing that single game and reduce the second hand market.

  • At long last. They have to unify 3DS/Wii U and make your account independent from the console…

  • Slim934

    Great, now tie my purchases to an account the same way steam does and then we’ll talk about actually using the store.

    Scratch that, tie games to an account and give me discounts the way steam gives me discounts on strictly downloadable content. Then we’ll talk.

  • RazeXI

    I really hope they improve on this, its a pain that each save file and data is dedicated to each system…on a side note I also hope this means they’ll bring back the feature of gifting games to my friends, that was useful.

  • wahyudil

    make Miiverse available in browser like facebook to everyone, not only Wii U or 3DS owners … that will be hot

  • linkenski

    So, does this work for 3DS too?

  • J_Joestar

    Still waitin on that 3DS Miiverse to appear >_>

  • dragoon_slayer12

    Hopefully this means a psn/xbl type of user account. If it is, hopefully they allow purchases up to 5 devices, cut it’ll save me a hell of a lot of money on multi-player games for me and my family (me and wife own one each, plan on getting my kids 1 each for Xmas. I got 4)

  • TWE

    Baby steps, Nintendo. Baby steps.

  • TWE

    Baby steps, Nintendo. Baby steps.

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos