The Nintendo Network: Too Little Too Late?
The announcement came yesterday after Nintendo President Satoru Iwata made an appearance at an Investor Presentation. The Nintendo Network is intended to replace the wifi connectivity of past next gen Nintendo consoles.
The Nintendo Network will cover the Wii console as well as the handheld DS devices, and although there is no official launch date yet, this technology has already been integrated into the new Nintendo DS. Nintendo Network will provide “add on content” (DLC), Digital Distribution of Packaged Software, and Personal Accounts for the Wii U (meaning no more friends codes). The first game to get its taste of online multi-playing will be Mario Kart 7 and will be called a “Community.”
How will this stack up to it’s biggest competitors: Xbox Live and Playstation Network? Will gamers be eager to join a community of Mario Kart 7 over the option to join an online game of Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 3 or Battlefield 3? Gamers love awards, trophies, achievements, and avenues to display their winnings and rank within the gaming community, so it will be interesting to see if Nintendo offers anything in comparison now that they took the initial step to branch out.
One could only guess what might be in store as Nintendo continues to reinvent themselves. Perhaps a future with the Nintendo Network might include apps for iOS and Android, downloadable demos, and more online multi-player options. Maybe will they blow our minds with a revolutionary new way we use our networks? Only time will tell, and so far the Nintendo Network has a lot of catching up to do.