Nintendo has finally announced its new loyalty program—”My Nintendo”—as well as a brand-new account system (called simply “Nintendo Account”) that will interlink your various consoles with social media and mobile devices. Both services will use cloud technology.
My Nintendo will be similar to Club Nintendo, which shuttered back in June. By purchasing and by playing games, you will earn points that you can spend on merchandise, digital content, or game discounts. Club Nintendo only rewarded game purchases. This is one way that Nintendo can encourage players to keep coming back. Otherwise, it sounds pretty similar to the old Club Nintendo system.
Nintendo Accounts, on the other hand, are kind of like Nintendo Network IDs, except more comprehensive. If you have a Nintendo Network ID already, you can use that to access your Nintendo Account immediately (once the service launches), or you can log in using Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.
Nintendo Accounts are all about interconnection and simplicity, and will tie together your mobile experience and your console experience. Plus, they will be accessible from PCs, and will (somehow) tie in with theme parks and even movie theaters.
Nintendo’s president Tatsumi Kimishima emphasized that Nintendo is getting ready for a large-scale expansion of its intellectual property (IP). This is a big change for the company, which has always taken great care to guard its original characters. “By using Nintendo IP in a variety of other ways, such as licensing and commercializing this IP for visual content and merchandising products, we are planning to maximize the value of Nintendo IP, which has traditionally been used mainly for our dedicated video game systems,” Kimishima said. “Needless to say, there is no change to the fact that dedicated game systems remain at the core of Nintendo experiences.”
There’s currently no release date for Nintendo Accounts. My Nintendo is going to link in directly with Miitomo, Nintendo’s first app. Read more about Miitomo here. My Nintendo and Miitomo will be released simultaneously, so we’ll have to wait until March 2016 and lose out on all those loyalty points we might have earned from holiday game purchases. Bummer.