The 3DS Needs User Accounts Now

All the news Nintendo threw us last night is great, but the one thing that keeps bugging me is that we’re going through all these new digital games and hardware changes without an account system for the 3DS. Come August there’s going to be a major step up in terms of what Nintendo is asking of its customers.

My first main concern is trading in my regular 3DS for the new one. Without an account system anything you bought digitally is still tied to the hardware. You can transfer things over, but it’s an awkward process that you have to specifically ask GameStop employees to let you perform. Even then, the 3DS has a stipulation requiring it to be connected to the internet in order to transfer anything from hardware to hardware. People stand to either pay $200 for likely the second 3DS in a year, or lose things they paid for in a trade-in process.

People are already thinking up schemes where they’ll buy a third 3DS from eBay or some place with a good return policy. The idea would be to transfer data from one 3DS to the second one, trade in the first 3DS for the new model, transfer again, and then return the second one. The whole system just seems wrong to me without true accounts.

Last year Nintendo announced that Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection would be rebranded Nintendo Network and that one of its new features would be user accounts for the Wii U. Now, they never mentioned anything about user accounts for the 3DS, but it would make a lot of sense to start doing them this summer with as much digital content as Nintendo is planning to deliver.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 comes out on the same day as the new 3DS model in the US and will be the first full new game Nintendo will offer digitally day-and-date with retail. To me $40 seems like a lot to ask a customer without an account system to tie the game to, not to mention we now know the game will have DLC. Oh, and there’s all of those new Virtual Console games and Virtual Console sales they’re doing this summer.

That’s just the start though. By all right Nintendo should be planning to unify user accounts between the 3DS and the Wii U when the latter comes out. If you link your hardware to Club Nintendo it already tracks any downloads you make on any Nintendo hardware. A lot of people are also hoping Nintendo unifies the Virtual Console between platforms so they can play any VC game between the 3DS and Wii U (that will reasonably run on each platform), myself included. I’m not exactly expecting that to happen, but it would be nice.

Already you have a lot of people who refuse to buy any content from Nintendo’s eShop because of these concerns, and that’s just those who know. You still get a lot of 3DS owners or future owners who ask questions. What’s gonna happen when more people start asking about the status of their $40 digital purchases?

BULLETS:

  • Anybody who’s played the Game Boy version of Donkey Kong willing to tell me if it’s any good. It’s one of the games available for Club Nintendo coins right now and the trailer looks good.
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