Nintendo envisions on-demand service tied to IDs across hardware

In a follow-up report to Nintendo's financial briefing today, an on-demand gaming service spanning multiple pieces of hardware is described as part of CEO Satoru Iwata's longterms plans. The first step toward this new on-demand service, the report says, was introducing Nintendo Network IDs on both Wii U and 3DS.

This on-demand service would be tied to your Nintendo Network ID as opposed to the individual hardware being used – one ID for multiple devices, rewarding customers loyalty to an account as opposed to an individual piece of hardware, which may be replaced some day. And when the next version of that hardware comes along, certain features or content may not carry over, so for heavy users this loss of content ultimately shapes their habits and loyalty going forward.

Research analyst David Gibson is at the event and says that Iwata is stressing a single operating architecture between platforms, much like how iOS and Android have one operating system across multiple devices in their respective ecosystems. Nintendo will also strive to have this parity across its own devices. Iwata specifically says console and portable hardware can't be separated in the future; they're brother and sister.

The section in question says Nintendo aims to "build a connection with individual customers" over a long period of time through this on-demand service. Part of that strategy, Nintendo announced today, will be to entice new customers through smart phones and by licensing its characters out to third parties.