Nintendo is currently working to further expand its digital business, says top banana Satoru Iwata.
Nintendo have long been the laughing stock of the gaming world when it comes to utilizing the internet. The Wii's online capabilities were easily the poorest of the big 3, and its digital distribution network has been woefully inadequate. This is something the company hopes to turn around, says President Satoru Iwata. "[Expanding our digital business] is crucial for expanding profitable opportunities," Iwata told Japanese video streaming service Nico Nico Video.
Before the end of this year, Iwata promises that Nintendo will be adding a new system that allows players to manage their Nintendo Network accounts through smartphones and PCs. Users will be able to purchase games via this method, much in the same way the Steam mobile app currently functions.
A common complaint users have about Nintendo accounts is the fact that they are coupled to a single system, meaning if that system is broken or stolen, you effectively loose all your downloaded titles. Iwata did not comment on whether this move was the first step in possibly decoupling Nintendo Network accounts with one specific piece of hardware.
Iwata reiterates that Nintendo plans on strengthening download sales of the company's software. He revealed that over a quarter of the sales for life simulator Animal Crossing: New Leaf were from digital downloads, a clear indicator that the way people buy videogames is changing.
Nintendo also provided some more information on its connectivity rates. Currently, the Wii U's Internet connectivity rate stands at 80%, while for the Nintendo 3DS, Japan has an 87% connectivity rate, and the US sits at 83%.