The Nintendo Network (Japanese: ニンテンドーネットワーク? Hepburn: Nintendō Nettowāku) is Nintendo's online service which provides online functionality for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U systems and their compatible games. Announced on January 26, 2012 at an investors' conference, it is Nintendo's second online service after Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Former president of Nintendo Satoru Iwata said, "Unlike Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, which has been focused upon specific functionalities and concepts, we are aiming to establish a platform where various services available through the network for our consumers shall be connected via Nintendo Network service so that the company can make comprehensive proposals to consumers."
Nintendo's newest console, Nintendo Switch, does not have native support for the Nintendo Network, and instead uses a dedicated Nintendo Switch Online service, which is based on a different online infrastructure.
On January 20, 2012, an image of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy's box art was released showing a "Nintendo Network" icon in the corner of the box. It was speculated that "Nintendo Network" was a rebranding of the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
Nintendo officially announced Nintendo Network on January 26, 2012. Nintendo stated that Nintendo Network will be an entirely new unified network system as opposed to a rebranding of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Nintendo stated that the Nintendo Network will provide the infrastructure for online multiplayer (through universal friend codes on the Nintendo 3DS and a user account system on the Wii U), SpotPass, and eShop. During the Pre-E3 Nintendo Direct, Nintendo clarified that Nintendo Network will be the basis for Nintendo's new social network known as Miiverse. Nintendo Network will provide the network infrastructure for the Nintendo 3DS, for the Wii U, and was initially planned for future Nintendo platforms.
|Wii U||Nintendo 3DS family||Smartphones/PC/Tablets|
|Online Shop||Nintendo eShop|
Nintendo eShop News
|Internet Navigation||Internet Browser (Wii U)
(HTML5 video and audio support)
|Internet Browser (Nintendo 3DS)
(3D/2D image upload support)
|Provided by OS
|Integrated Google/Yahoo search engine|
|Loyalty Program||Club Nintendo
Nintendo Network Premium My Nintendo
|System Update||Wii U System Update||Nintendo 3DS System Update||Automatic Updates|
Nintendo Network previously provided legacy support for the Wii and Nintendo DS/DSi systems since Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection which had been absorbed into the service. This had ensured the uninterrupted online support and general backwards compatibility of the legacy Wii and DS families of game libraries when played on the current Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS. The free Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service was globally discontinued on May 20, 2014, which ceased support for online multiplayer, matchmaking, and leader boards for Wii and Nintendo DS games that supported those features, and this also applies to the legacy online support of these games when played on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, including downloadable versions. The Wii Shop Channel and the "Pay & Play" game variants have not been affected at this time. The Nintendo DSi Shop is closing on March 31, 2017, but DSiWare available on the Nintendo eShop will be unaffected.
Nintendo Network IDs are user account systems for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, which allows players to access certain online features such as the Nintendo eShop and Miiverse. As of December 9, 2013, Nintendo Network IDs were implemented onto the Nintendo 3DS, becoming required for downloading free demos from the eShop, replacing the previous system in which eShop purchases were tied to a single system. Players who own both a Wii U and a Nintendo 3DS are able to link a single Nintendo Network ID to both systems, allowing funds added from credit cards or pre-paid cards to be shared across both systems' eShops. However, a Nintendo Network ID can only be used on one 3DS system at a time, requiring players to perform a system transfer to move account details from one 3DS system to another (IDs are currently tied to a single Wii U system, though a future update to resolve this has been promised, which is also essential for the company's long-term plans). Players may also sign into Nintendo Network on other platforms, such as the web-based Miiverse portal for computers, with functionality for tablets and smartphones also planned.
Nintendo originally planned for the Nintendo Network ID to become a prominent account system standard for all future Nintendo hardware releases, as well as any Nintendo-published apps released for non-Nintendo devices. However, in March 2016, Nintendo introduced Nintendo Account for non-Nintendo devices and the Nintendo Switch, although the new account service compliments Nintendo Network ID if users have one. For example, if users link their Nintendo Network ID to their Nintendo Account, they can share eShop funds between their Nintendo Switch and their Wii U/Nintendo 3DS.
Nintendo Network currently uses a universal Friend Code system as its account system for the Nintendo 3DS. While these Friend Codes can only be registered for one user per system, they are functional for all Nintendo 3DS software used on that system. These Friend Codes are still tied to a single system and initially had limited transference under a conditional online protocol. After the Nintendo Network ID (NNID) has been introduced for the Nintendo 3DS in December 2013, the limit on system transfers has been waived, but both NNID accounts and Friend Codes remain tied to a single system at a time.
In Japan, the first games to introduce Nintendo Network officially were Theatrhythm Final Fantasy and Tekken 3D: Prime Edition, which were both released on the same day in February 2012. The first game that officially introduced the Nintendo Network outside Japan was Kid Icarus: Uprising, released in March 2012. Most games that were released with Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection support prior to the launch of the Nintendo Network were later rebranded as Nintendo Network compatible games, including Nintendo 3DS launch titles such as Nintendogs + Cats.
Nintendo Network compatible games launched alongside the Wii U in 2012. Ubisoft has confirmed that Assassin's Creed III and Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth would launch with Nintendo Network support.
One key feature of Nintendo Network is that it allows users to play together through the Internet. Users on the Nintendo 3DS can currently play with one another by entering their friend's universal friend code into the Nintendo 3DS's friends roster. Alternatively, supported games can allow users to play on the Internet without having to enter any friend codes, this feature is called online communities, and it debuted in Mario Kart 7. The process of online multiplayer is further streamlined through the use of a unified user account system first available during the launch of the Wii U and later brought to the Nintendo 3DS. The user account system would eliminate the need to enter friend codes; instead, users can enter one another's user accounts. Nintendo Network also allows users to share rankings and to review the ranks of others.
Software updates, more commonly known as patches, have been available on both Nintendo 3DS, since April 25, 2012, and Wii U, since November 18, 2012, via a system update. These system updates gave the ability to patch downloadable titles, as well as retail games, through both the Nintendo eShop and HOME Menu. These patches have the main purpose of fixing security vulnerabilities and other bugs, and improving the usability or performance. Patches can also be downloaded while using other applications via the systems' Download Manager.
The Nintendo eShop (ニンテンドーeショップ? Nintendō Ī-Shoppu) is an online marketplace powered by Nintendo Network. The eShop allows users on the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U to access and purchase exclusive digital games, Virtual Console games, and certain retail games. Moreover, users can obtain patches and additional downloadable content for digital downloads; in-game purchases are also supported. Before purchasing a piece of software, the eShop allows users to view ratings, screenshots, and videos pertaining to that piece of software. Developers can also release demos of both digital and physical games on the eShop.
Currently, purchases made through the Nintendo eShop on the Nintendo 3DS are tied to the system that they were purchased from, and they can only be transferred by contacting Nintendo's customer service. However, Nintendo has stated that this will change with the launch of the Wii U and the Nintendo Network user account system. On the Wii U, the user's purchases are tied to their Nintendo Network account but they cannot be transferred to other systems by the user as the Nintendo Network account is tied to a specific console. This user account system was added to the Nintendo 3DS via a system update on December 9, 2013, coinciding with Miiverse being added to the system, allowing players to combine their funds with their Wii U account.
Most Wii U and Nintendo 3DS retail software titles are available to download via the Nintendo eShop. The first of these titles was New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the Nintendo 3DS, which launched on the Nintendo eShop alongside its retail release in August 2012.
Game demos of retail and digital games have been available free to download on the Nintendo eShop since it was updated in December 2011. Developers are required to limit the number of plays available to the user. The first paid demo was released in Japan on August 4, 2011 and free demos were released in Japan on December 27, 2011 and in North America on January 19, 2012.
Virtual Console (バーチャルコンソール? Bācharu Konsōru), sometimes abbreviated as VC, is a specialized section of the Nintendo eShop online service that allow players to purchase and download games from discontinued consoles and other software for Nintendo's Wii, Wii U, and Nintendo 3DS.
The Wii U uses the Wii U Menu and Nintendo eShop to access and purchase Virtual Console titles, respectively. Virtual Console games on the Wii U can be suspended and users can also create save states anytime. All Virtual Console game bought on the Nintendo eShop can be played on the GamePad through Off-TV Play.
The entire Virtual Console library available on Wii is also available on Wii U, but only through the implementation of the console's "Wii Mode" and Wii Shop Channel, to access and purchase Virtual Console titles.
The Nintendo 3DS uses the HOME Menu and Nintendo eShop to access and purchase Virtual Console titles, respectively. Virtual Console games on the Nintendo 3DS can be suspended and users can also create save states anytime.
Planned future releases will include purchasing software from the Neo-Geo and TurboGrafx-16 libraries. Special features in this interpretation of the Virtual Console allow players to create Restore Points, temporarily saving the game state for use later, and the optional ability to view games in their original resolution accompanied with special borders.
Miiverse (portmanteau of "Mii" and "universe") is a social network for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, created by Nintendo System Development and Hatena, and powered by the Nintendo Network. Integrated into every game, the Miiverse allows players to interact and share their experiences through their own Miis by way of drawings, text, screenshots, and sometimes game videos. It is also available via any web browser, with future plans including dedicated apps for tablets and smartphones. Miiverse will not be available for the Nintendo Switch console.
Miiverse was announced on June 3, 2012 during a pre-E3 Nintendo Direct event; the service initially launched on the Wii U on November 18, 2012 and was later made available for the Nintendo 3DS on December 9, 2013. A web-based portal was opened on April 25, 2013.
Miiverse allows users to seamlessly share accomplishments, comments, and hand written notes with other users. Miiverse is integrated into the system menu of the Wii U and 3DS, but social interactions can also occur within supported games and applications. A user is able to suspend any game (except for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS on a regular Nintendo 3DS) to access Miiverse functions via the Home menu, and then return to the game at the point it was left. Posts are divided up into various 'communities' dedicated to specific games, series, applications, or interests, and players can post the current screenshot from the currently running game to attach to their posts. Certain games, such as Sonic Lost World, allow players to share in-game items with other players via Miiverse. Other games, such as Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8, offer pre-made stamps that can be used in handwritten posts, though they can only be used in their respective communities.
Nintendo's president Satoru Iwata stated that Miiverse will be monitored through software as well as a human resource team in order to ensure that the content shared by users is appropriate and that no spoilers are shared. In addition, posting friend codes on the service is forbidden.
In February 2013, the Miiverse Code of Conduct was updated and no longer allows players under the age of 13 years to directly send or receive friend requests within Miiverse. On April 4, 2013, Miiverse was updated to group communities by category, such as "Wii U Games" and "Virtual Console".
On April 25, 2013, Miiverse became available on Internet-enabled PCs and smartphones in beta form, in which some features were not yet supported. However, users could browse communities, write text comments, and like posts (with a "Yeah!"). On April 26, an update brought Wii Remote, Wii U Pro Controller and Classic Controller compatibility, which can be used for everything apart from writing posts and comments. The input screen for handwriting is now displayed on the TV as well as on the Wii U GamePad, so that other users can see what the GamePad user is writing or drawing.
From May 15, 2013, users can now attach game screenshots to comments, something that until then could only be done to posts. Additionally, a blocked user can no longer follow the user that block him or her. On May 29, further updates brought some missing features not present in the web version of the Miiverse from the Wii U version, such as profile and privacy settings.
On June 12, 2013, the web version of Miiverse was updated to allow sharing on other social media websites, including as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Tumblr. On June 26, the character limit for posts and comments was increased from 100 characters to 200 characters. On July 30, the Wii U and web versions of Miiverse were updated to support tags such as "Question" and "Impressions" to user posts. Tags attached by users are colored blue, as opposed to posts made directly from games which are colored green. Tag availability varies by community. On the Wii U version, the character limit for messages to other users was also changed from 100 to 200 characters.
Following the September 11, 2013 update, users can now make posts directly to the Activity Feed. These posts will not appear in any community, but will appear in the users', friends', and followers' activity feeds. On October 1, the Miiverse splashscreen was changed to display the current time in major cities around the globe.
On December 9, 2013, the service was launched for the 3DS, along with the implementation of Nintendo Network IDs. In its current state, players are unable to submit and manage friend requests or send private messages.
On June 24, 2015 a Miiverse update made all Miiverse restrictions for one user impact all other users on the same console. This was in response to a common tactic of Users who were banned simply making another account on the same console. The update angered most of the Miiverse community, and in response a petition was put on Change.org after the update's release.
On July 29, 2015, Miiverse redesigned their service, with the following changes: users can post to their "Play Journal," save screenshots in their album, post drawings in a separate section in a community, and post discussions if they need help with completing a level in a game. The redesign also added a daily post limit, in which every user on the network can post up to 30 posts a day. However, this also removed the ability to post to the activity feed.
Nintendo TVii was a free television based service which allows users on a unified system to watch films or programs from content providers, formerly such as Hulu Plus, Netflix, Amazon Video, and their cable network. Users are then able to select the source of the program they wish to watch and watch it on their television or on the Wii U GamePad. Users can also use the GamePad screen to get information on the show they are watching. Such information is received from Wikipedia, IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, as well as individual source services. The information provided on the GamePad for each show can include reviews, screenshots, realtime player positions in sports broadcasts, cast lists, trailers, and general information about the show.
Despite initially launching late 2012 in select countries, development was plagued by various technical issues and delays, and the service failed to launch in Europe, subsequently canceling plans to launch it in Oceania, and was later discontinued in North America by August 2015. The Nintendo TVii icon and UI access had since been subsequently removed from the Wii U HOME Menu on as of the 5.4.0E update on PAL consoles, and as of the 5.5.0U update on North American consoles. The service currently remains active in Japan only.
Since the service is connected to the Nintendo Network ID, each user has their own personal information stored on Nintendo TVii, such as their preferences, Mii and social network accounts. Users can then interact with the information as well as share and comment on the information on social networks such as Miiverse, Facebook, and Twitter in order to share reactions to live moments on TV through the GamePad while they watch their show on the TV screen. Users are also able to control their DVR through the Wii U and the GamePad. Nintendo TVii was made by Nintendo in partnership with i.TV.
Nintendo TVii currently supports the following services:
Future plans had included bringing other DVR, such as TiVo to Nintendo TVii. It was originally announced that the service will become available in Europe in 2013. However, this did not happen, although Nintendo UK had since issued an apology in January 2014 for not launching the service when expected, and stated to expect further announcements in the "near future". On February 14, 2015, Nintendo Europe announced it had cancelled plans for the service's release in European countries including the UK.
The Wii U GamePad was also used as a universal television remote with a built in guide, even when the Wii U was powered off. Nintendo TVii itself was installed with every Wii U console, and did not require any additional fees to use.
On July 24, 2015, Nintendo announced that the service would be discontinued in North America on August 11 of that year at 3:00 p.m. PT. Shortly after its termination, when users started Nintendo TVii, it redirected them to a screen showing them that the service is no longer available. Finally, on August 17, a Wii U system update removed the Nintendo TVii icon from the Wii U Menu and its HOME Menu, thus making the service no longer accessible.
Outside of Nintendo TVii, currently available only on Wii U, Nintendo Network offers a wide range of video services for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. These services are only available for download on Nintendo 3DS since Nintendo TVii already integrates Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Video and TiVo. The Wii U can play videos in 480p or 720p HD; and Nintendo 3DS can play 240p. However, it should be noted that these streaming services are available independently from Nintendo Network services.
These videos can either be downloaded to the system's permanent storage through SpotPass or streamed over the user's Internet connection. On the Nintendo 3DS, many of these videos are offered in 3D; on the Wii U, only 2D videos are available. The exact content available varies by region.
Future plans include bringing Netflix outside of North America to the United Kingdom and Ireland with a selection of full-length 3D movies and Hulu Plus to Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo also planned to bring other video on demand and DVR services to Wii U through Nintendo TVii.
|Video Content Available via Nintendo Network|
|Content||Free or Subscription||Wii U||Nintendo 3DS family|
|Video services integrated within Nintendo TVii|
|Hulu Plus (United States only)||Subscription||Yes||No|
|Amazon Video (United States only)||Free
(Optional Amazon Prime subscription available)
|DVR services integrated within Nintendo TVii|
|Standalone video services|
|Hulu Plus (United States only)||Subscription||Yes|
|Amazon Video (United States only)||Free
(Optional Amazon Prime subscription available)
|LoveFilm (Europe only)||Subscription||Yes||No|
|Nico Nico Douga (Japan only)||Free||Yes||No|
|Nintendo Show 3D (North America only)||Free||No||Yes
Nintendo Show 3D cancelled
|Nintendo TV (Official Nintendo Magazine) (United Kingdom only)||Free||No||Yes|
|Nintendo eShop News||Free||Yes|
|Nintendo Direct conference videos||Free||Yes|
|Other video services|
|Short Films||Free and Purchase||No||Yes|
Nintendo TV is a video gaming online magazine published by Future Publishing for Nintendo Network. It is produced by the team behind the Official Nintendo Magazine and features video reviews and previews and footage of upcoming and recently released Nintendo games. Episodes are released monthly on the Nintendo eShop, Nintendo Channel and YouTube where users can watch all the latest news, reviews and previews of Wii, Wii U, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS and Virtual Console games. This series is exclusive to PAL region consoles.
Nintendo Show 3D was a video gaming online show produced by Nintendo and hosted by Jessie Cantrell. It featured video previews and footage of upcoming and recently released Nintendo 3DS retail and digital game titles. Episodes were released every two weeks on the Nintendo eShop free of charge. This series was exclusive to North American Nintendo 3DS consoles. Nintendo Show 3D released its last episode on March 28, 2013.
The Nintendo eShop offers a wide range of downloadable video content for the Nintendo 3DS. These videos are mostly offered in 3D, and are downloaded right to the system's memory. In order to produce and distribute these short films Nintendo has partnered with companies such as BreakThru Films, Black Box Productions, Atlantic Productions, Ka-Ching Cartoons and DreamWorks Animation.
Nintendo has stated that Nintendo Network will provide the means for users to chat via text, voice, and video. All three means of chatting will be available on the Wii U through its Wii U Chat and Miiverse services. On the Nintendo 3DS, the Swapnote (Nintendo Letter Box) application allowed users to send handwritten notes, pictures, and sound to one another through the Nintendo Network, powered by the SpotPass delivery service. Users will also be able to globally communicate with one another through the Miiverse social network service.
Swapnote, known as Nintendo Letter Box in PAL regions and Itsu no Mani Kōkan Nikki in Japan, is a messaging application for the Nintendo 3DS. Swapnote was released on December 22, 2011 in Europe, Australia and North America via the Nintendo eShop, and can be downloaded at no additional cost, and is pre-installed on newer systems. This application allows users to send hand-written/drawn messages to registered friends via SpotPass either or other users via StreetPass. The app also allows users to freely embed pictures and sounds into their messages, and it also lets users change the position and the orientation of the picture and sound icons. Features are unlocked as players continue to send letters, such as the ability to hand-write/draw 3D messages, with additional stationary and features unlocked by spending Play Coins. Messages sent and received can also be saved indefinitely, in spite of the 3000 message limit. Additional stationary can be obtained via certain Nintendo related events, such as using specific software, or by saving them from other people's messages.
On October 31, 2013, Nintendo abruptly suspended the Swapnote/Nintendo Letter Box SpotPass functionality after discovering minors were sharing Friend Codes with strangers who had exploited the messaging service to allegedly exchange pornographic imagery. Additionally, the Special Notes service, which were also sent via SpotPass to promote Nintendo games, has also been suspended. Nintendo issued an apology to those who had been using the application in a responsible manner.
Without any prior notice, Nintendo released a messaging application for the Nintendo 3DS in November 2016 entitled Swapdoodle, known in Japan as Irasuto Kōkan Nikki (イラスト交換日記?, lit. "Illustration Exchange Diary"). Regarded as a spiritual successor to Swapnote/Nintendo Letter Box, the app supports the exchange of 3D messages between users online using only SpotPass, albeit user content is limited to drawings, handwritten text, icons, and native in-game screenshots. Additionally, Swapdoodle has access to an in-app DLC store, allowing users to purchase bundle packs that include additional pens, ink units, stationery, message space, and drawing lessons.
Wii U Chat is Wii U's online chat solution, powered by Nintendo Network. The service allows the users to use the Wii U GamePad's front-facing camera to video chat with registered friends. While video chatting, only the Wii U GamePad is needed, since on the TV, the same picture as in the GamePad's is shown. Users can also draw on the GamePad during a chat session.
If there is a game or another application already running, the Wii U GamePad's HOME button ring will flash indicating that there is an incoming call. The idea of the feature was originally seen in the introduction trailer of the Wii U in E3 2011. However, users won't also be able to use the service as a multitasking application, therefore not having the ability to make video calls without interrupting game play. Nintendo has announced a desire to make video chat possible through multitasking.
Wii U Chat was deployed in the Wii U's launch day firmware update.
The Nintendo 3DS Internet Browser is an Internet browser designed for the Nintendo 3DS system. It was released via firmware update on June 6, 2011 in North America and June 7, 2011 in Europe and Japan. The browser functions as a multitasking application. As such, it can be used while another application, such as a game, is suspended in the background. The browser is primarily controlled with the stylus but can be controlled with the Circle Pad or the D-pad to cycle through links on the page.
An improved browser is featured on the New Nintendo 3DS consoles, notably having a different interface and the ability to play HTML5-based videos.
The Wii U Internet Browser is an Internet browser designed for the Wii U system. It was released on launch day alongside Wii U via firmware update on November 18, 2012 in North America and November 30, 2012 in Europe. The browser functions as a multitasking application and, as such, can be used while another application, such as a game, is suspended in the background. The browser is primarily controlled with the Wii U GamePad's touchscreen but can be controlled with the Analog sticks for scrolling and zoom, or the D-pad to cycle through links on the page.
Nintendo Network Premium (known as Deluxe Digital Promotion in North America) was a loyalty program similar to PlayStation Plus offered on PlayStation Network. It was announced by Satoru Iwata on September 13, 2012, during a Japanese Nintendo Direct presentation.
Consumers who purchased the Wii U Deluxe Set in North America, a Premium Pack in Europe and Australia, or a Premium Set in Japan, received a free two-year subscription to this service which let Wii U owners receive points for each digital purchase. Members who bought games and apps through the Wii U Nintendo eShop received ten percent of the price back in the form of Nintendo Points, which could subsequently be put towards future online purchases on both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS eShop. 500 points equaled to $5.00 which consumers could use toward a purchase on the Nintendo eShop.
Members received points from their purchases until December 31, 2014, and could redeem these points for Nintendo eShop Cards until March 31, 2015. All codes from these cards were valid until June 30, 2015.
Club Nintendo was a loyalty program available in Nintendo's key regions in which users register purchased Nintendo products in order to exchange them for a variety of unique rewards. The loyalty program is free to join and is committed to providing rewards in exchange for consumer feedback, and for the original purchase of official Nintendo products. Once linked to Club Nintendo, every product downloaded through the eShop is automatically registered in the Club Nintendo account. The user can also then take a survey for each product registered to earn additional coins/stars, which then prizes can be redeemed. It was discontinued in North America on June 30, 2015, and by September 30, 2015 in all other regions.
Members of Club Nintendo may earn credits (referred to as "Coins" or "Stars" depending on region) which may be traded in for special edition items which are available only at Club Nintendo. Earning these credits is done primarily by submitting codes found on Nintendo products and systems, and for completing related surveys provided by the Club Nintendo websites. The Club Nintendo reward items include playing cards, tote bags, downloadable and physical games, various merchandise based on Nintendo's intellectual properties, special gaming accessories, limited promotions, and warranty extensions on select Nintendo products.
As access restrictions are based on the address entered by the user and not on IP address, it is possible for users from non-supported regions to use the service, although there may still be certain limits, such as the inability to use credit/debit cards to purchase content or add funds, unless said cards are issued by banks in supported regions. In such case, users may also opt to buy Nintendo eShop Cards if available in the country they live in.
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