Earlier this month we reported that Nintendo was preparing to launch its new account system, replacing the old, cumbersome Nintendo Network ID. It’s a necessary step, as Nintendo has lagged behind Sony and Nintendo in online services for years.
The new cross-platform user account system, simply known as a Nintendo Account, launched in Japan in December, but is open for registration worldwide. There isn’t too much you can do with the account for the time being, but at least you can try to nab the user name of your choice.
The new account will be how users sign in anywhere, whether from a mobile device or Nintendo 3DS or Wii U. More importantly, users’ purchases are tracked as part of the new account. Until now, digital purchases have been tied to a single console or handheld. The new account system works similarly to PlayStation Network or Xbox Live, allowing users to easily re-download past purchases.
If you already have a Nintendo Network ID, you can use it to sign up for a new Nintendo Account. New users can sign in using Facebook, Google+, or Twitter, or can opt to sign up for a new account from scratch.
Once you’ve signed up for a Nintendo Account, you can also pre-register for Nintendo’s first mobile app, Miitomo. As a reward, you’ll earn Platinum Points, which earn rewards in the My Nintendo program set to launch along with Miitomo next month.
Closer to a social network than an actual game, Miitomo is described by Nintendo as an app that “sparks one-of-a-kind conversations between you and your friends.” The app seems to be both a way for Nintendo to test the mobile waters and a method to get users signed up for Nintendo Accounts before the company launches an actual game for mobile devices.
To get started signing up for a Nintendo Account, head over to the company’s registration page.