Gamers who own both a Nintendo Wii U console and 3DS handheld are finally able to use the same Network ID and eShop account across both devices.
A 3DS system update, pushed out today, adds the ability to log into the Nintendo Network on 3DS with a new Nintendo Network ID, or one previously created on a Wii U, and use it to make purchases on either device.
The update also brings Miiverse functionality to the 3DS, which allows gamers to visit game-specific online communities and post messages, hand-written notes and drawings.
Since its launch, Wii U owners have used Network IDs to log into their consoles and communicate with other gamers via the Miiverse social platform, as well as to purchase software in the eShop.
Until now, however, the 3DS has been an island, utilizing a separate e-commerce system from the Wii U, as well as a clumsy ‘friend code’ system for connecting with other players.
It frankly made little sense, adding a layer of inconvenience for owners of both systems making digital purchases in the Nintendo ecosystem, who until today, needed to fund two separate e-wallets.
Miiverse functionality is limited on 3DS—it still doesn’t allow players to add new friends via the service (manual entry of 3DS friend codes is still required). Also, eShop purchases are still tied to a specific device, rather than a user account. These limitations likely still exist because of security and child safety policies.
The update is nonetheless a big improvement.
Case in point: I have funds in my Wii U account. I recently spotted a 3DS game I wanted to buy. But with no means of accessing using my Wii U credit on my 3DS and no funds in my 3DS eWallet, I just never bothered. But now, I just might grab that copy of… [lowers voice, looks at floor] Pokemon X.