Unified Nintendo Network eShop account on its way?

Nintendo of America may have handed us a new piece to slide into our Nintendo Network puzzle… Playing too much Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask you say? Preposterous.

Anyway, in a press release detailing Nintendo Network Premium’s benefits – or “Deluxe Digital Promotion” as it’s known in the Americas – where beneficiaries receive 10% eShop credit back on selected publishers’ software, Nintendo mentioned the following:

“a game priced at $59.99, such as New Super Mario Bros. U, would earn 599 points. For every 500 points they earn, participants will receive a code worth $5 in credit to be used in the Nintendo eShop for either Wii U or Nintendo 3DS.

Stop the presses! Our 10% rebate can be used on a platform of our choice? Is this the confirmation we’ve been waiting for of a unified eShop account which spans Wii U *and* 3DS, to link to our Nintendo Network ID?

But just before we managed to crack open the champagne Nintendo’s press release droid garbled out the following:

Received codes must be exchanged for Nintendo eShop credit on Wii U or Nintendo 3DS by June 30, 2015.”

This mention of receiving a code for our bonus eShop credit suddenly makes things sound a bit more, well, Nintendo, and confirms this system could well function with platform independent eShops. Pop the bubbly away for now…

If this does turn out to be the case come late November, however, then Nintendo have failed us. A unified eShop system bears too many benefits to the consumer – now with new expectations that each company’s ‘ecosystem’ is interconnected – that Nintendo simply can’t afford not to implement it.

We recently added £30 to our Nintendo eShop account on our 3DS. Wouldn’t it be glorious if we could spend the £40 or so that’s now on our account on our Wii U and 3DS, rather than have it tied down to a limited selection of software on one or t’other?

And wouldn’t it be great if we could sign in to the Wii U eShop and purchase a 3DS game (or vice versa), which will be waiting for us for download the next time we pop into the other system’s digital store?

Luckily there are signs that Nintendo are pushing eShop’s connected ecosystem in the right direction, even if Nintendo Network Premium seems to say otherwise. Mr. Iwata told investors that Nintendo’s future “goal is that, in the future, you will also be able to purchase games found in the “Miiverse” from that smartphone or tablet device and, by the time you arrive home, that game will already have arrived on your Wii U system through SpotPass”.

It’s this that brings the warmth back into our hearts, even if 3DS wasn’t mentioned in the same sentence as Wii U. Perhaps we’ll be able to purchase software for our 3DSes through the browser based eShop to send a signal to Nintendo’s SpotPass servers for some sleep mode download action. Then again this is still a company that ties digital purchases completely to an individual system, regardless of an applied Club Nintendo account that keeps a record of purchases… Fingers are crossed that Nintendo get their priorities sorted, and that this puzzle reaches a logical conclusion.