Finally, it appears that Nintendo have come to their senses: the company revealed a new user account feature for the 3DS and Wii U called Nintendo Network, where instead of the current and awfully implemented “friend code” system, gamers will have a service similar to Xbox Live and PlayStation Network.
Some of the new features of Nintendo Network include “communities”, where players can create groups of friends to play with, and support for paid downloadable content. Nintendo Network will support downloadable games on the Wii U and the 3DS as well. The Wii U will get some additional features, including a new account system for consoles, where each Wii U can have multiple accounts, much like the current systems for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
The Wii U will be launching in the fourth quarter of 2012.