Tuesday, January 20, 2015

No More Club Nintendo

Earlier today Nintendo gave notice that they're discontinuing their Club Nintendo program.  I've been a member of Club Nintendo for the past couple years and I really liked it.  I'm sad to see it go.

There have been times when the club reward offerings weren't great, but there have also been times with fantastic physical and digital goods exclusive to Club Nintendo.  I picked up my 3DS XL charging cradle through the program as well as the soft case I use to carry my 3DS XL around in my backpack.  Not to mention the handful of classic Nintendo games I've grabbed for virtual console through the club.

It's not all bad.  I truly hope this signals Nintendo's intention to turn over a new leaf when it comes to digital offerings.

Historically, Nintendo has been really bad at online stuff in general, lagging far behind Microsoft and Sony.  They're infamous friend code system for adding friends online.  The bad matchmaking and often unplayable online multiplayer.  And, more importantly in this case, how much they've failed at user accounts.

Games and software still aren't tied to Nintendo Network ID.  At this point that is unforgivable.  Every other company associates software with the account it's activated on.  This allows for so many benefits and ease of transportation between devices.  Nintendo still ties software to the hardware it's activated on.  It's super frustrating.

If your 3DS is stolen and you want to get your software back on a new 3DS they require you to file a police report, send them a copy of it, have one of their staff dig through your purchase history to find out what games you've purchase, then refund you the money you spent into your Nintendo Network wallet, at which point you can finally re-purchase your software.  If your Vita is stolen and you buy a new one you simply log in to your account and you have access to your software.

Nintendo is behind the times in the digital world.

While I'm sad that Club Nintendo is being discontinued, I'm really hoping that this is a signal that Nintendo may be turning over a new leaf in the digital space.  In a perfect world they would unify all their accounts, tie software to Nintendo ID, and integrate some of kind reward program through it as well.  A fully integrated account for all my Nintendo systems and software would be amazing.

Only time will tell.  They seem to their own thing over there.  I mean, who knows when it comes to Nintendo?

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