Wii U firm wants to end online conservatism; Bid to make DLC transactions easy as possible

Revealed: Nintendo plan to simplify digital shopping

Nintendo knows it must take a “bold attempt” in establishing a robust online ecosystem for Wii U, and simplifying DLC shopping is key to that plan, the company’s president has said.

Satoru Iwata believes Nintendo has struggled to establish its digital games business because online transactions “are not simple enough” for the typical Wii customer.

“It is said that with each extra step [in purchasing DLC], the number of consumers drops by one-tenth,” Iwata told investors in a Tokyo financial briefing last week.

“Our challenge is how to improve such steps one by one.”

A key solution exists in the Wii U tablet itself: Near Field Communication technology has been added, and Nintendo is looking at how customers can make purchases with the swipe of a credit or store card onto the controller.

“If we can provide a system in which consumers can use such e-money, they will far more easily be able to make payments than by entering credit card numbers or purchasing the Nintendo Prepaid Cards at stores,” Iwata said.

The Nintendo chief said he was mindful of ensuring that online transactions are simple and swift, yet not made by accident.

He said his overall idea is to establish “a solid system in which consumers will make payments at their will and with a minimal amount of effort”.

Wii U launches in key territories worldwide this year. The final release dates have yet to be disclosed.

In his meeting with investors, Iwata reflected on the view that Nintendo is too precautious with its online services.

“To the views that Nintendo is cautious, conservative, or even negative about business on a network, our answer is, in short, that we will make a bold attempt when the time is ripe.

“Unless the timing is right, we will lose the consumers who do not have an Internet connection.

“We have not gone so far yet because our developers have a belief that our products should be available to as many people as possible.”

Wii U and digital distribution: Your definitive guide

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