Nintendo has opened registration for Nintendo Accounts in a whole range of countries, having initially launched them in Japan in late 2015. At the same time those that have a Nintendo Account - and are in one of 16 applicable countries - can preregister for Miitomo, the first smart device app from Nintendo and DeNA that's due for a March release. In addition, registering for a Nintendo Account prior to the launch of Miitomo will give you a Platinum Coin related to that app - a neat first reward for the My Nintendo rewards programme.
Now, we've seen quite a lot of confusion in people calling My Nintendo an account system, and there's some terminology that's been mixed up a little in recent times. This short and sharp guide is designed to clarify what each of these components are and what you're signing up for now, while we also give you a quick walkthrough on how to setup your new Nintendo Account and register for Miitomo.
What is Nintendo Account, and how does it relate to My Nintendo / Miitomo?
Let's break this down into some bullet points:
- Nintendo Account - This is a brand new account system that'll tie together your information and can be connected to your Nintendo Network ID and / or logins for Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Nintendo has already stated that a Nintendo Account won't be mandatory for Miitomo users that download the app, but by encouraging preregistration with an account it's making it an attractive option. It's also been stated that, at some point in the future, a Nintendo Account will be needed for smart device apps, at the very least.
- My Nintendo - This is effectively the Club Nintendo replacement and will launch in March alongside Miitomo. As an awards programme it aims to go beyond its predecessor to offer a "more comprehensive service that rewards users for interacting with Nintendo products and services in a variety of ways". In addition to discounts and rewards, the service will include the global roll-out of eShop purchases online in a web browser, with those games then automatically downloading on your hardware. You'll need a Nintendo Account to be eligible for the My Nintendo rewards service.
- Miitomo - Miitomo is the first app from Nintendo / DeNA that's due in March, and it's a social communication release that'll utilise Mii characters. It'll be free-to-start but there will be microtransactions through 'Miitomo Coins', an in-app currency that you'll also be able to earn in-game. In order to preregister for it and receive a Platinum Coin reward for the My Nintendo programme - which you'll receive in March - you need a Nintendo Account. After the app is released on iOS and Android, however, new users that download the app will not need a Nintendo Account to use it.
How does the Nintendo Account relate to my Nintendo Network ID?
To be clear, the Nintendo Account - which is required to be included in the My Nintendo rewards programme, remember - is completely separate from the Nintendo Network ID that you have on the Wii U and 3DS. However, by linking the Club Nintendo replacement - My Nintendo - to the new account service the big N is effectively enticing any serious fan (or anyone that likes rewards and discounts) to jump on board. In the setup process it also makes it very easy to link your new Nintendo Account with your existing Nintendo Network ID, and we suspect all Wii U and 3DS owners will be encouraged (or perhaps prompted as a mandatory update, that's not known) to create a new account and link it to their NNID.
Long term - and this isn't confirmed - we think it's likely that the universal Nintendo Account will replace the Nintendo Network ID, making the latter a one generation account used on the Wii U and 3DS. As Nintendo Accounts will be used on smart devices and home computers, with the My Nintendo service including features such as buying eShop games online to have them automatically download to our hardware, this seems like a natural step. In this generation the NNID is being tied into and connected to Nintendo Account and the related My Nintendo services, whereas on smart devices and NX (we believe) the existing NNID will not exist. It'll simply remain on Wii U and 3DS as a conduit to the new account service.
OK, so how do I sign up for a Nintendo Account?
Once again, let's break this down in bullet points:
- Head to the Nintendo Account login page.
- If you don't have a Nintendo Network ID, Twitter, Facebook or Google+ account, simply select 'Create an Account' and start to fill in the rather simple fields. You'll need an email address and will need to create a profile name and password.
- On that first page you'll also see a 'Sign in with' section with logos for those aforementioned existing accounts. We recommend the Nintendo Network ID option simply as it fills in all required details right off the bat - if you're already logged in to your NNID on your PC / laptop / smart device to use Miiverse etc, you won't even need to remember your password. You do need, however, access to your NNID's email address, as you'll be sent a verification pin to input that will then formalise the link between the NNID and newly created Nintendo Account.
- The other three options work more simply, with the Nintendo Account page seeking access permission from the social network (again, you'll need to be logged in or log in to them on the browser you're using) before linking in. It'll auto-populate some information, but you may need to fill in a few fields.
- Once all is confirmed that's it, you have a Nintendo Account, though you can't do much with it yet.
- It's worth noting that, minus clever workarounds, you're restricted to one Nintendo Account per email address.
Now, once setup the login page will take you to a simple profile area where you can change your nickname and basic details (though not your date of birth, oddly. You can see a simple menu on the left and also access the same settings by scrolling down the page.
As you can see in the screen below you can link your social media accounts from this area, and we've done so. When you click to link to one of these accounts you need to login to that social network and it'll tell you about the permissions it's seeking - importantly the Nintendo Account setup will not auto-post or auto-follow on these networks; the only permissions it requests are to view your profile details and friend lists, data which will also be used in Miitomo (though you'll probably be able to opt-in and out of that).
As you can also see in that image, by default we didn't have a Nintendo Account password. When creating your profile or logging in with any of the four external account options (NNID, Facebook, Twitter, Google+), it doesn't automatically ask you to setup a separate password for this new account, which is a slightly odd thing for Nintendo to overlook. If you want to login and use your Nintendo account with your email address and a separate password, you need to click 'change' on that password field. You'll need to generate another verification pin which will be emailed to you, and then you can setup a password.
Beyond that you can edit settings to receive promotional emails from Nintendo or to allow the company to monitor your usage data, and you can even delete your account if you want to go 'off the grid' and live in the mountains.
Cool, so what about Miitomo?
Well, this is easy, as you've already setup a Nintendo Account and done a lot of the hard work.
- Head to this Miitomo website and click on 'Preregister here'.
- You'll be asked to login with your Nintendo Account, and once you do this you're signed up for notification (by email) when Miitomo launches, and you also secure a Platinum Coin for your My Nintendo account which is due to launch the same day as the app.
So what do I do now?
Not much, basically, as both Miitomo and the My Nintendo service are due to launch in March in the following countries - nations not listed will come in the future.
Miitomo - UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Luxemborg, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, U.S, Canada
My Nintendo - UK, Ireland, France, Belgium. Germany. Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal, Italy, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Malta, Greece, Sweden, Estonia, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, U.S, Canada, Mexico, Brazil
That's it! We now play the waiting game for our shiny new Nintendo Accounts to spring to life in March. If you have any queries in the meantime please let us know in the comments below (tag @ThomasBW84 so your enquiry is seen quicker).