The Big N

The mysterious Nintendo Network logo that surfaced last week has been explained at an investor meeting by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.

As expected, the Nintendo Network is the company's new online infrastructure, but it spans far further than simply online matchmaking and eshopping.

As Iwata tells it, Nintendo Network — which covers Wii U and 3DS — is a unified online platform for various services:

Unlike Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, which has been focused upon specific functionalities and concepts, we are aiming to establish a platform where various services available through the network for our consumers shall be connected via Nintendo Network service so that the company can make comprehensive proposals to consumers.

For example, competitions and communication among users, as well as the sales of digital content, will be covered within the Nintendo Network.

The Network also spans to DLC, but Iwata specifically highlighted the Community feature of Mario Kart 7 as an example of Nintendo Network working well: could we see more in-game community and clan-type features in the future?