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Nintendo Network official, will start on 3DS and extend to Wii U

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Nintendo has rebranded its 3DS online service as Nintendo Network, and will launch new features with the Wii U such as user accounts and (in future) the possibility of retail software for digital download.

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We wondered what that Nintendo Network logo on the Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy box was all about, and now we know for sure. The company has confirmed that Nintendo Network is the new name for its online service on the 3DS, and that it will extend to the Wii U when the home console launches this year. That's all well and good, but are there any new features to go with the new brand? As it happens, Nintendo also announced user accounts for the Wii U, one of the more requested features since its online efforts began. It's not yet clear if the Wii U will dispense with the controversial friend codes system, but it does look like Nintendo is finally getting more serious about the internet. It's easy to see why — over 60 percent of 3DS owners in Japan and the US use the system's online functionality. Nintendo also said that it is exploring the possibility of offering retail games for sale via digital download, and that the infrastructure is already in place for 3DS.