For ages, Nintendo has seemed one step behind the competition in many ways, especially on the online front. We finally saw the implementation of the Nintendo Network ID for both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS that allowed a shared wallet between the two. However, there was still no way to actually connect games to your account instead of the individual systems. That change may finally be coming in the near future as Nintendo has taken the next logical step with an online store, well somewhat of one.
While still very bare bones, Nintendo has started their own version of an online eShop that is accessible from your computer. Instead of a well organized store where you can find everything easily, you have to manually search for everything yourself. By going to the page of some specific games, such as Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, you will find the option to “Buy Digital.”
At this point, you can actually request just a download code once the game is out after buying or if you provide your Nintendo Network ID, the game can be sent directly to your Wii U or 3DS, which is a major step for Nintendo. Nintendo also has a full FAQ explaining the process in detail, which you can see right here. Hopefully this means a unified account system may finally be in the future for Nintendo, as there is really no excuse not to have one by now.