It is the year 2013 and there is still no unified account system for Nintendo's customers.
Whereas not being able to link one's Wii and DSi accounts were somewhat understandable, given that digital downloads was relatively undiscovered territory (at least on the console side, for back in 2006), plus both systems came out years apart from each other.
Both the Wii U and 3DS were both developed and released close to each, and both sport the Nintendo eShop, yet one needs to manage games and credit on each ends individually. What is this and will this change anytime soon?
Well, regarding the former question, everyone knows the answers: Nintendo will do what Nintendo does. And as for the latter, at the very least, they're aware of the situation.
When talking with Dan Adelman, Nintendo of America's head of business development, Destructoid ask if Wii U and 3DS owners will every have a unified account. Sadly, the answer is a bit unsurprising:
"We don't have anything new to announce, unfortunately, other than we've definitely heard that feedback many times from both inside and outside the company. It's definitely something that we're very much aware of. All development for the infrastructure really happens out of Japan, so we've kind of communicated this need in the market, and they're very much aware of it and working towards really just always improving the eShop."
At least they're aware of people being disgruntled. Though the weird part is how developers are perfectly fine with the current system, or at least according to Adelman:
"I actually haven't heard it too much from developers -- it just doesn't come up as much in conversation, or if it does come up, it's usually from a standpoint of them also being a consumer as well as a developer. But I have never heard a developer say, 'I'm interested in making games for the eShop, but because of this account system, I really don't feel comfortable doing that.' That hasn't seemed to be a barrier at this point."
Then again, very few developers are creating (new) content for multiple Nintendo platforms. Whereas on Sony's side, for example, if an dev creates something for the PS3, the first question often asked is if it's headed towards the Vita, and vice versa.
The whole multiple accounts issue mostly rears its head when managing one's Virtual Console libraries. And if people are willing to pay for Super Mario Bros multiple times, for multiple systems, one can understand Nintendo's lack of initiative in this era, as annoying as it might be.