No Credit? No Problem!

barcode.jpgNo I’m not trying to sell you a used car at a low-low price point, but if you would like some free coffee and donuts they’re over in the corner.
In my last Wii Ware post, I commented that I couldn’t buy Wii points on the fly due to a lack of a Japanese credit card. But since I promised I would review at least one Wii Ware title tonight I was planning to pick up a point card on the way home from work… that is until I found this barcode.

On TV I had seen an ad for Wii Ware that furtively hinted that AU and NTT Docomo cellphone plan subscribers could somehow purchase Wii points, but there was nothing obvious on Nintendo’s main site. I took to wiki and found that since December 20th NTT Docomo and AU users could indeed purchase the points, but how it didn’t say. A bit more searching and I found Nintendo’s Japanese point-purchase page. The page itself was still pretty vague on what to do, but it gave a cellphone URL and the all-important barcode.

Despite the time I spent finding the code, purchasing points on the phone couldn’t have been easier. Just scan the barcode (you can bookmark the site it takes you to so you don’t have to scan it every time), choose the amount of points you want, and they are automatically charged to your phone bill. That’s it! The confirmation screen displays your point number to input into the Wii shop like you would with a point-card.

Unless you are with an unsupported provider (Docomo and AU are the biggest, but not the only) buying with a phone is a convenient and environmentally friendly way alternative to buying points at the convenient store, especially if you are credit-cardless. In fact, I find it rather curious how under-promoted the system was upon its release. However, since the system is SO easy to use, I can just imagine hoards of Japanese kids charging points to plans that their parents are paying for — and a fear of this may be what led Nintendo not to advertise the instructions so heavily.