Wii U allows up to 12 user accounts per console
Nintendo's upcoming Wii U console will allow up to 12 different user accounts to be stored on the system, Nintendo revealed today. With these user accounts, which are required to use the Wii U, you can save game settings or save data to the Wii U, including pre-installed software and Wii U games. Additionally you can manage bookmarks on the internet browser and record play history from each piece of software.
When booting up the system for the first time, you'll at least have to register one user account and a Mii to represent it. Nintendo recommends one user account for each person in the family using the system. To avoid affecting save data on other accounts the Wii U requires you to select a user when turning on the system.
In the same Nintendo Direct presentation, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata also discussed the features of the Nintendo Network, the online service required to access the Nintendo eShop, Miiverse, or the video chat function. Similarly, you'll need to setup a Nintendo Network ID to gain access. This Network ID applies to all users on the Wii U console so if you purchase a game from the eShop, it will be accessible from all registered user accounts on the console.
Iwata also discussed plans to work together on various other network services with different software developers via Nintendo Network. As with download's each developer's service uses your Nintendo Network ID making it accessible to all user accounts.
In the future it will be possible to use your Nintendo Network ID for other Nintendo hardware. Some services like Nintendo eShop or Miiverse will be made available from PCs and smartphones beginning next year.