3DS Is The Next Step To Better Digital Distribution For Nintendo

By Ishaan . July 11, 2010 . 7:47pm


The digital content business isn’t one of Nintendo’s stronger points. While a number of great games exist on WiiWare, the company hasn’t been very successful at instilling a habit of checking the online Wii and DSi shopping channels in the majority of its customers.


The most significant hurdle in this regard has been communicating to users when new digital content is available. One of the reasons behind this, according to Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, is a lack of effort on Nintendo’s part, and a consequent failure to realize the potential of these channels on the part of third-parties.


This is something Nintendo kept in mind while developing the Nintendo 3DS.


“We are thinking the release of new hardware should be good timing for a dramatic improvement of this situation,” Iwata, stated in reply to a concerned investor who brought up the topic of Nintendo’s difficulties in the digital realm.


He continued: “In addition to the function of ‘3D graphics without 3D glasses,’ Nintendo 3DS will have enhanced wireless communication function. Nintendo 3DS will receive various pieces of information automatically if there is a chance of communication while a user carries it even when he or she does not try to start communication proactively by unfolding Nintendo 3DS.”


Iwata compared this feature to Japanese cell phones, which inform the user of newly-received e-mails by vibrating or ringing. This might give one an idea of the direction Nintendo plan to take the 3DS in, with regard to digital content delivery.


“By combining Nintendo 3DS with such function, we are now planning to expand our digital-distribution type of business,” he concluded.

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  • Well, im already 100% sure to get this, so, if they wanna add stuff, go on! >8D

  • lostinblue

    I’ll wait and see. then again Wiiware is fine for me and I barely spend money there still.

    I don’t really like buying “virtual stuff” with real money.

  • Digital distribution is slowly gaining followers. There’s an audience, and Nintendo has pretty much already reached them: casual fans who like Wii Sports or whatever shovelware Nintendo and friends vomit out.

    They just advertise the vomit more actively, more aggressively, and people will eat it up.

    • Joanna

      Geez, I prefer physical copies as well, but there are some gems on WiiWare as well and VC is great. Don’t dismiss the whole service like that just because you hate digital-only.

  • thomasbcat

    I just want to know when it will be released and hope it’ll be in the sub 200.00 range…

    • Under $200 is the magic point. Under $150 would sell millions.

  • If the games will be extremely cheap, then I don’t mind at all. Otherwise, I’ll stick with my physical copies, thanks.

  • maxchain

    If Iwata’s imagining a world where we can receive data on their systems without any effort on our part, they’re gonna have to go back to the drawing board with Nintendo Wi-Fi first. That’s certainly not gonna happen if we’re still being forced to switch to WEP encryption, place our routers in summoning circles, stand on one leg, then stick out our tongues and touch our noses to play Tetris online.

    • Guest

      The 3DS will constantly searches for hot spots/wireless networks and auto connect so I’m pretty sure that has already been taken care of. I dont even think DSi had the WEP restriction like the DS did but I might be wrong. That said wireless connection is only going to get better as neither of the current handhelds have good wireless communication methods.

      • maxchain

        I THINK the DSi is also compatible with WPA?

      • malek86

        Wouldn’t that drain the battery very fast? I would hope that’s something which can be deactivated.

        And yes, the DSi is WPA/WPA2 compatible. But it doesn’t matter much, since the old DS games can’t use it, being made for WEP and all. So for example, if you try and play Mario Kart on a DSi, it won’t change anything at all.

        • Guest

          I’ve heard that concern a lot but I can’t imagine it taking up much battery power.Oh thats interesting I didn’t know it worked like that. That is pretty lame. =/

          • malek86

            Little or much, it’s still draining. There’s a reason if the PSP has a switch for it. Right now, most wi-fi implementations are flawed (and I can’t think Nintendo would be the first to do it right).

            Besides, if I’m in an area without hotspots (or where they’re all locked), it would drain battery for no reason. I could live without that.

          • i imagine that the 3ds would probably run an auto “check for new updates” system on the condition that you are currently a certain time frame from the last completed instance; such as a week, only after that week has passed would the 3ds then begin actively looking to update itself off of compatable wifi connections.

          • Ren

            If you check the 3DS specs, they say there is a switch to turn on/off the wireless funtion. It’s a bit dificult to see on the press photos, but it’s there.

  • ZildjianKX

    How about they fix their DRM first? It’s crazy to make customers re-purchase content when switching systems. When the 3DSi comes out, I don’t want to rebuy my content.

    • Joanna

      Yeah, that would be great. Maybe they are working on that? I can hope. :3

  • accepting any kind of communication whenever the 3DS is on and not just when in a ‘seek’ mode and then contacting the web through this… Nintendo had better make sure the protocol for doing this is locked down incredibly tight and only accepts a limited number of commands.

    I don’t want my 3DS providing unsecured access to my wireless network if people running a 3DS version of the R4 use some kind of utility that exploits this.

  • You can turn the auto update feature off if you don’t like it, there is a switch on the side of the console, stop complaining.

  • No more friend codes?

  • Not enough information to me to judge this, but I’ll do the same as I do with the Wii: as little online as possible, only invest actualy money if there is a reliable way to back up my stuff.

  • FireCouch

    Digital distribution…. Nothing better than buying something that you can’t ever resell. Not to mention the price of digital items never seem to drop.

    The only exception to that rule is Steam on PC.

    • Jellybit

      One positive thing is that if it’s sold digitally instead of in stores, the price is often a ton cheaper. The only thing with games that are also on disc is that publishers run into problems getting shelf space in stores if the digital version undercuts them. It’s a major issue.

    • I also like physical copies, but digital distribution is nice for games that’s unlikely be released in stores.

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