First Details Of Nintendo 3DS Online Services

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For some time now, Nintendo have been talking up the Nintendo 3DS’s online features. If you need to get caught up on some of the features and changes they’re introducing to their online service for the 3DS, keep reading.

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One of the primary concerns Nintendo had while developing an online service for the 3DS was the relatively poor response to WiiWare and DSiWare, which they believe is primarily due to lackluster presentation, inaccessibility, and a lack of word of mouth.


Part of the solution they’ve formulated for the Nintendo 3DS is combining the features of the Everybody’s Nintendo Channel and the Shopping Channel. This means you’ll now see demos, videos and full game downloads in the same space, which they hope will generate cross-promotion across all three.


Moving from one screen to another has also been sped up. The goal here is to facilitate window shopping, even if someone who’s browsing the store doesn’t have a particular product in mind. The 3DS portable virtual console, however, sounds like it will have its own section.



Passive Online Features:


In addition to the “Tag Mode” (StreetPass mode), the Nintendo 3DS also features what is called a “SpotPass” mode. This feature allows the 3DS to search for nearby Wi-Fi hotspots while it’s in sleep mode. Once connected, it accesses free downloadable content, online rankings, ghost data and so on.


Naturally, for this feature to be of any use, you’d require numerous compatible hotspots across a wide range of locations for the system to find. Nintendo are taking the initiative by converting DS Stations across over 1,000 game retailers in Japan into SpotPass hotspots.


Additionally, McDonald’s in Japan will also play into the goal of increasing the number of SpotPass hotspots for your 3DS to interact with. And finally, Nintendo are collaborating with Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT), which is the leading phone and Internet service provider in Japan to make their Wi-Fine public Wi-Fi service compatible with 3DS.


Starting from March 2011, Nintendo believe there will be over 2,000 locations across Japan where your 3DS will automatically be able to connect to the Internet, including train stations, caféterias, airports and fast-food chains.



Downloadable 3D Movies:


And finally, we come to the distribution of 3D-compatible video content, which is a feature which will also be complemented by SpotPass mode. Nintendo are working with the Nippon Television Network Corporation and with Fuji Television Network to facilitate the distribution of free, experimental 3D movies on 3DS.


Both TV stations will produce their original 3D films and distribute them free of charge using SpotPass mode. Nintendo hope this will help generate buzz around the 3D footage business on the system.

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Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.