In terms of online communication between players, the Nintendo 3DS features an overhaul to Nintendo’s traditional Friend Code system used on the Wii and Nintendo DS. Unlike both those platforms, you only require a single Friend Code on the 3DS, which applies to the system itself, instead of a separate code for each game.
The refreshed online system features a few other significant upgrades that bring the 3DS more in line with expectations of online gaming as well. The 3DS allows you to maintain a Friend List, which lets you keep an eye on what your friends are doing. This is accessed via the system’s Home menu. Whenever a friend of yours hops online while you’re playing a game, you’ll be notified via the 3DS’ Notification LED, which will blink in orange.
Additionally, you’ll be able to adjust whether or not you want your friends to be able to tell when you’re online, and what game you’re playing. Online players can also enter short messages for their friends to see.
You’ll be able to send messages back and forth to your friends as well. When your 3DS receives a message in sleep mode, the Notification LED lights up in green. Additionally, the Notifications icon in the Home menu will change when you’ve received a new message.
The Home menu will also notify you when there’s “new information” (we’re not quite sure if this refers to DLC or news on games in general) is available for software you own. All of these functions are compatible with the 3DS’ SpotPass functionality, which allows the system to search for and connect to Wi-Fi hotspots.