Nintendo Terminates Swapnote Service On 3DS

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In an alarming move, Nintendo have abruptly terminated online sharing in the Swapnote application for Nintendo 3DS, that allows 3DS users to exchange notes and drawings with one another over the Internet.


“Nintendo has learned that some consumers, including minors, have been exchanging their friend codes on Internet bulletin boards and then using Swapnote (known as Nintendo Letter Box in other regions) to exchange offensive material,” Nintendo’s announcement reads.


“Nintendo has been investigating ways of preventing this and determined it is best to stop the SpotPass feature of Swapnote because it allows direct exchange of photos and was actively misused.”


Nintendo elaborate: “We are very sorry for any inconvenience to the many consumers who have been using this service responsibly; however this decision was made considering the point that many minors also use this feature of Swapnote. Thank you for your understanding.”


Nintendo have not announced if they plan to provide an alternate method for 3DS users to exchange messages with one another. Perhaps the upcoming 3DS version of Miiverse—which has no release date—will provide such a feature, but it appears as though Nintendo aren’t comfortable allowing owners of their devices sharing risqué material with one another, even if it is between registered friends.

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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.