With the 3DS being the fifth generation of Nintendo handhelds, it seems to have so much more potential thanks in part to the era of technology it is present in. With all the hi-tech talk of stereoscopic visuals, taking 3D pictures, motion and gyro sensors, it can be easy to forget about the more simple applications that a modern games system can handle. Something like an eBook reader.
Satoru Iwata, President at Nintendo of Japan, has made a passing comment on the company's direction in regards to the machine's eBook capabilities, if it were to have any:
We’re thinking about functionality where it will automatically acquire newspaper and magazine articles.
This would certainly be in-line with Nintendo's plan to allow the 3DS to be consistently connected to the Internet, much like the WiiConnect24 system on the Wii.
The quote is short and vague, and can certainly be interpreted as an open-armed gesture at the digital print format. It can also be in reference to the refresh updates to general Web browsing. With the apparent beefing-up of the system specs, files as small as eBooks shouldn't be a problem to download and store on the 3DS. Whether or not the size of the screens is big enough to read without headaches is another question, although that hasn't stopped developers bringing out various text-based releases for the DSi.
As with many things with Nintendo, it's usually not a question of if they can do something, it's whether they think it's worth doing or not.