News Article

E3 2010: Rumour: 3DS May Allow Game Installs

Posted by James Newton

Off the cart, on the move

Japanese paper Nikkei, a source of many rumours that have been true in the past, is reporting that one new feature of the 3DS will be the ability to copy software from game cartridges onto the 3DS's internal memory, opening up the possibility of a console packed with games and no more lost cartridges.

Of course, this raises several questions. With cartridges confirmed as holding as much as 2GB of data at launch, the machine itself must have a sizeable amount of memory to be able to pull off such a feature.

The second question is how this will affect the console's piracy measures. We already know from a previous report that Nintendo is hoping to step-up the machine's anti-piracy features, but being able to install multiple cartridges on one system seems to be at-odds with that statement, although Nintendo has undoubtedly anticipated this.

One way to interpret this rumour could be that Nintendo is planning to offer complete games for download directly from the wireless store, a system which may improve the console's anti-piracy fortifications. This of course is just a rumour at this point, but we are expecting to hear more about this potential new feature in the near future.

Until we hear official confirmation of this feature from Nintendo it's filed firmly under "rumour", but a portable 3D console that doesn't rely on carrying cartridges around certainly sounds like the future.


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User Comments (49)



KnucklesSonic8 said:

I'm not sure if I can believe this or not. I guess I'll just wait and see for it to be confirmed/denied. I'm mostly wondering if this will lead to decreased sales if people borrow a cartridge from a friend, then save it on their 3DS without ever buying the game.. unless there's something that prevents people from doing that.



JimLad said:

Direct downloads of retail games would be awesome (assuming they're cheap)
I hope it's that.



Nintenzo said:

Ah, but if that were true, then you would just be able to "borrow" your friend's Game Cart and copy it on to your own.
Then some kind of hideous paradox would arise where everyone would not want to buy game cartridges because they would be looking for someone who has one, but because no one would buy any cartridges, then no one would be able to copy the carts.

Smart, huh?



Kimiko said:

Hmm, combined with the 24/7 online thing mentioned in the Nintendo presentation, I hope this doesn't turn out to mean every game is going to check in with big brother to verify its legitimacy before starting.



SuperPeach said:

The idea of not using carts is the most awful thing that could ever happen to me. As long as I still have the cart I'm happy. There is one thing I can say to describe the way I feel. I hate downloads. I never feel motivated to play a game unless I own it and relying on a download to play is something that could cause me to pass on future systems.



skywake said:

Perhaps they will allow one install per game via a unique code given in the game? Maybe when you install the game on your console it sets a "game installed" state on your game card?......

Maybe they just meant something like Wii Fit and Mario Kart Wii's channels......



Croz said:

This would be awesome but only if you can move games across to other consoles you own, much like the PSP & PS3, how you can register a game on up to five consoles.



Token_Girl said:

Works on the PSP and PS3, so I don't see why they couldn't find a way a way to do it. You just need to limit the number of consoles a game can be registered on.



Spoony_Tech said:

@skywake I was thinking the same thing. Every game you buy comes with some unique code but you would have to interface with nintendo to install the game. Just like a digital copy of a dvd or bluray to your computer. This is not a bad thing superpeach. It will just give you the option if you want to use it. Not everyone has the internet but it becoming so wide spread now that almost anyone can use it. I even think gamestop allows you to download games from there stores. You will still have to buy the game to get the install for sure. Nintendo is smart they know what thier doing!



V8_Ninja said:

@Nintenzo yeah, I was thinking the same thing too. But then again, this is the "Piracy + Easy To Do =/= Everybody Does It" equation. Most people will be oblivious of the feature, instead opting to buy physical cartridges because that's just how they've been doing it for the past few years.

As for my opinion on this, this would be pretty cool. But Nintendo would have to make on heck of a anti-piracy program for it to work with what they've been saying. I just hope that solution isn't DRM based.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@Token Girl: Neither PSP nor PS3 allows FULL game installs, which is what the articles claims may be coming for 3DS. A better example would be 360, which simply requires you to have the game in the disc tray at loadup. Though with games in cart form, that seems pretty darned useless on 3DS...

I find it more likely that skywake's theories are closer to accurate. You install the game, and the 3DS writes data to it telling it what system it's installed to. There'll be a built-in uninstall feature that deletes the game from your 3DS and the system code from the game cart, allowing you to resell if you desire.

I think we can all agree the most intriguing and exciting part of this news is the likihood of a Nintendo system with a decent amount of built-in memory, though.



siavm said:

That does not sound right at all. Screw piracy, with this it would legal to copy games. Nintendo would not screw themselves like that. No company would. Unless the carts how a one time install I don't see that happening. And one more thing the carts are 2gb max. How much space is in this portable to get a rumor like this started?



SuperPeach said:

@Tech101 I'm mostly refering to the text under the pic. I'm ok with this as long as you can still have the cart and play off of it, but I'm completely against the idea of getting rid of them altogether.



Spoony_Tech said:

@SuperPeach This is the wave of the future im afraid. It saves the company money to not have to distribute the game to the mass market. So in a generation or two in the game world i believe this will happen. It just makes sense.

Side note. When have you been in monster hunter? Are you still playing?



SuperPeach said:

@Tech101 (sigh) Unfortunetly you're right. I hate that thought since it ruins one of my favorite things about video games, but there's nothing I can do about it.

Off topic: I haven't been playing lately since I had to send my wii in for a repair. It's still not back but I'm dying to play. I'll definitely be playing when it gets back. Probably Tuesday sometime.



Rhansley64 said:

Unless they refer to games that where basicly out of production then yes re-released them for download on the 3DS Shop.



motang said:

Now that would be freaking awesome, and also means for the first time a Nintendo console has more than a gig of internal storage!



maka said:

I'd love such a feature. Having to drag all the carts with you is pretty bad and they can get lost, especially with small children around the house...

Since you can already do this on the DS and even on the Wii by using flash carts or cracking the console, I think Nintendo should provide their own, approved methods to do it. There's clearly a demand for this feature, and as long as they don't support it, someone else will and that someone else doesn't care about stopping piracy, so it's in Nintendo's best interest to add these features in their own way



Xkhaoz said:

Hmmm. I've always wanted this on PSP. This'll be cool, but I can see how people can take advantage of it by renting games and doing this.



hamispink said:

@stuffgamer1, you can install full games onto any PSP,
I hope it has at least 16 gb of memory, my psp go is about 2/3 full with 16 gb, which is reasonable



PSThWii60 said:

This makes some sense, because of how close we are to being able to do that as of now. Of course, there is also the PSP Go, which is at that point already, not that it has been exactly impressive, but still kinda convenient-ish. But if this is true, then their lack of word on retroactive compatibility would more than likely mean there will be zero, and that makes me about as sad as possible.



Hardy83 said:

Downloading games from a store would be awesome, but unless Nintendo changes their set up to one more similar to PSN where purchases are bound to an account and not the system, I am not buying anymore digital content from Nintendo.



ErrorSupply said:

This sounds highly unlikely. Full retail game dl's are already a reality in the DSi Shop thanks to Chronos Twins and Zombie BBQ though.
I just don't see Nintendo leaving such a potential vulnerability open in the wake of the rampant Wii and DS piracy they've encountered.



dizzy_boy said:

here`s a plausible idea, but i could be wrong.
think of how the wii transfers VC or WW games to or from the SD card.
maybe the 3DS works on a similar principle. you can move the game from the 3DS game card to the 3DS` internal memory, and thus, leaves the game card blank. with exception to a code which says what game belongs on the card, and what 3DS the card has been used with.
games that are saved on the 3DS can also be transferred back to the original game card with any saved data involved with that game.
as for the large memory on the 3DS. i do remember reading nintendo were co-developing holographic memory. maybe the technology is now at a usable state, and can be manifactured for use with the 3DS.
as i said, i could be wrong, so please don`t quote me if i am.



ToastyYogurt said:

Awesome! An official way to put cartridge games on system memory... this rumor better be true! Because along with that we'll probably get more memory too!



RallyFTW said:

This would be nice....... I have 17 DS games, and they are a hard to find after misplacing them.



fishman100 said:

I really hope this has a TON of memory, cause im looking foward to the DLC (downloadable comtent).



Stuffgamer1 said:

@hamispink: No, you can't...not from a disc, anyway. There are very few UMD's that allow ANY level of data install, and none of them are 100% of the game. Only way to get a full game on your PSP memory stick (or internal storage for the Go) is to download it from PSN, which isn't the same thing.



Slapshot said:

I dont really care either way

Best thing out of this is like Stuff said perfectly..... Finally a Nintendo system with some decent memory space



warioswoods said:

Update - Miyamoto just weighed in on this in an interview with IGN:

"I'm not familiar with the article that you're referencing, but of course even with Nintendo DSi we introduced DSiWare and we introduced applications that were built into the system menu. So I wonder if maybe they were talking about something along those lines?"

IGN: They're actually not. They're saying that there's an option you can use to install software so that you don't have to bring your cartridges with you. It was something separate from DSiWare.

"I'm not familiar with that. "



GammaGames said:

sounds cool, if you buy it it might come with a code, and you must put in the code to download it to system. The codde could also nly be used a few times which would help with the renting games problem



postmanX3 said:

I hope the 3DS has, in the very least, around 5 GB of internal storage. Seriously I blew through the DSi's 512 MB (or was it 256...) in a couple of DSiWare games.

Anyways, if it does allow installs, it'll likely work in the same way as Xbox 360 installs: installing only allows it to load faster, you still the the cartridge as a form of checking for game ownership.



invmat said:

I doubt this will happen, but I hope that save game files are stored on the 3DS and not on the gamecard itself.



komicturtle said:

I think the option is do-able if you can use an SD-CARD. The DSi is capable of supporting 32GB of those SDHC. I'm sure by then, we may see a 64GB SDHC, but that's stretching things a bit. 32GB is fine, including the internal memory of the 3DS if it's enough.



Bobpie said:

I think this is a bad concept:
If they had an anti-piracy one install feature, then you wouldn't be able to lend games to your friends, or let them play your games on their own system. Here's hoping this stays in the 'rumour' file.



Bass_X0 said:

I never feel motivated to play a game unless I own it and relying on a download to play is something that could cause me to pass on future systems.

Downloads are the future, Charles. Not carts.



theblackdragon said:

this would be the most awesome feature in existence. i would love to have the ability to copy my game library to internal system memory and carry it with me wherever I go.

that said, re: anti-piracy -- i could see them having some kind of separate save feature in the cartridge that remembers exactly which 3DS the game has been installed on, and won't let it install again on a different 3DS. this kind of thing would be on par with DVDs that give you a free digital copy to put onto your iPod/Zune/computer/whatev' along with the actual disc you've purchased. it'd be 3DS titles only, though... idk how they'd wrangle something like that for normal DS games.



Klapaucius said:

Maybe it just stores some save games to the device, or some other data which can then be used in another game (the 3DS remembers your progress in an RPG, for example, so that in the sequel you can use your characters).

@Bass X0
Exactly. Just look at Steam for PC and Mac.

Downloading is environmentally a lot more friendly than hard copies, for one thing.



dizzy_boy said:

the only annoying thing about downloading games off of such a service like dsiware. you can`t return the game if you don`t like it. you could be stuck with a dud game and feel cheated of your hard earned cash
only way round this, nintendo should do a permanent demo service, maybe 100 points for a limited time, trial version of each game. something like one month, for the first two levels of a game.



zeeroid said:

Although I am seriously doubtful that this is true (if anything, I think that the newspaper article was derived from a misinterpretation of facts), I think there's one way this feature might really work well. I believe that there shouldn't be a limit on the number of installs or a system lock, but rather each install should automatically be deleted after a short period of time (like 12 hours, perhaps). That would be fairly convenient, prevent permanently giving the game to non-owners, and also allow you to give full-game timed demos to friends. The only downside is that you can't keep the system apart from the cart for an extended period of time. But if you're going on a trip or something, you should probably carry the game with you anyway. I would think the feature is more useful when you're stepping out of the house and don't want to carry around loose game carts.

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