News Article

3DS to Boot Games Straight from SD and More Informative Nuggets

Posted by James Newton

Such as firmware updates whilst on the move

Those gamers who have struggled with rapidly filling SD cards on DSiWare may think it's too little too late, but Nintendo has confirmed the 3DS will be able to launch downloaded games directly from the card. The company is including a 2GB SD card with every 3DS console in Japan to allow all users to download titles immediately, loading them straight from the card without needing to copy them to the system memory.

Nintendo also confirmed it will maintain its current stance on providing regular firmware updates to combat piracy, with the potential for the machine's StreetPass system to be used to communicate new software automatically to other users. These updates may also be included in boxed retail software too, with new functions and features added to the 3DS through these firmware upgrades.

[via gonintendo.com]

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User Comments (63)

Oregano

#1

Oregano said:

I said a long time ago that the auto-updates would be used to combat piracy and whilst it won't eliminate it, it should go a long way to getting rid of casual piracy by making it inconvenient which it is definitely not on the DS.

Ernest_The_Crab

#2

Ernest_The_Crab said:

@Oregano StreetPass is interesting here that it could potentially transfer over someone's more up to date firmware to another person since it can send new software to other users.

bboy2970

#3

bboy2970 said:

That's a great way to combat piracy. Just have anti-piracy measures in every game that comes out as well as having the 3DS automatically kill it if it touches a hot spot. It should really back the pirates into a corner making them fearful to but a new game or let the system near a wireless spot. Very nice!

James

#4

James said:

I question the effectiveness of including anti-piracy updates in games you have to buy.

bboy2970

#5

bboy2970 said:

@James: I see what you are getting at but perhaps if an honest person buys a game, gets the anti-piracy software and then walks past the 3DS of a pirate, the software from that game can be passed on via StreetPass.

Terra

#6

Terra said:

Well that's one of my queries answered about the system. Now I'd like to know the maximum SD card size it can support, that'd be useful to know

bboy2970

#9

bboy2970 said:

Oh and about the other piece of info, THANK GOD!!!! If Nintendo were to have dropped the ball yet again with booting games from SD card I would have seriously lost it.
@Terra: I would say probably no less than 32 GB since the DSi is capable of supporting that size

3DS

#10

3DS said:

i see were piguy101 is at since they WILL find a way around and nintendo will hve gone to all the hard work if i was some one working for nintendo (hopefully in the future) i would be realy p***ed off since everyone worked so hard

3DS

#12

3DS said:

high anti piracy they will still find a way around it like the homebrew channel

DrCruse

#13

DrCruse said:

Wait; If firmware can be transfered by StreetPass, couldn't a hacking program/virus created by a hacker/pirate be disguised as firmware and transfered to other 3DSes via StreetPass?

3DS

#14

3DS said:

good point it could im ready to do it (only jokin am not lol)

TrueWiiMaster

#17

TrueWiiMaster said:

Can you imagine if hackers did make some malicious software, for lack of a better word, that could transfer through streetpass?
Animal Crossing DS had a similar problem. Hackers found a way to basically kill another player's save data. In Animal Crossing, however, you had to let them into your town. With streetpass they won't need permission.

Robo-goose

#19

Robo-goose said:

More memory always= more fun, so having limitless space (by buying SD cards) is the same as having limitless fun!

theblackdragonAdmin

#20

theblackdragon said:

can't i just turn StreetPass off? geez...

either way, hell yes, an SD card solution as well as a transfer solution? definitely looking forward to this system now. :3

GamesX99

#21

GamesX99 said:

Interesting but i think Nintendo i giving a huge bate for piracy and hackers to use the SD card

Punny

#22

Punny said:

I still think the pirates will find their way around the 3DS, though. Argghh!

DrCruse

#23

DrCruse said:

Hopefully, in the chance of a malicious software scare, there will be an option to turn StreetPass off. Or if you just wanted StreetPass of anyway. I would prefer to keep it off perpetually probably.

But for the people who have it on, I would imagine there would always be the danger of downloading malicious software. Of course I don't know the first thing about hacking or how Nintendo will combat this possibility.

Mizore

#24

Mizore said:

This keeps getting better and better, not that I don't have much or use DSiWare often, the whole SD card deal will be quite useful with the VC. :p

Peznaze

#26

Peznaze said:

It is an interesting glimpse of their "beyond human comprehension" level of anti-piracy. Basically the same as the Wii, with system updates on the games, and distributed via WiFi. Key difference seeming to be that you can't opt to turn it off. I really, really hope they don't do more than narcing via StreetPass or hackers will create the first true computer virus, one that transfers to new hosts just by being in proximity.

All in all, yet more confirmation that the 3DS is a portable Wii with 3D graphics.

PSICOffee

#27

PSICOffee said:

Man, its like the 3DS does everything right the first time that the Wii should have done right the first time. Except the Wii controller was ambidextrous. Does this mean we're gonna need wrist strap replacements for the 3DS in case we get sucked too far into the world and think its real and start moving/throwing around the system? :p

Oregano

#28

Oregano said:

@James: It depends how they do it, if they hide the Firmware data within games then they could deprive people of some of the best games, wireless connectivity and all the download stuff(including tv shows and movies). You'd have to cripple your 3DS just to pirate some games and that won't be worth it for most people.

You can turn of wireless by the way guys, it's simply a switch on the side.

theblackdragonAdmin

#30

theblackdragon said:

@Oregano: oh that's true, i'd completely forgotten about it. but i wonder if the 3DS can do the StreetPass stuff in the background while you're playing another game... i think i'd still want an option to turn that off without having to turn off the Wi-Fi. :/

Peznaze

#31

Peznaze said:

From wikipedia: "the Nintendo 3DS features an "always on" background connectivity system that current trademarks suggest the name being "CrossPass", which can automatically seek and connect to wireless network nodes such as Wi-Fi hotspots, sending and downloading information in the background while in sleep mode or while playing a game."
"Crosspass Mode can be customized to fit the user's preferences, including opting out of Crosspass Mode for selected software."

Somehow, I don't think that switch will do all that much to keep a 3DS isolated from anti-piracy measures.

MeloMan

#32

MeloMan said:

Man... can this system do no wrong? There's got to be SOMETHING that we will hate about his system :P

Oregano

#34

Oregano said:

@tbd: I think it can, they haven't shown it yet, but they've shown that the OS is always active and I think spotpass and streetpass are intended to be always active, except when you don't want it to.:P

NGpenguin

#35

NGpenguin said:

a bad thing about street pass is that if they use there web browser and go to some place dat chrashes your computer quickly then visits you on street pass ....its by bye 3DS :(

ExploderReviews

#37

ExploderReviews said:

@31 dont worry you can get them at target or wallmart for like $20. And they hold a ton of dsiware games, not to mention they give you practically infinite space for Flipnote hatena. :D

HipsterDashie

#38

HipsterDashie said:

Has anyone remembered that StreetPass only works when the 3DS is in sleep mode? I.e. you can solve the problem by turning it off?

Peznaze

#39

Peznaze said:

@40: 3DS doesn't go "off". Like most modern electronics, "sleep mode" is the powered-down state, but not really "off" like the good old days of hard power switches. I suppose you could always crack open your 3DS and slap a switch on the power so that actually does go "off", but that seems like overkill to avoid sharing Miis and high score data.

As for turning StreetPass off, that, apparently, is done on a game-by-game basis and never can be fully disabled for the system.

PSICOffee

#40

PSICOffee said:

@MeloMan
We have found things to hate about the 3DS. The stylus holder is on the back and left side of the system as opposed to the usual right side people are used to. This is better for Lefthanders though, because we had to cross reach to the right side, yet us Lefthanders complain that there is only one thumb slide pad on the left side and not another on the right side so we dont have to use the stylus in our right hand which is as difficult as trying to write in real life.

Robo-goose

#41

Robo-goose said:

@Meloman
"There is a small edit button in every comment so that you can remove emberassing embarrassing mistakes. :)" a "sort of messed up due to my poor memory" quote from James Newton

skywake

#42

skywake said:

I thought something sounded a bit fishy here. From the source "As part of the functionality of SpotPass, we're looking into having automatic system updates via the internet". StreetPass and SpotPass aren't the same thing... SpotPass is more like a wardriving version of WiiConnect24.

So there is no chance of someone creating some malicious firmware update and spreading it around virally via StreetPass. All updates will come from games or Nintendo's servers. I'm sure that won't stop someone making a game around spreading viral information though. :)

Alphack3r

#43

Alphack3r said:

I'm not a pirate. I don't believe in piracy. BUT I do believe that it would be beyond awesome to somehow apply the 3DS's technology in an alternate fashion, like interfacing with 3D modeling software so you could quickly view something in a constantly refreshed 3D environment (imagine having an "Art & Technology" class! ha!), or maybe doing something similar w/ the 3D cameras to image something and then feed it into a translator that quantified it as polygons...

Translated into English: I wanna hack the 3DS so I can do awesome stuff that nothing else < $300 can do.

I guess I'll go on dreaming... :)

Panthon13

#44

Panthon13 said:

That SD card feature will let hackers just create software that masks and overrides the firmware running on the system as long as the SD card program is activated. After it is turned off, then the 3DS's normal firmware will continue to work. Although, updates on the custom firmware will have to be just as frequent as the 3DS updates. PSP can do something similar right now with loading and running homebrew programs. It's not impossible at all. And if they can find something that is flawed in the core program of the 3DS, even hardware wise that cannot be changed, than updates will not fix that.

Panthon13

#45

Panthon13 said:

Remember, something that updates like this is just as similar to an Antivirus program. There are always new ways to get around them undetected at least for a short amount of time. If you update to a custom hacked firmware, they can block other firmware updates, and update only through the custom firmware. This will allow them to hold compatibility with connecting to other 3DS's without taking the updates, or being detected.

Cheezy

#46

Cheezy said:

This is good! I can just play my DSiWare games straight from the card! (Right?)

timp29

#47

timp29 said:

The obvious solution for pirates is to disable the street pass and inter DS connectivity. But I think nintendo has done very well in setting up the street pass functionality to be so central to the enjoyability of the 3DS, that disabling this function may not be a realistic option unless you are a hermit. Well played nintendo.

mjc0961

#48

mjc0961 said:

1. Putting anti-piracy firmware updates in retail games isn't going to stop piracy... Because pirates aren't buying the game in the first place.
2. From what I understand, StreetPass only works in sleep mode. So if a pirate just turned off his 3DS instead of going to sleep mode... (Or removed the battery, as impractical as it may be. But so is dicking around with custom firmware and other such crap in the first place.)

Not that I want the pirates to win, but Nintendo doesn't seem to be trying all that much on this one when you think about it.

Capt_N

#49

Capt_N said:

As I have said before, Even if N gave away their games for
free, piracy would still exist as some ppl would prefer (playing) via emulators on other devices(such as pcs, games consoles, & other handhelds). N just needs to accept that their games will always be hacked. So, I am for any co. using, & @ least attempting anti-piracy measures, but not for going over-board.

Since I don't have many real world friends, who are also gamers as myself, I will probably have the 3DS off, unless I'm playing it. Not in sleep mode. Sleep/hibernate modes just lend to prematurely wearing out hardware, batteries, & creating a lot of glitches in software.

Also, this connectivity method can actually be used very easily, & methodically by anyone to spread pc viruses, since the system can directly interface w/ a wi-fi hotspot, on top of using sd cards, which some ppl tend to multi-use in both their gaming devices/cameras/etc, & their pcs.

Needless to say, the 3DS connectivity functionality is something of great interest to me. I have a bad feeling though hackers will have conquered this(the 3DS), for the most part, w/i 1 week, or less.

Stuffgamer1

#50

Stuffgamer1 said:

I figured it could load games directly from SD when they announced the 2gig pack-in SD and made no mention whatsoever of onboard storage a couple days ago.

The difference between StreetPass and SpotPass is, as skywake showed, very important to note and report accurately. I didn't THINK it sounded right to be able to share firmware via StreetPass...surely they couldn't guarantee the transfer of such a relatively large file within the time you remain in range! SpotPass makes perfect sense, though, basically saying they'll automatically download updates while the system is on the charger. I like that idea, as it saves me the time of updating when I want to just use the darned thing.

3DS

#51

3DS said:

if nintendo find out about there being hacks that transfer through street pass then they might put out a firmware update that blocks them rom transfering i dont know we will just have to wait and find out

invmat

#52

invmat said:

One question about the SD-card feature: Is it this time really possible to play games straight from the SD-card? I mean, what the Wii did wasn´t playing them straight from the SD card, it was actually copying/starting up from the SD card.

About automatic updates: In the past, on Wii, there have been 2 firmware updates which could make the Wii unplayable. If that happens this time with automatic firmware updates, the damage will be incredible, because more people will download it immediately. That's also why I don't install a Nintendo-update the first day it's out. If I'm not hearing any complaints after a week or so, then I know it is safe to update. I want to wait and let other people try it first. However, I think Nintendo will try and push you to turn automatic updates on, but they will probably still include the option to manually update. In order for automatic updates to work you also need to be long enough in the SpotPass zone. When you´re walking, you aren´t very long at the same place. However, firmware updates take a while to download (3 minutes or so).

One last thing about SpotPass: Hackers can turn it off if they want, and if Nintendo's online service is the same as it was on Wii and DSi, there isn't very much reason to turn it on anyway.

Anyway, I think that giving firmware updates via StreetPass isn't going to happen at all, that would be very dangerous.

theblackdragonAdmin

#53

theblackdragon said:

@invmat: regarding your first question, straight from the article --
"... loading them straight from the card without needing to copy them to the system memory."

invmat

#54

invmat said:

@TBD: I saw that, but that was the same phrase that was used as the one that was used when the SD card menu for Wii came out. So, I'm not 100% sure...

LuWiiGi

#55

LuWiiGi said:

Fantastic. Just think how many downloaded games you can store on a 2GB SD Card. I already have about 20 games stored on my DSi 2GB SD Card, and it still says I have 9,999 blocks of space. This also removes the nuisance of having to copy and delete games when moving thm between the SD Card and System Memory. Is there anything the 3DS can't do?

theblackdragonAdmin

#56

theblackdragon said:

@invmat: I'd imagine they'd be a bit more on top of it than that now, since 4.0 hit like a year and a half ago by now and we've all been grumbling about having to wait for games to copy to the Wii internal memory ever since.

that said, however, it appears NL linked to gonintendo on this one, who linked back to andriasang.com here. they're pretty specific about games loading straight from the SD card on the 3DS, unlike the Wii, and they're usually pretty on top of all the Nintendo-related news coming out of Japan.

Chris720

#59

Chris720 said:

No point in bumping up the security to its extremities. Hackers will always find a way around it. But I'm not hyped for 3DS anyways, its just more of the same. :/

I just hope they'll update it more foten than what they do with the Wii. Wii updates are so rare now-a-days, and even when it was released it wasn't updated very often.

Token_Girl

#60

Token_Girl said:

Streetpass only works in sleep mode. Just turn the 3DS off completely (probably a good idea anyway for battery purposes), and if you're concerned about downloading unwanted updates of any kind, it won't be a problem. I guess it could download while you're playing other games, but I'd imagine you can turn off SpotPass, just like you can turn off WiiConnect 24.

Edit: I hope this update to play games straight from the SD card, just like the shop update, comes to Wii too.

maka

#61

maka said:

This is not only about piracy, it's also about Homebrew too.

You've got to realize that the people behind the really effective hacks are not pirates. They hack the consoles to run homebrew. Just see the homebrew channel on the Wii. You can't run pirate games just with the homebrew channel, you need other hacks...

You know to make the 3ds hack proof? Just don't give a reason to the best hackers to hack the machine in the first place... let homebrew programmers in. Then they won't need to hack the 3ds anymore... and that would leave pirates on their own...

SkullMan

#62

SkullMan said:

2 GB ha, my PSP has a 8 GB and that's almost filled up with game saves and PSX originals from the PSN store.

Frango

#63

Frango said:

A fact is: Nintendo is not trying hard enough to stop piracy, I guess we all noticed that... IMHO I guess that's for the same reason as the X360 and DS: Piracy busts console sales. When people, like casual gamers, which aren't willing to spend too much money on consoles, see that they can have the software for free, most of them will buy the console (even if it's a little expensive, like the 3DS), because they figure that's all they gonna spend.... And, to make my point stronger, you can see how 3DS is much more expensive than most consoles out there right now, so they can make most profit on the console cost, not games... It's like the PSP too, which didn't sell many units... But can you imagine how many units would it sell if it had no way to CFW it? Well, that's it...

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