News Article

3DS: Including StreetPass, SpotPass, eShop, Mii Maker & AR Cards

Posted by Anthony Dickens

Straight from the 3D horses' mouth

Nintendo have today announced the final details of the 3DS system along with a price and release date in both US and Europe.

The company that changed the world of video games with touch-screen gaming in 2004 and motion-controlled gaming in 2006 now pioneers the next dimensional shift. On March 27 (Europe March 25), Nintendo introduces portable entertainment in 3D - without the need for special glasses. The Nintendo 3DS™ system will be available in either Cosmo Black or Aqua Blue, and will have a suggested retail price of $249.99. Pricing outside the United States will be established by the local markets, but offer similar consumer value.

"Nintendo 3DS is a category of one - the experience simply doesn't exist anywhere else," said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. "You have to see Nintendo 3DS to believe it. And it's like nothing you've ever seen before."

Nintendo 3DS includes two screens. The bottom touch screen makes use of a telescoping stylus that is stored in the unit itself. The top screen displays 3D visuals to the naked eye. Looking at the screen is like peering through a window into a world where characters and objects have true depth. The system also has a 3D Depth Slider that lets players select the level of 3D they enjoy the most. The 3D effect can be ratcheted up to the highest level, scaled back to a more moderate setting or even turned off completely, depending on the preference of the user.

In addition to the familiar + Control Pad and button controls found on previous Nintendo hand-helds, Nintendo 3DS now also includes a Circle Pad, which provides a full 360 degrees of direction, giving it the freedom and precision needed to play games in 3D worlds. It brings the same degree of responsiveness that gamers enjoyed when Nintendo introduced an analog control stick to navigate Mario™ through Super Mario 64™ on the Nintendo 64™ system.

A built-in motion sensor and gyro sensor can react to the motion and tilt of the system, so whether players are twisting their systems side to side or moving them up and down, their motion-compatible Nintendo 3DS games respond instantly. No other system includes so many tools for game developers to create new and fun experiences for players.

Two features will allow owners to stay connected in new ways. Both deliver bonus content to owners as they move around during their daily lives, so users might open up their systems at any moment to find new surprises. For owners who choose to activate it, the StreetPass™ feature is capable of exchanging game information with other Nintendo 3DS systems as owners pass one another. Small packets of information can be exchanged using this data-transfer method, such as Mii™ character data, maps for games or high scores and custom character data for different games. The SpotPass™ feature can connect to compatible public hotspots and through a wireless broadband Internet connection at home, even if the system is in Sleep Mode. Once connected, the Nintendo 3DS system will receive new content and updates on a regular basis.

Each Nintendo 3DS system comes pre-loaded with a variety of fun games, applications and features, such as Nintendo 3DS Camera. Nintendo 3DS has three cameras. One camera points at the user, while two additional cameras point outward. These two outer cameras take photos in 3D. The fun, built-in game Face Raiders™ asks users to shoot at funny depictions of their own faces. Nintendo 3DS, when put into Sleep Mode, can act as a pedometer, while letting users earn Play Coins for the steps they take that can then be traded in for additional content in compatible games and applications. By accessing the Activity Log, users can check their steps as well as their play time. With Nintendo 3DS Sound, users can enjoy sound-manipulation tools or rock out while listening to their MP3 or AAC music files. An upgraded Internet browser will also be available via a system update.

The Mii Maker™ application gives users new tools to create Mii™ characters even more easily: Users can either import Mii characters from their Wii systems using an SD memory card or use the camera to take a picture of a person and have an automatic Mii character created. Users can even save their Mii characters to an SD card as pictures, which enables them to be used any way a digital photo would for personal use, such as a profile picture on social-networking sites.

The Nintendo eShop, through a system update, will offer access to downloadable games, including Nintendo DSiWare™ and ones specifically made for Nintendo 3DS. Also, just as the Virtual Console service on Wii makes retro games available for download, the Virtual Console games on Nintendo 3DS will be pulled from classic Game Boy™ and Game Boy Color games. Players will be able to view game videos, download demos for select games and see how other consumers rated the games. The Nintendo eShop will use a cash-based system. Users can either input credit card information in the shop or purchase a Nintendo 3DS Prepaid Card at retail locations.

Nintendo 3DS comes with six augmented-reality cards, called AR cards. When the two outer cameras are pointed at the cards, they read the cards and superimpose images and animations onto the scene. So users shouldn't be surprised if they see a dragon popping out of their kitchen tables. Developers can also use this technology to add creative new experiences to their games.

Built-in parental controls can be used to limit Internet access or some of the wireless functions. By using a PIN code, parents also can turn off the 3D function altogether, or limit the ratings of the games that their kids can play.

Fans of online play will be happy to learn that the friend codes for Nintendo 3DS are specific to each Nintendo 3DS system, not each game. Once friends trade hardware codes, at any time they can check their friends list to see which of their friends are online and what they are playing.

Nintendo 3DS can also play Nintendo DS game cards with their original 2D visuals. The system also includes a slot for an SD memory card. To help users get started, every system comes with a 2GB SD memory card (though owners can provide whatever size they like). Using a service that will be provided after the hardware's launch, Nintendo DSi™ and Nintendo DSi XL™ owners will be able to transfer games downloaded from the Nintendo DSi Shop onto their new Nintendo 3DS systems.

Some great features there that our international reporters are checking out right now, Nintendo have finally made improvements to the notorious FriendCode system allowing much easier swapping of codes via StreetPass and most importantly a single code per system rather than per game as it is now.

What's your favourite feature?

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User Comments (44)



Kid_A said:

Well the system friendcode thing is definitely good news. Still not as convenient as a user name, but it's still a massive improvement.



irken004 said:

DSiware transfer = success! Also, I'll just swap out the 2GB SD card for my 4GB one, just in case. One universal friend code is awesome as well. Huzzah for a portable VC!



TwilightV said:

I'm intrigued by both StreetPass and the AR cards. They could both be implemented into the games very uniquely. The eShop is a welcome addition too. And the new Friend Code system should hopefully remedy some of the gripes people have with it.



she_gamer said:

3D camera would be neat... but I'm really looking forward to trying out the AR cards. This would be awesome with so many other games!



HolyMackerel said:

Sounds good so far. Glad to have MP3 support back on the device!

So how about tying your eShop purchases to an account rather than a single device?



Atlantis1982 said:

"Players will be able to view game videos, download demos for select games and see how other consumers rated the games."

So in short, its what the Shopping Channel on the Wii should of been in the first place.

"...they can check their friends list to see which of their friends are online and what they are playing."

Already its an improvement over the Wii's hardware FC system, it was almost useless save for sending messages.

I can still hear the 3DS mock laugh at the Wii ever since it was unveiled at E3.

Am I going to get it on launch, heck no, I can wait.



HolyMackerel said:

@Robo-goose Um, was that in reply to my comment? I was asking about eShop purchases, not MP3 support.

@Atlantis1982 Hey, good eye. Videos, demos and user ratings are exactly what was needed for the Wii and DSi shops all this time. So happy that it's being done for the 3DS.



Token_Girl said:

I'm really happy with everything at the press conference today. At first, I didn't think the $250 price was fair, but this really is the most versatile portable gaming device with analog stick, buttons, gyro, and touch screen. Pretty much any type of game is possible. Plus screen tech isn't cheap...probably especially the 3D screen, while not super new hardware, is still pricy.

Completely satisfied with the friend code update. This will make for a simple, unified system for every game. I also like that you can just "bump" to exchange friendcodes in streetpass mode.

I still have just a couple questions, which will hopefully be answered later today once everyone gets back from their respective events:
1) What is the mechanism for DSiWare -> 3DS transfer.
2) How much internal memory does the system have, and what will the file size limit be for 3DSWare?



LunarJade said:

Definitely some good improvements. I'm not sure why they couldn't link your friend code to your club nintendo account since you can link that to your DSi... but only one code to deal with over multiples is still far better.

I'm also excited about being able to download demos (hopefully they mean to the actual device). Having to get the wii going so that you can download one demo at a time, that you have to play at that moment was a bit of a pain.
Especially when I had to use a friends Wii to do it.



komicturtle said:

Really impressed. Nintendo wasn't lying about improving their online game.
I'm sure through some updates, there will be an option of using a Username rather than a friend code- and for those who want to be a bit more 'private' and 'secure' could use the Friend Code as the only way to allow others to register. Just a suggestion.

I wonder if the Wii will be getting a system update to stay on-par with the 3DS' capabilities because what the 3DS can do can also be done on Wii (except the 3D part). I'm sure Nintendo is planning on changing their whole online infrastructure and a Wii Update could also let us owners of system benefit from it.

C'mon Nintendo, don't leave Wii hanging.

Anyways, 3DS will be in my house on the day it comes out. It's expensive, but it's not unreasonably expensive. For what it offers and what I'll be paying in the box, the $250 is just right.



HipsterDashie said:

"Pricing outside the United States will be established by the local markets, but offer similar consumer value"

I lol'd.

Then I cried.



wanderlustwarrior said:


But, to quote an earlier poster: "Am I going to get it on launch, heck no, I can wait."

I'll get it when I've thought about the purchase, have the money, the price goes down, and any problems at launch are sorted out.

It all sounds good, but I won't freak out right now. Everything sounds good at first, and there's still problems and improvements eventually. Unfortunately, Nintendo doesn't often do these improvements of the same hardware, so I hope they will this time.



Squiggle55 said:

thanks for all the info. I like the friend's list and seeing what your friends are playing. I'll probably be waiting for summer though, although I'm still very tempted to go ahead and get it simply for what you can do with it straight out of the box... i'll just wait until a must have game comes out, which means anything mario.

Did they say anything at the conference that might lead you to believe passing on pre-ordering and planning on getting one in Summer would be a dangerous plan?



shinesprite said:

Quick questions:

  • Do transferred DSiWare games retain their save states, or do you have to start over?
  • Can one transfer the balance in their DSi Shop account?


V8_Ninja said:

This, including the amount launch games, makes the 3DS an instant buy for me. Now I have to make sure I have enough money by March...



WolfRamHeart said:

My two favorite features are the ability to transfer my DSiWare games onto the 3DS and the one universal friend code. I'm sure the 3D is probably the most impressive feature but I'm just going to have to wait and see it with my own eyes.



NintyMan said:

One universial friend code? A VC with videos, demos, and ratings? Transferable DSiware and Miis? AR cards? Yes, please to all of it!



Wildvine53 said:

I can't wait to get my 3DS. I know the 3DS has the capability to play back 3D movie trailers, any mention of 3D movies?



astarisborn94 said:

Went from very interested in the 3DS to incredibly excited. The post regarding friend codes makes me especially jubilant since it's only for hardware, not each specific games. No wonder why we're getting Super Street Fighter IV 3D, Capcom must have been impressed with the improved online function.



GammaGames said:

FINNALY I like the friend code option a LOT more now
Along with everything else of course Anyone wanna give me $300? I of course have to get a launch game



RedYoshi999 said:

IDK if I have a favourite feature; they're all too good! 3D pictures, AR Cards, playing MP3 or AAC music files, StreetPass, SpotPass, one universal friend code, the improved Shop with videos and demos and ratings and DSiWare and VC, the ability to transfer DSiWare. Seriously, how can I choose which one is best?



Peznaze said:

Interesting... seems all the non-gaming functionality is coming via a future system update. No web browser until the update. No eShop till the system update. And the shop uses 3DS point cards, not Nintendo Points? Hmm...

All in all, reason to wait to get a 3DS... They're not done making the thing yet.



almostnacho said:

"Nintendo 3DS is a category of one - the experience simply doesn't exist anywhere else,"
A-HA! A monopoly on portable 3D gaming! So THAT's why it's $250. That's evil, Nintendo!



MeloMan said:

  • 1. With Nintendo 3DS Sound, users can enjoy sound-manipulation tools or rock out while listening to their MP3 or AAC music files. An upgraded Internet browser will also be available via a system update.*
    I no longer have to convert my mp3's to m4a's!!!! YES! One less step to do, and more time to get to the listening of my music. Good one, N.

The Nintendo eShop will use a cash-based system. Users can either input credit card information in the shop or purchase a Nintendo 3DS Prepaid Card at retail locations.
So is this the identical system already in place, cause I thought that was a points based system. In any case, does this mean I can use a credit card to put 1, 2, 3, 5, 14, or $17 in this point "bank", or will N still use the same preset point purchases? I sure hope not, nothing worse than putting in another $10 purchase of points just because you need 100 more pts to make a purchase

Glad I can port over my DSi games, I like my myNotebooks, flipnote studio, and others.

Um... didn't they say you can watch movies on this thing? Are they waiting until some future update down the line or has this been scrapped?



Bassman_Q said:

As I said in the other article, this seems like it is really geared toward replacing the Wii more than the DS. A virtual console, Mii channel, an online system that sounds alot better than the Wii's and a lot like the 360's... This is indeed going to blow my mind when I get this, which probably won't be anytime soon...

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