News Article

Iwata Reveals Big New Improvements for eShop

Posted by James Newton

DLC, web, demos and more

At the recent financial briefing, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata discussed plenty of interesting new ideas to evolve the company's online strategy, revealing some big initiatives.

Extra downloadable content for games will be available to game developers after the late November system update, letting studios and publishers update their releases with additional packs of content. Iwata notes that a number of software creators are anticipating this update, suggesting we may see DLC play a strong role in the future.

Demos were discussed too, with Iwata revealing plan to limit the number of times a trial can be played before it expires.

You'll also be able to download content while your 3DS is in sleep mode, with Iwata saying:

[This] will lessen the need for the users to patiently wait by while downloading several software titles at once or while downloading software with a large memory capacity.

At the moment it's only possible to download one item at a time: perhaps the eShop will also be updated to include multiple download support.

The last announced upgrade to the eShop won't be available in the next system update, but Iwata revealed that Nintendo plans to release a web version of the eShop for users to browse via computer or smartphone, ultimately allowing users to buy 3DS software from their phone or computer.

How does these new planned upgrades sound to you? Are they enough for Nintendo to show you it fully grasps digital content, or is the company missing something big? Let us know in the comments below.

[via nintendo.co.jp]

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User Comments (87)

Einherjar

#1

Einherjar said:

Limiting the play count of a demo ? And i thought the expire date of the WiiWare demos were a stupid idea...

antdickensAdmin

#2

antdickens said:

Nintendo need a huge improvement on their online stuff... I hope they get on top of it!

SimonB79

#3

SimonB79 said:

hopefully this means were gonna get RE:mercs / zenpinball3D DLC hurrah /excited :)

Cipher

#4

Cipher said:

I think limiting the number of times you can play a demo is a good idea. If you really do think of it more as a trial version, this is fairly commonplace already: trial software on computers usually expire after 30 days anyway, or limit basic features. To me, this makes sense.

I like the idea of being able to browse Nintendo eShop away from the 3DS as well, especially if you're away from your system and still want to buy something.

Legodavid18

#6

Legodavid18 said:

"a number of software creators are anticipating this update"... Capcom comes to mind. Ah well, I've wanted the Arcade Edition for Super Street Fighter IV for a long time now, so no complaints from me!

pikku

#7

pikku said:

Multiple game download souns slendid. Aet-riously can't wait for that one.

NX01Trekkie1992

#8

NX01Trekkie1992 said:

should be fascinating, would help out with eShop browsing for me, as the campus wifi hates my 3DS, also, this is sorta hinting that the Wii U will most likely be supportive of DLC as well

TKOWL

#9

TKOWL said:

It's awesome to see Nintendo really being dedicated to their online service, let's just hope that they walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

LeasTwanteD

#10

LeasTwanteD said:

My two cents on the points that were discussed.

  • Supporting extra downloadable content is great.
  • Why limit the number of times a demo can be played before it expires ? What if you've already played it that often but want to show it to a 3DS-less friend of yours ? Don't you want that free marketing, Nintendo ?
    The purpose of a demo is to pump you up for more. I don't think there are people out there who will buy the full version just because they can't play the demo anymore.
  • I never really put my 3DS in sleep mode (except for desperate StreetPassing outside ;) ) so i'd prefer if you could background-download or if it worked like with Windows updates. (Download can happen when you shut the system down, after the download is completed the system is turned off.) But since that wouldn't be good PR for their "put your system in sleep mode to automatically get new stuff every day" approach i doubt it will happen.
  • multiple download support: It would be great if you could queue as many downloads as you like and they're all downloaded one after another.
  • A web version of the eShop is a decent idea. With your smartphone the chore of buying the game you want could be done while you're riding a train, waiting or something. So you've saved some fun "home gaming time". Don't know if that wouldn't start a "why can't my 3DS access the internet while i'm outside, it's a portable after all" discussion though, so it might be a bit too much work for a doubtful consumer reaction.
marc_max

#11

marc_max said:

What's going on with Nintendo?
Can't they hire someone to redesign their online platform?

Iwata obviously doesn't know anything about online, they need someone that thinks differently. Come on. Limiting the number of times a demo can be played? That's even worse than Wii's demos!
Seriously, I'm starting to believe that Wii U will be another fail in online terms. They promised a good online platform for Wii, then they promised the same for 3DS, and both failed.

Sorry if I'm sounding like a troll, but it's hard to believe that Iwata is not joking with this announcement.

Cipher

#13

Cipher said:

I always thought, if you don't know after playing through a demo two or three times that you want to buy the game, you're probably not going to buy it. Playing through a demo countless times just because you don't want to buy the game is a little bit lazy - and kind of insulting to the developers.

And I highly doubt Iwata makes decisions like this. There are whole teams dedicated to Nintendo eShop and other online platforms. Iwata's the president: he's the leader, it doesn't mean he makes every single decision.

marc_max

#14

marc_max said:

@Cipher: I don't agree. Having a demo installed (or being able to download it at anytime without limits) can be a reason to buy a game in a future. I could I try it today twice and don't feel like buying it. But who knows... Maybe in a future I play it again and change my mind.
Wii demo limitations had a reason to be there: reducing bandwitdh in Nintendo servers (or at least we must believe that, because it also sounds silly).
What's the point of limiting the number of times you can play a demo? It's already a demo, so it's already limited.
I doubt they are talking about downloading the complete game with that limitation. But if that's what they were talking about, then it means the same lazyness as Wii demos: they are not going to modify any game to take out features (AFAIK they only took out savegame features in most Wii demos).

I know that Iwata don't make these decisions ;) But he's the responsible on where his company will go. And he should see that they are not doing the things right with both Wii and 3DS shops.

ThomasBW84Admin

#15

ThomasBW84 said:

I really like the idea of being able to purchase an eShop game from a computer or smartphone, with it automatically downloading even if the device is in sleep. That's the kind of online integration that they need to push as hard as possible to make the device convenient and sufficiently 'cool' to use, I think. It'll also help to tap into compulsive buyers, passing time on a commute etc.

The 3DS needs time to get up to its full potential, which is the case for any new console. Nintendo's success in recent years will have hopefully given them plenty of cash reserves to get through a rough patch, and move forward with 3DS and Wii U. I'm optimistic about Ninty's future, personally, as long as they recognise that these kind of features are an important part of their future.

Cipher

#17

Cipher said:

@marc_max Demo versions, at the end of the day, are about marketing. Look at it from a business perspective: by limiting the number of times someone can play a demo, if that person is playing it so much that it's going to expire, that's a pretty huge incentive to actually buy the game. In that sense, it works out for the consumer as well. Win-win. Not to mention the fact that adding such a limit is completely optional and some developers might choose not to impose a limit at all.

These upgrades aren't the be-all and end-all for Nintendo eShop, either: if it wasn't likely enough that it would be making the move to Wii U before, now we know it's coming to the web, I'd say that's even likelier. This is a big online platform for Nintendo and it's one of my favourite online stores, personally. I think it's fantastic so far and it's only going to get better, I think.

Sonic260

#18

Sonic260 said:

I don't see the point of limiting the amount of time you can pllay a demo. If it's a demo, then they should limit the amount of content in the demo instead.

About the multiple downloads, if we could do this on the computer, would this mean we could also log on to our eShop accounts on another 3DS and download games we've already bought?

Sakura_Moonlight2421

#22

Sakura_Moonlight2421 said:

That would be such a big help if I could buy things from the shop away from my 3DS. I normally don't have access to a wifi point.

Rawk_Hawk

#23

Rawk_Hawk said:

This is a big step, but game demos should be available by now. My hope it that they will allow demos for retail, 3DS downloads, and Virtual Console games and make them available permanently not like Wii Ware demos that stay up for short time.

stipey

#24

stipey said:

Hold on, I can't quite see the point in being able to buy stuff from a PC or Smartphone... Why would I buy something away from the 3DS if I can't play it till I get online and download it anyway?

Just so I don't have to use the 3DS store's awful interface?

Kage_88

#25

Kage_88 said:

More awesome news to add to the 3D video pizazz! I hope Nintendo and other devs really take advantage of the DLC platform (without price gouging...though it will happen knowing Capcom). Imagine if Nintendo surprised us and released a whole new land to play in on Ocarina of Time! Hey, I can dream...

I'm not too fussed on the whole demo thing; as I already know what games I like to buy. Still, aside from that, the 'timed' aspect really won't be all that bothersome, IMO. Really, it's a clever way to rope customers in. Nintendo: "You really like that demo and want to play it again? Well, the only way to do that is buy the shiny full version..."

@legodavid15 - Was gonna say the same thing. I think Ono specifically stated that he'd like to make the 'Arcade Edition' content available for the 3DS via DLC. I certainly hope so - there's no way I'm buying another boxed copy of the same game...

I'm pretty sure Capcom have also mentioned a desire to create Resident Evil: Mercenaries DLC.

Tare

#26

Tare said:

@19 Just in case your not trolling...
The perfect system came out long before X-box live. Anyway;

So, am I too understand all of this, will not be coming in the next update? Just knowing demos and possible DLC (Hopefully good use is made of it) is making me smile.

XCWarrior

#27

XCWarrior said:

So with the next update Nintendo will almost be caught up with Sony/Microsoft. I can't say "great" more sarcastically.

Demos are great. DLC is the devil, but for those who like being nickel and dimed, its great for you. BUT WE NEED MORE GAMES.

LeasTwanteD

#28

LeasTwanteD said:

Here are some more thoughts of what can be improved in the eShop

  • Have as many demos as possible. This is the best way to convince people that they want the full game.
  • Give it all that you've got. There are a lot of people that can't stand the monochromatic GamBoy games anymore. If there was an option to play these games with the palettes the GameBoy Color or the GBA offered it would most likely mean more sales.
  • Enable wireless multiplayer play for every VC game that originally had a multiplayer option. I'd download a lot more of these if they had multiplayer options.
  • Start releasing VC games of the platforms that already have been announced (Game Gear and TurboGrafx-16). Many of us were looking forward to these and are disappointed that there haven't been any yet.
  • I'm sure GBA and SNES games would sell very well in the eShop.
  • We already know that NES games can be bought in the eShop one day. I've got quite some NES games on the Wii's VC and won't pay the same price for them in the eShop again. I would think about spending some cents per game for being able to play it on my 3DS though. Or i'd spend about 20 € if i could play all of my Wii's VC games on my 3DS and maybe vice-versa. Think about it as some kind of reversed GameBoy Player.
  • I cannot understand why us owners of a credit-card have to put more credit on our accounts than we need at the moment. Let us pay only for the game we want please! I'm really worried that i'll never be able to use all the DSiWare-credit i've got left. For quite some time there has been no game that interests me.
    That's why now i'm waiting until i can completely spend my credit without having any left over. Don't Nintendo and the developers need my money as soon as possible?
Katana

#29

Katana said:

I would love a demo of MK7 right now:)
Just one track be cool and get me right up for getting it on Dec 2nd:)

Urbanhispanic

#30

Urbanhispanic said:

These new updates sound great. Finally, Nintendo is taking steps towards embracing modern online functionality. If they are going to do this for the 3DS, it can only mean the Wii U's online system will be better this time around.

warioswoods

#31

warioswoods said:

I find the eShop charming, personally, and don't mind scrolling through the themed racks or watching the cute animations while waiting for my download.

But anyhow, it sounded to me that the demo limits are only an option for each publisher to set per game. I believe that's necessary for certain game types and not for others. If I wanted to offer a demo of, say, the guitar tuner app, it might be easiest to just limit the number of plays and then block re-download, rather than trying to cut it into some smaller form where you can only tune 2 of the strings or whatnot.

Zach

#32

Zach said:

Sounds awesome, and buying content over the computer sounds like a great idea to me.

Raptor78

#33

Raptor78 said:

Demo limits to me are not an issue providing that it isnt for a stupidly small amount like two or three times.
Demos are there really to get you interested in a game. If your going to play it over n over then buy it. BUT, they have to give us a reasonable limit otherwise its pointless.

SkywardLink98

#34

SkywardLink98 said:

It's sounds ok, I like keeping my demos, but I only play demos once or twice to decide if I'm going to buy the game.

The OTHER stuff sounds great though, I've been wanting Nintendo to do DLC like map packs, character packs, like on the Xbox 360 and PS3.

Rawk_Hawk

#36

Rawk_Hawk said:

Earlier this week I purchased a game from the PSN shop. They billed me $6.99 for the game and nothing more. I would like to see Nintendo adopt that model for all of the current systems. No more leftover points or funds. I hate when I'm stuck with 400 Wii points or .02 cents on the e-shop.

Demo limits don't bother me at all. I know after playing once or twice if I want the game. I'll just be glad when Nintendo quits talking about demos and finally adds them.

Unca_LzStaff

#40

Unca_Lz said:

Pardon me while I insert logic in everyone's rants: will limiting the number of times you can play a demo really affect your reaction to the game? Demos are meant to be temporary anyway.

Squid

#42

Squid said:

Thinking about it, I wonder if they will release the GBA Ambassador games with or after this update...

kingothekoopas

#43

kingothekoopas said:

@darksquid i would hope they do. but this is nintendo. king of the last minute release.

i know metroid fusion is coming, but i REALLY want zero mission! ...and minish cap. those two alone would make me very happy.

rubikon

#44

rubikon said:

Funny how nintendo is talking about online stuff, but the 3ds is still unable to connect to ad-hoc wireless networks. Yes it is true, the 3ds can only connect to infrastructe wlan, and nintendo knows this (there have been complaints on forums) and nothing is changing...

As soon as upcoming smartphones will have a d-pad und easy to reach buttons things will get interesting...

zeeroid

#45

zeeroid said:

"At the moment it's only possible to download one item at a time: perhaps the eShop will also be updated to include multiple download support."

THIS!

Gamer83

#47

Gamer83 said:

Some good ideas but the demo stuff is just stupid (don't care what anyone else says) and frankly there's nothing here that hasn't been done on the other systems for a long time now and MS and Sony will no doubt be improving their online setups as well. As usual Nintendo is lagging behind big time in this area and it seems like that will never change.

grumblebuzzz

#48

grumblebuzzz said:

I love how everyone keeps saying "Why wasn't this stuff day one?" You have to remember that Nintendo, up until now, had no concept of how to run an online marketplace. Why don't we all go get on our DSis and Wiis, surf the shops there and see how much of a vast improvement even the current eShop is by comparison? Nintendo is learning and they're moving forward as they learn, not vice versa, which is a good thing. I would rather them test these concepts, make them as bug-free and smooth as possible and THEN apply them. These upcoming new features sound great and I can't wait to try them out.

Gamer83

#49

Gamer83 said:

Enough of the excuses, this is stuff other companies have been doing for a long time now, Nintendo gets no passes, it's ridiculous that they're this far behind, but not surprising. Late to the party as usual.

coolvw93

#50

coolvw93 said:

sounds good. better than what we got now. i just really want to see more VC games on the 3DS. something maybe like pokemon red, blue, or yellow versions would be awsome to see! I would definately pay for them!

sc100

#51

sc100 said:

Yes, Mario Kart 7 DLC would be incredibly awesome. I actually think there's a good chance of that happening.

C-195

#54

C-195 said:

Possible DLC for Mario Kart? SOLD! The 3ds online will get alot better with this update for sure!

TrueWiiMaster

#56

TrueWiiMaster said:

DLC sounds AWESOME. I could see this working really, really well in Animal Crossing, Mario Kart, and any RPG or arcade-style game. Multiple downloads and demos sound awesome too. Personally I don't mind the limit on demos. I've only played a couple Wiiware demos more than 2 times, and I don't think you ever really need to replay a demo more than 3 times to know whether or not you like it. If you want to play it again after your third time, you probably want the full game. Nintendo doesn't want people to just keep playing demos; they want sales.

Besides all that, I still don't understand why so many people think Nintendo's online service is lacking. It has the best content of all three platforms, though often overpriced. It's also got great online multiplayer which is free (I'm talking to you Microsoft). Sure it has friend codes, but they aren't as inconvenient as they're made out to be. Plus I don't have to mute all the vulgar 10 year olds that plague the other services.

Slapshot

#57

Slapshot said:

Definitely a few steps in the right direction, but they've still got a long way to go before they even get to current standards.

As for the DLC, I'm not too excited over this news. Anyone who owns an HD system knows that DLC is one of the biggest rip-offs in gaming history. Few DLC packs have been worth the money, and the ones that are usually come in massive download sizes (e.g. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion), which won't fare well on SD Cards. It could and can be used to great success, but we've seen quite the opposite over the years; maybe it will be different on Nintendo's systems though.

grumblegrumble

#58

grumblegrumble said:

How about focusing on releasing QUALITY 3DS titles and downloadable content instead of just tweaking the shop? I think the ability for publishers to release game updates is cool, but we need some good GAMES, too :)

Mikau94

#59

Mikau94 said:

Ocarina of Time Beta DLC anyone?

I would like to see what they could do with Ocarina of Time without messing to much with the game, like adding unused dungeon ideas to appropriate areas of the game. Like the "secret temple" in the Zora's Domain or the Temple of Light. Imagine after all these years finally being able to enter the Temple of Light that so many of us searched so desperately for. That would be cool

Radixxs

#64

Radixxs said:

I fail to see how DLC is exciting. Maybe for Animal Crossing, but I dunno.

timp29

#65

timp29 said:

Multiplayer on VC games will mean someone who want to play that game multipler will recommend it to others. Which will do half of your advertising for you and boost eShop sales. Think outside the box nintendo.

And yes, we've had colour hand helds for 20ish years. Monochrome actually puts people off buying titles.

SanderEvers

#68

SanderEvers said:

I want it to be late november already :)

@58: I'm sure they are working on games as well ;)

@57: Well, that's up for the publishers to decide. Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition is one of the best DLC out there and it could easily be ported to the 3DS. I do, however, agree that some publishers use it to rush out games and sell the other half of the game through DLC.

Marakuto

#69

Marakuto said:

Well this is impossible for me since I will get my 3DS in July 2012 and I have got half way through Zelda 3DS! I am missing out on a lot but I got the games that were free all 20.

Marakuto

#70

Marakuto said:

Obviously Animal Crossing games will 100% get downloadable content since the game has hats that are even HDLC.

DarkEdi

#71

DarkEdi said:

Nintendo needs to put all these innovations (and the already done) in the Wii too. The wii doesn´t have an update since one or two years ago. (update too the Mii channel Wii please!!)

Token_Girl

#72

Token_Girl said:

@Thomas

I agree. Hopefully it means they're finally moving to an account system. I hope we'll see that fully developed on WiiU.

L-BLock

#73

L-BLock said:

Demos'll be good.DLC system is too but I want achievement or trophy system on games :)

AlbertoC

#74

AlbertoC said:

I really don't understand why now some people are comparing the PC with the 3DS. Impossible. The former is a computer, with full-fledged software, full loading times, and full-size software. The later is a PC (portable console, ha.) It can't do the same things as the desktop computers, or even consoles like the wii, in terms of resource-consuming processes and downloads (wireless, internet, battery). That's why Nintendo implemented SpotPass and StreetPass the way they are now.

Now, i completely agree the eShop needs a remake and better content. DLC might be a good idea as long as the content is worth it. Wii software also had download to play, but it never was mind-blowing. Remember the ideas for wii connect 24?

Also, the developers can decide over their software, or that's like it should be (Ask Kyle Gabler if Nintendo really haves that many policies that make the company developer friendly. It even drew the attention of the intenets, like this very site, but that's another issue), so they should decide if it's a timer-limited demo, or a play count limited demo. Blaming everything on Nintendo on this matter is unfair IMHO.

smileisles

#75

smileisles said:

Yaaaaaay!!!!!! I am so very happy with Nintendo. Nowhere in the company's past has there been such an evolving and aggresive mindset. I've been supporting Nintendo systems since the NES, and the company has always been very locked and quiet about its' strategies. Here, we see a Nintendo that is adapting to the changing environment, and keeping their consumers and other companies in the loop about its' plans. I love it. Keep it up Nintendo!

smileisles

#76

smileisles said:

Oh! Sorry, one more comment. I think it's a good idea to limit the number of times a demo can be played. It promotes purchasing the software versus just endlessly playing the demo. I think the chances of you buying it will increase if you know there's a limit.In the end, if more sales occur because of this move, then it's done its' job.

boob

#77

boob said:

This sounds better. The 3ds needs demos. I mean I can ds download through my Wii, but there is no 3ds content. Also being able to direct content through your phone whilst in sleep mode would be good. Also YouTube support for the browser.
Come on Nintendo, knock the rough edges off content is king.

Tare

#78

Tare said:

Honestly, it's not the DLC that excites me, it's the thought that just maybe, we can get updates for games.

PoTher

#79

PoTher said:

All sound like good steps forward.

Now, if only there was an update that would keep my Home Menu from being cluttered with 3DS downloads that I've finished; without deleting them, switching out SD cards, or moving their icons to far-flung slots. Maybe a toggle to block/unblock the icons from showing up. Another upgrade I think would be cool is to have a customizable interface, such as changing the 'Play Coin' icon to 'Play Repees' (which could even vary in color depending on the amount earned).

STARKILLERX

#80

STARKILLERX said:

I just want a update and this is going to be a epic year for the 3DS can't wait for the 3D recording,Animal Crossing,MK7,and new eShop performance YEAAAA. >:)

RantingThespian

#81

RantingThespian said:

I am glad they are able to update and change things. They created an eShop that isn't set in stone, and can evolve.

Much smarter than the whole WiiWare and DSiWare setup.

Henmii

#83

Henmii said:

"Demos were discussed too, with Iwata revealing plan to limit the number of times a trial can be played before it expires"

I don't see how that can be called a improvement!

tweet75

#84

tweet75 said:

nintendo should allow gamers to play purchased virtual console games on the wii that they already purchased.

Henmii

#85

Henmii said:

The best improvement would be releasing awesome GB, GBC and GBA games at a steadier pace! And lots of GOOD 3DSware games too! And actually give the shops the promised e-shop cards!!

xj0462

#87

xj0462 said:

perfect.. except for limtitng plays on demos THATS THE MOST FU***D UP IDEA IVE EVER HEARD

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