News Article

3DS "Bookstore Anywhere" App Bringing eBooks to Japan

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Read into that what you what you will

There's been some talk about what apps will be available on Wii U, with its GamePad controller bringing its own possibilities, but we shouldn't forget that the functionality of 3DS has plenty to offer. A new app coming to Japan on 20th October is Bookstore Anywhere, which according to Japanese publication Nikkei will launch with over 100 manga series to choose from.

We've seen books on DS, of course, with 100 Classic Book Collection providing a thoroughly decent eBook experience back in late 2008. The Bookstore Anywhere app and service, meanwhile, will evolve due to it being an online store, and it's being launched by Librica — originally formed to bring manga to Wii in 2008 — in partnership with a host of other companies based in Japan. In future users can expect to receive the occasional free magazine through Wi-Fi, and more non-manga publications and novels are planned.

It seems unlikely that this service will be released worldwide, as the companies involved and its content revolve around Japanese books and magazines. It shows the potential is there for services like this on 3DS elsewhere, though whether any companies would be willing to take on dedicated eBook reading devices and invest in an equivalent service in the West is an issue.

Would you use your 3DS to read magazines or novels, or would you rather just stick to playing games? Let us know in the comments below.


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User Comments (73)



Aqueous said:

Quite possibly, I mean my 3DS is already doing several things aside from gaming.



Undead_terror said:

I hope we in NA get it and of course as europe as well, I would perfer stories on my 3ds instead of having tons of paper with words on it.



bro2dragons said:

I don't think many companies could start it up and do justice to the established competition. But if Kindle were to make an eShop (both 3DS and Wii U) app... I mean, they're already wonderful on iOS and Android, so why not? THAT, I would download quickly.



Knuckles said:

Just come to the us and take my money!
Wait? It's free, then what are you waiting on Ninty?



Retro_on_theGo said:

I really hope this comes to the west in some form, I'd love it, but seeing as no one in the west reads anymore I doubt it.



Jamix012 said:

I've been wanting this for a while! I've been meaning to read several books, but don't want to shell out on an E-reader and carrying actual books and magazines is a chore.



Shiromikio said:

This would be great to have in other regions especially for mobile reading. No need to take another device along if you plan to finish a book after a round of gaming.



ajcismo said:

I would love to see 3D Graphic Novels be available for purchase. Imagine a 3D version of Batman: Year One you can carry around in your pocket.



KiwiPanda said:

I would read novels on my 3DS, if a service like that was ever released. I'm an active reader, or at least for my age and for being here in NA. @ajcismo I completely agree. Having books as portable as being in my pocket, on a handheld, would be great. And something 3D would be just as amazing. Personally, I never really "loved" manga, or anime, but I'm sure some people here do. I kinda doubt anything other than manga would be popular as books on the 3DS, though. They're outdone by the Kindle, all the Apple products, you know.



Flowerlark said:

Considering that 100 Classic Books is my favourite DS 'game' and has gotten a lot of use, YES I WANT THIS. Also gave my niece Classic Junior Books for the DS and she loves it. I think this could have great potential in the west.



Raylax said:

@Retro: Actually, that's a misconception. Reading has barely dropped at all. Book sales are growing - whilst eBook sales are soaring, it's barely making a dent in physical book sales, which has only dropped by about 4% this year. Book shops are struggling, certainly, but that's simply because it's always cheaper to buy physical books online (or ebooks digitally), not an indication that nobody reads any more. Goodreads (the largest online reader's community) for example currently has over 10 million registered users, since being launched in 2007.



1takauchiha said:

I really hope this eventually comes to North America. I'm dying to have the Naruto manga on my 3DS o.o



grumblegrumble said:

Nintendo should really have this functionality built into the 3DS already. Why they haven't monopolized upon this by making their own "Nintendo"-like App Store apps is beyond me!



3dbrains said:

nintebdo have been talking about doing this since the DS came out. Nintendo really suck at getting stuff done. This was announced in 2004 and now it's Japan only? pathetic.



chanchandesu said:

Well, other than being a game console in and of itself, it's really nice to see the 3DS being developed with more lifestyle applications that allow diverse use of the machine. I mean, sure it's dedicated plainly to gaming, but what's so bad about adding a few things that also let you engage with your other hobbies (reading, music, watching vids, etc.) while still being on your handheld. I suppose if this gets localized - which I highly doubt - I'd pick this up right away.



Chris720 said:

I wouldn't mind manga to read or something like that. Also if Nintendo do release an eBook app, they could easily release Nintendo based magazines on to it...



iBazly said:

I would love to have something like this. Though in general I do like owning books, eBooks are such a nice discount, but I can't read them on a computer. Being able to get eBooks on my 3DS would be amazing. I think I just need to get some sort of device that already has this . Still, if it were on the 3DS that would be heaven.



ouroborous said:

3D Graphic Novels are definitely a good idea. Take whatever comics are popular and 3Dify them. Would also be good for the few "motion comics" that are already out there online (that I know of).
However, Manga available right on your 3DS would really be a cool thing. I would totally read a bunch of them if I could just snag 'em on my 3DSXL. I hate having to buy a bunch of tiny books to get the whole story, always been a fan of when they collect all of a series of comics into one book.
At least the XL has a screen that is just barely big enough to make this sort of thing about feasible, so why not. I mean, nice as the size of a kindle is, I sure as hell am not going to buy a one just to read books on it, I'd much rather use any device that I already own (and I don't own anything that apple has ever made).
Nintendo is always going for the weird and niche markets these days anyway so go for it.



Bankai said:

I can't imagine what could be worse than reading books on the 3DS' low resolution screen.

But the I have a couple of devices better suited for ereading, so yay for those that don't, I guess.



DarkNinja9 said:

if it had manga on it i will definitely download it and use it =D

but im doubting this will happen since like someone else not alot of ppl read any more in the west >.<



Hokori said:

@OlympicCho Do you REALLLLLY need high resolution for words and drawings? I mean honestly? If I can read on my 3DSes Internet just fine then why can't I read a manga?



ajmetz said:

I'm reading Nintendo Life on my 3DS now - wish there was a PDF viewer for it - I've a few docs I wouldn't mind reading on here. Sucks that I can't see the trailers you link too also.



Bankai said:

HarmoKnight - compare 100 classic books to an ereader. Crisp text is absolutely essential for long reading sessions.



Bankai said:

Let alone the new iPad with retina display. Lol that's the only to read digital comics/ manga.



Hokori said:

So text needs to be crisp? Odd here I thought they've been writing for centuries



Bankai said:

Harmoknight, the text in physical book is crisp, and for want of a better word 'high definition.'

Your fanboyism just gets more and more spectacular. Next you'll be suggesting that a 3DS would be the best choice to run a nuclear arsenal.



Hokori said:

Well if normal text is fine IDG why 3DS text isn't? I'm not the fanboy here



theblackdragon said:

@otaku: not even 'normal text' is always easy on the eyes. i get that all you want to do is try to debate him for the sake of attempting to make him look foolish, but i'd suggest you should really start choosing your battles, because he'll run circles around you in this one, i'm afraid.

that said, i'd probably give this a shot if it came westward. i don't think the 3DS would be the 'best' choice for an e-reader or a manga/comic book reading app, but if someone wants to put it forth, i'll certainly give it a chance. :3



Bankai said:

Because, Harmoknight, a 3DS cannot display text at a resolution even close to a physical page of text.

The iPad retina screen doesn't really come close either, but it at least has far higher resolution on the 3DS, meaning the text and lines for graphics are crisper. Ereaders are comparable to text on a physical page, but that's because they're not really 'screens' at all.

Point is, as far as reading platforms go, the 3DS is a distant fourth.



Bankai said:

As a manga reader, I assume the 3DS will be comparable to the PSP, which was selling comics for a time.

It's not terrible, but it is really only for people who don't have one of the other devices.



luminalace said:

I would certainly give it a go. I carry my 3DS with me whenever I leave the house, so more content the better!



Hokori said:

@theblackdragon I'm not trying to make him look foolish, I seriously don't get how text can look different on 3DS to a physical book, but I guess people do have different eyes so maybe i just have "young" eyes or so to speak, I never try to fight, my questions are legit. I just hate it when people try and make me sound stupid, because I know I'm far from it, based on the people IRL that I hang out with



theblackdragon said:

@Otaku: This isn't the first time I've seen you attempt to tear into Waltz over something, and I'm sure it won't be the last. Choose your battles more carefully, that's all I'm suggesting.



Hokori said:

@theblackdragon But this was a serious question, to me EVERYTHING graphically looks the same, and not the bad type same either, they all look crisp to me, I can see smooth lines in the text on the Internet on my 3DS, sorry if it seems like fighting, but I in all honestly can not tell the difference



Lalivero said:

@HarmoKnight In all honesty, I saw it as the other way around too. It seemed like you were the one being called out as stupid really, just for mentioning that the 3DS can allow a pretty decent read.

I personally find the 3DS pretty easy to use for reading as well, even for long durations, having done so on rainy days/nights(which has happened a bit more often this summer with all of the storms) when I happen to be home and my 3DS is on hand.



KaiserGX said:

I read 100 Classic Books fine on the DSi. If I can understand what it is it should be fine. Images are being created in my head, not on the screen.



Flowerlark said:

@HarmoKnight - I see your point, dude. I used 100 Classic Books on my 3DS XL to get the text as big as possible, and even though the text was 'fuzzy' I had no problem whatever reading- and I was reading for a good portion of the day.



MAB said:

lol about choosing battles regarding eReaders the nerdy depths of the NL users has finally hit an all-time low

@HarmoKnight Yeah I thought the point you raised was legitimate and I don't understand how people think the 3DS is blurry. Maybe they need glasses or laser eye surgery. I would like some horror novels and possibly every Dean Koontz book please



Hokori said:

@ItsInRealLife I know right, when the DSi first came out I thought "Manga APPP!!!!!!" but nothing this is a dream come true even if I already have an iPad, I'll still use the 3DS one more then my iPad, seriously people say Nintendo should make more then just games and when they do people ignore the non gaming apps music tuner, MP3, calculator, manga app, alarm clock. Stuff that may be free on the iPad or others, but paying $2 or so on a $180 devise as opposed to buying a $400+ system to save a few bucks and not to mention people have to buy one every year as opposed to every 3-5 years



Flowerlark said:

@MadAussieBloke - They shouldn't even need vision correction. I was fine and I'm not only blind in one eye, but have poor, nearsighted vision in the other. So what's the problem? If a half-blind person who can't see stereoscopic 3D is okay reading on a 3DS, then everyone with better vision shouldn't be complaining.



theblackdragon said:

guys, it's not about being able to see what's going on, it's about eye strain over time. the 3DS screens are pixelated, and devices offering higher resolution (like the iPad's retina displays or a Kindle's e-ink) are going to be much easier on your eyes and provide less strain in terms of the e-reader potentially supplementing or replacing paper books for serious reading. as Waltz said in his first comment, in no way will this replace his other devices that are capable of serving as e-readers already, and that's his prerogative.



Lalivero said:

I have yet to see anyone say anything alone the lines of ' the 3ds is most bestest thing in da world to read on'. A lot of us were saying that we have no problems reading, some of us being able to read for a good length of time(as if reading a book); everyone's eyes have a different tolerance level.

Granted, on average, someone reading on an iPad/Kindle could more than likely outlast a person reading on a 3DS if a test were done for a lengthy time period but, unless you plan on reading for days on end, I see no problem with our statements. Nobody is trying to make him look foolish.



Squiggle55 said:

Whatever gets you young folks reading again. =p
A physical book is still the only thing I enjoy at all for any prolonged reading. In a distant second is a kindle with the ink display. It's not necessarily about eye strain I don't think, it just doesn't feel right on a lit up ipad/computer/game system or anything that's capable of doing more than being a reading tool and isn't the same dimensions of a regular book. Maybe it's because reading is about escapism, and that's harder to do on any multitasking device.



Hokori said:

I just hope it comes here in the US, because I want to read manga, I don't like reading but I would do more reading if manga was available



theblackdragon said:

@Chriiis: that portion of my comment was in direct reply to Otaku, not to anyone else here. If you've ever paid attention to the forums (or to most anyplace else Waltz has left a comment lately, for that matter) Otaku likes to pop up and start arguing almost for the sake of opposing whatever Waltz has said, logic and credible sources be damned. :3



Lalivero said:

@theblackdragon The last bit of my last statement? Oh, that was in general. You made a reply to some of us others with #61, so didn't want it to be seen as if we were all taking sides, moreso agreeing that some of us really have no problems sustaining a good read if doing so on the claimed "horrible" 3ds screens.

Other 'attacks' aside, what he was saying in this topic wasn't all that off.



Bankai said:

I never claimed the 3DS screens were horrible. I said they were of a lower resolution than four devices that I already own. I have a Kindle, iPad 3, iPhone 4 and Vita. These devices all have higher resolutions than the 3DS. This isn't my opinion, this is scientific fact.

For most people (ie anyone who doesn't have a special attraction to a specific piece of electronics), you want the best possible experience for whatever you're doing. If you're playing a game, you want the best gaming experience. If you're reading a book, you want the best reading experience.

Reading experience is directly tied in to the crispness of the text as (and again, there is scientific proof for this), the less blurred the text the more comfortable the reading experience. For anyone serious about reading, they need a Kindle. The new iPad could possibly be a compromise since the Retina display is essentially ultra HD. For anyone serious about reading manga, the iPad is the better device. I wouldn't recommend the Kindle for reading manga, since the Kindle is very, very poor at displaying images.

Given that many of the very same people who have criticised me in this thread have also criticised the iPad as a gaming tool because "the experience is inferior without buttons," I would have thought that they would have got the idea that perhaps a dedicated eReader or a better-resolution display might be better for reading page after page of text than a fuzzy, relatively low resolution display.

And that's where my comment RE nuclear weaponry came from. A certain few people on this website (to be expected, but infuriating nonetheless) have turned Nintendo into a genuine fetish where it can't possibly be inferior to anything else at doing anything. A certain few people here would claim it's better for web browsing than a PC/ iPad, watching YouTube than a big screen. They would like to see the 3DS have a word processing app because they would rather do an assignment on their 3DS than an actual laptop, and they would rather see the 3DS running a nuclear arsenal than whatever company it is that currently runs such things.

tl;dr it is not my personal opinion that the iPad and Kindle are better devices for eReading than the 3DS. It's scientifically-supported fact. And therefore the only people that would get value from a 3DS eReader are the most casual of readers.



theblackdragon said:

@waltz: People with a 3DS already who don't own another device capable of e-reading would get some value out of this, provided (a) they brought it westward and (b) they were serious about releasing quality books for it. Also, it's unfair to call people who would get value from this 'the most casual of readers' when print books continue to be so relevant. You can be a voracious reader right now without owning a single technological device aside from some sort of lamp (though I suppose a candle would do in a pinch :3)



Bankai said:

TBD - oh, sure, I'm not denying that there is some kind of market for a 3DS eReader, but it's a niche one at best, given how popular the devices that do eReading better are.

If you're serious about reading, and serious about getting an eReader, the 3DS is a very distant fourth, is what I'm saying here.

Of course, if you're a serious reader and happy with physical books, and want a digital supplement, and only have a 3DS, then there's probably no need to go out and buy a dedicated eReader or iPad if you haven't already got one



Lalivero said:

@OlympicCho By horrible, I didn't mean 'horrible' horrible, more like horrible in comparison to the other devices you mentioned(which you even pointed out by giving it a distant fourth). I also never praised it as something capable of 'the ultra reading experience'but rather that it can still sustain a decent read for those of us that can handle/are used to the resolution so not sure how scientific proof got involved in all of this. As for the rest of that, it could be pointing out a number of people, so I'm just going to ignore a possibility of myself being included and move past it.

I didn't really mean to come across as attacking you, you just seemed to be dissing the 3DS in regards to something like this(which I've since changed my mind about after reading #69, <- what is with that number?) while there really are a number of people who'd benefit from it is all.



Flowerlark said:

Okay, all arguments aside, I think the main point is that many of us in the west would love to have e-books on our 3DSes. Not everyone does, but they don't have to buy them if they come. I have a kindle myself, but actually prefer to read 100 Classic Books on my 3DS XL.

@Squiggle55 - We're not all youngsters! Heh heh, I'm as old as Zelda!



GameLord08 said:

Good grief, the debates that can arise from such trivial matters.

Waltz and I rarely agree on some issues, but there's no denying his reasoning here to be legitimate, even though I'm not very partial to eReaders/tablets in general. There is an undeniable difference in quality and pixel density when it comes to these comparisons, which is why the 3DS is indubitably not the best option for dedicated reading overall when comparisons arise. I'm far from saying that an eBook app for the 3DS would be redundant (I'd be head over heels for this, though I do most of my reading physically), but when compared to the capability of dedicated devices such as the Kindle and iPad for instance, it starts to portray itself as a sort of gimmick on the 3DS. But nevertheless, it's a very welcome gimmick to me.



Iceberg said:

Hopefully we get it in North America. I would be on of the only apps I would pay for.



B-Ray97 said:

I hope Nintendo of Europe makes his own Book application! I think many people will read his/her favourite book or magazine. So Nintendo of Europe, be smart and make one to!!

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