Most would agree that the 3DS eShop, as a platform, is an improvement over its predecessors on DSi and Wii. That's to be expected, of course, but for developers intent on publishing downloads with Nintendo the enhancements in layout, functionality and the easing of restrictive file size limits have all been very welcome. As is always the case, however, there's still more that can be done.
The Wii U eShop may still be a mystery to most, but with Nintendo showing more of a willingness to modernise its online platforms, it's only natural for developers to hope that further improvements will arrive to help them reach more gamers and better sell their games. As part of a full interview to be published here later today, Nic Watt of download developer Nnooo explained that the company is "really pleased" with the eShop, but explained how Nintendo could free the platform from the shackles of 3DS and incorporate some functionality on other web-enabled devices.
I would also like to be able to browse, buy and gift content outside of the eShop and have it downloaded to my Nintendo 3DS (or the 3DS of the person I have gifted to) via Spotpass. This would help users and would allow developers like ourselves to be able to provide direct URLs to our software for marketing purposes.
While links to game pages on the eShop are sometimes distributed in the form of QR codes, this idea of buying and gifting content online — via a dedicated website — is comparable to services offered on platforms such as Steam on PC. This would, in all likelihood, require a user account system, something that many believe to be on the way in a future update that'll bring 3DS in line with Wii U. Let's not forget that Miiverse will eventually have a web-based extension — accessible on smartphones and computers — that ties into the Wii U account, so similar ideas with the eShop on both systems must surely be under consideration.
Would you like to see online access to buy and gift eShop games when away from your 3DS, or would you rather see Nintendo keep it simple and on the system? Let us know in the comments below.