News Article

Satoru Iwata Announces 3DS Save Data Transfer Tool

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Set for March release in Japan

In a short video update only released on the 3DS eShop in Japan, Satoru Iwata has confirmed that a 3DS Data Transfer Tool will be available in the region from March, which will allow for save data from retail cartridges to be transferred to retail download software.

In practice, this may not be a tool used a great deal, though it'll undoubtedly prove useful to some. If you have a save profile on a shared physical copy of a game such as New Super Mario Bros. 2 but pick up the download version, this should allow you to easily transfer that data. Details were slim, however, though it doesn't seem to have been suggested that the tool will do anything silly like delete the save data from the retail cartridge after the transfer.

As this was a video only released on the Japanese 3DS store, we'll need to wait for details on a Western release. We anticipate it will arrive in due course, but due to the comparatively rare occasions where the tool will actually be put to use, we doubt it'll be a major priority for the big N's regional teams.

If you want to see the video — even better if you speak Japanese — you can check it out below. In the meantime, let us know whether this is a feature you can envisage using in the future.

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User Comments (45)



MetalMario said:

What'd be great is that you could also get the download versions for free of games you got the physical copy for.

Oh well, either way I'm sticking to cartridges.



DePapier said:

Wait a minute, does that have anything to do with if I buy an XL but downloaded games on my original 3DS I can play those 3DS games from the eShop on my XL without erasing them on my original 3DS??



Hokori said:

Hmm, will use on some of my collection (especially KIU if it ever comes out on eShop)



RedYoshi999 said:

This has been the reason stopping me from replacing cartridges like Mario Kart with digital downloads for months now.



Pokefanmum82 said:

i'd use it though because i share a lot of 3DS games with my son. the only ones that I don't share are Pokemon games.



Hokori said:

@gurtifus You do realize you won't get $40 back from selling the cart, I bought PWR at $40 back in 2011, if I can transfer it for free, I'd be lucky to get $5 back, and MK7 probably no more than $15, I think giving it to us for a discount is with in reality



Zemus-DJ said:

Traded in 19 of my 3DS games in favor of going all digital....still have 6 game carts that I've been waiting for, for this tool before trading them in. KI:U 137hours worth and weapons ranging past 325mark some of which I call one hit killers black hole, forward dash +4 on a +6 range club =death granted that game isnt on the Eshop, I know it will be along with all other games and 3rd party like RE:R



Weedy said:

To be able to move my MarioKart7 data onto the system would be nice but I don't think I want to spend another £40 for the same game. Maybe if there's a sale on MK7 in the future I'll do it but for now I'll just continue to carry the cart with me.



chucknorrmis said:

@MetalMario that's frigin stupid. you could resell the thing and get a digital copy for such a small price.
@SkywardLink98 then what's the point of having the physical copy in the first place? it's going to end up being a waste of resources.



Hokori said:

@chucknorrmis I think it's meant more for people who bought the physical copy BEFORE Nintendo announced digital copies, plus how much $ would you honestly get for trading in a game released in the past year? Not much... That's why they should at least give us discounts



artofmana said:

I don't know. I don't yet have a 3DS but I can imagine I would use this for games I like enough to want both in a physical and digital format. I still prefer physical but if I have some games I love to pick up and play and I want to travel it would be nice to have a couple as digital. If this software allowed save data to go both ways I'd be even happier. I could imagine using that.



FiveDigitLP said:

Hmm. This could be handy if I decide to get a downloadable copy of Shadow Wars. That's definitely a game I'd like to keep on my 3DS at all times...



DarkEdi said:

I preffer they offer cheaper the retail downloads because all games are cheaper in stores.



allav866 said:

Unless Kid Icarus: Uprising or Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy sees an eShop release, I will have no use for this



russellohh said:

This is huuuuuuuuuge for me. I have no problem finding the $20 3DS points cards for $5-10 on sale. I stick to digital downloads, for the lack of taxes, its easier to download then it is to find it in store, and so I don't have to carry 20 games with me, everywhere.

My 3DS has about 22 games on it, maybe more. I'd hate to carry even half that many game carts with me. My Google Drive or whatever its called also has my backups of my SD card, something you can't legally do with a cartridge. Many games come out in cartridge form, then later come out as a download. I started two of those games over as downloads, but it'd be much easier to just transfer the save. Or, I might want the pre-order bonus (my foot tall Harvest Moon cow), but prefer to have a digital version of the game. As soon as that update comes Stateside, I'm transferring over my A New Beginning saves.



Knuckles said:

@Zemus-DJ No offense to your Kid Icarus strategy, but its those kinds of players I purposely target with my many 1 hit ko staves.



Zemus-DJ said:

@KnightRider666 why 32? Sure the 3DS says max 32gb sdhc but the SDXC do work!! my bud is using a 64 I'm using a 128. Should last me another year or two I'm at almost 30GB of data (3D videos) take up room lol

@Knuckles staves don't bother me, it's them quick claws that sneak up lol



ShortSleevedNook said:

Even if I get all of my retail games switched to downloadable....oh wait, not possible because Sonic Generations isn't even on the eShop.



millarrp said:

not a bad idea, since I prefer physical copies for the moement I probably won't have much need for it...although, I wonder if it will work the other way (transfering safe files from digital to retail)...



Marioman64 said:

@undead_terror um, getting a new 3ds is really easy, there's a transfer tool in the settings that moves EVERYTHING from old 3ds to new 3ds, and it's freaking adorable to watch (little pikmin carry chunks of your data from one to the other)



Arren said:

So you can get a rare pokemon on the physical. Then, get the digital version and transfer the save over. So now you have 2 of them.



KnightRider666 said:

@Zemus-DJ: What? No way! Damn, and I literally just got my 32GB card in the mail today. I never heard of a SDXC card before. Having 64GB or 128GB is insane! Even though I doubt I'll ever need it, I am a tad jealous;)



KnightRider666 said:

@Zemus-DJ: Just read the link you posted. Having almost 1,000,000 blocks of memory is quite awesome. I don't know enough about computers to format the SDXC card correctly, so I'm playing safe with my 32GB SDHC I just picked up. 243,000+ blocks of memory is plenty for me. Very informative article though:)



MeloMan said:

I'm sure this will be of use in some way... I do admit, it does suck that if you delete a downloaded game from your 3DS's memory that the save data is gone too... an all to common problem with game cartridges/cards/downloaded games that save the data internally vs. disc based games that don't save to the disc but to the memory of the gaming unit. Looking forward to more info.



mamp said:

If you can transfer data back and forth from both versions then that would give me the incentive to buy animal crossing as both retail and digital download.



WarHammer said:

Nintendo could easily tie all of your systems together with one 'eshop account' (hello, I tunes and the Android market) Then, you would sell your nintendo product without erasing your account from it, thus erasing the games. I'd even be fine with pay for a cartrige and then being charged a small fee to download a digital copy for the other two 3DS XL's I have.

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