News Article

Nintendo of America Keen to Boost StreetPass Participation and Explore New Ideas

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

The company is "looking for more creative content that we can use"

This is an official "StreetPass Weekend" in North America, in which Nintendo Zone StreetPass Relay points are not only giving 3DS owners hits from their local area, but from around the region. Nintendo of America has publicised it with a couple of short videos, including this charming / creepy effort full of over-sized Mii heads. Slightly odd videos aside, it seems like a neat idea to encourage 3DS and 2DS owners to take their portables on the road and enjoy the StreetPass extras.

Nintendo of America's Bill Trinen has spoken to IGN to outline the thinking behind the weekend event; utilising relay points is a way to compensate for the differing population density and culture compared to Japan, where StreetPass has been a major success.

StreetPass here has really been more sort of event-focused, where you're getting a lot of people at one time rather than sort of an ongoing, regular-basis type of a thing for a lot of people. In Japan, what it is, it's ease. It's really easy to do, just because of the way that transportation is set up there; it's very easy to get around some place very quickly.

We know certainly that we're not seeing as much StreetPass natively here in North America as in Japan, where it's just a much denser population. That's part of the reason we felt like StreetPass so far has really been kind of the realm of very close-knit community. But, at the same time, the people that are enjoying StreetPass seem to get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

It's taking StreetPass beyond the enthusiast base of StreetPass meet-up groups and those that pack the halls at expo events that's the key challenge. Trinen has stated that Nintendo will continue to look at opportunities for innovative new pieces of content — including scavenger hunt-style activities — and partnerships with retailers for special events. The idea of spreading out Relay Point hits from beyond the local area may even go worldwide, should the opportunity arise.

We'll take a look and see how it goes and how many people participate, but we're definitely thinking about, long-term, how we might be able to do additional future National StreetPass days or potentially worldwide StreetPass days where you'd be able to connect with people from other countries as well.

Do you still take your 3DS out and about, and are you able to pick up many StreetPass hits? Let us know in the comments below.


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User Comments (47)



Blast said:

.... I got the solution. FOCUS ON SPOTPASS. That thing is amazing. Just focus on Spotpass.



ShikabaneHime13 said:

My Streetpass community for my city (DC) notified us that to help promote the Streetpass Weekend, Nintendo of America sent a box of the Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds treasure chests that came with the GAME collector's edition of the game. It's a first come, first served deal that the first 40 attendees to the event tomorrow afternoon will get one. Makes me happy since that means I now don't have to go on eBay and pay an outlandish price for one. I will be at the event at least an hour early to guarantee I get one! Will also have my LoZ XL with me



Megumi said:

streetPass is near useless for me...I go into town every now and then, and...unless its like...a big event happening, I get only like 2 or 3 hits. :/
Combine StreetPass with SpotPass or something, did you know I haven't completed a single puzzle in months?! >.>



SegaNintendoGMR said:

when i first got my 3DS, i would never get streetpass, now, almost everywhere i go i get at least one person! I guess alot of people own a 3DS where i live.
Streetpass is cool but i do agree with
Spotpass is WAY better!



SBOY said:

I've try 3 McDo today for national SP day and nothing... So imagine on regular day!!!



WingedSnagret said:

Just SpotPass the darn thing! Yeah there are a lot more 3DS systems out in the wild then in the past, but it's never going to be like in Japan where every other person has one, not to mention the population density is far higher there to begin with then here in the US.

At the very least make it so that registered friends can SpotPass StreetPass data to each other or something along those lines.



ajcismo said:

Love the event this weekend, went out Christmas shopping today and got 26 hits from all over the world. Completed 3 puzzles in the process, and got the wife into it on her new 3DS. NoA needs to do this more offen.



sleepinglion said:

This weekend is a great idea but I hit our local mall earlier. I visited three Nintendo Zones and walked away with one hit. From a local person.
I'm glad to hear it's working elsewhere =)



GalacticMario28 said:

Sometimes I get hits when I take my 3DS with me to school, but my permanent home is in the middle of nowhere, so I don't get any hits there. I think someone in my apartment complex near campus has a 3DS and Pokémon, though, so I sometimes get a hit from him/her.



nintendorules said:

where I live in the uk I used to get 6 from mc Donald's then 6 from Argos then back to mc Donald's for 6 more I don't get the second ones from mc Donald's but I still get 12 each day I go out



RetroRider said:

I don't even use streetpass because its rather pointless for me and the new games just take up to much space on my SD card.



artofmana said:

I'm out and about right now collecting. I think the weekend has so far yielded more hits than ever on my 3DS. Full disclosure: I've only had my system since A Link Between Worlds came out. I have really enjoyed all the games and the experience. It is so simple but works so well. I picked up the four extra games and find them a lot more fun than I thought they could be. They are really killer apps!



rjejr said:

Going to take my kids to eaitehr Home Depot or Best Buy tomorrow, though none of us has any explanation for why the Zone would be in Home Depot. I want to go to BB or the possibility of the SM3DW demo.

Took my kids to a HS robotics team sponosred SSBB tournament last night, about 60 entrants from the ages of 8 to 18 or so, my kids got 1 3DS hit. Saw lot of teenagers messing around on their smart phones, really thought some X+Y battles would break out. And it's not like these ween't Nintendo fans, nearly every single entrant was carrying either an actual Gamecube controller or a Wavebird. I think HS kids either don't want 1 or are embarrassed to be seen i public w/ one. But I thought w/ 60 kids playing SSBB Il see at least 5 or 6 3DS. At least.

BTW - my kid went about 4-4, not bad for his first tournament. And as much time as he's put in on the game, we never play w/ grab or shield, he doesn't even know how to grab or which button puts up the shield, so he did fairly well just winging it.



AlGator said:

I got 10 at Barnes & Noble yesterday, and 6 in a Home Depot drive-by today, including several states that I didn't yet have; one was from Quebec!



TruenoGT said:

I racked up 18 on my venture today, was able to finally finish the Rhythm Heaven puzzle! Streetpass rocks.



Genesaur said:

Pretty much nothing, anywhere, here in Greenville. Went to a few of the local games and/or comic stores and got a total of two tags. For context, one of them was from the 3DS on display at Target.



CapnKael said:

I've taken my 3DS out with me every day since I had it at launch. It's surprising where I can get streetpass hits!



Joe_davis said:

I have tagged 10 people in the last 6 months 13 if you count repeats. Half of those were from having the 3DS in my car while driving, only one came from a hot spot. they need to expand those hot spot areas.



Cartographer said:

So far, this weekend has been an absolute success for me & my kids getting StreetPasses. We've hit Home Depot, Starbucks, McDonalds, Barnes & Noble... its working like a charm. We are getting hits from all over the world: Japan, New Zealand, Brazil, Italy, Spain, Great Britain. ... as well as all over the USA, from Hawaii to Virginia. We can't wait to go out tomorrow to get some more. Hopefully Nintendo opens the StreetPass floodgates on a regular basis in the future.



Pokefanmum82 said:

Nothing here since I hardly go into town and eat at McDonalds so I rarely get Streetpass hits plus my XL is broken right now. I have to send it in to get it fixed.



element187 said:

Apparently someone in my office has a 3DS... His/her Mii isn't based off a real person so I don't know who it is.. I kept getting their street passes almost daily at my old office, but I figured it was someone who worked in a building next to ours, until my company moved our team to a new building on the other side of town and I was still getting the same hits daily, so I now know this person is on the same team (about 80 people).

I have some 80 street passes with this person, so it's nice having the highest possible level beating up ghosts in 'Find Mii' everyday.

All in all I get about 5 street passes (not counting this person) per week in Orlando, FL



MJKOP said:

I been getting like 20 streetpass hits everytime I go out recently, in N. Ireland, I'm loving it! Myself and my daughter love streetpass



Cartographer said:

For those of you in the U.S., the StreetPass relays are working very well since Nintendo made their tweaks. It normally takes anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes for the StreetPass to stick. Obviously if you live in a more urban area you will have better luck. Nintendo Zones can easily be found on Nintendo's website. That's how I found out that the Home Depot is a part of Nintendo Zone, and a really good one at that! Oddly enough, we have the hardest time getting Passes in most Best Buys. Go figure...



Kolzig said:

I noticed actually that this thing seems to be happening in Europe as well. I went yesterday to a local burger place and was positively surprised to find out that I got a streetpass and spotpass notification that I had six Miis waiting in Mii Plaza. Five from different countries and one from Nintendo, Koizumi.

The five characters were from all the Nordic countries plus even one from England. It's by the way weird that the map never shows up, but now for the English Mii the map showed up for the first time flashing red on UK map in England's part.

I suppose the map is because NoE is lazy and has only maps of the "main countries of Europe".



Darb said:

This a good idea to encourage people to carry around their 3DS with them more often, although I do wish the system was slightly more pocket friendly.



Ras said:

They should eliminate or lessen the "10 only until you clear them out" thing. Bump it up to 30 at least, and just have groups of 10. So, you play with the first ten, then you can get another group of up to 10 to load.

I got that stupid treasure chest from Game. Maybe I just got a bad one, but the lid won't stay closed. Piece of junk.



Morph said:

Since they started the streetpass relays in europe, i get around 10 hits every day now, it helps working in town in a pretty big city of course



Maxie93 said:

Where i live in the UK street pass is everywhere. When i go into town for college i nearly always come back with 10 street pass hits.



allav866 said:

I hit up 2 Nintendo Zone locations, one of which I hit twice, and will hit both again later, but so far I finished Puzzle Swap (at least until more panels are released), got at least 8 states, as well as 7 regions across 6 countries, including France, Italy, Spain, Anguilla, Canada, and United Kingdom. TBH, I was not expecting that I'd ever get the accomplishment for tagging 5 countries.



Gustoff said:

Nope, nothing, mada. Went out yesterday, the first day of national streetpass day and got not a single streetpass. I'll try again today.



demonroach said:

1. Kill Streetpass. It's a moronic idea.
2. In place of streetpass, just have online play. No need to find actual people with 3ds (lame and stupid)

-My 3ds xl is a heavy brick, not suited to be carried around. Think about in nintendo.



c1pher_c0mplet said:

Well, National StreetPass Weekend is officially over! (At least it's supposed to be; I was getting international hits Friday Dec. 13 when it was supposed to start the next day on the 14th.) And it's been a blast! Since Friday, me and my buddies piled into the ride and poached every single Nintendo Zone we could find LOL. My plaza went from a population of ~350-400 to 770 in a matter of 3 days! o_O Completed A LOT of puzzles (only a few pieces of three puzzles left), tons of achievements, TONS of region locations... Cool, Nintendo! =vD



Raptor78 said:


1. Streetpass adds another level to most games and is optional not essential. You don't like it you don't use it simple as.

2. Many 3DS games have online play, some of which incorperate the streetpass feature for those that don't actually get streetpasses (eg. Resident Evil Revelations gives you RE:R Streetpass data from people you play online with. and other games like Mario Kart adding Miis of those you pass to your Plaza)

3. You must have an unusually large 3DS XL as my 8 year old daughter has no problem carying hers around.

...and finally I don't remeber you ever saying anything positive on this site so I guess you are just trolling my good sir and as such I will end my conversation with you here.

...anyway in regards to Streetpass on the whole. I used to try and take every opportunity to pick up hits at events and when I was shopping in busy / urban areas etc, but actually found I got more hits in more local / rural areas so I think this must be down to the 3DS conecting to free wifi spots over Streetpassing other 3DS's. Since Nintendo set up these free wifi spots as Streetpass relays I get many hits a day from these and with the added bonus of getting worldwide hits aswell. Hopefully with a lot more atention to these relays Streetpass will take off in a really big way.



A1234 said:

this Streetpass weekend was amazing! unfortunately I was only able to get out once due to the weather, but when I did I got 10 people from all over North America, plus a few all over the world and even some in Canada, all in one hit. that was great! I normally get 3-5 people and normally the same people. Nintendo, please default this 24 hrs.



ericwithcheese2 said:

This weekend was a great success! I filled out most of my US map, and got other regions/countries such as Japan, Canada, the Netherlands, Brazil, Spain, the Bahamas, etc. My plaza population went up nearly 150 and I completed Find Mii II and four more puzzles.

I hope they make this a semi-regular event!



Ronoh said:

@WingedSnagret @Cartographer @RetroRider From what I've read from others, here are some ideas that I think would make StreetPass more popular outside of Japan and taking into account smaller towns:

1) Make National StreetPass Weekend once a month at the beginning of every month. This helps get people thinking about taking their 3DS with them when they leave the house on a regular basis and gets people to talk about Nintendo on a regular basis.

2) During National StreetPass weekend, send random Mii's via SpotPass to each 3DS owner every 8 hours (so 6 Mii's over 2 days). This will help out those who can't travel to a Nintendo Zone during the event as much as the players in larger cities can.

3) Add GameStop as a Nintendo Zone instead of only Home Depot, McDonald's, Starbucks, B&N, etc (places gamers don't necessarily go).

4) Increase the daily coin limit from 10 to 20 so folks in smaller towns have more time per session to interact with StreetPass games; the idea being that with more coins per day, the player can hire more Mii's in the games if they don't meet real people as frequently as some players do in larger cities.

5) And lastly, add one new game to the current collection of StreetPass games that's free. 9 out of 10 people I StreetPass have NOT played the newer games, presumably in part because of the cost of entry. If you exclude the 4 new games, that means the 2 free games are almost 3 years old now.



JuanitoShet said:

Yeah, when Nintendo of America says something is "coming to North America", they really only mean the US, and sometimes even Canada, fortunately for the people up there.

But then Mexico is excluded, and we always have been. You'd think that with today's technology the way it is, that wouldn't be the case. I'd say it's more than possible for events like this StreetPass stuff to happen down here too.

But no, we're neglected like we always have been. I guess I should be used to it by now.

  • End Rant - :B


Cartographer said:

Those are some well thought out, manageable points. Ever thought of sharing them directly with Nintendo? Wouldn't hurt.

Your first point seems fair, and I would consider something as often as once every 3 months fine as well. I love the idea of getting SpotPass Mii's out there on these weekends, but just how many unique Miis can Nintendo cook up? (BTW, Wayne Brady was a sweet surprise today!)

GameStop ABSOLUTELY needs to be brought onboard with the StreetPass Relays. Why not WalMart as well? The ten coins per day cap needs to be modified, especially in light of the 4 new games and for those who don't live in major urban areas. Offering a new free game, or maybe just simply giving one of the four away for free might not be a bad idea.

I have a feeling Nintendo isn't done expanding the StreetPass Relay system. It has really gotten better over the past couple months. With a little more time, effort, attention and fresh ideas, I can see it becoming even more successful and popular, for everyone - no matter where they are located.

Oh, one more idea. They need to run with the global StreetPass day. I grabbed many international Passes this past weekend. That was very cool.

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