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.