The New Nintendo 3DS is now out in Japan, and it'll be intriguing to see just how much the models boost sales of the hardware in the country. It has various new features, such as a faster CPU, the c-stick and improved stereoscopic 3D viewing, though it's one of the less headline-grabbing inclusions that's recently been put to the test.
The New Nintendo 3DS web browser has a mandatory pay-wall that automatically blocks adult websites; it can only be disabled by paying a nominal fee of 30 Yen (about 28 cents in the US) with a credit card. It's a clever idea, as the required payment is exceptionally low yet, of course, a young child won't own a credit card to disable it — it's a useful tool for parents that need a little extra help protecting their kids from explicit content, and is an extra layer beyond the existing parental control options.
It seems it's not perfect, though, and Kotaku has figured out that the browser has the same weakness as in the previous systems, in spite of the additional layer of security. On the positive side it does automatically block adult and even dating websites, but it fails to deal with Google Images. While various terms were successfully filtered in terms of accessing websites, the same searches in Google Images returned inappropriate results; considering that a lot of children are as tech savvy as many adults nowadays, that could naturally be a problem.
It's not easy, of course, to successfully block everything, though it'll be interesting to see whether a future system update attempts to close and limit this loophole. Considering Nintendo's strong relationship with Google, with various projects between the companies in recent years, it's entirely possible that a solution can be found.
This new filter is a noble idea, even if it still needs to be tightened up.