Recent reports of the Nintendo eShop being ready when the 3DS launches have now been countered by Nintendo's Q3 financial results briefing. The report states that the download store won't be available until the system's first update which will be rolled out towards the end of May, and that will be the case for other markets around the world too.

When the 3DS launches in Japan on 26th February, gamers will have to wait approximately two months before the firmware update will deliver a number of applications and functionalities that should really be ready and pre-installed, but we guess it's better late than never.

The 3DS's answer to the cumbersome download services on the Wii and DSi is the Nintendo eShop. As well as purchasing digital download games, users can watch trailers and sample demo versions of various releases too. To make sure titles don't go unnoticed, the shop will have a fresh new design that will be different to the browser-based download shops on current Nintendo platforms, which will hopefully reduce the amount of screen-switching. The hope is, by providing a more accessible and user-friendly service, users will be encouraged to stop by even if it's to "window shop." By visiting the eShop, users can purchase Virtual Console software, DSiWare releases, and 3DSWare. Within the range of 3DSWare, gamers will be able to choose from newly developed titles or 3D Classics ― old retro titles that have been updated with 3D visuals.

The ability to transfer your existing DSiWare downloads to the 3DS via the Nintendo eShop will also be enabled. Since everything is linked together, it made sense for Nintendo to delay certain functions until they could be used in unison. Eventually, it will also be possible to transfer 3DSWare download purchases from one 3DS system to another, although the number of times this can be done will be limited.

The final application that the system update in May will provide is the Internet Browser. When you have 3DS software up and running, gamers can press the Home button and effectively pause without having to quit and bring up the browser. Handy if you find yourself stuck in a game and need to search for tips on the Internet.

When the Nintendo eShop opens its doors for 3DS users to browse and shop, video-playing software will be available to download for free so all the dedicated 3D videos supplied by the various networks working in partnership with Nintendo can be viewed. In Japan, Nippon Television Network Corporation, and Fuji Television Network are confirmed as two examples of companies that will distribute video content for the 3DS. Eurosport, and Sky will also be bringing video content to Europeans.