Up

In the early days of the 3DS, Nintendo was keen to promote the portable as an all-round entertainment device; the Nintendo Video channel was relatively prominent with weekly updates, and in Europe there was even a Eurosport channel with regular videos. There were multiple issues with this approach - there wasn't enough content or app support (YouTube was a long time coming and wasn't particularly good when it arrived) and the limited resolution of the system didn't suit long-form video. Much was dependent on the effort applied to content, and it seemed that for every crisp animation with attractive stereoscopic 3D there would also be a grainy video with phoned-in layering.

It didn't take long for Nintendo to ditch the premise of the 3DS as anything more than a delightful little games machine, and it's enjoyed plenty of success over the past couple of years with that pitch alone. It plays games, many of which are unique to the console; that's been its selling point.

We doubt Nintendo will go big on the video entertainment angle again, though the release of the Pikmin Short Movies on both Wii U and 3DS did at least bring some well-optimised content to the portable. We've also seen occasional episodes of Cat Mario on the store in the West, too.

In Japan, however, shows like Cat Mario are a weekly affair, and the prize for the most random addition to the eShop over the festive period goes to 2009 Pixar movie Up. Available to purchase on the Japanese eShop since 24th December, it seems to be an option for those that fancy enjoying a 3D movie on the go.

As we've said above, the limited screen resolution can make extensive video offerings on the 3DS unlikely, but animated films like this could certainly look reasonable on the portable; the improved 3D effect on the New Nintendo 3DS won't do any harm either.

We doubt we're about to see a flood of high-profile movies arrive on the 3DS eShop, but it'll be interesting to see whether Nintendo explores this area a little more in 2015; cross-platform purchases for HD versions on Wii U could make sense, too...

[via destructoid.com, nintendo.co.jp]