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Nintendo offering free Wi-Fi to US 3DS users

25,000 locations for service as eshop prepares to launch

Nintendo has penned a North American deal which will see 3DS users able to connect to free wi-fi in 25,000 locations across the US, including shopping malls, stores and coffee houses.

Involved in the deal are 1000 Best Buy shops, 200 Simon malls and 24,000 AT&T wi-fi hotspots. Nintendo has yet to announce similar plans for the UK.

"With thousands of free Wi-Fi access points through our alliances, Nintendo 3DS users across the country can instantly enjoy one-of-a-kind entertainment experiences wherever and whenever they like," said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime

"In addition to a strong line-up of games and the ability to view 3D content without special glasses, the system makes it easy for people to connect with their surroundings and each other, even when they're away from home."

The aim is to encourage the use of the 3DS' online features and facilitate downloads from the Nintendo eshop.

That electronic store opens on 6 June, one day before the wi-fi offer begins, and will offer 3DS owners a free Pokedex app which lists the collectible monsters in the popular series. However, besides the Pokedex, only four other new titles will be available: three Game Boy games in black and white and an updated, 3D version of Excitebike. 350 titles previously available via the DSi will also be onsale, as well as the 3DS' proprietary browser.

A minimum price of $1.99 has been set for paid for apps and games on the eshop, which manager David Wharton says is because Nintendo is interested in maintaining quality, rather than entering a "race to the bottom" of the market.

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