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Nintendo to "expand our digital-distribution business"

Iwata talks up 3DS's "enhanced wireless communication function"

Evidence is growing that the upcoming Nintendo 3DS may see Nintendo fully embrace digital distribution.

While the console-maker has dabbled in downloadable games with WiiWare and DSIWare, these had seemed very much secondary to traditional physical game sales.

According to website Siliconera, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata admitted to investors that the company had not fully leveraged the potential of its online stores.

"We are thinking the release of new hardware should be good timing for a dramatic improvement of this situation," he said, and boasted of the new handheld's "enhanced wireless communication function."

While he did not detail the nature of the downloadable content, he did describe its method: "Nintendo 3DS will receive various pieces of information automatically if there is a chance of communication while a user carries it even when he or she does not try to start communication pro-actively by unfolding Nintendo 3DS."

By combining Nintendo 3DS with such function, we are now planning to expand our digital-distribution type of business."

However, this may not mean solely game downloads - Iwata has previously claimed that the 3DS will be capable of automatically downloading "newspaper and magazine articles."

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Latest comments (6)

Junior Enwright Writer - novelist, comic book scripts, game narrative, article writer 9 years ago
I think that this is a great step in Nintendo's future. It can alow for the 3DS to become separate from its predecessors, and become a franchise of its own. If Nintendo can use this capablity to full advantage, it will pay of. they could expand their markets and even make full games downloadalbe. Perhaps a virtual console system?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Junior Enwright on 12th July 2010 12:20pm

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Haven Tso Web-based Game Reviewer 9 years ago
If rumour about 3G capability is correct, then 3DS could be something directly competing with the "always online" status of iPhone. Just imagine the back catalogue of quality games available and also Nintendo has become the master of mini games (which the iPhone thrives on) with WarioWare and alike in the last few years. It will be interesting to see the development and direction of this new portable.
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Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor 9 years ago
Demos perhaps? I think that would be a strong move on Nintendo's part. I'm not sure that D-dib is a full possiblilty however, as the only likely storage solution will be the SD card.

If this is the case then this opens the system up again for piracy. Even with the use of mandatory firmware updates, I doubt that will stop people from locking out the updates and existing with purely modded firmware.

I'll be interested to see how Nintendo combat this as their solution are usually on the unexpected side.
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Show all comments (6)
I'm not expecting 3G, as it would pose a lot of cost to Nintendo and deals with telcos in every country (or complex phone-style plans for every person).

One suggestion: imagine if the 3DS had a *lot* of internal memory. And imagine if any 3DS within a Wifi hotspot, would automatically download the latest 'push' content and store it internally. Then imagine that 3DS's would automatically transfer this data between each other in 'bark' mode (i.e. sleep mode).

It would come down to saturation, but for somewhere like Japan - you wouldn't need 3G.
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Taking a cue from various streaming methods of MMOs, one could perhaps tell teh game to download additional content/2-3 levels prior to the level you are playing in order to only download what is required at any one time.

Episodic streaming perhaps?
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It's about time that Nintendo ramps up its digital business. Compared to both Sony and Microsoft it badly lags behind. With the growing performance of the smartphones even some of the Android handsets and obviously the iPhone are making better mobile gaming platforms.
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