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Nintendo admits online failings

Iwata recognises company "can do better" as Netflix link-up is unveiled for the US

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has acknowledged that the company's online services must improve, and has stated that there will be a raft of improvements coming with the launch of the 3DS.

Speaking during his GDC keynote, Iwata stated his belief that the new handheld's connectivity options would "will make owners want to carry their 3DS systems around with them, just to find out what new game elements have been passively transferred to them."

But he conceded that so far, the company's efforts had been disappointing.

"I must admit that in the overall area of wireless communication and digital downloads Nintendo can do better," he said. "To date our WiiWare and DSi services have not operated as well as they should."

During the keynote, Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime announced two key partnerships for the US in an attempt to boost its offerings, with 10,000 AT&T wireless hotspots to be created, while Netflix members will be able to stream movies and other content via the 3DS platform.

Additionally, he noted, 3DS owners will be able to seamlessly transfer their viewing from the handheld to their Wii console and big screen, should they so desire. A new 3D Super Mario title was also teased, with more information set to follow at this year's E3.

The Nintendo 3DS launches in the US on March 27 - shortly after Europe - with a retail price of $249.99.

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Phil Elliott