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Nintendo confirms no eShop for 3DS launch

But Iwata promises better digital service than previous Wii and DS efforts

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has set the record straight on the launch of the 3DS eShop - it won't be ready for the launch of the new handheld console.

The eShop is Nintendo's digital marketplace for the 3D system, offering demos and trailers, as well as retro titles and DSiWare games.

"The first system update is scheduled for late May, at almost the same time around the world," he told a recent investor conference.

With the console going on sale in February 26 in Japan and March 25 in Europe, early adopters won't have access to the service for two or three months.

Nintendo had originally said that although the eShop and web browser would not be included in the console, an update to add the features would be available on day one.

Iwata admitted that previous digital services on the Wii and DS have not been marketed well, and the eShop will be another attempt by Nintendo to improve its digital distribution methods.

"So far, Wii Shop Channel and Nintendo DSi Shop, which are based on internet-browser technology, have not provided the users with a sufficiently easy and accessible interface because switching from one screen to another takes time and, for Wii, promotions by Nintendo Channel and sales at Wii Shop Channel have not been closely linked," he detailed.

"As it is critical in digital software distribution that the software available there won't be buried and go unnoticed, and that we can prepare pleasant encounters for consumers, we will be running a drastically redesigned shop for Nintendo 3DS in which you can more comfortably purchase software through downloads."

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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