An early report from the people at Wired stated that the 3DS's eStore and web browser would not be ready to go live the day of the system's launch and would come to us later via firmware update. A Nintendo representative later cleared up the misunderstanding by telling Eurogamer that, although a web browser nor eStore will be available out of the box, the two services will be added via firmware update on the day of console's launch.
This comes as great news, seeing as not having the two functionalities on the launch date would be a huge mistake on Nintendo's part. In order to exist as a modern portable device in today's world, it is essential for a product to have some sort of online store to allow people to add to their pre-existing apps and games.
Although there was no doubt that the online store would eventually have rolled out, not having it at launch would have been a major argument against the 3DS's price. Especially since everyday that goes by the iPhone/ iPod Touch is seen more and more as a serious platform for gaming, and we already have to wait for the possibility of video recordings on 3DS.
The confusion on the eStore most likely came from the inner workings at Nintendo. It could be that at one point, the original plan was to offer the eStore and web browser at a later date, until Nintendo realized how badly that idea would have been received. The fact that the two services are part of the 3DS's initial software does hint that the two were late to development. With the list of hardcore games not available at launch, it would be best for Nintendo to at least throw us some downloadable content.
Thankfully we don't have to worry about it, but do you guys think a portable console without an online store could exist in today's market?
The Nintendo 3DS is set to hit American shores on March 27, 2011.