Although there is no specific time frame for the next Nintendo 3DS firmware update, it might bring with it the first full implementation of Nintendo Network, Nintendo's response to Xbox Live and PSN.
It has taken far longer than anyone could have anticipated, but Nintendo is finally being pulled forward into the digital future along with Sony and Microsoft. The Nintendo Network was announced in January at an investor's meeting shortly after being leaked via Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy's boxart. This online network would allow users to create personal accounts that would carry over across both the 3DS and the upcoming Wii U.
Along with user accounts, this infrastructure will also give 3DS and Wii U owners the ability to download DLC content for their games, and eventually download full retail titles from an online store -- features any PS3 or Xbox 360 user has gotten used to over the past several years.
According to a rumor reported over at GoNintendo, we might be seeing the first big Nintendo Network-related update sooner rather than later. The following is a list of functionality the next firmware update might add to the portable 3D system:
- Ability to access Nintendo eShop account from other internet enabled devices including computers and smartphones.
- This system update will allow users to take pictures of QR codes with the 3DS from the other device’s screen to redeem purchased content.
- This update will add the application "Nintendo Network" to the 3DS.
- Ability to update physical Nintendo 3DS Games via Nintendo Shop (DLC feature).
- A "Game Preview" Mode for the Nintendo 3DS system Nintendo Shop.
- Enhances the speed of the handheld.
- Increases the system security with automatic security updates.
- Nintendo Zone will be automatically added to European 3DS owners.
The most exciting piece of news here is the ability to update 3DS games from the Nintendo Shop. If the 3DS gains the capacity to update physical media, issues like the Mario Kart 7 glitch could be a thing of the past. Ridiculous workarounds and bug avoidance manuals should never be necessary in 2012. Unfixable bugs and glitches just aren't acceptable anymore.
Although game updates in the form of DLC are a necessity, several of the other rumored additions are worth getting excited about as well. Accessing eShop accounts from computers and smartphones, along with the ability to takes pictures of QR codes from those devices' screens, will open up the Nintendo Network significantly. Nintendo's online systems have always felt very closed off. Giving the network life outside of the 3DS should help to fix that problem.
Are you ready for Nintendo to finally catch up with the other major players in the industry, or do you think these features are even enough to compete with PSN and Xbox Live? Let us know how you feel about the Nintendo Network below.
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