It going to be a busy week for Nintendo with E3 now only a matter of hours away, the Japanese gaming giant has kicked things off early with the launch of its 3DS eShop and Internet browser.
The 3DS was launched amid a flurry of media attention earlier this year but has not really captured the imagination of the general public in the way the original DS did – possibly due to some bad press regarding dizziness caused by the 3D effect. However it is early days in the life of the handheld console and today’s announcement is sure to add to the appeal of the platform. The 3DS eShop will be available later today via a free OTA update, which will also include an Internet browser to allow users to access and view 3D content online. And not only will you get the update free of charge, users will also get an exclusive free copy of the NES game, ExciteBike which has been re-mastered for the 3DS. The free game will be available only until 7 July.
The new shop continues to use the shelf interface we’ve seen previously with the DSi or DSi XL. It’s not the most intuitive way of browsing for titles and we would like to have seen something a little more dynamic. However one improvement Nintendo has made is the ability to view different groups of games, segregated by theme. For example you can see all games involving Mario, or games from the Game Boy or Game Boy Colour. As well as original new 3D titles, the eShop will offer classic games re-mastered to take advantage of 3D. New titles will be added to the eShop every Thursday. DSi and DSi XL owners will also now be able to transfer most of their downloaded DSiWare games to their new 3DS. Finally, Nintendo has introduced a rating system, where gamers will be able to give games a star rating but only after they have played the game for an hour or more.
While it’s nothing revolutionary, the eShop and browser will bring more functionality to the 3DS and it’s always nice to get a free game – even if it is almost three decades old.