On June 6th, 2011 (or early June 7th for some), Nintendo released the first major firmware update for the 3DS. This update brought a trio of new features that was previously unavailable for the system right out of the box. These features include the ability to transfer over data from 3DS or DSi to another 3DS, an internet browser, and the, possibly most anticipated, Nintendo eShop. Here are my impressions on all three of these new features after hands-on use after updating my system:
The system transferring tool was something I was looking forward to, because I owned a Nintendo DSi and had a couple of downloads on the system that I would like to see moved to my 3DS. To get this process started, you first had to download the system transferring tool to the Nintendo DSi through the DSiWare store. After, you had to start the system transferring option on both systems and this required internet connection for both systems — I guess to control some sort of piracy as best they can. Then you had to choose between a full or custom system transfer. A full transfer included downloads, internet settings, etc., and a custom transfer let you pick and choose. Finally you allow the systems to do what they have to do, and you are treated to a humorous visualization of the data being transferred by Pikmin while you wait. The process takes about 10 minutes and gets the job done. I feel that the whole process is a bit clunky, but at least Nintendo allowed us to move around downloads unlike in the past. The biggest downside is the fact that not every game transfers over. Only select downloads transfer over, and that is a huge disappointment.
The internet browser is nothing is write home about — no 3D and no Adobe Flash. The opportunities where you’re around WiFi and not near a computer is going to be very scarce, so why even bother using this tool? I will be patiently waiting for Netflix though.
The Nintendo eShop is probably the most ambitious update to the system. The eShop opened up with 2 free downloads, including the Pokédex 3D and Excitebike 3D. There are also a handful of downloadable Gameboy titles available now that vary in price, but are all close to $5. It’s interesting to see that the eShop prices are all in dollars and even asks you for your zip code to tax you properly. I like this move. No more confusing point system currency. The eShop is also easy to navigate, loads much quicker than the DSiWare shop, and it categorizes downloads well. I can’t wait to see more of it for future games and downloads.
Overall, this system update was a major facelift that was both practical and fun. Hopefully the next update will bring more to the table and bring out more of the potential of the system.