According to Nintendo’s President Satoru Iwata during a Q&A session, the upcoming 3DS might be able to install updates on the handheld automatically when connected to the internet.
“As part of the functionality of SpotPass, we’re looking into having automatic system updates via the internet.”
No other details have been given as to how the updates will work, but what’s being speculated is that with the help of SpotPass, the device will connect to any WiFi connection it can to make the download, even on sleep mode. Also, thanks to the storage size of the 3DS game cards firmware updates can also be implemented into games. Reasons as to why could these updates will be available can be attributed to piracy, but Iwata also mentions that these updates can bring more functionality to the handheld.