Nintendo upgrading eShop with DLC and demo support

Underwhelmed by Nintendo’s eShop? Give it time. Today, the company confirmed its upcoming firmware update for the 3DS will enhance the online outlet with long overdue features like support for game demos, DLC, and improved download options.

The improvements were outlined in Nintendo’s latest financial briefing, and are part of a larger strategy to rebound following one of its most disappointing fiscal years in recent memory. According to the document, part of its ‘Digital Business Plan’ includes opening up to eShop to future add-on content, something its president Satoru Iwata says is, “a feature a number of software creators have been looking forward to”. Developers will also have the means to post demos of their upcoming titles and control how long or how often each can be played. Lastly, the upcoming firmware update will make it easier for 3DS owners to obtain eShop content by allowing it to be downloaded while the system is in sleep mode.

Looking beyond the next firmware update, Nintendo’s said it will soon be making the eShop accessible through non-3DS devices such as home computers and smartphones. Explaining how it plans to embrace these platforms, Iwata noted: “At the beginning, you will not be able to directly purchase software from your PC or smartphone. Instead, you will need to take a photo of a QR code at the Nintendo eShop by using the camera of your Nintendo 3DS. The Nintendo 3DS will then open that specific page of the Nintendo eShop. That function is already included in the upcoming system update for the Nintendo 3DS. In the future, we will make it so that you will be able to purchase software by using your PC or smartphone.”

Iwata did not say when Nintendo would begin rolling out this online initiative, but his report did indicate the 3DS firmware software—complete with 3D video recording and other previously announced goodies—will be ready next month for download Japan, and shortly thereafter across the globe.

Oct 28, 2011

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