Matthew Roszak

In The Press Blog

Nintendo details 3DS eShop, will offer free Wi-Fi to U.S. owners

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By Sean Ludwig

Nintendo today announced details for its 3DS eShop, where users will be able to buy digital copies of new and classic games. The company also announced it had partnered with other companies to give free Wi-Fi access to 3DS owners at 25,000 locations in the United States.

The 3DS eShop will go live on June 6 when the 3DS receives its first big software update. The update will give users a Web browser that supports 3D object viewing and access to the eShop. The eShop will allow users to download “original 3D sofware, classic games that have been remastered in 3D called 3D Classics, Game Boy and Game Boy Color ‘Virtual Console’ games in their original 2D glory, and more than 350 Nintendo DSiWare games,” according to Nintendo.

So far, announced offerings in the eShop are scant, but a few upcoming titles are notable. The eShop will offer the NES classic Excitebike remastered in 3D for free until July 7, as well as serve up the Game Boy games Super Mario Land, Alleyway, and Radar Mission in the near future. Another piece of software in the eShop will be Pokedex 3D, a free app that lets users see Pokemon characters in 3D.

Nintendo additionally announced that U.S. 3DS owners will get free Wi-Fi access at more than 25,000 locations on Tuesday thanks to new partnerships with AT&T, Best Buy, and Simon Property Group, owner of nearly 200 malls in the U.S. About 1,000 Best Buy locations, all Simon Property Group malls, and 24,000 AT&T hotspots will offer Wi-Fi access in the arrangement.

“With thousands of free Wi-Fi access points through our alliances, Nintendo 3DS users across the country can instantly enjoy one-of-a-kind entertainment experiences wherever and whenever they like,” said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime in a statement. “In addition to a strong lineup of games and the ability to view 3D content without special glasses, the system makes it easy for people to connect with their surroundings and each other, even when they’re away from home.”

Free Wi-Fi and the addition of a Web browser and eShop will likely make the 3DS a more compelling device to the average user, who already has his choice between smartphones, tablets, and rival gaming devices.

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