2011-12-07

Nintendo 3DS – What’s Included With The System Update

by Yo Snyder

It’s been a rough year for the 3DS. Things haven’t gone quite as
planned, but Nintendo is working hard to right the ship and get the
handheld back on track. Bringing Mario to the system with Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7
was certainly a good idea, and now there are some new features for the
3DS thanks to a system update. Here’s a brief look at what’s included.

For
many of you, the most exciting additions will be to the StreetPass
MiiPlaza. Joy of joys, there are new hats to collect for your Mii with
Find Mii II; the sequel to the exciting adventure game starring your Mii
and the Miis you meet via StreetPass. Okay, that may be overselling it a
bit, but I am pretty excited for this new simple adventure game, it was
one of my favorite activities for the 3DS back in the early days when
there wasn’t much else to do with it. Some new features for this include
the ability to hire past allies (i.e. people you’ve already met via
StreetPass), although they cost more coins than the usual heroes for
hire. Also, this version features branching pathways, the ability to
create teams, you can buy potions during battle, and there are more
characters to rescue. And of course, new hats (I already picked up the
new Yoshi hat, yeah). Other new features include the StreetPlaza Map
which colors in regions when you meet people (so far, all I have is New
Mexico). There’s also a new section that lists your accomplishments,
which…well, that’s pretty self-explanatory. The new music player lets
you listen to your favorite StreetPlaza tunes, should you be so
inclined. The Slide Show lets you look at the puzzles you’ve already
collected all the pieces for, and speaking of the puzzles, there are
some new ones for you to collect pieces for, and some of them feature
grid squares that are pink, meaning you can’t just use coins to buy
pieces for them. Good fun, and I’m glad we finally got some new stuff to
do here.

Another new addition via the system update is the new
Nintendo Zone. Not entirely sure what we’re going to get out of this,
but it sounds like it has promise. If you are in a Nintendo Zone (not
sure yet how to find those), you can get “unique content” and do things
like watch videos, explore games, preview 3DS games and enjoy “special
offers and promos”. Again, not quite sure what to make of this as I
haven’t come across a SpotPass Nintendo Zone as of yet, but it might be
kind of cool.

As promised, the 3DS camera also gets an update. You
can now shoot 3D videos, up to ten minutes worth. You also get some
fancy features like “stop motion” and “montage” to do stuff with,
although these modes won’t record any audio. Truthfully, I don’t use the
camera all that much. It sounds like a good idea, but there aren’t any
ways to share this stuff without showing them on your 3DS. Now, to a
certain extent that makes sense, seeing as there aren’t any devices that
can show these things in 3D like the 3DS does. Still, even being able
to share them with friends who have 3DS’ would be kind of nice. So while
the addition of shooting 3D video is a cool concept, since I won’t have
very many ways to share said video, it’s not something I’m particularly
excited about.

Now if you were hoping to get some updates on
those promised GBA games for being apart of the Ambassador Program, I’m
sad to say I didn’t see anything about that. However, there was a new
“applications” section in the eShop which has stuff like calendars and
calculators and instrument tuners and…well, could this turn into
“there’s an app for that” for the 3DS? Wouldn’t be a bad move, really,
but I don’t know.

So that’s pretty much it. All in all, not a bad
system update, but that stuff I’m most excited about all has to do with
the StreetPass MiiPlaza, and while the idea of shooting my own 3D videos
is not a bad idea, it just feels a little limited. Nintendo Zone
remains something of a mystery to me, so the jury’s out on how exciting
that new feature may or may not be. Does this make the 3DS any more
“tree-worthy” for Christmas? Nah, not really, but it doesn’t hurt to
have more features either.