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3DS StreetPass to meet people through WiFi hotspots

How often do you take your Nintendo 3DS out StreetPassing with you? Less than Nintendo would hope, evidently. It's adding a new way to meet people on StreetPass in North America and Europe, simply by visiting a Nintendo Zone WiFi hotspot that someone else has been near at some point.

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How often do you take your Nintendo 3DS out StreetPassing with you? Less than Nintendo would hope, evidently. It's adding a new way to meet people on StreetPass in North America and Europe, simply by visiting a Nintendo Zone WiFi hotspot that someone else has been near at some point.

The 28,000 North America Nintendo Zone hotspots--found at places including Starbucks, Best Buy and McDonald's--will become relays, logging the data of StreetPass users who wander by with a 3DS in Sleep Mode. Their data will be passed to the next StreetPasser who connects, whose data will be logged and sent to the next StreetPasser and so on in a big long one-way chain.

Nintendo plans to launch a system update supporting this by fall.

StreetPass may not be a major feature, but some games are using it for cute little things and fewer people enjoy that than Nintendo would hope. Revealing the change in an analyst briefing yesterday, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata cited Animal Crossing: New Leaf as one such game where it brings "new ways to play." New Leaf uses StreetPass for the Happy Home Showcase, where you can visit the houses of people you meet.

"StreetPass is very common in crowded Japan. In contrast, our American and European users seem to meet each other via StreetPass less frequently, and as a result, we have not seen a significant rise in the number of people who carry their Nintendo 3DS systems in Sleep Mode," Iwata said. "When compared with our Japanese users, it seems that fewer people are experiencing the StreetPass feature on a daily basis."

As Nintendo Zone hotspots connect automatically, just walking past a Starbucks should be enough for you to make a new virtual friend. Don't worry: Iwata said that the "surprising and magical feeling" of sharing data with strangers "is as real as before."

From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 13, 2013 11:15 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, 3DS StreetPass to meet people through WiFi hotspots.

    How often do you take your Nintendo 3DS out StreetPassing with you? Less than Nintendo would hope, evidently. It's adding a new way to meet people on StreetPass in North America and Europe, simply by visiting a Nintendo Zone WiFi hotspot that someone else has been near at some point.

    • reply
      June 13, 2013 11:43 AM

      I like this idea, but other than gamers not carrying the device as they should (if they own it). I feel the limit they impose on the amount of active street passes also hinders things. All games have street pass ability, but I can only have up to ten running concurrently. This is a mistake for someone like me that owns MANY 3Ds games. Not even counting the eShop digital downloaded games I've bought that ALSO use street pass functionality.

    • reply
      June 13, 2013 1:26 PM

      This is good news for me... even if I take the thing everywhere, I might get 1 streetpass every 2 weeks or so.

      • reply
        June 13, 2013 5:56 PM

        I hear you. I'm lucky to get one a month whete I live.

        When I visit the in-laws in Japan, I instantly fill up my queue (10 virtual bros and bras) in time it takes to walk to the nearest station. It's ridiculous. I made over 150 street passes in just one week while over there.

      • reply
        June 14, 2013 9:43 AM

        I hope some of this is implemented in the next couple of months. The streetpass features of Shin Megami Tensei IV look pretty cool.

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