Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Gaming Feature: The Flow of the Nintendo eShop

3DSWare - The tides of the eShop

Those of you who have owned a 3DS since launch, you probably remember the system came with fun and engaging features! Some of the more popular ones were StreetPass Mii Plaza, AR Games, the friends list and the music and camera applications. However, one important feature was not available at the system launch: the Nintendo eShop.

As you may have guessed, the Nintendo eShop is an online service by Nintendo, similar to the Wii Shop Channel and the DSi Shop. Oddly it was not available on the Nintendo 3DS until June of 2011. What is different and special about the Nintendo eShop is that you can view and download all sorts of content, such as written and video information about software titles of Nintendo's current systems, and download new and classic* games from Game Boy, Game Boy Color, DSiWare and Nintendo 3DS Downloads. Another difference that it uses a cash based system, currently unlike the Wii and DSi systems that still use Nintendo points cards.

The store layout is quite nice, with Nintendo trying to find a way to promote products of their own and by other companies. Some of those efforts are made by "Staff Pick of the Week" and recommendations that other Nintendo representatives give to consumers to try to find a way to sell those product licenses. Some gaming sites even took part on giving their game recommendations on the store as well (IGN, Nintendo Power, etc.)

In terms of browsing the software catalogue on the Nintendo eShop, it is a big improvement of the DSi Shop as you can view much more software titles at a time (at least 20 per page, compared to 2 on DSi). The method of downloading a software is also a connivance too, with the option to "Download Now" or "Download Later". Adding funds to the Nintendo eShop is expanded, choosing to add funds only to pay for a software title you're just short of change on, in addition to the usual redeeming prepaid cash cards and credit cards from select cash options you can purchase at a time.

Well that's it! I heavily focus on this service, so expect some news and opinions about the Nintendo eShop in the near future!

* Note: Select users that are part of the Ambassador Programme can download an additional 20 classic games from the Game Boy Advance and NES libraries. Some of these games are not available or not planned to be released to the general public at this time.

- Vernon Schieck


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