Nintendo reveals eShop improvements on the way

Nintendo has just held its semi-annual financial briefing in Japan and president Satoru Iwata has revealed how the company will improve the 3DS’s online shop.

At the briefing, Iwata spoke about how they were expanding the 3DS’s eShop to include downloadable content (DLC) for games. This is big news as up until now, Nintendo has been very resistive of joining the DLC bandwagon. The reason for the change? Developers pushing for it.

“After a software title is launched, content can be added to it via the Nintendo eShop. This is a feature a number of software creators have been looking forward to,” Iwata told investors.

Another new feature to come to the eShop through the November update will be downloadable demos for 3DS games. Last generation, Nintendo offered a scant few demos for the DS through the Nintendo Channel on Wii. But this looks to be remedied for the 3DS, with demos being available to download directly on the system. Iwata says developers will be able to put limits on demos, such as the number of times they can be played.

The update will also allow the system to download titles from the eShop while in sleep mode. It is not known yet if you have to remain in the eShop or if you can continue downloads from the main menu, or even line up multiple downloads. Here is what Iwata had to say: “In terms of its usability, we know that there still are several issues with the Nintendo eShop. We have made several improvements for this time. For example, software downloads can be done when Nintendo 3DS is in sleep mode, which will lessen the need for the users to patiently wait by while downloading several software titles at once or while downloading software with a large memory capacity.”

Nintendo is also preparing a web front for the eShop so that you can access the shop from a web browser on a PC or mobile phone, much like the iTunes store. This will allow gamers to share links to content on the eShop with their friends online and allow search engines to find the content along with user reviews. Initially you won’t be able to buy content from the PC, but Nintendo hopes to add that feature in later.

Nintendo is also going to include a QR scanner in the eShop so that you can scan a QR code on the web store and be taken to the content on your 3DS.

Finally, it was revealed that the video streaming service Hulu Plus would make its way to 3DS consoles in the US. Since Hulu and other similar streaming services like Netflix aren’t available in Australia, we probably won’t be getting that feature.