updated 07:40 am EST, Mon January 31, 2011
Nintendo's Iwata puts off 3DS eShop until May
Nintendo chief Satoru Iwata at an investor conference warned that the 3DS launch wouldn't have either its browser or online store on launch. The 3D console won't have the option of Internet downloads until at least the first major system update, in May. The Japanese company had already said the 3DS wouldn't have either preloaded to start but had planned to have the updates already available from the start.
The executive didn't give a direct explanation for the delay, but he implied that an overhaul of the store was the primary factor. The new store would be "drastically redesigned" as the DSiWare store was slow, being browser based, and didn't properly help users discover games. "It is critical in digital software distribution that the software available there won't be buried and go unnoticed," Iwata said.
He didn't give a reason for the browser delay.
While the 3DS could be helped by the new store in the long term, the delay if full could represent a significant setback for the console in the attempt to restore Nintendo's stature. It saw a steep drop in holiday sales that has been mostly attributed to the iPod touch and iPhone luring some previously loyal customers away. The 3DS closes the gap significantly in performance and promises unique features such as its glasses-free 3D and passive Wi-Fi game data swaps, but it won't have Apple's game downloads or web access for as many as three months. [via GamesIndustry.biz]