The Nintendo eShop
is an online service for the Nintendo 3DS
The is a portable game console produced by Nintendo. The autostereoscopic device is able to project stereoscopic 3D effects without the use of 3D glasses or any additional accessories. The Nintendo 3DS features backward compatibility with Nintendo DS series software, including Nintendo DSi software...
handheld gaming system. Launched on June 6, 2011 in North America and June 7, 2011 in Europe and Japan, the eShop was enabled by the release of a system update that added the functionality to the 3DS' Home Menu. The Nintendo eShop features downloadable games, applications and information on upcoming film and game releases.
The Nintendo eShop icon appears as part of the Home Menu on the 3DS and requires a wireless internet connection to access. Unlike the Wii Shop Channel
The Wii Shop Channel is an online shop for the Wii video game console that allows users to download Virtual Console and WiiWare games, and new channels. Downloading may require redeeming Wii Points. The channel launched with Wii on November 19, 2006...
and the DSi Shop services, which use Nintendo Points for purchases, the Nintendo eShop lists pricing in the appropriate regional currencies, such as dollars and euros
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...
. Accounts can be funded using either credit cards or prepaid cards purchased in stores.
The eShop stores a record of all downloads and purchases, allowing users to re-download previously purchased software at no additional charge, provided the software is still available on the eShop. Users upgrading from a Nintendo DSi
The is a handheld game system created by Nintendo and launched in 2008 and 2009 in Japan, North America, PAL territories, and other regions. It is the third iteration of the Nintendo DS, and its primary market rival is Sony's PlayStation Portable...
system can transfer their previous DSiWare purchases to the Nintendo 3DS, with limited exceptions such as Flipnote Studio and the DSi web browser.
The eShop offers access to the majority of the existing DSiWare software catalog, along with original games that have been built to take advantage of the Nintendo 3DS's capabilities, such as Freakyforms: Your Creations, Alive!
Freakyforms: Your Creations, Alive!, known in Japan as , is a video game developed by Asobism Co., Ltd and published by Nintendo for its Nintendo 3DS handheld system...
Similar to the Wii
The Wii is a home video game console released by Nintendo on November 19, 2006. As a seventh-generation console, the Wii primarily competes with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. Nintendo states that its console targets a broader demographic than that of the two others...
's Virtual Console service, the 3DS' Virtual Console currently includes games from the Nintendo Game Boy
The , is an 8-bit handheld video game device developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It was released in Japan on , in North America in , and in Europe on...
and Game Boy Color
The is Nintendo's successor to the 8-bit Game Boy handheld game console, and was released on October 21, 1998 in Japan, November 19, 1998 in North America, November 23, 1998 in Europe and November 27, 1998 in the United Kingdom. It features a color screen and is slightly thicker and taller than...
systems. Planned future releases will include software from the TurboGrafx-16
TurboGrafx-16, fully titled as TurboGrafx-16 Entertainment SuperSystem and known in Japan as the , is a video game console developed by Hudson Soft and NEC, released in Japan on October 30, 1987, and in North America on August 29, 1989....
and Sega Game Gear
The was Sega's first handheld game console. It was the third commercially available color handheld console, after the Atari Lynx and the TurboExpress....
systems, as well as the Nintendo Entertainment System
The Nintendo Entertainment System is an 8-bit video game console that was released by Nintendo in North America during 1985, in Europe during 1986 and Australia in 1987...
and Nintendo Game Boy Advance. Special features in this interpretation of the Virtual Console allow players to create Restore Points, temporarily saving the game state for use later, and the optional ability to view games in their original resolution accompanied with special borders.
3D Classics are a series of older video games remade with added 3D functionality and updated features. The first of these titles, 3D Classics: Excitebike
is a motocross racing video game franchise made by Nintendo. It first debuted as a game for the Famicom in Japan in 1984 and as a launch title for the NES in 1985. It is the first game of the Excite series, succeeded by its direct sequel Excitebike 64, its spiritual successors Excite Truck and...
, was made available for free when the eShop launched.
The eShop offers a wide range of video services for the Nintendo 3DS. Many of these videos are offered in 3D, with some downloaded to the system's memory and others streamed over the user's wireless internet connection. The exact content available varies by region, but includes game trailers, music videos and news features.
Added in July 2011, Nintendo Video provides a range of 3D video content, including live-action and animated short features, movie trailers and music videos. The videos are downloaded to the 3DS via SpotPass and are available to be viewed off-line until they are replaced by newer content that is pushed to the system by Nintendo from time to time.
In North America, Netflix
Netflix, Inc., is an American provider of on-demand internet streaming media in the United States, Canada, and Latin America and flat rate DVD-by-mail in the United States. The company was established in 1997 and is headquartered in Los Gatos, California...
subscribers can access their instant queues to view 2D movies on their Nintendo 3DS. In the future, a selection of full-length 3D films will be made available.
In October 2011, Nintendo announced numerous new features that were planned to be added to the Nintendo eShop in the near future. One of the biggest proposals was the availability of software demos for upcoming retail and downloadable games; developers would have the option to limit access to demos, such as limiting the number of plays available to the user. Another planned improvement enables downloadable content
Downloadable content is official additional content for a video game distributed through the Internet. Downloadable content can be of several types, ranging from a single in-game outfit to an entirely new, extensive storyline, similarly to an expansion pack. As such, DLC may add new game modes,...
, allowing games to be expanded with additional levels and other new features. Future downloads can be pushed to the console while it is not in use or when the eShop application is not running. Hulu Plus will join the system's available video content offerings in the near future, allowing its subscribers to watch episodes of TV shows and movies on their 3DS consoles. Swapnote, a messaging service for the Nintendo 3DS, will be released through the eShop in December 2011.
In November 2011, Nintendo will enable a software transfer feature similar to the DSi-to-3DS version currently available that will allow users to transfer their purchases to a new Nintendo 3DS console from their original units. Also, users will be able to access and make purchases from the Nintendo eShop via personal computer or many other internet-connected devices. Initially, users will use their 3DS' camera function to capture a QR code
A QR code is a type of matrix barcode first designed for the automotive industry. More recently, the system has become popular outside of the industry due to its fast readability and comparatively large storage capacity. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white...
that will take them to the desired content on their handheld, with future plans to eliminate the QR code step and purchase the content directly.