Nintendo pulls Swapnote SpotPass feature after being "actively misused"

Too much "offensive material" being distributed with the service, says Nintendo.

Nintendo has canned the ability for users to exchange messages via SpotPass on 3DS messaging service Swapnote (Nintendo Letter Box in Europe), saying that people were actively misusing the feature.

"Nintendo has learned that some consumers, including minors, have been exchanging their friend codes on internet bulletin boards and then using Swapnote (known as Nintendo Letter Box in other regions) to exchange offensive material," said Nintendo on its site.

SpotPass was released in 2011 and allowed 3DS owners to send each other hand-drawn 2D and 3D messages, alongside pictures from the camera.

"Nintendo has been investigating ways of preventing this and determined it is best to stop this service because it allows direct exchange of photos and was actively misused," the publisher added. Nintendo said it "always wants to provide a positive experience for all consumers and limit the risk of any inappropriate activity or misuse of a service. We feel it is important on this occasion to take this action."

"We are very sorry for the inconvenience to the many consumers who have been using this service responsibly, however this decision was made considering the point that many minors also use this service. Thank you for your understanding."

The service was axed at 02:00 GMT this morning. Nintendo says it will continue to work on making parents aware of the 3DS' Parental Control features.

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martingaston

Martin Gaston

Hi! I'm Martin, for some reason or another I have managed to convince the people who run GameSpot that I am actually wor
133 comments
jark888
jark888

There must be better solution.

ArchoNils2
ArchoNils2

Used this serive twice, it's way to hard to communicate on this stupid 3DS.

Daniel McCann
Daniel McCann

am not a Nintendo fan but just spoil things for every one else.

Video game news.jpeg"
Video game news.jpeg"

Have you ever wanted news on the latest games and and consoles?, all you have to do is go to the facebook page Video game news.jpeg.We have reviews,gameplay,news,trailers and our opinions Every other gamer is checking out Video game news.jpeg why havent you

Matthew Ball
Matthew Ball

Stop corrupting our children with Nintendo... That is the internets job.

Adrian Taylor Mills
Adrian Taylor Mills

The conservative media has been attacking apps like this since Pictochat/Animal Crossing for the DS. Nintendo always gets it the worst, because out of the three major hardware developers, they are the most family friendly brand. As much as it sucks that they took away this (free) feature, I think they were kind of backed into it by parents who want corporations to raise their kids. When we stop blaming companies for bad parenting things like this will change, but I don't see that happening anytime soon. I'm hoping they get Miiverse up and running on the 3DS, because that service is less problematic.

Robert Williams
Robert Williams

Gaming: in Black Ops when they allowed you to make a Gamer Tag punk kids created a Swastika.

John Hankin
John Hankin

News. Too. Late. Must. Kill. Author!

Carl Toolan
Carl Toolan

Anthony let me refresh your memory, halo, gears of war, forza, the last of us, uncharted, God of war, Gran turismo, ratchet and clank do I need to continue? Nintendoh have pokemon, Zelda, Mario, the Wii u only started selling because of a remake of an N64 game so stop talking shite

Christoffer Treyz
Christoffer Treyz

the proof that nintendo is only in for the kids. i do not have to feel estranged anymore when playing their games. they are really targeted at 6year olds. when a tool like that has to be disabled this speaks louder than a bitchslap in every gamer's face. no wonder the wii u and 3ds get both buried in dust. i'm just not a kid anymore. need to learn letting nintendo go.

TalesOfGod
TalesOfGod

We all know everything about how Nintendo avoids anything controversial like the plague but I have to admit that this is rather disappointing for someone who has used (and loved) the feature ever since I purchased a 3DS XL.

Jaxith
Jaxith

Nintendo's only fault here was that they had some sort of faith in human decency.  Of course that faith was going to be crushed, but I actually find their naivety somewhat admirable.  I wish it wasn't so, but people will always misuse features like this.

Marc Antonellis
Marc Antonellis

wow. it really boggles the mind that people still write this stuff AND on an article that has nothing to do with that subject. get a clue dude, you sound like a moron.

Marc Antonellis
Marc Antonellis

LMAO. it just sounds so stupid when I read it out loud. Good point to bring up on an article that has nothing to do with it

Marc Antonellis
Marc Antonellis

you're losing hope over this? there was a perv sending questionable pics over swap note to children. good riddance

Arch Sta
Arch Sta

Noo Nintendo why why?? lmao if wasnt for mario and pokemon Nintendo would died yrs ago when ps1 came then ps2 also xbox

ZombieGuyGeorge
ZombieGuyGeorge

"Dont send notes that may make someone feel uncomfortable" can't really say i should reply as "sorry, this is not japan, you should've seen this happen" or simply as "wellcome to reality, this kind of shit happens every day, everywhere"

ill just leave the image of sony's "facebook profile pic as your avatar in psn" as an omen of literal "uncomfortable" stuff happening next year A LOT

Christopher Miller
Christopher Miller

Agree but really look at where Nintendo are compared to Sony and Microsoft in this day and age consoles aren't just about games.

Anthony Zombo
Anthony Zombo

but let's put that behind us and look at the bigger picture. It had to be done because people sending nudes to randoms that can potentially be sent to children can mean a lawsuit for Nintendo. Let's not forget that in this generation parents will blame everyone and everything on anything video game related without judging their own parenting. This is not the first that something was disable on a console. Remember when Sony decided to remove the multiple OS features from the Playstation 3 due to potential abuses. Nintendo has to protect their own image to prevent a major lawsuit. If Microsoft and Sony had a feature something like this then it wouldn't be no surprise if they disable a feature of such an app.

Mike Shipley
Mike Shipley

One person is an idiot so we'll punish everyone. Is Nintendo getting advice from the Obama admin.?

Anthony Zombo
Anthony Zombo

Not unless you leave your 3DS at home when you go out.

Chris Amyotte
Chris Amyotte

Frankly I really don't care what they call their console. If I can get a wide variety of games (3rd party or otherwise) with decent hardware, and it plays movies and has a decent online service, I'd rather get it all with one system, stupid name or not. Wii is a pretty stupid name too, but a small handful of Nintendo's exclusives actually ARE good. The point is that Nintendo has pretty much abandoned the majority of people that supported them in the earlier days when they were still relevant and serious about gaming. Most people in their 20's and 30's (that I've met anyway) have no interest in Pokemon or Animal Crossing or even Mario, and if they do, they also like the option of having more mature titles. If I had children of my own, who were just getting into gaming, I could see myself buying another one of Nintendo's systems, but they might be out of business long before that ever happens.

Anthony Zombo
Anthony Zombo

For those who live in fanboy bubble believing their console is the best, talking to you Sony and Microsoft fanboys. The swapnote is a free app. It still works but they got ride of one feature which is the street pass. The street pass is basically a feature that gives out random picture you have drawn when passing someone else with the 3rd. But what makes me laugh is how both Sony and Microsoft fanboys saying, "Nintendo is doom." Doom from what? For getting rid of a small feature from a free app? Oh, so I'm guessing Sony Fanboys believe that Sony is screwed because Playstation Home has been disable. Oh, I'm also guessing Microsoft fanboys believe Microsoft is screwed when they took down some arcade games and disable the Netflix party mode. Yep, that's it! All AAA developers are now screwed since they have disable small features.

Anthony Zombo
Anthony Zombo

What is that Microsoft is doing? TV and Smartphone apps ports. Oh, and since they don't have a large number of exclusives Microsoft has to rely on 3rd party developers like they have been doing since the launch of the Xbox 1, I mean Original Xbox. (Talk about a stupid name for a console, sounds like the name gamers have given to the first console)

Michael Smith
Michael Smith

I didnt haha I have a phone to text friends on

Anthony Zombo
Anthony Zombo

You do know that Swap note is a free app. At least Nintendo focus on games unlike Sony and Microsoft focusing on TV and Smartphone apps. Both Sony and Microsoft have to rely on 3rd party developers because they don't have a lot of exclusives to offer

Anthony Zombo
Anthony Zombo

At least Nintendo still focuses on games unlike Sony and Microsoft focusing on Smartphone apps on their consoles

Anthony Zombo
Anthony Zombo

yeah, it was a way for use to send messages to people on our friends list

Tam Duong
Tam Duong

Stupid rotten kids, i hope their happy with the result from this. Now the rest gets punished for it. What's next throwing temper tantrum. Jesus Christ!

Chris Amyotte
Chris Amyotte

I used to love Nintendo..and I know Microsoft are a bunch of crooks but I just like what they're doing more than Nintendo atm ;_;

lorddonk
lorddonk

This is why I left Nintendo. Always making stupid decisions like this for the good of their "intended audience" at the cost of their actual audience. Apparently, Nintendo wants to focus on stupid, cheap, friendless, morbidly obese 7 year olds who like the same repetitive game concepts and ideas tirelessly reused over and over again.

Mingo
Mingo

thats like having a cellphone and not having the ability to txt ppl?

Christopher Miller
Christopher Miller

Notion to buy anything from Nintendo is gone. I give them 2-3 years before they kick the bucket.

Emma Poulson
Emma Poulson

Figures people have to take something fairly decent and twist it until NO ONE gets to have it anymore. What, are you so lonely that you have to send gross crap to people while you play Pokemon? Geez...

Stephen Stallard
Stephen Stallard

lol did they really expect people not to write dumb stuff?

Andrew McBunny O'Zoss Eckerberg
Andrew McBunny O'Zoss Eckerberg

they're canning swapping notes on a note-swapping service..? what's next, google taking out the search function? o.O

Chris Tucker
Chris Tucker

If Miiverse gets to the 3DS, then I'm ok. If not, honestly I'm losing hope for Nintendo.

Jim DiTullio
Jim DiTullio

Good for them. /applaud Nintendo! Bout time a company did the right thing for the right reasons

ZombieGuyGeorge
ZombieGuyGeorge

@Christopher Miller and they should be. everything wants to be the other everythings. like, everything wants to be a media server. everything. everything wants to be the main place to browse the internet. and they all suck. googling on my tv? it's awful to write two words with the remote. media server with phone? yeah right ill waste half my phone memory ripping two bluerays. consoles don't need mp3 and cd's, or streaming, the rest of your house does it already. i really want a dedicated gaming console. my two cents.

ZombieGuyGeorge
ZombieGuyGeorge

@Thanos Kalogeropoulos it's the main future. ax your apps, ax your system, axe your brand.