The new 3DS model Nintendo announced today for Japan comes with a filter on the system's web browser, and you'll have to pay a small fee to get rid of it.
As reported by Kotaku, the filter restricts what websites can be accessed through the system's browser (yes, the 3DS does have a browser). To unlock it so that you can view any page you wish, you'll have to connect a credit card to your account and pay 30 yen (about $.29).
This is not necessarily intended as a money-making scheme; it's instead intended to be a parental control feature. By requiring a credit card purchase, it reduces the likelihood that a child will find their way onto unsavory websites on their 3DS (though it doesn't change the fact that they may live in a home with countless other Internet-connected devices). Still, Nintendo could stand to make a decent chunk of change if enough people pay the fee; if 5 million people were to eventually do so, that would be $1.5 million before credit card companies take their cut.
There have been instances of sexual content ending up on Nintendo systems in the past, like the 3DS given as a Christmas gift that contained porn on an SD card. This won't do anything to stop anything to stop that from happening again, but Nintendo is always eager to protect children--be it from dirty websites or communicating with strangers online.
Nintendo has done something like this before, charging a 50-cent fee to create a Nintendo Network ID on Wii U for anyone under the age of 13.
What do you make of this fee? Do you not care because you never use the system's browser, or do you wish that Nintendo didn't enable this filter right out of the box? Let us know in the comments.
|Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX|
|For all of GameSpot's news coverage, check out our hub. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email email@example.com|