Nintendo's New 3DS Charges 30 Cents to Remove an Internet Browser Filter

Parental control feature means you'll need to pay up if you want to freely browse the Internet.

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 news@gamespot.com
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

MrBlondeX

Chris Pereira

Twitter/Xbox Live/PSN/Nintendo Network: TheSmokingManX
143 comments
Saixe
Saixe

Next update we'll be filtering out adult gamers(18 and up) to pay 10x more money.

ad1x2
ad1x2

I'm surprised, but it's not like I would use the 3DS browser anyway when my Note 3 has a better screen and doesn't require WiFi.

painitegames
painitegames

I didn't know 10 year old kids were allowed to buy Nintendo 3DS's by themselves. Or even had that kind of money to spend. Because there's no other reason for this filter.

yixingtpot
yixingtpot

pay to unlock a filter? lol no F'ing way... that's beyond insanely greedy. "hey Timmy, are you attempting to be free on your gamey machine? well you better get mommy and daddy to PAY for FREEDOM"

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Make no mistake - this is not a parental control.  Insidiously, it's the opposite.  It's so they can get a credit card registered on the system, making it easier than ever for kids to purchase things without their parents knowing.


Screw Nintendo.

b1ank
b1ank

Nintendo can't really do this internet thing can they?

Erebus
Erebus

Well, when I was a kid, I had "adult lock" functionality on my PC and game systems.

Times are changing.

modshroom128
modshroom128

welp, last straw. time to boycott nintendo

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@MrBlondeX 

I would say here that Kotaku's András Neltz is cutting Nintendo a lot of slack there by saying that this was intended to check that the user is indeed an adult with an income.

I would not make the argument that tech-savvy children can bypass this; if they are tech-savvy, they would be wise enough to know that the parental filter keeps things out - things that they would rather not see.

Yet, if this is indeed to check whether the user is an adult, then it could have checked for merely a credit card number - there would not have been any need for a charge.

Therefore, I appreciate that you opined that Nintendo can still make money off this too.

This charge does not add value to the customer.

Evanrocknuma
Evanrocknuma

I can see how a feature like this might work in the East.  I think their society tends to be much more accepting of oversight systems and censors that are created in their children's best interest. (Although, I could be wrong, I'd need an Eastern perspective on this).   That being said, evidence of this system should not be present in a Western release if Nintendo is really as region sensitive as they claim to be.

DrKill09
DrKill09

Nintendo, this is one of the DUMBEST things I've heard.  How about this?  Make the filter be off by default, and have it so parents can turn it on WITHOUT A FEE, just have password protection.


Duke 3D did this nearly two decades ago.

jecomans
jecomans

Instead can I pay 30c and get a modern, functional online store? 

Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

A truly ANCIENT device. Nintendo is decades behind everybody, it's a miracle they are still alive, I tell you!

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

Back in the day we just had parental passwords.

mav_destroyer
mav_destroyer

Depends on how good or indiscriminate said filter is I guess. Then again the handheld would hardly be my first go-to device to access the internet. Browsing the internet on these things is a pain as it is without any filters on it.

gplayer5
gplayer5

Watch, someone's going to figure out a hack or a work around that bypasses having to pay altogether. 


Why not just have the user put a password on the internet browser?

Overlord_Meril
Overlord_Meril

How pointless at best. If one has an internet connection to connect a 3DS too, then you probably have a PC, phone, Xbox or Play-thing that can also connect to it anyway... You're protecting no one with this. And at worst, it's an insulting cash grab.


Unless the 3DS is the foremost internet connected device in Japan... But I kind of doubt that...

Legend002
Legend002

Next gen nintendo handheld will require an additional 40 cents to play rated m games. Remember the guy that called it.

Spartan-1657
Spartan-1657

This article appears to really be trying to defend this decision. I hope Nintendo makes it clear to consumers why this is a much more viable option than any other parental control feature that's ever been implemented. 


I know its a small charge, but that's ridiculous. Seems like they are just trying to make up a charge for something and then hide behind "It's for the children!!!!"

DeadrisingX1
DeadrisingX1

Yeah, forget passwords.
Seriously Nintendo, what the Hell?

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

I was thinking about getting one of these things, but after seeing how filters can go overboard and having been a little paranoid about getting a credit card prior to the PSN and Target security breaches, I'm having second thoughts.

A-Typing-Llama
A-Typing-Llama

Ye olde six-digit passwords always worked wonders.

Martyr77
Martyr77

Nintendo has surprised me (in a bad way) more today than in the last decade. First you have to buy a new 3ds to play a 3ds game and now pay to unlock your browser?!?! These are Microsoft tactics not Nintendo. What is going on?!!?

elheber
elheber

The headline should read "Yen" instead of "cents", but you really need that click bait, don'tcha, Gamespot?

strider_bz
strider_bz

People seem to forget (or don't know that) that other services that require an age unlock do charge a credit card (well here in the UK at least), and when I mean charge it's an actual charge of about a £1 and not a charge then refund scheme like what paypal does.

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

@Thanatos2k Except you can attach a password to the usage of that credit card so the kids can't use it anyway.

waltherpenne
waltherpenne

@DrKill09 Dumbass! They did this on 3DS and what happened? You can counter every cheap password-protection, idiot - by just deleting the system-data- the password-protection is gone then (works on PS Vita too)! But you cannot counter an password-protected creditcard/ec-card-filter, dude ;) Got it?


The kid not only needs a creditcard now (well you have to steal it as a child)- you also need that password. See? Thats the clever protection. Also => Passwords can be changed every 5/10 days or so, to make it even harder for childs to get that. See? Thats what Nintendo is after.


They also did this on WiiU if you are under 13. I`m sure Nintendo will also accept Paypal/ec-card or just the pass for it to work. They just want to make sure you are an Adult. 30 Cents? Well, its not that much, you know? Others are charging you 50 dollars/year, and their onlinesystem (Sonys PSN) breaks collapses now every few days xD

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@jecomans Sorry Mario, your 21st century digital distribution system is in another castle.

waltherpenne
waltherpenne

@DeadrisingX1 Dumbass. Everyone can counter passwords. Passwords are not a good protection at all. Apple-users also thought passwords were enough...see what happened? Apple Cloud got hacked- thousands of pics and videos stolen. You just have to flash your 3DS for deleting a parental password (so deleting all data). But- dude- pointless to argument with someone, who does not know this, since you have a cheap Killzone 2-pic in your avatar (proofing you are a sonydrone).

waltherpenne
waltherpenne

@elheber 500 yen = 5 dollars. So yeah, Gamespot is just thatn => clickbait ;)


It will be like less than 30 cents (euro-cents) in europe i guess.

So lets do math how much is 30 yen? well- 100 yen = 1 dollar => 50 yen => 50 US-cent, right? so 30 yen = 30 us-cent- and that would be around ~25 euro-cent.

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@strider_bz And I've always been a little reluctant to trust myself with a credit card to get one, which is part of my problem with this.

Red_hot_smasher
Red_hot_smasher

@Jedilink109 @Thanatos2k Yeah, and you've been able to password in-app purchases on iOS and Android pretty much since they were first released, that sure as hell didn't stop kids from buying virtual junk for $9001 or parents from blaming Apple and Google.

DrKill09
DrKill09

@sanchango @canuckbiker You DO realize that a kid could just swipe their parent's credit card, and unlock the internet on that device forever, right?


Passwords are a better idea, but nothing beats actual PARENTING.

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

Haven't seen that on any handheld console.

zzamaro
zzamaro

@Jinzo_111887 @zzamaro Both suck, but charging for this is greedier than the MP fee. I hate M$, but I've tried their online and at least it's much better than the other console online services so I could see why they would want to charge it. I'm still against paying for MP.

waltherpenne
waltherpenne

@DrKill09 @sanchango @canuckbiker bullshit, dude. In your case, that kid could do nothing without the necessary password ;) Also => Nintendo might consider- if someone tries to enable that protection (which might be only possible when being ONLINE) => sending an email to a good-known account => BAM, your parents would know what that child did. Your argument is invalid, loser! it seems you are an angry little child? Are you upset now, that Nintendo decided to screw you out from Youporn & other sites?

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@zzamaro @Jinzo_111887 I agree that both aren't a good thing, but this is just a one time fee, where as you have to keep paying for the online multiplayer on the PayStation 4 and Extortionboxes. Also, from heard, XBL on the 360 was about the same as PSN on PS3.


The only bad thing about this fee is the credit card requirement. I never trusted myself with a credit card after my mom ran up a lot of debt on charge cards before she died. Of course, last year's Target security breach incident doesn't help me either. I used prepaid cards instead when it was possible.