The 3DS eShop: What You Need to Know

Nintendo dishes out details on its online store for the 3DS handheld and gives us an early look.

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While it was conspicuously absent from the system's debut, the Nintendo 3DS eShop is finally scheduled to launch next Monday, June 6. Users will be able to access the eShop by downloading it over a Wi-Fi Internet connection. We've compiled a list of questions and answers to help 3DS owners get a better understanding of what the eShop service is all about and what they can expect in its early days.

Q: When will the eShop be available, and how long will it take me to download?

A: The eShop will be available late in the day on June 6. The size of the file to download is just about 50MB, so it shouldn't take more than a few minutes on a fairly decent Internet connection.

No Caption Provided
Welcome to the 3DS eShop.

Q: Is Excitebike being given out as a free downloadable gift in North America, or is that a Japan-only thing?

A: The good news is yes, Nintendo is letting people download Excitebike for free after downloading the eShop software to the 3DS and accessing the store. Excitebike is the first in a series of games called 3D Classics where classic Nintendo games get a 3D update to take advantage of the system's 3D display capabilities. Additionally, while the game remains largely unchanged (aside from the 3D), some changes have been made to the track editor, and there will be opportunities to share tracks with other users. Otherwise, it's pretty much just Excitebike, but with a slight 3D effect.

Q: Will Excitebike always be free?

A: So here is the bad news: Excitebike is free for only 30 days from release. After that, the price shoots up to $5.99.

Q: What's the eShop going to look like, and how will it be different from similar things Nintendo has attempted?

A: Nintendo basically describes the eShop as one long shelf that goes side to side on the bottom screen of the 3DS (the top screen is used to display images in 3D where applicable). This shelf is stuffed with different categories that you can then tap on to reveal a sub-shelf of items within that category. For example, if Nintendo makes one of the items on the eShop shelf Mario-themed, you can click on the icon and presumably see every piece of Mario software available for download on the 3DS.

These customizable categories are important from Nintendo's standpoint because the company believes it will make it easier to show you the best content the 3DS has to offer and not just the most recent stuff. Future categories may display games based on holiday themes, or games that are easy to pick up and play for a few minutes before turning off the system. There's even a Staff Pick category that features a specific game--in this case, the first Staff Pick on the eShop will be Cave Story. Nintendo has made everything quite flexible, so at the very least, there should be plenty of variety for the categories.

Q: Will I be able to search for and keep track of certain games on the eShop?

A: Yes. The search functionality on the eShop is surprisingly robust. Not only will you be able to use standard searches, but you will also be able to search for games based on popular search phrases that other users have inputted into the system. Additionally, you can modify searches to retrieve more granular results by searching for game characters and genres, like puzzle games featuring Mario. As for keeping track of certain games, you can actually bookmark upcoming games by adding them to a wishlist. That makes it easier to jump right back to that spot in the store in case you aren't able to make a purchase right away.

Q: What about charts? Everyone loves charts.

A: Yes. Yes they do. The eShop will be able to display charts that highlight the most popular games, the most downloaded games, the most watched videos, and other similarly user-driven trends. Think of it as another easy way to discover content.

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Excitebike is free for 30 days from launch.

Q: Aside from Excitebike and Cave Story, what software is going to be available on launch day? How much will it cost?

A: Let's start with the Virtual Console. Much like the Wii, the 3DS eShop features a Virtual Console section where you can download classic games. The first three games available will be original Game Boy games, including Super Mario Land, Alleyway, and Radar Mission. Super Mario Land will cost $3.99, while Alley Way and Radar Mission are $2.99, so it appears that there will be a premium for high-profile games.

Outside of the Virtual Console stuff, nearly all of the DSiWare software should be available. Moreover, Nintendo will release a separate piece of software called Pokedex 3D--a comprehensive guide to the 150 or so new Pokemon introduced in Pokemon Black and Pokemon White. The Pokedex not only features individual stats like height and weight, but also displays more intricate information, such as what a Pokemon will evolve into and when, as well as when they receive certain abilities. Moreover, you can find out things like which Pokemon use a certain skill. There's a ton of information.

Q: How much is the Pokedex, and are all of the Pokemon included? Do you have to catch them all?

A: The Pokedex is completely free. You will have access to only 16 Pokemon initially, but you can retrieve more via the 3DS SpotPass service, which will generate three random Pokemon data sets to add to the collection. You can also trade data with other Pokedex users, or you can increase your chances of receiving a certain type of Pokemon by retrieving an AR card (augmented reality card), which--when viewed with the 3DS camera--displays the Pokemon on top of it.

Q: Cool story. How will I be able to pay for the stuff that isn't free?

A: Nintendo has switched its commerce model over to actual dollars, so there's no more weird guessing work involved in how points translate into actual money. You can either use prepaid cards that come in increments of $20 or use credit cards to add increments of $5, $10, $20, or $50. You will be able to have only $200 in the virtual wallet at any given time, and you will be able to spend only $1,000 per month. While that seems kind of odd, Nintendo reassures us that this amount is more than enough for the content that will be available. And sadly, game gifting is not yet an option.

Q: How often can we expect new content on the eShop?

A: Nintendo plans to roll out new eShop content every Thursday and will provide the appropriate messaging through the eShop and not through SpotPass, because it wants to avoid spamming people. However, it sounds like the company hasn't ruled out the possibility of tailoring its messaging based on individual activity logs and games played.

No Caption Provided
So many Pokemon.

Q: Will we be able to download full retail games? What about demos?

A: No, at least not yet. Still, it's worth mentioning that the eShop features a retail channel where you can check out 3D screenshots and videos of upcoming games. This section is also where you can give games ratings as long as you've played the game in question for at least an hour.

Q: Isn't the 3DS's Web browser going to be available in this update?

A: Yes, you will be able to browse the Internet on your 3DS by downloading the Web browser. What makes the browser especially cool is that it can view designated images in 3D, making it easier to get an idea of what a 3DS game will look like on the system. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean it's compatible with all 3D display technology on the Web. It won't work with YouTube's 3D movies, for example.

Q: What about Netflix?

A: Netflix is still coming as a separate download later this summer.

Q: And we'll be able to transfer our DSiWare games to the 3DS with this update?

A: Indeed! By going to the DSiWare store with your DSi or DSi XL, you can download a tool that will let you transfer most (a small amount of software is non-transferable) DSiWare products to the 3DS, which has the transfer tool built-in. Once its transferred, the software will no longer be available on your DSi or DSi XL.

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

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LeFeverBeaver

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Edited By LeFeverBeaver

Yea, I just got LA dx - it was a nice surprise :) and @Lazerith91: "... be happy with what you got"? Are you kidding me? I'm sorry, did you get your 3DS for free and are just happy with whatever crumbs are tossed your way from Nintendo's dinner table? Please don't take this as an attack, but with as much money as people have paid for this system and as long as they have waited for what should have been available the day the system was launched, I think people deserve a little bit more. The attitude of 'be happy with what you got' is what has allowed Nintendo and other gaming companies (Bethesda, for one) to release inferior products with promises of updates, fixes, and patches in the future. You know what I mean? But I'm sure you're right - we overloaded the system at first. BUT then again, had they released the update at a reasonable time as advertised (and even promised to a few souls eager enough to call Nintendo's tech support) perhaps there would be fewer PO'd fans. PS Vita here I come! lol

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Bangerman15

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Edited By Bangerman15

links awakening dx is on the store too

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Lazerith91

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Edited By Lazerith91

eshop started working for me. im sure it was just all the people getting on at once that overloaded it. and calm down people. nintendo says there gonna be updating it weekly so just be a little patient. youve made it this far so just wait a little longer and be happy with what you got. I personally was surprised with the ammount of content. I expected like 5 maybe 6 games to downlaod but theres dozens of them and more to come soon.

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link2434

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Edited By link2434

Hey Rushmeere, last night I kept getting errors but after trying multiple times I got it. Maybe you should try again. (If you've already tried a few dozen times then ignore me)

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LeFeverBeaver

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Edited By LeFeverBeaver

I've read that the Netflix update won't be out until later this month.

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Coolyfett

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Edited By Coolyfett

So this service will not be selling full digital games?...Not everyone wants to take around game cards, plus they have 64GB SD Cards now. Many people can get a 32 or 16gb card easily. Are they still bringing out the 3D movies and videos?

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Anime_Fan1986

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Edited By Anime_Fan1986

Im happy with Excitebike and Mario Land so far but I was hoping Zelda Links Awakening and Megaman Legends 3 prototype would be there as well.

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TheLast1Left

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Edited By TheLast1Left

everything works for me but it is a disappointing amount of content. I want some 3d games, DUH. Were are the 3d trailers for games??

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LeFeverBeaver

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Edited By LeFeverBeaver

What a fiasco. Not only did update not released until like 1245 in the morning on 7th (EST), But the shop was broken right away. Then, when things finally did work, they had a MICROSCOPIC selection of games to choose from. WTF, Nintendo? As a guy who played excite bike for hours and days and weeks as a kid, I'm STILL burned out on it, so that's hardly a draw for me. I was really hoping for some Link's Awakening or something. What a HUGE disappointment this system has been all-around.

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Lazerith91

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Edited By Lazerith91

eshop isnt working for me so rushmeere your not alone.

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rushmeere

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Edited By rushmeere

I can't download excite bike because of some error, I guess everyone and their mother is downloading it, I was hoping to play it today, oh well...

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rushmeere

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Edited By rushmeere

Just finished downloading, excite bike here I come...

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RandyAU93

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Edited By RandyAU93

Looks like everyone's trying to update at once ... got a speedy 'net connection and it's going really slowly to get the update. Still, it's gettin' it ;)

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GARSONAGE

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Edited By GARSONAGE

playin excitebike pretty friggin amazin

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LJELLZ

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Edited By LJELLZ

Yeah boy ima download that as soon as I get home!

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Skithien

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Edited By Skithien

Yes, I'm excited again this is awesome. I can go to bed not super happy but at least not really disappointed either!

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sknight175216

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Edited By sknight175216

Just finished updating!!!

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rushmeere

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Edited By rushmeere

Cool, started updating right as I finished my physics.

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GARSONAGE

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Edited By GARSONAGE

downloading right now!!!

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Skithien

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Edited By Skithien

Mine finally updating!!!!! Technically they did say pacific time, and its only about 9:30 there making it 12:30 here in New York, but still this is awfully late. At least I can get it before I go to sleep anyway!

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Regulus27

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Edited By Regulus27

Didn't update for me either.

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TheLast1Left

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Edited By TheLast1Left

oh well

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jarettethompson

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Edited By jarettethompson

...................-_-

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sknight175216

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Edited By sknight175216

...

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oxjackiechan

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Edited By oxjackiechan

i think their pushing back the update till tomorrow

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clark28kent

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Edited By clark28kent

will there be facebook like the dsi

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dstaples2

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Edited By dstaples2

mine still won't update!

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duckies_101

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Edited By duckies_101

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

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jedinortd_basic

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Edited By jedinortd_basic

grr cmon update!

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schmam123

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Edited By schmam123

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh it almost 11 im growing inpatient

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TheLast1Left

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Edited By TheLast1Left

were is my update

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Rennar

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Edited By Rennar

Will you be able to buy DSi games on the 3ds store? 'Cause I didn't get anything between the ds lite and the 3ds...

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schmam123

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Edited By schmam123

@nice2400 nice use of no mean words and using F'n cause everyone knows fudge is a mean word nd it is if ur on a diet i know wthis has nothing to do with what u said but im still waiting nd i thought we can have a convo and im not a creep im most likely younger then u just saying

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nice2400

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Edited By nice2400

WTF nintendo u F n up

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schmam123

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Edited By schmam123

i want update now

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Skithien

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Edited By Skithien

ugh, they may as well just waited till tomorrow instead of hyping us all up for today. I mean come on its past 10Pm Us eastern time and still no update >(

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burnoutboy777

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Edited By burnoutboy777

I pray it is only 2 minutes away its 10 o'clock almost eastern time uggghhh

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edargnwod

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Edited By edargnwod

Freaking retards at IGN automatically had an article go up at 9PM EST saying that the eShop was up. You click the link and you're greeted with a 404 error that the page is missing. Imagine that...

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dstaples2

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Edited By dstaples2

why is there no update!?

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direhti6

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Edited By direhti6

crap

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direhti6

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Edited By direhti6

i cant get it

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direhti6

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Edited By direhti6

11 minutes left

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deactivated-5e90a3763ea91

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Man I'm excited. Hope the download works!

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blobulus

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Edited By blobulus

I've been waiting for the update 4 a while! Where is it!

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Skithien

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Edited By Skithien

@packtop Actually I got the 3DS at launch and have used it basically everyday. I play a lot of my DS games but mostly my 3Ds games. Mostly StreetFighter and now Dead or Alive. While they aren't amazing games they're still really fun, especially on a portable system. I trust Nintendo to know what they're doing, I think the way it was done is working out pretty well.

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Noskillkill

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Edited By Noskillkill

Ok nintendo, ive got high hopes lol, you delayed this thing so im hoping you had time to polish up. i dont expect much from web browser, it isnt an iphone lol, but im looking forward to using it from time to time, and even more excited for eshop and the 2 free downloads! finally, a reason to actually have my 3ds connceted to the internet.

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Flint247

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Edited By Flint247

Fortunately, my 3DS was in good use since launch, but I do agree that most of the features should have been with the launch of the 3DS. But oh well, we can't go back in time and fix that. So let's move on.

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packtop

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Edited By packtop

@slothboyadvance Agreed they should have waited some more before releasing the consoles and i think even next week would have been to soon. They could have waited until fall once publisher would have released a few good games. I'm sure about now after 2 months since the 3DS have been released at least 50% of all thoses who bought the 3DS in the 2-3 first weeks must have a nice 3ds trophy accumulating dust soemwhere on a shelve. OOT is coming but i think that's the only good game they will release in the next 2-3 months so what will happen, after that peoples will play OOT for 2-3 weeks and after that the 3DS will be good accumulate dust again. That's why i think they should have waiting until october-november before releasing the 3DS.

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SlyVictim

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Edited By SlyVictim

@slothboyadvance the reason why they released it 'early' without a 'killer app' was to give third party companies a chance to sell their games.

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slothboyadvance

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Edited By slothboyadvance

Might as well have released the 3DS next week considering they're finally getting many key features of the system figured out (eShop, system transfer, internet browser). And we'll finally be getting out first killer app with Ocarina. The 3DS was released way too early and it was just one misstep after another. With that said, I'm excited I'll be able to use some of the features I've been looking forward to. Not to mention some great games we've been promised like Resident Evil Mercenaries, Resident Evil Revelations, MegaMan Legends 3, Kid Icarus: Uprising, and of course: Super Mario 3DS. It's all downhill from here, I suppose.

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