Another interesting piece of news coming from E3, StreetPass is evolving to no longer require direct 3DS communication, but instead relaying information using certain Wi-Fi access points. It seems like it loses a bit of the "magic" of knowing that you (sort of) directly came into contact with another 3DS owner, but it will definitely make StreetPass features more easily accessible to those of us who aren't getting too many StreetPasses at the moment.
The update will be coming "by this autumn."
Moving on to a different topic, the Nintendo 3DS hardware incorporates a feature known as StreetPass. When the Nintendo 3DS system is in Sleep Mode, this feature allows users who are playing any StreetPass-compatible game to automatically exchange game data with other users in close proximity who are also playing the same game. StreetPass is very common in crowded Japan. In contrast, our American and European users seem to meet each other via StreetPass less frequently, and as a result, we have not seen a significant rise in the number of people who carry their Nintendo 3DS systems in Sleep Mode. When compared with our Japanese users, it seems that fewer people are experiencing the StreetPass feature on a daily basis. This year we will release software that opens doors for new ways to play through the StreetPass feature, such as “Animal Crossing: New Leaf,” and I hope that more people around the world will be able to experience the benefits that StreetPass provides.
We will achieve that by taking advantage of Wi-Fi access points and implementing a StreetPass relay feature into the Nintendo 3DS hardware. Starbucks and McDonald’s, among others, provide about 28,000 Wi-Fi access points, which are connected automatically to Nintendo 3DS, in the U.S. and 24,000 in Europe. We are going to perform a system update that introduces a framework that uses these access points as StreetPass relay stations by this autumn. This will involve taking a Nintendo 3DS system in Sleep Mode to an access point which will then connect automatically and send StreetPass data to a server. At the same time, the Nintendo 3DS system also receives the StreetPass data of another user from the server. In this setting, data is not exchanged directly, but rather through a StreetPass relay station. Hence, as opposed to, say, Person A and Person B directly exchanging game data, data will be transmitted in sequence from Person A to Person B, and then onto Person C and so on. But the surprising and magical feeling of exchanging data with someone you simply shared a location with is as real as before. Previously the StreetPass feature required multiple Nintendo 3DS systems in Sleep Mode to be in the same location at the same time, but in this framework, you can exchange data with others by visiting the same location even at a different time, so we can certainly expect the use rate of the StreetPass feature to grow significantly.
As someone who gets a StreetPass once every few months (or if things are nuts, like 3 times for one week), this is great news. There's a McDonald's nearby that has the Nintendo Zone available so I imagine this'll work for StreetPass too. Too bad it couldn't come sooner!
@GameDadGrant I used to get through a decent chunk of the city with mine. I was lucky to get one a month. I only ever saw one other 3DS owner using it in public, and she said she too rarely got StreetPasses even though she lugged the thing around every day, cutting all over the city for classes. Some places just don't have StreetPass coverage at all.
Anyway this is an interesting idea. I've passed though those Nintendo Zones sometimes (no idea what they even are, but my 3DS sometimes alerted me to it) so if they keep StreetPass data there then I may start taking my 3DS out and about again.
To be honest, I'm not sure if this will really help here in Indiana. In about two years I've had maybe 6 random Street Passes. I carry my 3DS in sleep mode daily. I didn't even get one during our recent trip to Galloping Ghost in Chicagoland, which was full of kids and gamers. But I'll certainly try.
Yeah, 3DS, that's what I meant. I guess I just consider using "DS" = "3DS" at this point. Do they even make the regular DS anymore?
Anyway, sounds good. I totally forgot about Streetpass for like a year, up until people mentioned it regarding the Best Buy demo event. I had my DS (sorry THREE-DS) but it wasn't updated so I didn't get any! GAH! DARN YOU NINTENDO!
I will start carrying it in my pocket for at least the next week, until it gets too heavy to bother with.
I'm glad that they're making a feature more accessible. There's a difference between 300,000,000 in a huge country like the USA as opposed to Japan that crams 1,000,000,000 people on the head of a pin.
Well, this sounds good, but if people actually have to go, lets say to a McDonalds, and then later that day or a different day, I go to McDonalds and get a streetpass from someone who passed through that McDonalds....still seems to me that its going to be about just as hard to get streetpass puzzle pieces cause people STILL have to carry their 3DS around with them for this to work & in my area that just doesn't seem to be happening much.
So, right now, I always, and I mean always have my 3DS in my pocket when I go out and in the past 2 years I may have had around 20 streetpasses. The only time I got many streetpassed was at the Zelda concert. For me, and I don't live out in the sticks, I don't think this will help much. I am hoping that people from all around the world will go into the server and then when I go to a McDonalds, Best Buy, ect, I get a streetpass from someone who may not even be in my town.
I guess we'll just have to wait and see. Seems like if Nintendo alreadys knows they will be doing this, we shouldn't have to wait until fall. The update should be happening NOW!