With the Nintendo 3DS release date fast approaching (March 27 in the United States), Nintendo's keynote address at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco was an opportunity to showcase more of what we can expect from the new handheld. The most connected Nintendo device ever released according to company President Satoru Iwata, the 3DS will incorporate Netflix video streaming and gain access to over 10000 AT&T wireless hot spots across the United States.
Nintendo have collaborated with Netflix to provide Netflix members the ability to stream movies and TV shows directly to their 3DS. Members will require an unlimited plan which starts at $7.99 a month and a broadband wireless internet connection. Better still, Nintendo says the service will give you the ability to start a movie on your Wii (or yet to be confirmed PS3 or Xbox 360) and continue at a different location using your Nintendo 3DS handheld.
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Nintendo is also working with AT&T to provide 3DS users automatic and free access to more than 10000 AT&T Wi-Fi hot spots across the United States. With the SpotPass service activated, 3DS systems will automatically connect to hot spots at restaurants, book stores, coffee shops and airports across the nation.
To achieve this increased functionality a system update will be required, beamed out in May.
Along with the Netflix feature the update will activate the Nintendo eShop. The eShop will offer downloadable classic games through the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console. Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Gear and TurboGrafx-16 games will be available as well as select classic games remastered into 3D like Super Mario 3D, developed from the same Nintendo team that created Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2. The eShop will permit current DSi and DSiXL owners the ability to transfer their DSiWare purchases across to 3DS consoles and also offer an internet browser to download. The eShop will feature 3D content to watch in the form of game and Hollywood trailers as well as music videos and short movies.