As well as being PlayStation 4 Review Day, yesterday was also Nintendo Direct Day. And the low-key broadcast brought some interesting news for fans of Nintendo's handheld in particular.
Next month, the 3DS will receive a significant system update that brings Nintendo Network to the portable device. Nintendo Network is already well-established on Wii U, with many games making use of the attached "Miiverse" social network, but up until now 3DS has relied on its own proprietary friends list system that still makes use of numerical codes.
The new update will initially allow 3DS owners to create a Nintendo Network ID -- or for Wii U owners to sign in to their existing Nintendo Network ID from their 3DS -- and share their eShop balance between the two platforms. Nintendo hasn't elaborated on what additional benefits -- if any -- having a Nintendo Network ID on 3DS will bring, but it would provide a good means of making the 3DS friends list functionality a lot more straightforward if nothing else. It would also make sense to do this, given that another important part of the update sees Miiverse coming to 3DS for the first time.
For those who've never used a Wii U, Miiverse is Nintendo's social network. It allows Nintendo Network members to post text, screenshots and/or hand-drawn images relating to their games, and enjoy the subsequent discussions with friends and strangers alike. Miiverse posts are showcased in a variety of games -- particularly first-party titles from Nintendo -- and on the Wii U's home screen. They can provide simple, general conversation points about games or, in titles where the functionality is more tightly integrated, specific tips and comments on individual levels or challenges. New Super Mario Bros. U makes good use of the system, for example, by allowing players to make posts on levels they accomplished particular achievements in, while Wii Fit U allows players to join gym communities relating to their own personal fitness goals.
Whether Miiverse will take off on 3DS remains to be seen, but this sort of thing is a good fit for a portable device. It also serves as a replacement for the now all-but-defunct Swapnote/Letter Box system that Nintendo took offline at the start of the month following child protection concerns. By running through Nintendo's servers and being more public, Miiverse is much more easily moderated than Swapnote was, and consequently will be a much safer online environment for 3DS players of all ages to hang out.
3DS and Wii U owners alike may also be interested to hear that there's a Zelda-themed sale on the two platforms' respective eShops at present. On both 3DS and Wii U, you can save 30% off the usual price of NES games The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, putting them both down to a very reasonable $3.49. On 3DS, meanwhile, you can also get 33% off Game Boy Color game Link's Awakening DX, which marks it down to $3.99.
And speaking of Zelda, watch out for Jeremy's review of A Link Between Worlds today.