Objection! Is StreetPass The Best Feature Of The 3DS?

Welcome to Objection! This is where we take the time to go on-depth on current gaming issues, and let you guys continue the discussion in the comments section. This week we're talking StreetPass. Nintendo seems to have overlooked this feature in its marketing, but could it end up being the handheld's best feature?

Joining us this week is Vooks, from the website Vooks!

MARK: So, Mr Vooks, no Aussie Nintendo Store update this week, so let’s talk StreetPass. How have you found the whole experience so far?

VOOKS: Personally, I've had not a lot of StreetPass action so far here in sunny old Perth. I've taken the 3DS everywhere I go, up on the dash in my car and only had 3 real hits so far. What I mean by real hits is that I've only passed two random people on the Mii Plaza and one separate figure battle for Super Street Fighter. The rest of the 27 hits I have on the system are from the three systems in my house talking to each other when I get home every day. The green light never turns off around my place, it's kind of annoying really. I have been reading and hearing about people have great StreetPass experiences so far though, that's something at least.

MARK: I had an incredible experience. I work at Circular Quay, and on Tuesday night I met up with some friends. I decided to show my friends the 3DS and discovered that, on the walk from my office to the restaurant I had picked up a StreetPass notification.

I had a notification from a ‘Choc’. Now I know a Choc, who comments quite frequently on Kotaku and Neogaf forums. ‘It can’t be him,’ I thought. But then – how many ‘Chocs’ can there be in Sydney with 3DSs?

So I reached out to him and asked - it turns out it actually was him. He was in Circular Quay on Tuesday night, and we walked past one another at some point. I’ve never met ‘Choc’ so I have no idea what he looks like, but we were in close enough proximity to actually exchange Miis and I find that absolutely incredible.

I was completely blown away.

VOOKS: Great experience! That's going to be the great thing about StreetPass, it's going in a way to bring people together. Now at the moment all you're doing it trading Mii's, but think about what games could do with it as well.

However, back to Mii's for a minute, just think - you catch the train every day, and every day you catch someone - you could eventually meet them and say 'hello' and bam you have a new friendship. Personally, I use my Mii's message to advertise my website, I really want to see if anyone will go to it after meeting my Mii. Yeah, I'm kind of sneaky that way.

I think that at conventions and events it could play a large part as well, one of my friends went to a convention recently and picked up 47 in one day - that's a crazy amount of Miis. Now if they meet again - that's building something. Iwata is right about one thing - it's social gaming. I just hope to see the idea of it expanded for games, Animal Crossing will be insane and hopefully future firmware updates will allow more 'games' to be added to the Mii Plaza.

MARK: It’s strange. It connects people in a way that’s really tangible with a common bond.

The day after the 3DS was released I picked up three StreetPass notification on the train, which was awesome, but at the back of my mind I couldn’t help thinking – how many would I have gotten if StreetPass was on the iPhone?

But then it hit me – StreetPass on the iPhone wouldn’t work because of the nature of the audience. Everyone has an iPhone - the fact that two people in the same space have an iPhone is completely meaningless now. But when two people connect via the 3DS, it feels a bit more special in a hokey way. Every time I get a StreetPass hit I know that person is a gamer, an early adopter who loves Nintendo products. I know we have that in common and that’s awesome. It's like we walked past one another on the street and gave each other a knowing nod.

If StreetPass is integrated into games that niche bond is going to be all the more tangible. You mentioned Animal Crossing, but I can’t wait to see what they do with Pokemon – and I frickin’ hate Pokemon!

VOOKS: Yeah the amount of people who have an iPhone is crazy and it certainly wouldn't feel as special. It's a special moment when you get one, you do feel connected to that person - yes that does sound very corny but for me it was like that. I'm sure we'll even see StreetPass knock offs hit the App Store or indeed the Android Market soon enough though - it's a top idea.

Pokemon will be absolute nuts with it; they've already kind of done a 'StreetPass Lite' with Pokemon Black and White with the C-Gear. I think they'll take it the next step with battles with your team, and even things like trades. Say you want a specific Pokemon, walk by someone who has it and if it matches they'll trade or maybe it'll send them a message and if want to connect up later online that could work too.

Nintendo though need to step up their game and tell more people about it. They're so focused on the 3D screen and AR Games they've forgotten a little about StreetPass (and the Wii, cough).

MARK: The thing is, though, StreetPass is such a difficult thing to explain. When it was first announced I was just confused and I didn’t even give the feature a second thought until, quite literally, the 3DS was released in Australia.

And even when it’s explained correctly, it’s meaningless until you experience it firsthand. I’m kind of enjoying how it’s a feature of the 3DS that is slowly bourgeoning, and growing naturally. I really can’t wait to see what smart, clued in developers do next.


Comments

    It definitely has to be backed up with good multiplayer games... Not CASUAL multiplayer games but GOOD multiplayer games for it to really be amazing.

    But yeah HANDS DOWN i can see it making me purchase one.

    Some form of chat or message system would be good rather that the greeting, or maybe an option to send/receive friend codes through street pass would be brilliant. It's a little frustrating getting home and checking that I've picked up someone on my 3DS who also plays the same game as me, and I'll probably never see them again :\

    Absolutely agree. I was thinking that StreetPass would be a nearly useless feature in a place like Australia, but after getting 10 hits from a single Saturday in the city, it's become the #1 feature making me want to take my 3DS everywhere I go. It really is exciting to chance upon someone else who has theirs with them, and/or hunt down places where you're likely to find one. Duck into a JB, and EB, Timezone...

    Screw the pedometer, that doesn't even register in comparison. 1000 steps are easy enough to rack up by tapping the 3DS on the lounge for ~10mins or so while I watch a TV show. StreetPass is where it's at.

    I'm out and about with mine. Vooks, maybe well pass one day.

    I was uninterested originally but you guy have excited me. Can't wait to go to Sydney in June and see if there is a bigger 3DS population.

    I love some of the ideas here! Especially advertising your own site, sneaky Vooks!

    I've had my 3DS on all the time since I got it, and I've only had 3 streetpass hits, and one didn't give me a piece or a hero for the quest, which was upsetting. Even from having it on in peak Sydney train traffic. Still, it's always exciting to see that little green LED turn on.

    I find it a really great feature, and I think you're right: it's one of the best features of the 3DS. It opens up a whole world of possibilities for new games (especially Pokemon, as you mentioned).

    Advertising my own site is totally something I'll be doing now with my Mii. Good times, good times.

    I only have one person that I've streetpassed with - and we drive to uni together every day :|

    Maybe I need to go into the city proper one day. Maybe I'll even pass Vooks...

    If I'm not going anywhere then I just spend 4 minutes shaking my 3DS to get my 1000 'steps'.

    I've gotten one StreetPass thing so far while I was heading to the train station, it was pretty nifty.

    Two hits for me both within minutes of each other on the train ride home yesterday. It was nice to see that functionality in use at last!

    You hate Pokemon?!

    ...jimu is gonna be devastated :/

    Now that I've started to get hits a bit more regularly (people must finally be catching on :P), it is my absolute favourite feature. I still only get 1, maybe 2, a day but it's still exciting.

    I'm staying in Sydney this over the Uni mid session break so hopefully I can take advantage of it.

    Though, it was a bit disheartening that my very first encounter had a Mii that looked almost exactly the same as mine. I didn't think I looked so generic! :P

    I sware i'm the only one in Newcastle with a 3DS no Streetpass hits in a week and I take mine everywhere.

      I might be joining you soon.

    I've been carrying mine around campus all day every day and I have had no random hits at all :-( Ive only streetpassed with the Cracks, and a staff member at EBgames. I figured someone has got to have a 3DS at EB so I brought it with me when I bought Samurai warriors.

    BTW, for anyone with samurai warriors, when you streetpass, you send a duplicate weapon of yours to the other player. Myself and the cracks have been exploiting this by duplicating level 10 weapons with stats we like, and synthesising these to weaker weapons which become stronger still when they reach level 10. Duplicate new level 10 weapon, rinse and repeat.

    *Warning* Do not rinse nintendo 3DS. May cause eye fatigue and siezures.

    I have a job that allows me to walk around the city all day in high foot traffic areas, I'm getting 8+ hits a day on average.

    By far street pass has been the most exciting function.

    Just asked my mate (we're in perth) if he gets many hits, and he told me he gets heaps a day. So I guess its just down to the area.

    I'm still on the fence about getting one, I want one, but there just aren't enough decent games to make me want one.

    Although somewhat cheating, i have one word for you all: Supanova

    27 unique hits over a couple of hours, but the conditions were obviously optimal. ;)

    I take mine everywhere i go during regular times too, but so far zip. I'm on the Sunshine coast.

      Taking mine to Sydney event, hoping for 100s.

    I was thinking this exact same thing myself just today. Streetpass is incredible and I can't even explain how I feel about it. It's revolutionary I might say. I get about 2 hits a day just going on the train to work. I totally am going to do the webpage idea.

    I think Nintendo were really clever to include the mii plaza. It totally blows the idea of the stereotype gamer out the water since you can see exactly (well presumably accurate) who is using the 3ds. I have had a fairly wide representation of races and both male and female. So I find it interesting.

    Yes, let us all turn on the Wifi unit needlessly to further shorten the 3DS battery life.

    I work in a game store and i just leave mine in sleep mode. 10-15 hits a day and 3-4 Streetfighter battles.

    I love it. I don't know how they do it but keep doing it Nintendo.

    I'm expecting not many hits in Adelaide. Maybe if you are in the CBD, but in the 'burbs where everyone actually lives?

      i've been getting hits while traveling on buses from people i wouldn't even suspect of owning a 3ds.

    StreetPass is definitely the most reusable feature on the 3DS for me at the moment, at 2 shopping centres the last 2 days picked up a few hits, now as soon as I get home from going out anywhere it's the first thing I check.

    I love StreetPass SO much. My Girlfriend and I are totally hooked. I went into sydney CBD for at least 4-5 hours the other day just to get hits. Came home and told my gf about how many hits I got. She couldn't believe it so we both went into the CBD today walked around for ages just trying to hit people up.

    Are fav's are the people with the crazy ass faces. Best feature by far. It's totally sucked me in. Can't get enough.

    Picked up around 8 in 2 days on campus, but these weren't in crowded areas (USYD)

    hmm..the streetpass feature, might be only reason to keep the 3ds for now!
    i just wish they would hurry up with the "update", will make 3ds more exciting. ;)

    we have lots of peeps in canberra doing streetpasses. ive got about 25 people so far. but there must be a few hundred to get in canberra.

      oh and also, wouldnt it be great if you could send longer messages with people you meet more then twice. cos you can send them personal messages. i was pretty supprised to dicover that.

      and and also sending messages to your friends, (friend codes)

      they gotta make it more sociable driven. ;)

    In the amount of time that I have had my 3DS for I have found 63 different people.
    I live in canberra and I'm very surprised on the amount of hits.

      I have went to woden with the ds on me, and i hit 2 pp.. i wonder if i bring it to civic.. would i hit 5 pp

    I know is a late reply buit it popped in a Google searcxh looking for places to find StreetPass hits in Perth- Author- if you have had any luck in finding hotspots can you let me know where they are; provided it is not outside a school at the end of the day, that would be... unseemly.

    Denaz- did your mate say where he gets them? Shopping centres, in town, iron ore mines, maybe the BellTower :)?

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