StreetPass Has Problems In The West. Nintendo Is Fixing Them.

StreetPass Has Problems In The West. Nintendo Is Fixing Them.

At its E3 analyst briefing yesterday, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata revealed the company’s plans to revitalise sales of its handheld 3DS system in the US and Europe by fundamentally changing the way its StreetPass feature works.

Currently, StreetPass operates by exchanging game data between 3DS consoles in close proximity to each other. Iwata explained that while this works well in Japan, where, due to the large population density, people playing the same games on 3DS would run into each other often, in Europe and the United States, StreetPass is underutilised simply because there are less instances of chance meetings.

To counteract this, Nintendo plans to implement a new framework via a system update for the 3DS, which will allow StreetPass communication to take place indirectly, via so-called StreetPass relay stations — basically, online servers accessed through public Wi-Fi access points. This way, 3DS consoles communicate with and leave their game data on a server instead of interacting directly with another console, not only increasing the chances of the data being received by another 3DS, but also allowing the same data to be received by multiple consoles instead of just one.

In addition to updating StreetPass, Iwata also mentioned plans to “intensively release key first-party titles throughout this year,” many of which are still unannounced, to let the 3DS gain momentum in all global markets. Known titles include some heavy hitters discussed at this year’s E3, including Pokémon X/Y and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.

Nintendo E3 Analyst Briefing – Presentation [Nintendo Japan]


  • This sounds weird to me… It sounds like they are trying to increase the human interaction of Streetpass by removing the humans. I could be wrong though, but that’s how I read it.

  • I understand what this is trying to do but I’m not a fan. I think the magic of streetpass is going on a train with the same people of a morning to a place where you see the same people walking past all the time; you open the 3DS and see you have streetpass hits and think “I wonder which one of them it is”, and it’s got a nice sense of community to it. As opposed to this plan which is more practical but doesn’t have that same personal touch to it. By which I mean, the people won’t necessarily be those in close proximity anymore.

    • I just returned from Japan, where I was getting more Streetpasses than I knew what to do with.
      Despite the fact that I live and work in Sydney city, there have been days where I have managed to not get a single Streetpass.

      I agree that part of the joy of Streetpasses is you do look around and wonder who it was that caused that green light to flicker; it’s the most exciting part for me. However, I’m also eager to know that I’ll be able to get more streetpasses in regard to the additional game data that’s transmitted – that’s more encounters in Fire Emblem, more gems in Kid Icarus, more whatever-it-is in Animal Crossing.

      • I did that with a friend once too – saw his name pop up in the notifications for Resi Revelations, then gave him a call to see where he was.

        I’m with captain though. It’s kind of cool that they do that, but it’s also kind of uncool. I mean most StreetPass stuff can be worked around with Play Coins anyway.

  • I WORK FROM HOME THIS IS AMAZING NEWS! I barely ever see people! Streetpasses for meeeee ^_^

  • Moving to a similar setup that Sony has with near, nice.

    I too recently returned from Japan and the results for streetpass and near were ridiculous. I had every piece of of a new puzzle that dropped within 24 hours. I guess those in Japan probably don’t have the same sense of accomplishment (lol) for completing a puzzle that some of us poor aussies do 😉 Also I managed to triple my score in near’s treasure park in two weeks which had previously taken me a year to do back in AU.

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